This catalogue makes available more than 600 complete or fragmentary stone vessels kept in the British Museum. Most of them were excavated at Nineveh and other major sites in northern Iraq and Syria, and are presented here for the first time. They range in date from prehistory down to the Persian and Hellenistic periods; the bulk belong in the eighth and seventh centuries, when the Near East under Assyrian rule grew increasingly cosmopolitan. The collection includes luxury items made for palaces and temples, often bearing royal inscriptions, besides many perfume-jars, mortars and other vessels for practical use. The catalogue incorporates extensive information on material culture, art, technology, economic relationships, and social and religious practices, and will be used by historians, archaeologists, philologists and anthropologists alike.
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