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

Ivory in the Ancient World

A Greek ivory pyxis depicting griffins attacking stags. 15th Century BCE. (Agora Museum, Athens)

Ivory, with its ease of carving and exotic rarity, has been used to make art objects for millennia. True ivory actually refers to only the dentine of elephant tusks but it may also refer to the tusks and teeth of walrus, hippopotamus, narwhal and sperm whales, amongst others. The ancient world acquired its ivory either… Continue reading Ivory in the Ancient World

Nimrud Ivories at the Sulaymaniyah Museum

On October 4, 1961, the Sulaymaniyah Museum received several artifacts, part of the so-called “Nimrud Ivories.” The package was sent from the Iraqi Museum at Baghdad and authorized personnel delivered it. The accompanying documents were written in the Arabic language and very briefly and superficially describe each and every item. I was able to get… Continue reading Nimrud Ivories at the Sulaymaniyah Museum