Assyrian Reliefs from the 9th Century BC

photo of Assyrian relief carving of man with wings

The winged genie is shown holding a conical fruit which has presumably been dipped into a bucket of pollen held in preparation for fertilizing the Tree of Life, an important symbol in Assyrian religious belief.

I took these photos at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The reliefs are from interior walls of the palace of Ashurnasirpal II who reigned from 883 to 859 BC. He was the first Assyrian king to use carved reliefs on the interior walls of a palace at the site of Kalhu (now called Nimrud).

photo of Assyrian relief carving of an eagle-headed demon

Relief of an eagle-headed demon engaged in a ritual to expel sickness and evil spirits.

Like Greek and Roman statues these reliefs were originally painted. These reliefs had small traces of black, white, red and blue paint when they were first rediscovered in the 1830’s.

Related: Statue of King Mankaure and His Queen (Egypt)Egyptian Hieroglyphs at the Met in NYCBlue Balloon Dog at LACMA

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