20 May - 15 August 2010. 250 artefacts from 5000 - 3500 BC, including gold and metalwork from the settlements of furthest southeastern Europe, are currently on display in the Ashmolean Museum.
This region, known as Mesopotamia or 'Old Europe', is widely believed to be the cradle of civilisation and is where writing was invented. The area includes parts of modern-day Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. Due to the confines imposed by the Cold War of the late 20th century, it is only in recent years that archaeologists have been able to properly evaluate the wealth of intellectual and artistic riches accumulated in that era. For the first time in Britain visitors can experience this fascinating legacy.