For the entirety of this semester, the Miami University Art Museum will be hosting an exhibit dedicated to the exploration of the Eurasian Grasslands.
Ancient Bronzes of the Eurasian Grasslands examines the ancient steppe people of Mongolia and Central Asia during the late second and first millennia BCE. The exhibit focuses on their use of bronzes to denote tribe, social rank, and spirituality.
While the bronzes were designed for nomadic functionality, each piece, from knives to embellishments, is a piece of art.
“We relied on the archeological finds to repatriate and understand the culture of the steppe people,” Trudy Kawami, Director of Research at The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, said. “It is the most accurate evidence out there.”
The interactive exhibit contains evidence to prove the steppe peoples advanced society.
“There is often a skewed understanding of the steppe people because they did not have a writing system,” Kawami said. “We originally thought the steppe people to be barbarians based on information from the Greeks. Naturally, we trusted the Greeks because they created such things as polis.”
According to Robert Wicks, Miami Professor of Art History, two of the three galleries are unique to Miami University. The third is a traveling exhibit from New York City’s The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation.
“The list of acknowledgements is longer than any previous exhibit at the Museum. This represents collaboration at and outside of Miami University,” Wicks said. “Sometimes people forget that the Art Museum is an educational resource.”
Grass Routes: Pathways to Eurasian Cultures runs until December 8. The Miami University Art Museum is free and open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 12 p.m.-5p.m. Saturday.