NYU Exhibition – Artifacts of the Ancient World

Re-posted from Short Compositions on Life, Art, PR and More (originally posted on 12.16.2009)

“The Lost World of Europe, The Danube Valley 5000 – 3500 B.C.” is the name of the exhibition I visited this week at the NYU, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW), 15 East 84th Street. The New York Times wrote a nice article about this here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/01/science/01arch.html?_r=1
I also have to thank some friends for mentioning this exhibition: it was worth the trip. 

As the ISAW card points out, when we think of the ancient world we pretty much think of Egypt, Mesopotamia, then Greece or Rome. And we tend to forget some of the oldest cultures in Southern-Eastern Europe, like for instance Cucuteni culture, as old as perhaps 7000 years. 

The NYU exhibition is centered around Cucuteni’s famous (and mysterious) miniaturized figurines. The most famous of them all are “The Thinker” and his female partner, dated 5000 – 4600 B.C., Hamangia culture, Romania. I still wonder what was their symbol, their purpose if you wish? Was it religious, social or what else? 

Another part of the exhibition is the Cucuteni ceramics which, according to the ISAW brochure, “had the liveliest and most colorful decoration of any in Old Europe and was widely desired throughout the region.” Thousands of years old, these ceramics are not only in good shape, but still beautiful. 

The exhibition will stay open until April 2010. The admission is free. Guided tours on Fridays. More details here: http://www.nyu.edu/isaw/exhibitions/oldeurope/