Thursday, March 08, 2007

Really, Really Old....And A Bit Scary!

Human-headed winged bull and winged lion (lamassu),
Neo-Assyrian, 883–859 B.C. Mesopotamia
(Click picture for larger view)
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"The past is a work of art, free of irrelevancies and loose ends." ~ Max Beerbohm
Two of these beautiful sculptures guard the entry to the ancient Near East section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These limestone beasts or lamassu were found protecting and adorning entryways and gates in Assyrian palaces during the empire that ruled from the ninth to seventh century, BC. The Assyrian empire was located in a large area of northern Iraq. These sculptures were commissioned by the great Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883–859 B.C.), when he built the capitol city at Nimrud. The detail is amazing and they are quite imposing to look at.

There are so many beautiful and detailed pieces from ancient Egypt, India, the Middle East and China on display at the Met. It would take weeks or months to really study them all in detail. I thought this would qualify quite nicely for the photo topic today.

Submission to Thursday Challenge topic "old". (end of post)

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