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This 40 ton statue was one of a two flanking the entrance to the throne room of King Sargon II. A protective spirit known as a lamassu, it is shown as a composite being with he head of a human, the body and ears of a bull, and the wings of a bird. When viewed from the side, the creature appears to be walking; when viewed from the front, to be standing still. Thus it is actually represented with five, rather than four legs. Image Source
Gilgamesh Wrestling Lion from the citadel of Sargon II, Dar Sharrukin ca. 720-705 B.C.E. limestone 13 ft. 10 in. high
Ashurbanipal hunting lions from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal, Ninevah (modern Kuyunjik) Iraq ca. 645-640 B.C.E. | Gypsum | approximately 5 ft. high For their palace walls the Assyrian kings commissioned extensive series of narrative reliefs exalting royal power and piety. The degree of documentary detail in the Assyrian reliefs is without parallel in the ancient Near East.
Ashurbanipal hunting lions from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal, Ninevah (modern Kuyunjik) Iraq ca. 645-640 B.C.E. | gypsum approximately 5 ft. high
Ashurbanipal hunting lions from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal, Ninevah (modern Kuyunjik) Iraq ca. 645-640 B.C.E. | Gypsum | approximately 5 ft. high
With the collapse of the Assyrian Empire, Babylonian kings reestablished their power in the south.
King Nebuchadnezzar II, restored Babylon to its rank as one of the great cities of antiquity. The city’s “hanging gardens” were counted as among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and its enormous ziggurat was immortalized in the Bible as the Tower of Babel.
The city of Babylon became one of the greatest cities of antiquity, famous for its "hanging gardens" and its enormous ziggurat.
The city gate was faced with blue-glazed bricks and glazed bricks molded into reliefs of animals.
A 16th-century hand-coloured engraving of the "Hanging Gardens of Babylon" by Dutch artist Martin Heemskerck, with the Tower of Babel in the background. Image Source
Palace of Darius I and Xerxes I Persepolis, Iran ca. 521-465 B.C.E. UNESCO declared the citadel of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979.
Palace of Darius I and Xerxes I Gate of All Nations Persepolis, Iran | ca. 521-465 B.C.E. The most important source of knowledge about Persian art and architecture is the ceremonial and administrative complex on the citadel at Persepolis.It was built between 521 and 465 BCE by Darius I (r. 522-486 BCE) and Xerxes (r. 486-465 BCE), successors of Cyrus.
Palace of Darius I and Xerxes I Persepolis, Iran ca. 521-465 B.C.E.
Around 224 A.D., succeeded the Achaemenid Persians.
During its existence, the Sassanid Empire encompassed all of today's Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Dagestan), southwestern Central Asia, part of Turkey, certain coastal parts of the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf area, and areas of southwestern Pakistan, even stretching into India.
The Sassanid era, during Late Antiquity, is considered to have been one of Persia's/Iran's most important and influential historical periods, and constituted the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the adoption of Islam.
Cuneiform – Latin, “wedgeshaped.” A system of writing used in ancient Mesopotamia, in which wedge-shaped characters were produced by pressing a stylus into a soft clay tablet, which was then baked or otherwise allowed to harden.
Cylinder seal – A cylindrical piece of stone usually about an inch or so in height, decorated with an incised design, so that a raised pattern was left when the seal was rolled over soft clay. In the ancient Near East, documents, storage jars, and other important possessions were signed, sealed, and identified in this way.
Facade – Usually, the front of a building; also, the other sides when they are emphasized architecturally.