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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)May 20, 2003

(Mahwah) – The newly opened, ever so timely exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art of the First Cities, organized by Dr. Joan Aruz, curator-in-charge of the Department of Near Eastern Art at the Metropolitan Museum, includes a section organized by Dr. Ira Spar, professor of history and ancient studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey and a research Assyriologist at the Metropolitan Museum. The section, Legacy of the Third Millennium,” explores concepts of history, culture, law and religion developed during the third millennium in ancient Sumer and transmitted through Judaism, Christianity and Islam into the modern world. Spar is also the author of The Mesopotamian Legacy: Origins of the Genesis Tradition,” a chapter in the exhibit catalog that examines, through ancient myths and art, themes of creation, the Flood, Garden of Eden and the Tower of Babel.

In the show, Spar also had responsibility for a display which exhibits cuneiform tablets that illustrate through text and myth the decline and destruction of the civilization of the First Cities. Spar was part of a team of scholars that helped design the exhibit and arrange for loan of objects from museums and institutions throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

In addition, Spar is the author and editor of the multi-volume work, Cuneiform Texts in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which focuses on the collection of cuneiform tablets and inscriptions in The Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art.

For ten years, he was co-director of the New Jersey Archaeological Consortium excavation team that unearthed the 3,000 year-old center of Geshurite civilization, located at Tel Hadar, Israel on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Note to editors/reporters: If you would like to speak with Dr. Ira Spar or obtain a copy of his chapter in the exhibit catalog, please contact Bonnie Franklin at (201) 684-6844.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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