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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Back to Mesopotamia

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The “Six-Haired Hero”, a colossal relief from Dur Scharrukin/Khorsabad, impressively dominated the Babylonian processional street of the Museum of the Ancient Near East in Berlin. It was the focus of the “Uruk: 5,000 Years of Megacity” exhibition, which attracted more than 470,000 visitors in 2013.

This project in cooperation with the German Archaeological Institute, the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museum Mannheim and the German Orient Society sharpened the view of the cultural achievements of the people 5,000 years ago. In ancient Mesopotamia and present-day Iraq, they had created a functioning metropolis for 50,000 people.

The fact that 300 million bricks were used for the city wall alone indicates the high level of organization. The first human script, cuneiform, also developed in Uruk. It was the prerequisite for the existence of such a complex community.

Everything that the impressive exhibition conveyed at that time can now be discovered again online, in the presentation “Digital Uruk” (www.smb.museum/uruk-digital). It took a while for this project to finally come to fruition. Although the digital technology is now more advanced than what is used here, it is still worth it.

[Lesen Sie zum Thema auch den Artikel von Rolf Brockschmidt auf Tagesspiegel Plus: Das Geheimnis der Gärten von Uruk]

Unfortunately, the overview map with all active objects is a bit small and confusing. It is advisable to start with a first click, on a round symbol with the two arrows in the navigation bar below, to get a 360-degree impression of the exhibition space. This helps with orientation.

Virtual tour of the digital exhibition “Uruk – 5000 years of megacity”.Photo: Berlin State Museums, Near Eastern Museum

With a click on a panel of images and the information text

All rooms were photographed as they were seen at the time. An excitedly bouncing purple exclamation point draws attention to objects of particular interest. However, one click does not take you to the showcase, but to a picture board with an informative text in German and English.

Introductory texts are also marked with such an exclamation mark. Purple teardrop symbols take the user to the next room with a click of the mouse. Once you’ve found your way around, you can navigate around the room by holding down the right mouse button and looking for the right objects. A limited zoom feature helps with this.

Among the highlights of the virtual exhibition are world-class objects such as the copy of the Uruk/Warka vase, the original of which is in the National Museum in Baghdad. Or the head of the “Lady of Warka”, also from Baghdad, of which German archaeologists were allowed to make copies 110 years ago.

Fascinating reconstructions of buildings and facilities.

In the exhibition at that time and now in the virtual tour, videos of the reconstructions with buildings and facilities in Uruk by the Berlin company artifacts-berlin.de are shown, which can look back on a long and successful cooperation with the German Archaeological Institute. also fascinating.

[Wenn Sie aktuelle Nachrichten aus Berlin, Deutschland und der Welt live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können]

In his film depictions of the ziggurat or the later Seleucid temple Bit Resch, one gets a vivid impression of life in Mesopotamia. Videos can be recognized by a purple camera symbol. The analog display was excellent, being able to experience it online is now a godsend for anyone with an interest in antiquity.

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