Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Khorsabad Lamassu

Figure 1 - head of Sargon's Lamas, with Bull's Ears
     The giant lamassu found at Khorsabad is now housed in Chicago at the Oriental Institute. It takes the form of a winged bull, with a human head (but a bull's ears), and has the wings of a large bird.

Figure 2 - View of the Face of the Oriental Institute's Lamassu
Figure 3 - Rear View of the Lamas Showing the "Blanket" and Wings
     Take a look at figures one and two and notice that this lamassu has one major difference with those from other palaces of  Assyrian Kings, the head is turned to the side, rather than looking straight ahead. Otherwise it is very similar to other winged bulls from other palaces. Notice the long hair with the huge curls at the bottom as well as the long, curled beard of the statue. The human head also wears the crown of the Assyrian King. The feathers on the wings are nicely detailed by the sculptor (figure three) and there is what looks like it might be a wool blanket on the back of this creature (you can see it peeking out from under the wings in figure three).

Figure 4 - The Statue has Five Legs
     There is one other standard trait of these figures that is present in this example as well as all the others I have ever seen. The beast has five legs. From the front and rear it looks like it is standing still, while from the side it seems to be striding forward (figure four).

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