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The Cyrus Cylinder Achaemenid 539538 BC excavated at Babylon Iraq on... News Photo 170938114Ancient,Archaeology,Art Museum,Arts,Arts Culture and Entertainment,Babylon,British Museum,Charging,Civilization,Close To,Cylinder,Cyrus,Department,Display,Horizontal,Iraq,John Curtis,Keeper,Middle East,Museum,Museum Curator,NY,Persian Culture,Planning,Spar,USAPhotographer STAN HONDACollection: AFP 2013 AFPThe Cyrus Cylinder, Achaemenid, 539-538 B.C., excavated at Babylon, Iraq, 1879, on display in 'The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: Charting a New Empire' and viewed by Ira Spar (L), of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, Joan Aruz (C, partly hidden), Curator in Charge, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art and John Curtis (R), Keeper of Special Middle East Projects, British Museum, June 20, 2013 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Cyrus Cylinder is a 2,600-year-old inscribed clay document from Babylon in ancient Iraq and one of the most famous surviving icons from the ancient world is part of a traveling exhibition organized by the British Museum. The Cylinder marks the establishment of Persian rule in 539 B.C. by Cyrus the Great, with the defeat of Babylon, the restoration of shrines, and the return of deported peoples and their gods. The Cyrus Cylinder and 16 related works on view, all on loan from the British Museum, reflect the innovations initiated by Persian rule in the ancient Near East (550331 B.C.) and chart a new path for this empire, the largest the world had known. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)