Ancient Replicas - Assyrian Lion

Walls and Towers
Decorative Items

Assyria

Alabaster lion from entrance to temple of Ninurta at Nimrud, reign of Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC)
Assyrian Lion

Winged bull with human head, from the palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad
Winged Bull Guardian

Tiglath-Pileser III Fragment of a gypsum tablet from the palace of Nimrud.
Tiglath-Pileser III

Sargon II in Royal Fashion Limestone Sculpture
Sargon II

Relief of Siege Scene with Battering-Ram and Impaled Bodies, gypsum, Palace of Tiglath-pileser III
Battering Ram

Relief depicting the siege of a fortified city
Siege Relief

Detail of Hebrew captives playing music, from Lachish, wandering through a mountain forest, accompanied by an Assyrian warrior carrying a club
Hebrew Captives

Relief of Ashurbanipal Stabbing Lion With Sword
King Stabbing Lion

Relief of King Ashurbanipal Reposing with His Queen in the Royal Garden
Ashurbanipal Feasting

Relief of Tiglath-Pileser III in Chariot
Tiglath-Pileser in Chariot 

Relief of Slaves in a Quarry
Forced Quarry Labor

Stone Sculpture of a Winged Lamassu,  from Khorsabad
Winged Lamassu

Winged human-headed bull colossus from Khorsabad
Human Headed Bull

Stone Sculpture of Hero Grasping Lion, from Khorsabad
Hero Grasping Lion

Sargon II and a high official
Sargon and High Official

Sargon II and his Tartan
Sargon II and Tartan

Relief from Ashurnasirpal II's palace at Nimrud of a winged genius with an eagle's head
Eagle-Headed Deity

Assyrian Archers
Assyrian Archers

Assyrian King Blinding Prisoners
Blinding Prisoners

Impaled Prisoners
Impaled Prisoners

King Jehu Relief
Jehu Relief

Assyrian King Hunting
King Hunting

Lachish Captives
Lachish Captives

Assyrian Slinger (Stonethrower)
Assyrian Slinger

Trodden Under Foot
Trodden Under Foot


Ashurbanipal Hunting

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III
The Black Obelisk

Sennacherib's Hexagonal Prism of Baked Clay also know as the Taylor Prism
Sennacherib's Prism

Assyrian Soldier Holding Shield
Assyrian Soldier 1

Assyrian Soldier Holding Spear
Assyrian Soldier 2


Babylon

The Striding Lion on the Ishtar Gate of Babylon
The Striding Lion

The Weld-Blundell Prism
Weld-Blundell Prism

 

 

Colossal Stone Lion Sculpture

Sculpture of Lion, stone, Nimrud, Neo-Assyrian, 883-859 BCE
From the Neo-Assyrian Period, 1000 BCE - 612 BCE
Found in Nimrud
Sculpture was used extensively to decorate the palaces of Neo-Assyrian kings in the form of carved orthostats lining walls, and also colossal stone beasts placed in doorways as protective entities. Colossal winged bulls were common, but lions were also used occasionally. The above example comes from the entry of a temple at Nimrud during the reign of Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BCE). The lion was a very potent symbol of royal power in the ancient Near East and was a popular motif in the relief program of the Assyrian king.

Alabaster lion from entrance to temple of Ninurta at Nimrud, reign of Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BCE)
From the Neo-Assyrian Period, 1000 BCE - 612 BCE
Found in Nimrud
The lion was very symbolic in ancient Assyria, and was used in conjunction with images of the king to represent royal power. The lion was also the symbol of the goddess Ishtar. Placed at the entrance of the temple of Ninurta at Nimrud, it probably had an apotropaic function.

"The lion hath roared, who will not fear?" - Amos 3:8

 

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014_lion_Ashurnasirpal_Ishtar_Nimrud 

Colossal guardian lion, around 865 - 860 BC, Nimrud, temple of Ishtar Sharrat-niphi
This 15-ton lion symbolises Ishtar, Assyrian goddess of war. The inscription gives the name of the temple's builder, Ashurnasirpal II (883 - 859 BC). This lion is one of a pair excavated by Austen Henry Layard in 1850.

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015_headof_lion_Ashurnasirpal_Ishtar_Nimrud 

Face of colossal guardian lion, around 865 - 860 BC, Nimrud, temple of Ishtar Sharrat-niphi
This is a front view of the face of the lion in the previous photo. The lions in Assyria would have been Asian lions, a few of which can be seen in the London Zoo.