Gold plaque originally inlaid with coloured stones Iran, 600 –400 BC

International touring exhibition

An age of luxury: the Assyrians to Alexander

Tour schedule

Available to tour from 2023.

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Luxury objects have been commissioned, crafted and cherished for millennia.

Ancient luxuries were precious, pleasurable and opulent items – widely coveted and used to show power and status.

Often they had travelled great distances, were difficult to acquire or were made by skilled craftspeople.

This exhibition explores why there was an increase in the production and variety of luxury items after 900 BC.

It uncovers the ways in which luxuries were demanded, used and traded by powerful Near Eastern empires, such as Assyria, Babylon and Iran.

Visitors will encounter objects in an impressive range of materials, from stone, gold and silver to clay and glass, and from large sculptures to small, exquisite treasures.