Collection online

wall panel / relief

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    118912

  • Description

    Gypsum wall relief panel: at the top of this panel are three examples of the 'ugallu', 'Great Lion', with one broken figure who may be the House God. Underneath is an 'urmahlilu', 'Lion-Man'. The Great Lions wear a simple Assyrian kilt, and make threatening gestures with daggers; their maces symbolise authority. They have eagles' claws for feet, and high, alert ears. The Lion-Man makes a more pacific gesture, but its import is the same. The horns on his helmet show that he is a god.

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  • Authority

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 645BC-640BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 146 centimetres
    • Width: 110 centimetres
    • Thickness: 11 centimetres (extant)
  • Curator's comments

    The depicted creatures are all good spirits, whose presence was intended to protect the palace from evil and bad luck, just as Ashurnasirpal's palace had been protected over two centuries previously, though the identity of the spirits has changed.Casts of the complete relief and the lower section are listed separately as available in the British Museum Facsimile Service 'Catalogue of Replicas from British Museum collections' (n.d.), in the series "Assyrian Bas-Reliefs".

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  • Bibliography

    • Curtis & Reade 1995a 31 bibliographic details
    • Curtis & Reade 1994a 31 bibliographic details
    • Gadd 1936b p.190 bibliographic details
    • Barnett 1976 p.53, pl.LV bibliographic details
    • Hall H R 1928a pl.XXXVI, 1b bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2012 Jan-Apr, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Fantastic Creatures.

    2011 Jun-Sept, South Korea, Ulsan Museum, Fantastic Creatures

    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'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1856

  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1853-1856; carried in ship Manuel.

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number

    118912

  • Registration number

    1856,0909.25

  • Additional IDs

    • 79 (Old Gallery No.)
Alabaster wall relief panel: at the top of this panel are three examples of the 'ugallu', 'Great Lion', with one broken figure who may be the House God. Underneath is an 'urmahlilu', 'Lion-Man'. The Great Lions wear a simple Assyrian kilt, and make threatening gestures with daggers; their maces symbolise authority. They have eagles' claws for feet, and high, alert ears. The Lion-Man makes a more pacific gesture, but its import is the same. The horns on his helmet show that he is a god.

Alabaster wall relief panel: at the top of this panel are three examples of the 'ugallu', 'Great Lion', with one broken figure who may be the House God. Underneath is an 'urmahlilu', 'Lion-Man'. The Great Lions wear a simple Assyrian kilt, and make threatening gestures with daggers; their maces symbolise authority. They have eagles' claws for feet, and high, alert ears. The Lion-Man makes a more pacific gesture, but its import is the same. The horns on his helmet show that he is a god.

Image description

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Object reference number: WCO23942

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