September 3, 2022–ongoing
Ancient Yemen: Incense, Art, and Trade
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery | Gallery 22
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Nestled in the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen became a major hub for the trade of incense during the first millennium BCE. This trade reached its climax between the first century BCE and the second century CE. Incense was traded by land and also by sea, reaching the Mediterranean world as well as ancient Iran and South Asia. This lucrative trade resulted in tremendous wealth and encouraged the patronage of elaborate architecture and distinctive works of art. The fine alabaster statues and metalworks display the masterful skills of artists from ancient Yemen, who blended local ideas and Greek and Roman inspirations into new creations, underscoring the region’s remarkable artistic and cultural cosmopolitanism.
Striding lion with Eros child (one of a pair) (detail), Yemen, early 1st century BCE–mid-1st century CE, bronze, Gift of The American Foundation for the Study of Man (Wendell and Merilyn Phillips Collection), Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, S2013.2.77.1
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