One of his royal attendants is guiding the royal chariot. But even though the king does matter a lot; it is these lions which form the core of the scenes. After approaching the chariot, the lions will be hunted/killed. In this alabaster bas-relief, the king’s chariot is chasing lions. This alabaster bas-relief depicts Assyrians climbing a hill. From Room C of the North Palace, Nineveh (modern-day Kouyunjik, Mosul Governorate), Mesopotamia, Iraq. It was a great opportunity to visit, see, and feel this marvelous art from my land, Mesopotamia (Iraq)!
The eye of the king was intentionally damaged after the fall of Nineveh. A single artist is thought to have created these reliefs, helped by many assistants; it is also thought that the king himself might at times intervened in order to add/change some of the details of the imagery. In this relief, two lions and two lionesses were hit by many arrows and are already dead; note their flat facial expressions, closed eyes, and different postures. The king holds a bow an shoots arrows towards a succession of lions. People seem to rush up a wooden knoll, either in fright or to get a better view. The following were used to draft this article: As an Iraqi citizen, I would like to sincerely thank all of those who were involved in the excavation, transportation, preservation, protection, and the display of this world-class ancient art!
The animals’ facial expressions and eyes were depicted in a very realistic way of horror, defeat, and agony. The front line holds high shields while the rear one has bows. Men are struggling to push one of the horses into position while another horse is having his harness tightened. From Room C of the North Palace, Nineveh (modern-day Kouyunjik, Mosul Governorate), Mesopotamia, Iraq.
Overall, there are 18 lions/lionesses in this Room. Those keepers were stationed at some points at the edge of the arena, in front of the line of soldiers. This line surrounds the arena like a ring to prevent any lion escaping the arena.
Although very brutal and bloody, the “massacre” appears very beautiful! These slabs decorated both walls of a corridor within the palace (Room C) and a private gate-chamber (Room S). The sculptor was cleverly pointing out the contrast between the cruel king and his noble victims; however, the people for whom the scenes were designed saw the king as the paragon of nobility, and the lions as cruel enemies that should deserve painful, and even ludicrous, slaughtering. From Room C of the North Palace, Nineveh (modern-day Kouyunjik, Mosul Governorate), Mesopotamia, Iraq. From Room C of the North Palace, Nineveh (modern-day Kouyunjik, Mosul Governorate), Mesopotamia, Iraq.
Apart from the king, his courtiers, and some of his visitors, who else could have accessed them? The first documented scene of lion-hunting dates back to 3000 BCE; it was about a ruler who was hunting lions.
Their women have a job, and the men have a job (I think you can guess what those jobs are).
The intention is the same; deterring lions from trying to escape.
From Room C of the North Palace, Nineveh (modern-day Kouyunjik, Mosul Governorate), Mesopotamia, Iraq.
Whoever was privileged to gain access to the North Palace of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, could consider himself part of something timeless. This private chamber-gate was decorated with relatively small scale hunt scenes, arranged in three parallel horizontal registers. Instead, the king appears to stand on earth or ride a galloping horse; he wears a diadem, not the typical conical head cap of Assyrian kings. This is one of the very vivid moments which speaks clearly on its behalf without any narration.
Thanks to the great work of Hormuzd Rassam (1826-1910), who unveiled a large number of alabaster bas-reliefs, which once decorated the walls of that king’s Palace (built around 645 BCE); the Assyrian lion-hunting scenes! Alabaster bas-relief showing Ashurbanipal thrusting a spear onto a lion’s head. The king, on foot, wearing his elegant costume and accessories, grips the lion’s neck firmly with his left hand while the right hand stabs a sword rapidly and deeply into the lion’s belly. Alabaster bas-relief showing Ashurbanipal rescuing foreign princes from a lion. The king himself uses a variety of weapons, reflecting his superb abilities; a bow, sword, and spear.