Ancient Near East : Art & Images


Alexander the Great Photo Gallery Photos: Istanbul Archaeological Museums: Alexander the Great Photo Gallery by Andrys Basten at pbase.com [Ancient Near East] [Images]

Bronze Statuettes Syria: Tell Judaidah; Early Bronze Age;(Amuq Phase G), ca. 3100-2900 B.C. Bronze with silver-rich alloy. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1935-6. "Archaeologists found these three statuettes in a cache that contained three male and three female figurines. They are the earliest known metal castings of human figures in the round from Syria. The males wear broad belts and helmets covered with a silver alloy; they probably once held weapons in their upraised hands. The naked females' hair is held in place with a headband and bound in the back in an elaborate chignon. They cross their arms and grasp their breasts in their hands - a common ancient pose that probably connotes fertility. The statuettes were intended to be mounted in some fashion, for a tang projects below the feet of each one. The skill with which these unique pieces were modelled and the technical knowledge that was needed for their casting reveal surprisingly high standards of artistic and technical achievement in Syria at the beginning of the third millennium B.C.

Cylinder Seal Iraq; Akkadian Period; Reign of Naramsin or Sharkalishari, ca. 2254-2193 B.C. Black stone. Oriental Museum. Purchased in New York, 1947. "This cylinder seal was dedicated to a little-known goddess, Ninishkun, who is shown interceding on the owner's behalf with the great goddess Ishtar. Ishtar places her right foot upon a roaring lion, which she restrains with a leash. The scimitar in her left hand and the weapons sprouting from her winged shoulders indicate her war-like nature."

Duck Weights Iraq: Ishchali(?); Early second millennium B.C. Hematite. Oriental Museum. Purchased in Baghdad, 1930. "The Mesopotamians used sets of standard weights in conducting business and set stiff penalities for those who used false weights. The weights themselves were usually made of a very hard stone like hematite. A simple barrel shape was the most common form, but weights such as these in the form of a duck, with its neck and head resting along its back, were also prevalent."

Gazelle Head Stamp Seal Iraq: Tell Agrab; Jamdat Nasr/Early Dynastic I, ca. 3100-2750 B.C. Gypsum (?). Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1935-6. "In central and southern Mesopotamia, both stamp and cylinder seals appeared together near the end of the third millennium B.C. Many stamp seals were carved in the form of an animal or an animal head, and the sealing surface was decorated with simple designs - often representing animals - comprised of drill-holes and incised lines. It is possible that many of the stamps were not actually used as seals but were worn primarily as amulets."

Hero (Gilgamesh ?), Mastering a Lion Neo-Assyrian; Hero (Gilgamesh ?), mastering a lion, relief from facade of the throne room, Palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad (Dur-Sharrukin). ca. 713-706 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

Large Lamassu Guardian Figure Neo-Assyrian; Lamassu guardian figure [in background L., relief of the Hero Gilgamesh(?)], from the Palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad (Dur-Sharrukin). ca. 713-706 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

Large Pair of Lamassau Figures Neo-Assyrian; Pair of Lamassau figures flanking a gateway (restored), from the Palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad (Dur-Sharrukin). ca. 713-706 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

Male and Female Figurines Syria: Tell Fakhariyah; ca. 1300-1000 B.C. Gypsum, painted, inlaid with bitumen and stone. Loan to the Oriental Institute. "A naked female and a partially clothed male are represented by this unique pair of red-coated stone figurines. Hair or headdresses made of a separate material were probably once attached to the pegs atop their heads. The male, who stands with his hands at his sides, wears a loincloth tied at the back. The female grasps her breasts with her hands-a common ancient pose that probably connotes fertility. She appears to be naked except for some type of foot-gear applied to her stump-like feet."

Male and Female Sphinx Syria: Tell Ta'yinat, Building 1, floor 2; Iron Age (Amuq Phase O), ca. 800 B.C. Basalt inlaid with white and green stone. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1936. "Sphinxes-imaginary creatures composed of a lion's body and a human head-are a motif that originated in Egypt and became common in the art of Western Asia beginning in the latter part of the second millennium B.C. This recumbent sphinx of local Syrian manufacture has an unusually vivacious character due to the position of the head, which is turned sideways with the chin slightly raised, not at the stiff right angle often found in ancient Near Eastern sculpture."

Neo-Assyrian King Neo-Assyrian; Hunting scene with the king pouring libation over slain wild bull, attended by the Crown Prince(?) and servants carrying sun shade and fly whisk, detail of relief from NW. Palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud (Kalakh). ca 883-859 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

Neo-Assyrian King Closer Neo-Assyrian; Hunting scene with the king pouring libation over slain wild bull, attended by the Crown Prince(?) and servants carrying sun shade and fly whisk, detail of relief from NW. Palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud (Kalakh). ca 883-859 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

Pazuzu Demon Iraq; ca. 800-600 B.C. Bronze. Oriental Museum. Purchased in New York, 1943. "The demon Pazuzu represented by this figurine stands like a human but has a scorpion's body, feathered wings and legs, talons, and a lion-like face on both front and back. Pazuzu, the "king of the evil wind demons," was not entirely unfriendly to mankind. As an enemy of the dreaded Lamashtu demon, bearer of sickness especially to women and children, Pazuzu is often portrayed on amulets used as protection in childbirth. The ring at the top of this figurine suggests that it was such an amulet."

Plaque Showing a Harpist Iraq: Ishchali (?); Isin-Larsa / Old Babylonian Period, ca. 2000-1600 B.C. Baked clay. Oriental Museum. Purchased in Baghdad, 1930. "Harps are known from the earliest period of written history, but the fringed robe and close-fitting cap of this harpist are typical for the early second millennium B.C. in Mesopotamia. Clay plaques from this period depict musicians playing a variety of stringed, percussion, and wind instruments. The casting of plaques was a simple and inexpensive way to produce relief images, since numerous plaques could be made from a single mold."

Portrait Head of a Ruler Iran (Elamite) Portrait Head of a Ruler: ca. 2100-2000 B.C. From AICT: Art Images for College Teaching.

Standard of Ur (War Side) Sumerian Period: Standard of Ur (War Side): (Wood panel inlaid with shell, lapis lazuli and red limestone). Site: Royal Cemetery at Ur. Country: Mesopotamia. Period Date: c.2700-2300 BCE; Object Date c. 2700 BCE. [Image from Yale University]

Stele with Law Code of Hammurabi Babylon, Old (Babylon I): Stele with Law Code of Hammurabi: Medium Sculpture (carved basalt) Mesopotamia; Period: 2025-1594 BCE Object Date: c. 1780 BCE.

The Battle of Issus or Battle of Alexander and the Persians Details of mosaic from Naples, Italy. They depict a battle between Alexander the Great and Darius III, king of Persia. Photo gallery of 12 pictures for "Mosaic of the Battle of Issus" [Ancient Egypt] [Images]

Victorious Assyrian Soldiers Syria: Tell Ta'yinat, Building VII; Iron Age (Amuq Phase O), ca. 750-725 B.C. Limestone. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1936. "After they had conquered Tell Ta'yinat, the Assyrians carved these reliefs and used them to decorate a palace or public structure. The scene shows victorious Assyrian soldiers carrying the cut-off heads of their defeated enemies to a location where the number of those slain would be counted. Beneath the soldiers' feet lie the decapitated bodies. Each soldier wears a helmet, carries a bow and quiver over his shoulder, and holds three arrows in his right hand."