In Europe, the interest into the Near Eastern art or rather the Near Eastern Archeology evolved around the middle of the 19th century. At first, the main reason why people began researching this culture and art was to find unique treasures for major European museums.
Mesopotamia (mainly Iraq and parts of Syria) is commonly considered the core area of Near Eastern art. Furthermore, Anatolia, home of the Hittite empire, is regarded as area of interest – at least since the excavations in Troy and Hattuša. The eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Jordan and Iran are also undoubtedly a part of the Near Eastern culture.
Hence, this small ( though by all experts acknowledged) field of research covers the area from the Black Sea, the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea in the nord to the Northern edge of the Syrian desert and from the Eastern coasts of the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Eastern edge of the Persian Plateau.
Scientifically and methodically, the Near Eastern Archeology is close to Pre- and Early history and stretches over a period of approximately 10000 years. The expansion of Islam marks the end of the Near Eastern art around the 7th century.