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Abstract

The curators of the exhibition Uruk: 5000 Years of the Megacity claim that Uruk is the earliest known city in the world, the birthplace of writing, bureaucracy, monumental art, and architecture. Their reconstruction of this ancient metropolis in present-day Berlin suggests to visitors that modernity and Mesopotamia are perhaps not worlds apart after all. The sumptuous new exhibition—organized by the Vorderasiatisches Museum/Staatliche Museum Berlin, the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum Mannheim, and the Curt Engelhorn Foundation in collaboration with the German Archeological Institute and the German Oriental Society (DOG)—commemorates the centennial of the first German excavations at the site of Warka in southern Iraq.