Golden Age of Midas exhibit in US
ISTANBULAn exhibition titled “The Golden Age of King Midas,” featuring ancient artifacts from the era of King Midas, will be displayed at the University of Pennsylvania Museum between Feb. 13 and Nov. 27.
The exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Culture and Tourism Ministry, New York Consulate General to Turkey and the University of Pennsylvania, is made up of pieces unearthed in excavations in the Phrygian capital Gordion, 94 kilometers from Ankara.
The historical King Midas lived in the prosperous city of Gordion, the political and cultural capital of the Phrygians nearly 3,000 years ago.
In 1957, Penn Museum archaeologists excavated a spectacular royal tomb believed to be the final resting place of King Midas’ father, Gordios. Dating to 740 B.C., the tomb contained a treasure trove of magnificent objects from the time of Midas.
The world-exclusive exhibition is a chance to view more than 120 objects, including those from the royal tomb, on special loan from Turkish museums in Ankara, Istanbul, Antalya and Gordion.
The Penn Museum’s discovery of the royal tomb created an international sensation in the late 1950s. The height of the burial mound, which is one of the largest in Turkey, is equivalent to a 17-story building.
The tomb chamber within still ranks as the oldest standing wooden building in the world. The exhibition includes many of the bronze vessels from the tomb, most of which will be shown in the U.S. for the first time, that had been used by the mourners at his funerary feast.
Also featured are jewelry, statuary, exquisitely painted pottery, and architectural decoration including the oldest colored stone mosaic ever made. Ivory furniture panels from northern Iraq (8th century B.C.) and elaborate gold jewelry that once decorated a shroud from the Caucasus Mountains (5th century B.C.) are among the outstanding artifacts from neighboring realms, all of which demonstrate a legendary king’s extraordinary power and golden touch.
For the opening of the exhibition, Penn Museum’s Pepper Hall has been transformed into a caravanserai-inspired oasis reminiscent of the Turkish roadside inns that offered travelers a place to recover from a day’s journey.