's temple to Inanna
150px|Reconstruction of a mosaic from the Image:Pergamonmuseum_Inanna_01.jpg.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Eanna">Image:Pergamonmuseum Inanna 01.jpg">150px|Reconstruction of a mosaic from the Eanna
The Vorderasiatisches Museum (, ''[[Near East Museum'') is an archaeological museum in [[Berlin. It is in the basement of the south wing of the [[Pergamon Museum and has one of the world's largest collections of [[Southwest Asian art. 14 halls distributed across 2,000 square meters of exhibition surface display southwest Asian culture spanning six millennia. The exhibits cover a period from the 6th millennium BCE into the time of the Muslim conquest
s. They originate particularly from today's states of Iraq
, with singular finds also from other areas. Starting with the Neolithic
finds, the emphasis of the collection is of finds from Sumer
, as well as northern Syria and eastern Anatolia
Excavations in historically important cities like Uruk
, Tell el Amarna
, Tell Halaf
built the foundation of the museum's collection. Further acquisitions came from Nimrud
. The museum shows finds from the cultures of Sumer
, the Hittites
and the Aramaeans
. These finds often found their way to Berlin via the German Oriental Society
. In 1899, the Middle East Department at the royal museums was created. In 1929, they were provisionally accommodated in the Bode Museum
and the Pergamon Museum, where they have been accessible to the public since 1930. During the Second World War
, there were hardly any war-related losses. The mobile exhibits, which were taken as art spoliage
to the Soviet Union
, were returned to East Germany
in 1958. The collection had already opened again as the ''Vorderasiatisches Museum'' in 1953.
Notable pieces of the collection are the Ishtar Gate
and Procession Way of Babylon, remainders of the ancient city of Babylon, parts of the Eanna
temple and Karaindash
's temple to Inanna
in Uruk. The museum also has an important number of Southwest Asian stamp
and cylinder seal
s, as well as cuneiform
texts. It has more than 200 of the Amarna letters
and the larger ("Meissner") fragment (''VAT 4105'') of the Sippar
tablet from the ''Epic of Gilgamesh
'', which includes Siduri
's advice, unlike later editions of the epic.
At present (2019) Barbara Helwing
is the director of the museum, following Markus Hilgert
/ref> Previous directors were Beate Salje, Walter Andrae, Gerhard Rudolf Meyer, Liane Jakob-Rost and Evelyn Klengel Brandt, among others.
* Nicola Crüsemann: ''Vom Zweistromland zum Kupfergraben. Vorgeschichte und Entstehungsjahre (1899-1918) der Vorderasiatischen Abteilung der Berliner Museen vor fach- und kulturpolitischen Hintergründen.'' Gebrüder Mann, Berlin 2001, .
* Nicola Crüsemann (ed.): ''Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin. Geschichte und Geschichten zum hundertjährigen Bestehen'', Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin 2000
* Museen vor fach- und kulturpolitischen Hintergründen, Berlin 2001 (Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen N. F. 42 (2000), Beiheft)
* Beate Salje: ''Vorderasiatische Museen: gestern, heute, morgen. Berlin, Paris, London, New York; eine Standortbestimmung; Kolloquium aus Anlass des Einhundertjährigen Bestehens des Vorderasiatischen Museums Berlin am 7. Mai 1999'', von Zabern, Mainz 2001.
* Joachim Marzahn, Beate Salje (eds.): ''Wiedererstehendes Assur: 100 Jahre deutsche Ausgrabungen in Assyrien'', von Zabern, Mainz 2003.
Assyrian origins: discoveries at Ashur on the Tigris: antiquities in the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin
an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries (fully available online as PDF)
Category:Art museums and galleries in Berlin
Category:Archaeological museums in Germany
Category:Museums established in 1899
Category:1899 establishments in Germany
Category:Berlin State Museums