Cyrus the Great artifact comes to Museum of Fine Arts Houston

May 3, 2013 7:43:14 AM PDT
A nearly 2,600-year-old clay cylinder from Babylon often referred to as the first human rights declaration is set to go on display in Houston.

The Cyrus Cylinder will be displayed beginning Friday at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It will be there through June 14.

The cylinder is on its first U.S. tour, which started in Washington, D.C. After Houston, it will go to New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The 9-inch long cylinder was inscribed on the orders of Persian King Cyrus the Great after he captured Babylon in 539 B.C. It says he then restored shrines dedicated to different gods and allowed deported people to return to their homelands.

It was discovered in Babylon -- now modern Iraq -- in 1879 during a British Museum excavation.
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