The Rare Book Department at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central Library is currently hosting an extensive new exhibition of rare cuneiform tablets. Running through January 21, 2011, “Not Since Nineveh: Artifacts from the Ancient Near East in the Free Library of Philadelphia, 3100-300 B.C.E.” features relics from the Ancient Near East collected by Philadelphia philanthropist John Frederick Lewis in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The Free Library's collection contains nearly 3,000 clay tablets and other items dating from the Late Uruk or Jemdet Nasr Period, c. 3100 B.C.E., to the Seleucid Dynasty of Persia, c. 300 B.C.E. Clay and stone tablets of all shapes and sizes are displayed, along with cylinder seals and their clay impressions. The exhibition is illustrated with maps and photographs of excavation sites and artifacts. This is the first time the Free Library has mounted an entire exhibition of its cuneiform tablet collection!
Special exhibitions like “Not Since Nineveh” allow the Free Library to share the many "hidden treasures" in its collections that are not usually on public display with as many Philadelphians as possible. Everyone is encouraged to visit the Rare Book Department at Parkway Central and enjoy these ancient artifacts!
The Rare Book Department is open from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with tours of the General Collections beginning daily at 11:00 a.m. For more information about “Not Since Nineveh” or the Rare Book Department, please call 215-686-5416 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.