I highly recommend that you to travel in time at the Caixa Forum this month. Here you can visit the Nineveh Palaces and the gold objects from the Oxus treasures, to where Alexander and his Macedonians arrived.
Until the 12th of January, 2020, it is possible to explore the wonderful art, jewellery, aesthetic and the luxury of ancient Assyrians, Babylonian, Phoenician, Persian, Greeks, Etruscan…all here in Madrid. The exhibition covers the period 900 and 300 B.C.
The gold fish vessel:
This piece, which was found by the Oxus river about 1877-1880, is Achaemenid metalwork. If you did not travel with Alexander or were not part of the Darius court, you probably don’t know this type of fish.
Surely, as was my case, you do not even know where the river Oxus is. This river, now called Amu Darya, separates Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and was one of the borders of the Persian Empire.
Alexander the Great was chasing Gaugamela towards Darius III throughout the country because Darius was escaping the battle of Bactra , 74 kilometres south of the river Oxus, when he was assassinated by one of his men. It is so exciting to imagine that this piece was part of Darius personal treasure!
Park land in the vicinity of Nineveh:
It is a fragment of a panel wall from the North Palace of Senaquerib. This landscape represents the garden created by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal for his wife, who longed for her homeland.To make it he built an aqueduct and a net of channels, and brought different species from all his kingdom. Like in the British Museum, the recreation has given life to the picture with colours which makes it easy to imagine what the palace wall would have been like. As close to life as you can imagine.
When you leave the exhibition, if you want to have the feeling of visiting the Senaquerib paradise, sit at the small plaza just at the front of the Museum, wait a moment until you are alone, and perhaps, you will be able to enjoy the wall garden, just like Queen Libbalisharrat, Senaquerib's grandmother, two thousand seven hundred years ago.
CaixaForum Madrid, Paseo del Prado, 36, 28014 Madrid
Valeria A, Year 7