The Cincinnati Art Museum possesses a distinguished collection of ancient art from the Mediterranean region and the Near East. Spanning some four thousand years from the fourth millennium B.C.E. to the early centuries C.E. this notable collection features major examples of stone sculpture, decorated metalwork, painted wall carvings and ceramic vessels from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The earliest acquisition of ancient objects was accomplished by the Women’s Art Museum Association in 1886, purchasing Greek and Etruscan antiquities. The museum was also the recipient of objects excavated in ancient Egypt and Sudan by the Egypt Exploration Society as well as donations by major individual donors, including Millard and Edna Shelt and William Tunstall and Louise Taft Semple. Among its Near Eastern archaeological treasures is an exceptional collection of Nabataean sculpture and decorated architecture—the largest collection of material of its kind outside of Jordan.

Featured Objects

Mithraic Relief with Bull

poss. Rome, Italy, 1968.112

Red-Figure Volute Krater with Battle Scene

The Niobid Painter, 1987.4

Mummy Sarcophagus

Egypt (Ptolemaic Period), 1947.275

Roundel with Bust of Atargatis-Tyche and Zodiac

Nabataean, 1939.233

Mihrab (Prayer niche)

Iran or Central Asia, 1971.59

Plate with Youth in Landscape Setting

Northwestern Iran, 1948.147