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The Orient

The museum’s collection of oriental antiques primarily originates from the legacy that Henri de Genouillac (1881-1940), an abbot and Assyriologist, left to the Museum of Archaeology of his hometown in 1940.
He brought back a personal collection that he had acquired on the art market during his travels in Mesopotamia, particularly as part of archaeological missions to Kish and Tello.

Two major themes emerge from his collection, which illustrates the high time of Mesopotamian history (Sumerian civilisation) and Genouillac’s interest in epigraphy.
Finally, there are smaller objects that are very characteristic of oriental creations.

Within the Genouillac collection, the glyptics and epigraphic documents are the most significant: 113 cylinder seals and stamps, 5 imprints, and some 200 inscribed tablets and/or envelopes.

This prevalence of inscribed items clearly demonstrates his initial appreciation of epigraphy and complete mastery of these ancient written forms. By the time Genouillac turned 30, he had already published his first epigraphic compendium, Les Tablettes sumériennes archaïques (Archaic Sumerian Tablets), in 1909.