- Museum number
Gypsum wall panel with a complete composition in relief: two Assyrian archers are shooting at the enemy; they are dressed and armed as typical Assyrian soldiers, with pointed helmets, short kilts, swords and bows, and with quivers on their backs. Two of the trees growing on the bank are crudely drawn and hardly identifyable, but the third is unmistakably a date-palm. There are three enemies in the water: their long robes indicate that they are all people of high status rather than ordinary soldiers. One is swimming, and has been hit by arrows. The other two are using inflated animal-skins to help support themselves in the water, blowing into them as they struggle towards the fort on the right. The one without a beard is probably a eunuch.
The foundations of the fort, which may be on an island, appear to be of stone, whereas the walls themselves would probably have been mud-brick. The arched shape of the doors is typical of the period.
There are traces of the standard inscription at the bottom of the panel.
- Production date
Height: 88 centimetres
Thickness: 9.50 centimetres (extant)
Width: 225 centimetres
- Inscription subject
- Curator's comments
This panel probably shows an incident described in Ashurnasirpal's annals. In 878 BC the king was campaigning down the Euphrates river, and reached the enemy capital a little south-east of the modern town of Ana. Then, 'in the face of the mighty weapons, Kudurru with seventy of his soldiers fell back into the Euphrates to save his life' (Grayson, 1976: 138).
The cast is listed as available in the British Museum Facsimile Service 'Catalogue of Replicas from British Museum collections' (n.d.), in the series "Assyrian Bas-Reliefs".
- Bibliographic references
Curtis & Reade 1994a / Tesoros de asiria en el Museo Britanico: Arte e Imperio (4)
Curtis & Reade 1995a / Art and empire: treasures from Assyria in the British Museum (4)
Budge 1914 / Assyrian Sculptures in the British Museum, Reign of Ashur-nasir-pal, 885-890 B.C (pl. XIII.2)
Layard A H 1849b / Nineveh and its Remains (vo. 1, pp. 128-129)
Layard A H 1849a / The monuments of Nineveh, from drawings made on the spot (pl. 33)
Meuszynski 1981 / Die Rekonstruktion der Reliefdarstellungen und ihrer Anordnung im Nordwestpalast von Kalhu (Nimrūd) (3 vols.) (p. 23)
Grayson, ARI 2 / Assyrian Royal Inscriptions (p. 138)
Gadd 1936b / The Stones of Assyria: the surviving remains of Assyrian sculpture, their recovery, and their original positions (p.133)
Grayson, RIMA 2 / Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium BC, I (1114-859 BC) (RIM.A.0.101.23.31)
British Museum 2011a / Splendours of Mesopotamia (pp.102-103, cat.68)
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2013 - 2014 22 June - 6 Jan, Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, 'Mesopotamia, Inventing Our World'
2013: 30 Jan-13 May, Museum of History, Hong Kong, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
2012: 4 May-7 Oct, Melbourne Museum, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
2011 28 March-26 June, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, 'Splendours of 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
- Acquisition notes
- Found by Layard about May 1846; despatched from the site in December 1846; sent from Basra to Bombay in the 'Clive', thence to England on H.M.S. 'Meeanee' in August 1849 (see account in 'Athenaeum' 1849, p.956).
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: NG.6a (ex Nimrud Gallery)