As Roger S. Bagnall reminds us the Nahal Mishmar hoard lies at the heart of the exhibition. Material from excavated and recorded contexts are vital for the interpretation of this period of the Middle East. Associated finds build up a richer picture of society and how it developed.
Among the financial sponsors of the exhibition and this catalogue are individuals who appear to have been associated with recently surfaced antiquities such as the gold phiale returned to Sicily, and the cuneiform tablets returned from Cornell to Iraq. It is good that an exhibition like this can encourage those benefactors to move their interests from collecting to the public display and interpretation of archaeological finds.