Assyrian decoration, (1898). Creator: Unknown
Assyrian decoration, (1898). Examples of ancient Assyrian painting, polychrome sculpture and pottery from what is now Iraq: 'Fig 1: Portion of a glazed brick from a palace at Khorsabad. Figs 2-4: Painted bas-reliefs from Koyunjik [Kuyunjik, Nineveh]. Fig 5: Painted ornament from Nimroud [Nimrud]. Fig 6: Glazed brick from Khorsabad. Figs 7-10: Painted ornaments from Nimroud. Figs 11-12: Sacred trees. Painted bas-reliefs from Nimroud. Fig 13: Painted ornament from Nimroud. Fig 14: Enamelled brick from Khorsabad...The excavations on the banks of the Tigris at Khorsabad, Nimroud and Koyunjik brought to light a great number of architectural remains, paintings and sculptures of Assyrian origin, which give us an idea of the magnificence and the exuberant luxury of the buildings of this nation. Assyrian ornament certainly betrays Egyptian influence, but there is no denying its originality...The winged male figure in the midst of our plate symbolizes the soul'. Plate 3 from "The Historic Styles of Ornament" translated from the German of H. Dolmetsch. [B.T. Batford, London, 1898]
© The Print Collector/Heritage Images
Tablet telling the legend of Etana, from Nineveh, northern Iraq, Neo-Assyrian, 7th century BC. Artist: Unknown
Tablet telling the legend of Etana, from Nineveh, northern Iraq, Neo-Assyrian, 7th century BC. The story told on this tablet centres on Etana, a legendary king of the southern Mesopotamian city of Kish. An eagle and snake swear an oath of friendship by Shamash, god of the sun and justice. They both raise their young, but the eagle eats the young snakes. The snake cries to Shamash who tells it to hide in the carcass of a dead wild bull. The eagle flies down to eat from the bull, but is seized by the snake, who ties its wings and throws it into a pit. Meanwhile, Etana, a pious man, prays to Shamash for a son and the plant of life. Shamash tells Etana where to find the eagle, so that it can help him to find the plant. From the British Museum's collection.
© CM Dixon / Heritage-Images