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Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Jonathan Gibbons
Sarcophagus of Princess Henuttawy: coffins and mummy wrappings, Egypt, 950–900 BCE, H. 180 cm; painted wood, stuccoed and painted cloth, Louvre Abu Dhabi, LAD 2014.023.001

GALLERY 2

The First Great Powers

Kingdoms began to appear in the fertile valleys of the Tigris, Euphrates, Nile, Indus and Yellow River around 3000 BCE. The emergence of these first great powers was accompanied by the spread of bronze weapons and axes, swords and armour became emblems of prestige and splendour for the powerful. This new warrior elite also began to ride horses, a development that spurred long-distance exchange, increased the size of kingdoms and broadened the horizons of communities. The first cities developed in kingdoms in Mesopotamia and Egypt, a crucial event in the history of humanity, the result of increasing populations and the emergence of powerful hierarchies. This made the first cities social and cultural melting pots that encouraged exchange and innovations such as writing, which facilitated transactions and helped legitimise state power.

2007 Musée du Louvre - High Museum / Peter Harholdt
Gudea, Prince of Lagash, Iraq, Girsu, c. 2120 BCE, H. 107 cm; black stone, Musée Du Louvre

Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN / Christian Décamps
Ramesses II, pharaoh of Egypt, Egypt, Tanis, 1279 –1213 BCE, H. 259 cm; diorite, Musée Du Louvre

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier
Sarcophagus of Princess Henuttawy: Coffins and mummy wrappings, Egypt, 950–900 BCE, H. 180 cm; painted wood, stuccoed and painted cloth, Louvre Abu Dhabi, LAD 2014.023.001

Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Jonathan Gibbons
Pendant with addorsed animals, United Arab Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah, Dhayah, 2000–1300BCE, L. circa 10 cm; gold, National Museum of Ras al Khaimah
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