Wall Reliefs: Ashurnasirpal II at the North-West Palace

Ashurnasirpal II holding a bowl, detail of a relief. Note the King's facial expression, headgear, hair, earring, necklace, mustache, beard, wrist bracelet, and the bowl he holds with his right hand.From Room G, Panel 10, the North-West Palace at Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq. This room was part of the “East Suite”, where the King performed prayers and ceremonial rituals and only high-ranking advisors and temple priests have access to this room. Neo-Assyrian Period, 865-860 BCE. Housed in the British Museum, London. Photo © Osama S. M. Amin.

“(Property of) the palace of Assurnasirpal (II), vice-regent of Assur, chosen of Enlil and Ninurta, beloved of Anu and Dagan, destructive weapon of the great gods, strong king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, son of Tukulti-Ninurta (II), great king, strong king, king of the universe,…” This is how Ashurnasirpal II, a harsh king,… Continue reading Wall Reliefs: Ashurnasirpal II at the North-West Palace

Wall Reliefs: Assyrian Apkallus from Nimrud holding a Goat and Deer

The goat held by the Apkallu. Note the facial details and the exquisitely carved horns. Panel 1, Room T, door “a” of the North-West Palace at Nimrud, Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq. Neo-Assyrian period, 865-860 BCE. Housed in the British Museum, London. Photo © Osama S. M. Amin.

When you enter Room 7 of the British Museum, after passing through two colossal lamassus, you are taken through time to the North-West Palace of the Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BCE). This is the imperial palace of the King in Nimrud (ancient Kalhu or Biblical Calah; Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq), the capital city at the… Continue reading Wall Reliefs: Assyrian Apkallus from Nimrud holding a Goat and Deer

The White Obelisk of Ashurnasirpal I

In July 1853, Hormuzd Rassam was excavating an area at the ruins of the mound of Kuyunjik  (Nineveh, Mesopotamia, modern-day Mosul Governorate, Iraq), one of the most important cities in the heartland of the Assyrian Empire. The area was an open space between the outer court of the palace of the Assyrian King Sennacherib and… Continue reading The White Obelisk of Ashurnasirpal I

Siege of Lachish Reliefs at the British Museum

This is the foot stool of the king. Here, the King appears to wear a shoe, not a sandal! Note the shoe's exquisitely carved details.

In this post, we will explore images of the Siege of Lachish Reliefs and the story they depict. While these reliefs have been studied by countless people, not many do so through the eyes of the Lachish people. This time, we will consider the Lachish people and hopefully gain a humanitarian perspective.

Assyrian Wall Reliefs from the Sulaymaniyah Museum

Detail of a gypsum wall relief from the North-West at Nimrud. What has survived is a left hand of an Apkallu (Akkadian, which means sage). The hand grips on the handle of a buckle. The buckle is supposed to contain a fluid (?water for purification). The cuneiform text of the so-called "Standard Inscription" of Ashurnasirpal II runs over the relief. At the right upper angle, part of the "Sacred Tree" appears. Photo © Osama S. M. Amin.

Most, if not all, of our readership knows about the intentional destruction of ancient artifacts, buildings, mosques, shrines, and the contents of Mosul museum contents by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The Governorate of Mosul in Iraq is the site of several ancient Assyrian cities (Nimrud, Kouyunjik, and Dur-Sharrukin), in addition… Continue reading Assyrian Wall Reliefs from the Sulaymaniyah Museum

Visiting the Erbil Civilization Museum

Photo © Osama S. M. Amin.

I was attending a neurology event in Erbil (the ancient city of Arbela also known as Hawler in Kurdish), which is the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan. The last time I had visited the Erbil Civilization Museum (Kurdish: موزه خانه ي شاره ستاني هه ولير  ; Arabic: متحف أربيل الحضاري) was in September 2014. In comparison… Continue reading Visiting the Erbil Civilization Museum

The Egyptian Tomb-Chapel Scenes of Nebamun at the British Museum

A tawny cat catches birds in among the papyrus stems. Cats were family pets, but he is shown here because a cat could also represent the Sun-god hunting the enemies of the light and order. His unusual gildeed eye hints at the religious meanings of this scene. The British Museum, London. Photo © Osama S. M. Amin.

In 1821 ten paintings were purchased from Mr. Henry Salt (1780-1827) and arrived at the British Museum. The eleventh painting was acquired in 1823. Each painting appeared to have been mounted with a slightly different support material. Finger marks and hand prints on the backs of many of the paintings suggest that the paintings were laid face… Continue reading The Egyptian Tomb-Chapel Scenes of Nebamun at the British Museum

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III at the British Museum

Side B: There are 4 tribute-bearers from Suhu carrying "silver, gold... byssus, garments with multi-colored trim and linen". Photo © Osama S. M. Amin.

I was attending an event at the Royal College of Physicians of London in early March 2016, and I had a plenty of time to spare. One of my targets was, of course, the British Museum. Two years ago, Jan van der Crabben (founder and CEO of the Ancient History Encyclopedia) asked me to draft… Continue reading The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III at the British Museum

Paleolithic Caves in Iraqi Kurdistan

The entrance/mouth of the dark cave of Hazar Merd, shooting from inside. Photo © Osama S. M. Amin.

There are two Paleolithic caves in Iraqi Kurdistan (the northeast area of the Republic of Iraq): Hazar Merd and Shanidar. Iraq, the cradle of civilization, has become a dangerous destination for tourists. Instead of discussing their deep archaeological details, I will you take on a cyber-tour to see these caves. Hazar Merd Group of Caves Hazar… Continue reading Paleolithic Caves in Iraqi Kurdistan

Visiting the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Cartonnage mummy masks. Wealthier ancient Egyptians were keen to prepare for the afterlife. A mummy case was important part for the funerary equipment. After the body was embalmed and wrapped, in a linen bandage, the mummy was placed in case of coffin. Egyptians of a high social status often had lavish and colorful cases. With thanks to the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. Photo © Osama S. M. Amin.

During my last visit to London, I resided in a hotel at Gower Street of Bloomsbury. By chance, I discovered a hidden gem within the heart of University College London while surfing Google. It was located just few minutes away from me: the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. The Museum lies at Malet Place, hidden away from… Continue reading Visiting the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London