Tuesday 4 November 2008

Assyrian animals

Wander around the ground floor of the British Museum, and the Parthenon marbles and the Egyptian galleries tend to be unbearably full of tourists. However, the Assyrian galleries right alongside are much calmer, and have some amazing stone reliefs. The subject-matter is rather heavy on war and hunting, but the skill and details are impressive.

Assyria was centred on northern Iraq, although at times its territories included much of the Middle East. Its kings built palaces in Nimrud and Nineveh, decorated with these reliefs depicting their achievements. Rather than bloodthirsty deaths, though, I thought I'd share some of the images of animals to be found in the galleries.


Anonymous said...

If you can find a copy, Andrew Collins' From the Ashes of Angels is a very interesting take on the vulture cults which preceded the Assyrian culture - and goes into a lot of detail about the many creation myths of the region, culminating in the Christian Eden mythos.

Hard work to read, but very rewarding in the end.

CarolineLD said...

Thank you, that sounds really interesting - I'll look out for it.