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Ancient Lebanese treasures on display in the UK for first time at Oriental Museum

(4 July 2016)

Historical artefacts never before seen in the UK are go on display at the Oriental Museum from Saturday 18th June 2016.

Daily Life in Ancient Lebanon, a major new international exhibition, explores the fundamental yet today largely forgotten role the peoples of Ancient Lebanon played in shaping the history of the Mediterranean.

The exhibition centres around significant loans from the British Museum and the National Museum of Beirut and is based on the latest research being undertaken at Durham University. Many of the objects being presented have never been seen in the UK before. They range from highly decorated ivory objects and silver bowls, to cooking pots and burial urns. 

Exhibition curator Dr Mark Woolmer said: ‘By highlighting Lebanon’s rich cultural heritage, we hope to challenge the perception of the country held by many in the western world – a perception often heavily skewed by contemporary politics and war. 

‘The people of ancient Lebanon lived at the centre of the ancient world. They were great explorers, sailors, and maritime traders who were famed for their extraordinary seafaring abilities. Ships were so important to the people of Lebanon that they were considered to be living beings that needed to be protected with magical symbols and devices to guard against misfortune. In this exhibition we want to bring these kinds of facts to life for visitors so that they reconsider their views of this important region.’

Daily Life in Ancient Lebanon opens to the public on Saturday 18th June and runs until 25th September. It has been supported by the Honor Frost Foundation, the Friends of the Oriental Museum, Durham University’s Collingwood College and Department of Classics.