Artifacts from ancient Mediterranean civilization on display for the first time in Britain

More than 200 artefacts from Sardinia, Cyprus and Crete will be on display in an exhibition about the Mediterranean islands.

ambridge’s Fitzwilliam museum will display loan items, most of which are available for the first time in the UK, including bronze figurines relating to Sardinia’s lost 4,000-year-old Nuragic civilization.

No written records of this civilization have been discovered, but its ancient burial ground produced bronze figurines that shed light on their mythological and religious identities.


A bronze statue of an archer c1000-600 BC (National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari/University of Cambridge/PA)

Nuragic bronze figurines represent warriors wearing long curved horns, gargoyles, and imaginary entities belonging to a unique culture.

At the height of their power, the Nuragic culture was defined by megalithic towers called nuraghi.

Archaeologists estimate that more than 10,000 nuraghi once existed throughout Sardinia, although only a few thousand survive today.


Model of a chariot and horseman, 750-600 BC, from the Sanctuary of Agia Eirini in Cyprus (National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari/University of Cambridge/PA)

The curator of the exhibition, Dr Anastasia Christophilopoulou, said: “This exhibition brings together three years of research, community engagement and active archaeological and anthropological practice in the Mediterranean islands.

“We have to imagine ourselves on one of these islands, to better understand how these unique objects reveal their self-perception, community identity and long history.”

Bronze figurines from Sardinia are on loan from the National Archaeological Museum in the Sardinian capital Cagliari.


Found at Agia Eirini reserve in Cyprus (Varldskulturmuseerna Sweden/University of Cambridge/PA)

Dr Francesco Muscolino, director of the museum, said: “For the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari, participating in the exhibition and connected research project is a great opportunity to emphasize the richness and diversity of the Mediterranean connections of Sardinia through the ages.

“The inclusion of antiquities by the Cagliari Museum, most of which have never been to the UK or abroad, contributes significantly to the comparison with similar objects belonging to other civilizations. contemporaneous islands, thus vividly showing the connection between some of the main islands in the Mediterranean.”

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Other items in the exhibition will include figurines often attributed to the Cyprus Terracotta Army and a rare 3,500-year-old cowhide ingot from the Heraklion Museum in Crete.

– Islanders: The Making Of The Mediterranean, will run at Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum from February 24 to June 4. Artifacts from ancient Mediterranean civilization on display for the first time in Britain

Fry Electronics Team

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