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HOT: The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton

DSC03038 540x361 HOT: The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton

I lived in London for years and although I liked to visit the British Museum regularly I think I saw about 1/1000th of their vast collection. So I was quite excited to hear that a slice of the museum’s Middle East artefact collection was coming to Melbourne for the Melbourne Museum‘s winter exhibition for 2012, The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia.

My knowledge of ancient history is sketchy and I had to dig back into my primary school projects to remember where Mesopotamia actually was. It’s a region that’s now better known as Iraq and it’s inspiring to learn something positive about the region instead of hearing constant news of war and turmoil. While it can be hard to relate our existence to lives lived in thousands of years ago, we owe a lot to  Mesopotamia – the birthplace of writing, mathematics, astronomy and timekeeping.

DSC03039 324x540 HOT: The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton

The exhibition is split into three sections each exploring a different ancient civilisation – Sumer, Assyria and Babylon. Given the distance between Australia and the UK I was expecting displays of little household items and shards of pottery urns, so I was most impressed with the massive carved stone tablets that have been shipped over for us.

DSC03047 353x540 HOT: The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton

For me the carved stonework was also the most interesting because Melbourne Museum had layered over multimedia video over some the works, bringing to life scenes of battle and explaining how stories unfolded in each part the sculpture.

DSC03045 426x540 HOT: The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton

For families who are visiting the exhibition there are small plaques to engage kids as part of the Family Trail. Gilgamesh, the legendary hero of Mesopotamia, guides kids with questions to ponder and things to look out for in the display cabinets.  I actually think Gilgamesh pointed out some interesting points for adults too!

DSC03049 540x492 HOT: The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton

There are also a few touch-and-feel activities and you can purchase a Kids Audio Guide ($7) for a more multi-modal experience, but overall I think they could have included more ways to engage kids given a lot of the displays were static and required reading explanatory plaques.

DSC03051 540x471 HOT: The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton

And finally, who could resist a fluffy lion from the gift shop!

DSC03054 340x540 HOT: The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton

Giveaway! Thanks to the Melbourne Museum I have a double pass to The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia to give away. All you have to do is leave a comment and the winner will be drawn next Friday 11 May. Good luck!

The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia, Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton 13 11 02

Daily, 4 May – 7 Oct 2012
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday evenings, until 9:00 PM
Adults $24, concession $16, children $14, school groups $10 per student

Thank you to Melbourne Museum for inviting me to view the exhibition. 


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pixel HOT: The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton

Discussion

32 comments for “HOT: The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson Street, Carlton”

  1. this would be awesome to go to! :D

    Posted by Beverly Goh | May 3, 2012, 10:00 pm
  2. Sounds amazing! Would love to check it out!

    Posted by Meg Rayner
    Twitter: Megrayner
    | May 3, 2012, 10:20 pm
  3. Love your reviews! Please include me in the draw for these tickets – thanks so much!

    Posted by Sandra | May 4, 2012, 7:49 am
  4. I’ve lived in london before too, and don’t think i’ve seen these. would love to check it out!

    Posted by Charis | May 4, 2012, 8:08 am
  5. Would love to stroll with the kids through the wonders of mesopotamia :)

    Posted by sally haines | May 4, 2012, 9:02 am
  6. This looks fascinating. Looking forward to seeing it and touching up my history knowledge.

    Posted by Kylie | May 4, 2012, 9:21 am
  7. I briefly ran past this exhibit while rushing through the British Museum two years ago.

    It’s a truly incredible collection and definitely requires more time to take it all in.

    Posted by Dejana | May 4, 2012, 9:26 am
  8. I love to explore Melbourne and this blog is a sure winner to help me on my way. Keep up the good work!!!!

    Posted by Amanda Mortimer | May 4, 2012, 10:02 am
  9. I would love to go.

    Posted by Shawn | May 4, 2012, 10:10 am
  10. I’ll take Boney M with me.

    Posted by txnash
    Twitter: txnash
    | May 4, 2012, 10:18 am
  11. Great review, it looks like an amazing exhibit and I would love to go!!! Fingers crossed… :)

    Posted by Clarissa T
    Twitter: MsClarissaTerry
    | May 4, 2012, 10:39 am
  12. pick me! pick me! :)

    Posted by Mein | May 4, 2012, 10:49 am
  13. Archaeology has been an enduring interest for me ever since I was a member of Young Rescue back in the ’70′s. Mesopotamia is a fascinating culture and one we get a great insight into via their cuneiform tablets including the Epic of Gilgamesh (which includes the earliest currently known recounting of the flood myth seen in the bible).

    You mention mathematics, as a nice coincidence the current American Mathematical Society “featured column” is about “Old Babylonian Multiplication and Reciprocal Tables” with some nice photos of cuneiform tablets showing their sexagesimal number system.

    It’ll be a fascinating exhibition to see!

    Posted by Chris Samuel
    Twitter: chris_bloke
    | May 4, 2012, 11:35 am
  14. Oops – forgot the URL to the AMS article on “Old Babylonian Multiplication and Reciprocal Tables”!

    http://www.ams.org/featurecolumn

    Posted by Chris Samuel
    Twitter: chris_bloke
    | May 4, 2012, 11:36 am
  15. Anything from British Museum must be good. Seeing The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia in Melbourne without spending 18 hours flying to London is a MUST GO!

    Posted by Allan Hong | May 4, 2012, 12:18 pm
  16. As a museum studies student, I am looking forward to seeing this exhibit to see how what I’m learning is being put in to practice in a real museum setting. I’ve studied much of modern Middle East times, but don’t know som much about the past, so I am excited about that too.

    Posted by James DeAraugo
    Twitter: Jimmy_Mercury
    | May 4, 2012, 12:42 pm
  17. ..Awesome introduction to the exhibition, its a well written article…i really enjoyed it…!

    Now i cant wait to go see those things u described in the flesh….HOPE I GET LUCKY !!

    Thank you in Advance !

    Posted by Dylan | May 4, 2012, 2:14 pm
  18. It’s on my list of things to do – I hope I actually get to go. Free tickets will make sure I DEFINITELY do ;)

    Posted by Naomi Eve
    Twitter: naomieve
    | May 4, 2012, 3:57 pm
  19. Omg! Ancient civilisations yessss thank you in advance ;)

    Posted by Tiffany Goh | May 5, 2012, 12:19 am
  20. Have wanted to go for this exhibition since I first discovered it was coming to Melbourne!!! Thank you for blogging about this. (:

    Posted by Mai | May 5, 2012, 11:09 am
  21. I would love to take hubby to see this, its right up his alley!

    Posted by zanna | May 5, 2012, 3:38 pm
  22. Would be great to go on a cold wintry day!!!

    Posted by Katie | May 5, 2012, 11:54 pm
  23. Would love to see this (and buy a fluffy lion)
    thanks!

    Posted by StevenW | May 6, 2012, 8:40 am
  24. Us please please please please!!!!

    Posted by Ted | May 6, 2012, 10:42 am
  25. Looking forward to going to this exhibition – still havnt been to the museum, all my out of town friends tell me it is a must!

    Posted by Kate
    Twitter: grangermouse
    | May 6, 2012, 8:29 pm
  26. I just found your blog today. This sounds really interesting, thanks for reviewing it!

    Posted by Eleanor | May 7, 2012, 4:15 pm
  27. I love these exhibitions as they have just enough without being too overwhelming. I’d love to take the kids.

    Posted by Ross | May 8, 2012, 8:10 am
  28. Awesome! Thanks for letting me know about this. I would love to go please. Chris.

    Posted by Christian R
    Twitter: creamyncookie
    | May 8, 2012, 2:03 pm
  29. I would love to see this :)

    Posted by Kelly | May 8, 2012, 9:17 pm
  30. How much would I love to see this exhibit!

    Posted by Theresa
    Twitter: Desdrata
    | May 9, 2012, 4:40 pm
  31. My fiance and I are dying to go see this!

    Posted by Sue Anne
    Twitter: sueannegoh
    | May 9, 2012, 10:22 pm
  32. Would love to see this! :)

    Posted by Catherine
    Twitter: petitmiamx
    | May 10, 2012, 9:55 am

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