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

Travel Posts of the Ancient World on AHetc

So many people contribute amazing posts to AHetc about their travels around the ancient world. I recently went through them all and found some posts that feature places I want to visit someday. I’m hoping, that like me, you find some inspiration and ideas looking through them too. To view the posts, click on the… Continue reading Travel Posts of the Ancient World on AHetc

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

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 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

Cuneiform and the Amarna Letters

JERWAN, IRAQ: Cuneiform writing on the stones of the aqueduct at Jerwan in Iraqi Kurdistan. Constructed between 703 and 690 BC, by Sanherib (Sennecherib) of Assyria, the Jerwan Aqueduct (he oldest intact aqueduct in the world) delivered water in the Atrush Canal from the Khenis (Gomel) Gorge to the Khosr River above Nineveh. The canal used advanced techniques including sluice gates and the Jerwan aqueduct - a 275 m/900 ft limestone bridge, 9 m/30 ft high and 15 m/30 ft wide. Photo by Sebastian Meyer www.sebmeyer.com sebastian@sebmeyer.com +964 750 792 2163

Cuneiform is considered the single most significant legacy of the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia. It was developed c. 3500-3000 BCE, is considered the first written language created, and was used for well over 1000 years. The oldest-dated cuneiform tablets mostly contain records of business transactions. However, over the centuries, cuneiform tables covered various different topics such… Continue reading Cuneiform and the Amarna Letters

The Rock Relief of Harir (Hareer), Iraqi Kurdistan

Thursday, September 25, 2014 I was attending a neurology symposium in Erbil (Hawler), the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. ِAfterwards, I headed to one of my relatives’ to pay him a visit; my family was with me. My relatives insisted we should stay in their home and spend a couple of days with them. And I… Continue reading The Rock Relief of Harir (Hareer), Iraqi Kurdistan

New Discovery: Unearthing a Neo-Assyrian Grave in Erbil, Iraq

An archaeologist friend of mine once told me: “Less than 5% of the Mesopotamian history has been found, and wherever you dig, anywhere in the land of Mesopotamia, you will discover something.” This story comes from Erbil (Hawler) Governorate. About 100-200 m away from the Citadel of Erbil (Arabic: قلعة أربيل; Kurdish: قه‌ڵای هه‌ولێر), an old… Continue reading New Discovery: Unearthing a Neo-Assyrian Grave in Erbil, Iraq

The Newly Discovered Tablet V of the Epic of Gilgamesh

I was taking photos in the main hall of the Sulaymaniyah Museum and came across a display case containing a small clay tablet. The description beside it said the tablet was part of the Epic of Gilgamesh and a fragment of tablet V. Immediately I thought it was a ‘replica’ as the description was superficial.… Continue reading The Newly Discovered Tablet V of the Epic of Gilgamesh