Assyrian sculpture and Balawat Gates (Room 6)

11th 8th centuries BC

Star iconEye-opener gallery tour / Free / Daily, 15.45 (for 30–40 minutes)

Large stone sculptures and reliefs were a striking feature of the palaces and temples of ancient Assyria (modern northern Iraq). An entrance to the royal palace of King Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) at Nimrud was flanked by two colossal winged human-headed lions. A gigantic standing lion stood at the entrance to the nearby Temple of Ishtar, the goddess of war.

These sculptures are displayed in Rooms 6a and 6b alongside fragments and replicas of the huge bronze gates of Shalmaneser III (858-824 BC) from Balawat.

A Black Obelisk also on display shows the same king receiving tribute from Israel and is displayed with obelisks and stelae (vertical inscribed stone slabs) from four generations of Assyrian kings.