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Download Assyrian sculpture epub

by British Museum




Book by British Museum
Download Assyrian sculpture epub
ISBN: 0674050150
ISBN13: 978-0674050150
Category: No category
Author: British Museum
Language: English
Publisher: Harvard University Press; , 1994 edition (1983)
Pages: 72 pages
ePUB size: 1575 kb
FB2 size: 1901 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 601
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Doukasa
Most of the sculpture described in this book is to be found in the British Museum, which indeed is where I purchased Dr. Reade's book. However, "Assyrian Sculpture" should appeal to a broad audience, especially those of us who have been following recent events in Iraq and would like a brief overview of this country's ancient imperial megalomaniacs. Even as we pulled down monuments to Saddam Hussein, so did successive dynasties of Assyrian kings loot the palaces of their predecessors and proclaim their own glory. Visitors to their palaces were forced to view a procession of triumphalist scenes, depicting the king at war, his exploits in the hunting field, and his status as exalted by Assyrian gods and genies.

For almost three centuries, until 612 B.C., the small kingdom of Assyria dominated the Middle East, its empire at one point extending from Iran to Egypt. "Assyrian Sculpture" relates the story of those years in sculpted stone, and more rarely in glazed brick, and offers its readers a glimpse of a long-lost civilization.
The archaeological discovery, starting in 1843, of a wealth of artifacts from the ancient Assyrian Empire brought to the attention of Europeans a form of artistic production that was unique and unexpectedly striking to many contemporary eyes. Roughly comparable arrays of ancient Assyrian artifacts found by both French and English excavators and transported with great difficulty to Europe, were put on display almost simultaneously in the Louvre and British Museum, starting in 1847.
The first archaeologists to explore ancient Assyrian ruins were Paul-Emile Botta, a French diplomat, and Austen Henry Layard, an adventurous English lawyer. In the mid-nineteenth century they both explored mounds in and near present-day Mosul, a city in northern Iraq that embraces the site of ancient Nineveh. Between the two of them, they uncovered the remains of five Assyrian palaces.

One, excavated by Layard in Nineveh, was the "palace without rival" of Sennacherib, perhaps the greatest of the Assyrian kings. The inner walls and courtyards were lined with two miles of sculptured stone slabs depicting the king's various campaigns, from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. It was under his rule that a system of canals and aqueducts brought water fifty miles from the Zagros Mountains to the parks, orchards, and gardens of Nineveh.
Within the palace Layard discovered thousands of clay cuneiform tablets, constituting the world's earliest-known comprehensive collection of written knowledge. In the chapter, "Biblical History in Assyrian Sculpture" the author states that although there is little direct evidence for the historicity of the biblical accounts that emerged from Layard's excavations, they did confirm that "the early history of Palestine, as recorded in the Bible, was more than a work of fiction."
Buy this book for its magnificent reproductions of Assyrian animal sculpture, for its fascinating biography of Austen Henry Layard, and for its concise overview of an ancient Mesopotamian civilization.
Note: There still exists an ethnic minority who call themselves Assyrians. They are a remnant of the Aramaic (or Syriac) speaking Christian community of northern Iraq, eastern Turkey, and western Iran.