The Oxus Treasure is a lively and accessible exploration of the individual objects that make up this beautiful collection of treasures from the Achaemenid era, and how they were eventually discovered.
In May 1880 Captain F.C. Burton, a British political officer in Afghanistan, rescued a group of merchants who had been captured by bandits while travelling between Kabul and Peshawar. With them was a rich and impressive collection of gold and silver objects dating back to the fifth and fourth centuries BC. From the banks of the River Oxus, the entire hoard was, in due course, bequeathed to the British Museum.
Consisting of around 170 objects, including vessels, a gold scabbard, armlets, coins and much more, the collection is an example of ancient goldsmithery at its very best. With exciting and descriptive insight placing the treasure into historical and cultural context, this book takes a closer look at the individual wonders that make up the Oxus Treasure, one of the British Museum’s most celebrated and cherished collections.
The author John Curtis is Keeper of the Department of Middle East at the British Museum. Mainly interested in archaeology and history of Iraq and Iran circa 1000-330 BC, John has directed a number of excavations on behalf of the British Museum. John has authored several books, including Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia, with Nigel Tallis (British Museum Press, 2005).