Ley (by agvnono)
A closeup of the Code of Hammurabi at the Louvre.
A Nimrud ivory shows a female lion eating a man from Neo-Assyrian period, 9th to 7th centuries BC. Many of the ivories were taken to the United Kingdom and were deposited in (though not owned by) the British Museum. In 2011, the Museum acquired most of the British-held ivories through a donation and purchase and is to put a selection on view. It is intended that the remainder will be returned to Iraq. A significant number of ivories were already held by Iraqi institutions but many have been lost or damaged through war and looting.
Ancient Sumerian necklaces and headdress discovered in the tomb of a woman named Puabi who was either a Queen or a Priestess, c. 2600-2400 B.C.
Relief with Two Registers, the reliefs of King Ashur-nasir-pal II, from his palace, Kalhu (modern Nimurd, Iraq), Room I of the Northwest Palace. Circa 883–859 B.C.
The reliefs served a propagandistic purpose, proclaiming the king’s legitimacy. Because most people in the Near East understood the administration of the state as a collaborative effort between the king and gods, many reliefs show the ruler and his supernatural attendants celebrating religious rituals. The most depict the ruler and his winged protectors (genies) tending a sacred tree.
Cooks at work in the royal kitchens.
Relief from Ashurbanipal’s palace at Nineveh 7th century BC.
An Ishtar Gate replica that is unique.
Assyrian statues - British Museum
Wall relief, griffin-man, Nimrud.
Relief of Winged Spirit or Apkallu on the walls of the Northwest Palace (room S, panel 17) in the Assyrian capital city of Nimrud. The relief dates back to 875-860 BCE. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME.
Photo by Babylon Chronicle
An Ancient “Dictionary” from Assyria
Lexical texts are a pervasive and characteristic genre in Mesopotamian scribal scholarship, attested from the earliest periods (c. 3200 BCE) to the end of the first millennium BCE. These texts not only formed a crucial part of the school curriculum, but also preserved scribal knowledge for future generations in the same way our own dictionaries do. The Babylonian origin of the lexical tradition is emphasised even in the ancient material, but the above tablet, which comes from Assur, is a Middle Assyrian list of objects that forms part of a series known as “Ura”. This tablet lists different types of wood, and each line begins with the Sumerian logogram that represents wood, “GEŠ” (used as a determinative). In each line, the Sumerian word is given first, followed by the Akkadian translation or equivalent. (Read more about lexical texts.)
Lexical Text, Ura 5.
Middle Assyrian, ca. 1400-1000 BCE.
Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin. Image from CDLI.
Clay tablets with Cuneiform text. This ancient script was originated in the Sumerian city-states in Southern Iraq and it is the oldest system of writing in the world. The Semitic Museum of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Photo by Babylon Chronicle
Land grant to Marduk-apla-iddina I, by Meli-Shipak II.
A 0.7m grey limestone entitlement stele, which records the gift of four tracts of cultivated land with settlements by Kassite king of Babylon, Meli-Šipak (ca. 1186–1172 BC ), to Marduk-apla-iddina, whom seems to be described as his servant (“he granted his servant”). Mesopotamian gods are shown graphically in segments on the stone.
The tex concludes with unusual blessings and (rather gruesome) curses:
“may she place in his body her oozing (sores), a persistent carbuncle, of no release, so that, for as long as he lives, he may bathe in blood and pus like water!”
King Nebuchadnezzar; Ishtar gate; 575 BCE; Architecture, clay brick; Neo-Babylonian
When King Nebuchadnezzar II took the throne he launched a building campaign to restore the city of Babylon. Under Nebuchadnezzar rule Babylon become one the ancient worlds greatest cities. Followers of the Christian Faith may recognized Nebuchadnezzar has the “king of kings” who exiled the Jews from the bible in the book of Daniel. The Ishtar gate was built in part with his building campaign; he also built it as a display. Today, it is considered one of the seven wonders of the world.The gate in the photo above is only part of one of eight double gates that surrounded the city of Babylon. It is the smaller part of the double gate; the other gate would have been almost twice the size. However out of all the gates, this gate was the most important. The part that leads up to the gate, called the Processional Way, is lined with tiled relief sculptures of lions. These lions represented the goddess Ishtar. She was considered the goddess of war, wisdom, and sexuality. Two other animal form are sculpted into the gate, and ancient bull known as an auroch (as seen above in the second photo) and a composite beast known as a Dragon. The auroch represented the god Adad, the god of storms, harvest, and fertile land. The Mesopotamian dragon is associated with the god Marduk. Marduk was the patron god of the city whom Nebuchadnezzar II directly link himself to.
This gate was built bricks molded from the clay of the river valley. The blue color was created with a technique called faience which involves the use of copper. This technique was also used by the Egyptian and other parts of the ancient world. The first fragments of the wall were found in 1851. Thorough excavation began in 1899 and the brick form which the gate was constructed were found in 1902. The quality and quantity of pieces found by archaeologist sparked the idea of reconstruction. Today the restored gate is displayed in Berlin at the Staatliche Museum.
Dr. Zucker, Steven, and Beth Dr. Harris. Neo-Babylonian Art: Ishtar Gate and Processional Way. Smarthistory. N.p., 13 Apr. 2012. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.
King, Leo. “The Ishtar Gate.” Ceramics Technical 26 (2008): 51-53. Art Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 29 Sept. 2013.
Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner’s Art through the Age: A Global History. 14th ed. Vol. 1. Boston: Clark Baxter, 2012. Ebook Reader.
Mesopotamian Lapis Lazuli, Limestone and Black Stone Eye Inlay, Syrian, Early Dynastic, Circa 2550-2250 BC
From a composite figure, the thick lapis lazuli lid naturalistically carved, tapering at the inner canthus and outer edge, bevelled on the interior to conform to the white stone sclera, the sclera drilled to receive the black stone pupil.
Votive dog statuette dedicated by a physician from Lagash to the goddess Ninisina, ‘for the life of Sumu-El’, king of Larsa (1894–1866 BC). Dates to the 2nd millennium BC, made of steatite.