Millennia after her death, the Mesopotamian Queen Puabi became an unlikely 1920s fashion icon when archaeologist Charles Leonard Woolley discovered her tomb filled with exquisite jewelry. Woolley's team assembled from a pile of thousands of lapis beads and gold jewelry a headdress that bore a striking resemblance to the beaded headbands popular among flappers at the time; it made the cover of style magazines. In the exhibition "From Ancient to Modern: Archaeology and Aesthetics," NYU's Institute for the Ancient World explores this and other examples of how archaeological objects are transformed from artifacts to artworks and, sometimes, to popular icons. The show includes some 50 ancient Mesopotamian artifacts as well as works by contemporary artists inspired by these objects from the distant past. It's a meditation on how, in every era, the way we interpret of archaeological finds says as much about us and our values as it does about the ancient world.

For more information on the exhibition, open through June 7, visit: