Gypsum tile

Neo-Assyrian, about 8th century BC
From Ashur, northern Iraq

The relief carved on this tile depicts a worshipper before a god carrying a bow. The excavator, Walter Andrae, thought that the god represented is Ninurta. Ninurta's name means 'Lord Earth' and although he was originally an agricultural and rain deity, by the end of the third millennium he is described in ancient documents as a heroic warrior. This might fit the figure here, but the identification is still uncertain.

Ashur was one of the most important cities of ancient Assyria, and its original capital. It was also the home of the national god, also called Ashur. Although the city lost its political importance to royal buildings of Kar Tukulti-Ninurta in the thirteenth century BC, and Nimrud, Khorsabad and Nineveh in the ninth to seventh centuries BC, it remained the religious centre of the Assyrian nation and many kings restored or rebuilt its ancient buildings. Assyrian kings were buried here although the tombs were robbed some time in antiquity.

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More information

Bibliography

W. Andrae, Das Wiedererstandene Assur (Leipzig, 1938)

Dimensions

Height: 35.000 cm
Width: 30.000 cm

Museum number

ME 115694

WCO23671

Excavated by Walter Andrae

Location

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