Imagine that you are a curator at the Smithsonian. You are organizing an exhibition on the Ancient Middle East, and you have

managed to convince the British Museum in London to loan you the famous “Cyrus Cylinder.” The British Museum will allow

you to use its own summary description of the inscription. Your task is to write a critical analysis of the inscription for a general

audience. Your essay should answer some of the following questions: Why should we be skeptical of some of the claims in the

inscription? Which parts of the text are credible and incredible? How does the Inscription relate to other accounts of the

Persian entry into Babylon or Cyrus the Great (such as the Hebrew Bible and Herodotus)? Why is the artifact significant

historically? Does the inscription relate to any modern leaders’ attempts to justify their own military actions?