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Stone panel from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal

 

Height: 76.200 cm (approx.)
Width: 66.040 cm (approx.)
Height: 76.200 cm (approx.)
Width: 66.040 cm (approx.)

The palace was excavated by H. Rassam (from 1853)

ME 124871

Room 10: Assyria: Lion hunts

    Stone panel from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal

    Nineveh, northern Iraq
    Neo-Assyrian, about 645 BC

    Hunting deer

    This fragmentary alabaster wall panel comes from the left-hand section of a series in the palace of King Ashurbanipal (reigned 669-631 BC). The sculptors' depiction of the detail of the hunt is typical of Assyrian relief carving. A herd of deer hunted from the left flee, only to discover that a net has been cast across their escape route. A huntsman is grappling with a stag entangled in the net.

    Mesopotamian rulers liked to portray themselves hunting. It demonstrated their superiority over the dangerous forces of nature. The importance of the hunt in Ashurbanipal's reliefs suggests that he also enjoyed the sport.

    The quality of the final work, even sometimes within the confines of a single panel, was very variable. The right-hand side of this one has not been fully smoothed, probably because it was at the edge of a composition.

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    On display: Room 10: Assyria: Lion hunts

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