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For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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wall panel / relief

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Stone wall-panel depicting a eunuch in relief: this head, which is over lifesize, belonged to a figure of a eunuch, one of the attendants of the Assyrian king. He wears an earring of a classic Assyrian type, and his curled hair-style is intermediate between that of previous reigns and the shorter squared cut which became fashionable in the seventh century. A pattern of rosettes is embroidered on the neck of his robe.


  • Authority

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 710BC-705BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 64 centimetres
    • Width: 53 centimetres
    • Thickness: 12 centimetres (extant)
  • Curator's comments

    This fragment may come from the same frieze as fragments 1847,0702.13 (BM. 118827), 1847,0702.11 (BM 118830), 1847,0702.10 (BM. 118828), 1847,0702.12 (BM. 118818), 1847,0702.9 (BM. 118812) and 1847,0702.14 (BM. 118824).
    Other similar fragments will be found in the list in Gadd, 'Stones of Assyria', pp. 161-2.

    P. Albenda, ‘The Palace of Sargon, King of Assyria’ (Paris, 1986), 167;
    P. E. Botta & E. Flandin, ‘Monument de Ninive’ vol. 1. (Paris, 1849-50), pl. 29.


  • Bibliography

    • Curtis & Reade 1995a 14 bibliographic details
    • Curtis & Reade 1994a 14 bibliographic details
    • Albenda 1986 p. 167 bibliographic details
    • Smith 1938d plate 33 bibliographic details
    • Gadd 1936b pp. 161-2 bibliographic details
    • Botta 1849 vol. 1, pl. 29 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    2008-2009 21 Sept-4 Jan, Boston, MFA, 'Art and Empire'
    2007 2 Apr-30 Sept, Alicante, MARQ Museum, 'Art and Empire'
    2006 1 Jul-7 Oct, Shanghai Museum, 'Art and Empire'

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    19 July 1994

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    Clean. Improve and paint plaster frame.tephan


    Dusty. Paint and plaster splashes. Surround chipped.

    Treatment details

    Paint removed from object with acetone on cotton-wool swabs. Surround filled with Paraloid B72\glass microballoons filler. Edges touched out with Rowney's Cryla colours (acrylic).

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 818 (Old Nimrud gallery no.)


If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

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Object reference number: WCO23925

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