Before the alphabet

Journey to Mesopotamia at the beginning of writing

Venice, Palazzo Loredan, Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti
20th January - 25th April 2017

For the first time, almost two hundred objects from the Ligabue Collection – including tablets and seals dating back millennia – are exposed to the public, evoking the Assyrian-Babylonian culture and the great civilization of today’s inaccessible territories.

An extraordinary journey to the origins of civilization, in the places where Prehistory steps into History thanks to one of the most fantastic inventions of mankind: writing.
A revolution represented through many documents coming from the land of the two rivers: clay tablets or precious materials together with seals that reproduce stories, symbols and gestures of daily life so far in time but so close even today to our being men in the world.
The exhibition is curated by Professor Frederick Mario Fales (University of Udine), one of the most famous Assyriologists and scholars of the Ancient Near East, which leads us almost six thousand years ago in the Land of the Two Rivers, in a universe of signs, symbols, engravings, but also images and visual stories, which testify to the birth and the overwhelming spread of cuneiform writing, revealing at the same time the social, economic and religious environment of Ancient Mesopotamia. 

Palazzo Loredan,
Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti
Campo Santo Stefano, 2945
30124 Venice

Line 1 or 2, San Samuele or Accademia stops

Opening hours

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. / 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed on Saturday and Sunday

Info and reservations

T. +39 041 2705616

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