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door-sill

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    118913

  • Description

    Rectangular door-sill; carved from limestone; designed to appear as a carpet. The overall pattern of the principal rectangle is a field of interlocking circles, drawn with a compass, giving the effect of flowers with six petals. There is a row of rosettes around the edge, while an arcaded lotus and bud pattern forms an outer fringe.

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  • Authority

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 645BC-640BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 127 centimetres
    • Width: 124 centimetres
    • Thickness: 7.5 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    This is part of one of the door-sills of the throne-room of Ashurbanipal (668-c 631 BC). We have to envisage the floors of the Assyrian palaces as covered in brightly coloured textiles. The doorways, instead, sometimes had hard-wearing imitation carpets such as this.

    The lotus and bud motif originated in Egypt, spread to Phoenicia and became popular in Assyria towards the end of the eighth century. Phoenician textiles were imported to Assyria, and the design of this stone carpet may have been based on them.

    See also door-sill 1856,0909.45 (BM118910).

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  • Bibliography

    • Curtis & Reade 1995a 45 bibliographic details
    • Curtis & Reade 1994a 45 bibliographic details
    • British Museum 2011a p.145, cat.121 bibliographic details
    • Gadd 1936b p.190 bibliographic details
    • Barnett 1976 p.43, pl.XXVII bibliographic details
    • Paterson A 1915a pl.102(2) bibliographic details
    • Gadd 1934c pp.12, 73 bibliographic details
  • Location

    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'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1856

  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated between 1853-1856.

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number

    118913

  • Registration number

    1856,0909.44

  • Additional IDs

    • 10 (Old Gallery No.)
Rectangular stone door-sill: designed to appear as carpet. The overall pattern of the principal rectangle is a field of interlocking circles, drawn with a compass, giving the effect of flowers with six petals. There is a row of rosettes around the edge, while an arcaded lotus and bud pattern forms an outer fringe.

Rectangular stone door-sill: designed to appear as carpet. The overall pattern of the principal rectangle is a field of interlocking circles, drawn with a compass, giving the effect of flowers with six petals. There is a row of rosettes around the edge, while an arcaded lotus and bud pattern forms an outer fringe.

Image description

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Object reference number: WCO23956

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