Art and Empire:
Treasures from Assyria in the British Museum
From The Publisher
The British Museum has one of the finest collections of Assyrian artifacts in the world, centered around the famous carved stone reliefs from the palaces of the Assyrian kings at Nimrud and Nineveh. Dating from the ninth to the seventh centuries B.C., these remarkable sculptures show the kings' exploits in battle and in hunting, and ceremonies at the Assyrian court. This catalogue describes their excavation in the mid-nineteenth century and the excitement aroused in Western Europe by the discovery of reliefs depicting peoples mentioned in the Bible. A broader picture of life in Assyria is created by numerous smaller objects, such as delicate ivories, embossed bronze bowls, ceramic and glass vessels, and exquisite cylinder seals carved in miniature. Particularly important are the clay tablets from the royal library of King Ashurbanipal, written in the cuneiform script and dealing with a wide range of subjects, from the administration of the empire to magic, religion and divination, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, history and literature. The book is written by a team of experts, mainly from the British Museum, and more than 250 items are described and illustrated in color, providing a magnificent record of one of the great civilizations of antiquity.
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