The Cyrus Cylinder is one of the most famous objects to have survived from the ancient world. The Cylinder was inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform on the orders of the Persian King Cyrus the Great after he captured Babylon in 539 BC. It is often referred to as the first bill of human rights as it appears to permit freedom of worship throughout the Persian Empire and to allow deported people to return to their homelands. It is valued by people all around the world as a symbol of tolerance and respect for different peoples and different faiths, so much so that a copy of the cylinder is on display in the United Nations building in New York.
This catalogue is published in conjunction with the first ever tour of the object to the United States, along with 16 other objects from the British Museum’s collection. The book discusses how these objects demonstrate the innovations initiated by Persian rule in the Ancient Near East.
Hardcover. 144 pages.