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Dr John Curtis

CEO of Iran Heritage Foundation; Formerly Keeper of Middle East Department, British Museum

Archaeology, Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Central and Inner Asia

John Curtis was Keeper of the Middle East Department at the British Museum 1989-2011. He is presently Chief Executive Officer of the Iran Heritage Foundation, President of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq, and a Trustee of the Honor Frost Foundation. He specialises in the archaeology and history of Iraq and Iran c. 1000-330 BC and has written or edited 23 books and more than 100 articles. He directed excavations at eight different sites in Iraq on behalf of the British Museum between 1982 and 1989, including the important Assyrian sites of Khirbet Qasrij, Khirbet Khatuniyeh, Nimrud and Balawat. He has also curated a number of significant exhibitions including 'Art and Empire: Treasures from Assyria in the British Museum' that was shown at nine different venues worldwide, 'Forgotten Empire: The world of Ancient Persia' at the British Museum 2005-6, 'The Cyrus Cylinder' at the National Museum, Tehran, 2010-11, and 'The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia' that was shown at five different US museums in 2013. He was the first Western archaeologist to enter the Iraq Museum after the looting in 2003, and since then has played an active role in attempts to protect the cultural heritage of Iraq.

Past appointments
Keeper of the Department of the Middle East, British Museum Other Institutions (1989 - 2014)
CEO of Iran Heritage Foundation; Formerly Keeper of Middle East Department, British Museum Other Institutions (2014 - )

Principal publications
Forgotten Empire: the World of Ancient Persia (with N. Tallis), London 2005
Excavations at Qasrij Cliff and Khirbet Qasrij, London 1989
Art and Empire: Treasures from Assyria in the British Museum (edited with J.E. Reade), London 1995
Excavations at Khirbet Khatuniyeh (with A.R. Green), London 1997
The Balawat Gates of Ashurnasirpal II (edited with N. Tallis), London 2008
An Examination of Late Assyrian Metalwork with Special Reference to Nimrud, Oxford and Oakville 2013


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