A Recently Destroyed 7th* Century BC Assyrian Statue, Photo c. 1850
:( Unfortunately, by now I’m sure most of you have heard the heartbreaking news that this statue and many others at the Mosul Museum fell victim to the deplorable practice of iconoclasm by the Islamic State this week.
This photo is from the mid-19th century excavation of the colossal statues at the Nergal Gate of the ancient city of Nineveh. This statue was one of two winged bull-men (aka lamassu ) that guarded one of several entrances to Nineveh dated to the time of King Sennacherib*. Named for the Mesopotamian god Nergal, the gate was possibly used for ceremonial purposes since it is the only known gate flanked by stone sculptures of winged bull-men, which were believed to be protective deities.