- Museum number
Gypsum wall panel relief: in the upper register a city, depicted in plan and in a series of three elevations, is attacked by the Assyrians. Of the three elevations, the uppermost, at the top of the slab, is now completely effaced. The middle one recedes from the lower on the left-hand side, but coincides on the right, a fact which precludes the interpretation as an upper storey, or even as a middle line of defence. The two walls might, in this kind of representation, be the two walls, of different length, meeting at the corner represented in plan; but this leaves the third wall unexplained. Apparently only women remain in this middle section of the defence, ready to surrender. In the lowest elevation archers are seen in embrasures, fighting behind a parapet which also serves as the outline of the plan of the city. In other embrasures there are round-topped objects which may represent doors, for inside the city plan, in the centre, two Assyrian soldiers, defending their heads with shields, cut through such an object with daggers, while on the left four others carry away the booty already seized, a couch and two sacks of goods. To the right lie enemy dead, and an Assyrian soldier is driving an ox away. The plan is used for yet another type of picture; two auxiliaries, wearing crested helmets and crossed bands, have advanced from behind a palisade to force a breach at the corner of the city wall, and are attacking the brickwork, represented in plan, with their lances, while defending themselves with their shields. The mixture of elevation and plan in this scene, though characteristic, is unusual in Assyrian work by reason of its complexity.
The inscription on the centre band gives 12 fines of one column, the commencement broken, and the beginnings of 11 lines of a second.
In the lower register a procession of Assyrian soldiers carries away statues of the gods.It is very doubtful whether the head of the first deity was turned full-face, and the head-dress has completely disappeared. The honourable treatment accorded these gods and the types represented show that these were deities recognized by the Assyrians; the first two are forms of Ishtar, the fourth is the weather god, whether his name be Adad or some other form. It is not impossible that the scenes in both registers depict incidents in the campaign against the Chaldaeans to which the text on the centre band refers. It may be that the lower scene shows statues of Babylonian gods returned to their own cities by the Assyrians.
- Production date
Height: 272 centimetres
Length: 254 centimetres
- Inscription subject
- Curator's comments
Attached to 1856,0909.212 (BM.118931)
The inscription on the centre band gives 12 fines of one column, the commencement broken, and the beginnings of 11 lines of a second, 'Annals', ll. 8-30.
An original drawing of this relief is in the British Museum's 'Original Drawings of Assyrian Sculptures' collection: Or.Dr.III, 'S.W. XVIII: "Siege of a triple-walled city"', and is published in Layard (1849), ‘Nineveh and its Remains’, vol. II, p. 372 (part) pl. XC, and Layard (1849) 'The Monuments of Nineveh', vol. I, pl. 66.
The drawing published in Layard, 'Monuments', vol. I. pl. 66, and in 'Nineveh and its Remains', vol. II, facing p. 451, depends on a restoration generally correct but not certain in every detail.
- On display (G8)
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number