Ancient Replicas - The Striding Lion of Babylon

Walls and Towers
Decorative Items


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


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

The Weld-Blundell Prism
Weld-Blundell Prism



The Striding Lion of Babylon

The striding lion of Babylon was made of molded brick with polychrome glaze and appeared along the side of the 'Processional Way' in ancient Babylon in 604-562 B.C. The 'Processional Way' led out of the city through the massive Ishtar Gate, the lion was the symbol of the goddess Ishtar. There were some 120 lions such as this one decorated along the walls. This painting is from a wall relief at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. It is 90.3 cm high and  230.5 cm wide. It was purchased in Berlin in 1931.

"For I will rise up against them," says the LORD of hosts, "And cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, And offspring and posterity," says the LORD. "I will also make it a possession for the porcupine, And marshes of muddy water; I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," says the LORD of hosts. Isaiah 14:22-23

Material - Molded brick with polychrome glaze
Neo-Babylonian Period
Reign of Nebuchadnezzar II
Date: 604-562 BC.
Height: 90.3 cm  (35.5511811 inches)
Width: 230.5 cm  (90.7480315 inches)
Babylon, southern Iraq
Excavated by: Robert Koldeway 1899-1914
Purchased in Berlin, 1931
Location: Oriental Institute, Chicago
Item: OIM A7481

Oriental Institute Excerpt


This colorful striding lion, its mouth opened in a threatening roar, once decorated a side of the 'Processional Way' in ancient Babylon (the Biblical city of Babel). The 'Processional Way' led out of the city through a massive gate named for the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, Ishtar, whose symbol was the lion. Each year, during the celebration of the great New Year Festival, the images of the city's deities were carried out through the Ishtar Gate and along the 'Processional Way' past some 120 lions such as this one to a special festival house north of the city.

Oriental Institute, University of Chicago