Room VIII is dedicated to archaeological material from Mesopotamia and from pre-classical Syria-Palestine (3rd-1st millennium BC), the region on the eastern bank of the Mediterranean where the first Semitic urban societies flourished and where the three great modern monotheistic religions originated: Christianity, Hebraism and Islam. In particular, one of the most important lots is made up of the antiquities from the Holy Land, which illustrate the results obtained by the great Catholic archaeological institutions.
Antiquities of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is the place that gave birth to cities, writing and the concept of state. Eloquent evidence of the extraordinary process of formation of the first society are the tablets written in cuneiform writing and the cylinder seals which were used for ratifying the documents produced by the first public administrations in history.
Antiquities of Syria-Palestina
The eastern bank of the Mediterranean sees in the three millenniums before Christ the historical development of the Syrian-Palestinian cultures, from the gradual establishment of the first urban societies, testified to at archaeological level by sites such as Ebla, Biblo, Arad, Megiddo, Jericho, to the great flourishing of the city states of the Amorites in the 2nd millennium BC. The autonomy of these ceases in the 16th century BC due to the advent of the Egyptian military domination in Palestine and, in Syria, with the temporary Mitanni government (a political force of northern Mesopotamia), followed by the more consistent domination of the Hittites. The collapse of the urban system of the bronze age, connected with the violent intrusions of the so-called "sea people", marks the passage to a new formative phase in which the alphabet and iron metal-working are spread, the first national states are formed (Arameians, Philistines, Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, Israelites) and a new model of agricultural exploitation and urban and political organization is born. Some of these important historical moments are documented by the objects exhibited in this section.