Under colonialism, many countries seized numerous rare archeological artifacts from the Arab world. In the Louvre Museum in Paris, there are 5000 Egyptian archeological artifacts, let alone the 100,000 archeological artifacts in its storage. A larger number of Arab and Islamic archeological artifacts is in the Lyon museum in France. In the British Museum, one finds some of the most valuable archeological artifacts from Yemen, Egypt and Iraq alongside around 15,000 Arabic historical manuscripts and Islamic documents. Three Arabic treasures are located in the British Museum, Britain's largest museum: Al-Rasheed Stone, Apollo's Statue and the Bronze Head.
Currently in the British Museum, this is one of the most distinguished excavated texts in the world, if not the most distinguished. Its discovery helped decode the Hieroglyphic writings which the ancient Pharaohs used to write history and religious texts. Al-Rasheed Stone was discovered during the French campaign in Egypt in July-1799, this artifact dates back to 196B.C. Although the French were the ones who discovered it and took it from Egypt, it was taken by the British after the British forces defeated the French in Egypt in 1801.
The Bronze Head
Dated back to the Greek historical period, approximately the year 300B.C.; from Apollo's temple in Qareena, Libya and now at the British Museum. Researchers argue that the facial characteristics of the statue belong to a man from North Africa and might be an important figure of the Amazigh people - the original inhabitants of the area. The importance of this statue is due to the fact that it's made out of bronze, a rare material in that period.
Marble Statue from Apollo's Temple
This marble statue dates back to the second century B.C., and was found in Apollo's temple in Qareena, Libya. The status was found destroyed in many pieces, but these pieces were moved with great care from the original location to be reconstructed at the British Museum.
Dome of the Zodiac
The dome is from the Dander Temple in Egypt. It was discovered by a French astronomer and is now in the Paris Louvre Museum. The Zodiac represents the planetarium dome and its 12 towers alongside its stars and planets. Its astronomical distribution points to the date of its construction which is estimated to be during the first century B.C. This dome is deemed to be the basis on which astronomers created the astronomical system we are using now.
Discover the seized history of the Arab World that is now in museums around the world
Some of the most important Arab archeological treasures are now in western museums
One of the most distinguished ancient archeological artifacts of Egypt, made by the Egyptian sculptor Tuthmosis around 1345B.C. for Queen Nefertiti, wife of Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaton. Nefertiti is famously known and recognized as an icon of beauty due to this statue present today in the Berlin’s New Museum/Neues Museum, and became since 2009 a cultural icon for the German capital Berlin.
Statue of King Ramses II
This statue is famously known as Turin’s most valuable masterpiece, a statue of the Egyptian pharaoh King Ramses II, the most famous pharaoh and the pharaoh with the longest ruling period – 67 year. Ramses II had several wives, Nefertiti being the most famous. The statue is located today in the Turin Museum in Italy.
Statue of a Lady from Palmyra
Many believe that this statue is of Queen Zenobia, queen of Palmyra who defied the Roman Empire and ruled the city in the third century B.C., after announcing independence from the Empire upon her husband’s death. At the end, however, the Roman Empire triumphed, captured her and took her to Rome, handcuffed in golden handcuffs.