To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.

Tel Halaf Statue

Please download the Flash player to see this element.

Gold Hat
Viking Sword
Degenerate Art

View related by:

» View

How did ancient statues get blown apart?

And how did curators put the 3D jigsaw puzzle back together?

This story is about 30 ancient statues that confirm the existence of a biblical people known as the Aramaeans, who lived on a hillside called Tel Halaf in what is now Syria.

When the statues arrived at the museum, they didn’t look like statues at all.  They had been shattered into thousands of pieces.

You might think that archeologists found them like this… but they didn’t.

When they were discovered, each statue was more or less in one piece.  And each statue weighed several tons.

To put them back together would require a multi-year effort by restoration specialists.  Their challenge was to solve the most complex 3D jigsaw puzzle of all time.

How did the statues end up in pieces?  And what talents and skills were required to put them back together?


All is revealed in Museum Secrets: On Berlin’s Museum Island.

Further Questions

To find out more about the ancient culture that made the statues – the Aramaeans – we invite you to start at History Files.


No Comments. Why don't you start a discussion?