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wall panel / relief

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    124531

  • Description

    King Ashurnasirpal appears twice, dressed in ritual robes and holding the mace symbolising authority. In front of him there is a Sacred Tree, possibly symbolising life, and he makes a gesture of worship to a god in a winged disc. The god, who may be the sun god Shamash, has a ring in one hand; this is an ancient Mesopotamian symbol of god-given kingship. There are protective spirits on either side behind the king. This symmetrical scene, heavy with symbolism, was placed behind the royal throne. There was another opposite the main door of the throne room, and similar scenes occupied prominent positions in other Assyrian palaces; they were also embroidered on the royal clothes.. Traces of colour pigment noted on the sandals at the time of excavation, i.e. red soles and black uppers.

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  • Authority

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 865BC-860BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 195 centimetres (in total)
    • Width: 432.8 centimetres (in total)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        cuneiform
      • Inscription Position

        across centre of panel
  • Curator's comments

    There was another of these opposite the main door of throneroom and in other palaces and the scene would have been represented on royal clothes. In set with 1849,1222.4-5 In set with 1850,1228.24-26Moulded as a commercially available cast (listed in the BM Facsimile Service, Catalogue of Replicas). 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".

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  • Bibliography

    • Reade 1979b fig. 15 bibliographic details
    • Budge E A W 1914 pl. XI & LIII.4 & LIII.7 bibliographic details
    • Gadd 1936b pp.131-32 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G7

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    Nimrud Gallery

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1849

  • Acquisition notes

    Found by Layard May 1846; packed into five cases on a raft despatched from Nimrud April 1847; three cases were shipped on the Indian Navy sloop 'Clive' June 1848, reaching Bombay October that year and then brought to England on H.M.S. Meeanee in August 1849; the two remaining cases were shipped direct to England on the 'Apprentice' in August 1848, arriving January 1849.

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number

    124531

  • Registration number

    1849,0502.15

  • Additional IDs

    • NG.2 (ex Nimrud Gallery)
Part of alabaster wall panel; relief; was behind royal throne; symbolic scene; Ashurnasirpal II appears twice in ritual robes and holds a mace in front of a sacred tree; he makes a gesture of worship to Ashur/Shamash represented by a god in a winged disc with a ring in one hand (symbol of god-given kingship); there are protective spirits on either side behind the king; inscription.

Part of alabaster wall panel; relief; was behind royal throne; symbolic scene; Ashurnasirpal II appears twice in ritual robes and holds a mace in front of a sacred tree; he makes a gesture of worship to Ashur/Shamash represented by a god in a winged disc with a ring in one hand (symbol of god-given kingship); there are protective spirits on either side behind the king; inscription.

Image description

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Object reference number: WCO26549

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