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The Oxus Treasure (British Museum Objects in Focus) Paperback – December 31, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0714150796 ISBN-10: 0714150797

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Product Details

  • Series: British Museum Objects in Focus
  • Paperback: 63 pages
  • Publisher: British Museum Press (December 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714150797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714150796
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #675,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Curtis is Keeper of the Middle East collections at the British Museum. Mainly interested in archaeology and history of Iraq and Iran circa 1000-330 BC, John has directed a number of excavations on behalf of the British Museum. John has authored several books, including Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia, with Nigel Tallis (British Museum Press, 2005).

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Charles C. Kolb on October 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Curtis, The Oxus Treasure, British Museum Objects in Focus, London: British Museum Press, 2012, 64 pp., 38 color and 5 black-and-white illustrations, ISBN-13: 978-0-7141-5079-6, ISBN-10: 0-7141-5079-7, ₤5.00/$10.00. The author, Keeper of the Middle East collections at the British Museum, is the foremost living authority on the Oxus "Treasure," the most important surviving collection of Achaemenid Persian metalwork. It consists of about 180 objects (most other sources say 170 artifacts) dating, in the main, from the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. This was the era of the Achaemenid Empire, created by Cyrus the Great (559-530 BCE), when the Persians controlled the vast area from Egypt and the Aegean to Afghanistan and the Indus Valley. The collection is an example of ancient goldsmithery at its very best.

Curtis's slim volume provides the salient points about the Treasure (the British always capitalize the "T"). Following a contextual "Introduction," he provides the reader with a clear, well-illustrated text in which he summarizes the murky "discovery" of the Treasure; the story of its theft and recovery; how it came to the British Museum, followed by a description of the Treasure and results of a non-invasive technical analysis of the gold (presumably by XRF -- X-ray fluorescence but, alas, we are not fully informed about this). A brief essay on the art of the Achaemenid Persian Empire provides information regarding artistic style and potential provenience (location where it was fabricated), and another essay on its chronology. The final composition is "What can we deduce from the Treasure?" while a list of "Further Readings and Web Resources," includes ten print references and two Internet sites.
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By Larry N. Stout on March 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Authoritative and beautifully illustrated, the perfect booklet about the famed Oxus Treasure for the general reader interested in world history. Dr. Kolb's comments are pertinent.
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