- Museum number
Segment of cedar wood: cut and polished after excavation.
- Production date
Height: 10 centimetres
Length: 21 centimetres
Width: 7 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Wood seldom lasts long underground, but archaeologists in Assyria have occasionally found substantial pieces that had been encased in falling debris. In describing the excavation of the temple quarter at Nimrud, Layard recounts how one day, standing on a distant part of the mound, he smelt the sweet smell of burning cedar. His workmen had dug out a beam and made a fire to warm themselves.
Identified as cedar wood of Lebanon by Friest Product Research Lab; see corr 22.08.68.
One important purpose of Assyrian expeditions to the Mediterranean was to collect the longest possible cedar trunks for the ceilings of major buildings, since the width of rooms was dependent on the length of the beams available.
A. H. Layard, ‘Nineveh and its Remains’ vol. II (London, 1849), 37, 259;
A. H. Layard, ‘Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon’ (London, 1853), 357.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2016-2017 2 Nov-23 Jan, Lens, Musee du Louvre-Lens, History Begins in Mesopotamia
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'
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number