Sunday, December 2, 2012

Assurbanipal's Palace Reliefs

     Assurbanipal left many reliefs in his palace at Nineveh. These reliefs contain some justifiably famous portrayals of lion hunts which show the king in combat with both male and female lions, while his servants carry away the corpses of Assurbanipal's victims. But the relief that is of particular interest to me right now is the scene showing his campaign in Egypt.

     The scenes show the siege of an Egyptian city (Memphis?). In the upper part of the reliefs we see the city being stormed. One Assyrian soldier is attempting to set the city gate on fire (and holds his shield above his head as he does so to protect himself from missiles sent his way by the defenders above. Other soldiers are climbing ladders that have been set up against the city walls, while still more soldiers are engaged in trying to dig through the lower portion of the city's walls. A number of Egyptians / Nubians are shown falling from the walls with arrows in their bodies.

     At the bottom  of the city walls a number of Assyrian soldiers are shown leading of a group of Nubian prisoners. One soldier follows the prisoners while holding aloft the severed head of another Nubian.

For photos of this scene, look at Collins, Paul. Assyrian Palace Sculptures, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008, p. 108 and Rizza, Alfredo. The Assyrians and the Babylonians, Vercelli, Italy: White Star s. p. a., 2007, 99. 192 - 3.

No comments:

Post a Comment