Sharjah Museums Department lends Sharjah’s most prized objects to International Museum of the Horse

Published June 30th, 2010 - 11:44 GMT

Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) has lent two of the most prized possessions excavated in the emirate of Sharjah, the Golden bridle and Silver horse figure which are on permanent display at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum, for a short-term exhibition at the Kentucky Horse Park's International Museum of the Horse.

The exhibition, "A Gift from the Desert: the Art, History, and Culture of the Arabian Horse" is being held in the United States of America until October 15.

Manal Ataya, Director General, SMD, said: "All international museums take pride in lending their important collections as part of a learning exchange to the widest possible audience. The loan of the two artefacts from Sharjah to the international exhibition also strengthens spotlight on the cultural heritage and rich archaeological history of the Emirate."

The golden bridle and trappings were excavated by the Directorate of Antiquities from "Mleiha" in Sharjah and date back to the 150 BC – 200 AD period. It consists of 14 pieces made of iron, gold and copper alloy.

The wealth of some of the inhabitants of Mleiha is demonstrated in these magnificent gold horse trappings. The circular discs decorated the bridle on the horse's head and would have been attached with bronze rings to leather straps, which have since decayed.

The silver horse figure is spout-shape and was also found in Mleiha during the same period. It is made of copper alloy and plated with silver and gold.

"A Gift from the Desert: the Art, History, and Culture of the Arabian Horse" features more than 400 pieces from over 15 countries and 27 museums and lenders. Coinciding with the World Equestrian Games, the exhibit provides visitors the opportunity to experience the story of one of history's most influential breeds.

The exhibition plays special emphasis on the first horse breed, the Arabian Horse. The exhibition is a fascinating journey from the arrival of the first domesticated horses in the Near East to the renaissance of purebred Arabian horse breeding in the Near East today.

The Sharjah Archaeology Museum is the permanent archive for all archaeological material recovered by the Directorate of Antiquities in the Emirate of Sharjah. The mission of the museum is to preserve, interpret, and exhibit its collections and to disseminate knowledge about them to encourage appreciation, learning, and enjoyment of Sharjah's archaeological heritage. 

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