Ancient Replicas - Hero Grasping 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

 

 

Sculpture of Hero Grasping Lion, gypsum, Khorsabad, Neo-Assyrian, 721-705 BCE
From the Neo-Assyrian Period, 1000 BCE - 612 BCE
Found in Khorsabad
Covered in lecture on Apr 15th, 2005
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. This colossal 'Hero' from the entry to the throneroom at Sargon's palace at Khorsabad (721-705 BCE) grasps a lion in a symbolic battle seen in earlier contest scenes from the Akkadian period.

Relief of Hero Mastering Lion (detail of head and bust), alabaster, Khorsabad, Assyrian Empire, h: 470 cm.
From the Neo-Assyrian Period, 1000 BCE - 612 BCE
Found in Khorsabad
Covered in lecture on Sep 30th, 2004
The motif of the 'heroic combat' was popular in ancient near eastern iconography, and may have been symbolic of the king's power. At Khorsabad, several colossal sculptures of the 'hero mastering the lion' were placed near doorways to the palace of Sargon II (722-705 BCE).

sculpture, alabaster, Khorsabad
From the Neo-Assyrian Period, 1000 BCE - 612 BCE
Found in Khorsabad
Covered in lecture on Sep 30th, 2004
Detail of the lion from a relief from the palace of Sargon II (721-705 BCE) at Khorsabad. Sargon was the first Assyrian king to incorporate the figure of a hero clutching a lion within his palace doorways, along with protective Lhamassu. Details of the hero's fringed skirt and jewelled bracelet are visible.

Sargon incorporated the figure of a hero clutching a lion within his palace doorways, along with protective lamassu. The hero has luxurious curls (traditionally identified in Mesopotamia with virility), and wears several bracelets, similar to jewelry actually found in the Nimrud tombs. The gigantic alabaster hero peers downwards, literally towering over those who would have stood in front of the sculpture.


Hero choking a small lion
Khorsabad, palace of Sargon II
Neo-Assyrian period, reign of Sargon II (721-705 BC)
Gypseous alabaster
H 5.52 m
AO 19862

Description

"This long-haired personage, which constituted one of the ornaments of the throne room (n) of the palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad, is traditionally identified with Gilgamesh, ancient king of Uruk, hero of a famous epic. In fact, these long-haired personages, represent wise men, such as Adapa, whom the king pretended to resemble." - Louvre