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SYRIA
LAND OF CIVILIZATIONS
One of the outstanding cultural events of the year 2000


With the presentation of Syria, Land of Civilizations, from May 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001, Québec's Musée de la civilisation turns towards one of the world's most ancient cultures to reflect on the very foundations of civilization. This exhibition, produced by Quebec's Musée de la civilisation in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums of the Syrian Arab Republic, will undoubtedly be recognized as one of the outstanding cultural events of the year 2000.

Sarcophage
Sarcophagus
Terra cota
Amrit, Ancient Marathus
55 x 51 x 16,5 cm
Tartus Museum
The exhibition's great attraction lies in the sumptuousness and symbolism of some 400 objects on display - mostly ancient treasures with a few recent archaeological findings - some of them shown here for the first time outside Syria. Among the most remarkable objects are: a gold and lapis lazuli breast plate (around 2500 B.C.), a statue of Governor Istup-Ilum (around 2300 B.C.), the Elba Treasure (1825-1750 B.C.), a tablet inscribed with musical notation (around 1300 B.C.), a sarcophagus (500 years B.C.), a woman's funerary bas relief (around 100 A.D.), the Hercules Mosaic (around 300 A.D.), a magnificent gold funerary mask (around 100 A.D.), a silver and iron ceremonial helmet (around 100 A.D.), also a quantity of precious jewellery (brooches, bracelets, earrings, necklaces...), as well as manuscripts, statues, vases, scientific instruments, etc.

masque

Mask
Gold
Homs, Ancient Emesa (tomb 1)
19 x 18 x 8,5 cm
National Museum, Damascus

A glimpse of history
It has been said that we humans become civilized the moment we begin to get organized. Syria, in particular, is one of the most ancient countries of the world where this long process has been initiated. With its land conducive to settlement and the development of farming, Syria has seen a long succession of cultures that have, each in their own way, developed value systems in the social, economic, intellectual and artistic spheres. Each one of these has made a major contribution to humanity's evolution, and is part of the modern world's inheritance.

The thrust of the exhibition
The exhibition explores three great spheres of organization that are common to the emergence of civilization. Following a short introduction, the exhibition introduces different types of social organizations that have members participation in the development of the community as a common objective: the settlement of villages, the emergence of cities, the founding of kingdoms, the forming of great empires. The exhibition then moves on to the organization of the economy: the introduction of farming, the transformation of raw material, the development of commerce, the management of production and trade.

In a third part, the exhibition looks at the organization of spiritual values: the notion of the divine, the temples and cults, funerary rites, on to the emergence of the great monotheistic religions. Finally, in conclusion, the exhibition develops the theme of the important bonds that link us with the Neareast, in particular with Syria, particularly in the fields of thought and of science.


The Museum Web site "plugged in" on Syria
From today on, Syria will take up a special section of the Museum Web site. This twenty-page rubric introduces Syria (with visual back ups) through the themes set forward in the publication (the origins of civilization, the organization of society
and of the economy, the organization of thought and the passing on of a scientific legacy to the modern world). All themes that will be developed in the upcoming Syria, Land of Civilizations exhibition. The Web site is available to the public for consultation at the following address: www.mcq.org/syrie

The Syria, Land of Civilizations exhibition is a magnificent voyage across borders and cultures, presented en primeur in North America at the Musée de la civilisation in Québec, from May 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001. Produced by the Musée de la civilisation in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums of the Syrian Arab Republic. Presented by AIM Funds and sponsored by Novartis and the Commission de la capitale nationale in collaboration with the Société Radio-Canada, CITF RockoDétente 107,5 FM and Le Soleil.

Information:
Serge Poulin[418] 643-2158
Public Relations and Communications

Issued : October 26, 1999


Syria : other press release :
The foremost cultural event of the year 2000 (Issued : May 30, 2000)

Remarkable objects : ancient treasures and archaeological finds (Issued May 30, 2000)

One of the outstanding cultural events of the year 2000
(Issued : October 26, 1999)

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