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Essay: Reliefs sculptures

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  • Published: 14 November 2017*
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Reliefs sculptures were on the walls in situ or in the site museum, but in the 19th century most of them, scattered to the museums and private collections around the world.

The reliefs in the west suite of the palace was poorly preserved, because many of its wall slabs had been removed and used in the construction of the Southwest Palace of Esarhaddon and that increased by it was close to the edge of the citadel but the reliefs in the east suite is more preserved than the west suite. In the east side, the rooms appear as ceremonial complex for liquid offerings, this function reinforced by the subjects and orders of reliefs decoration in this suite.35

The reliefs in the south suite, specially Room S as king’s private residence suite is more preserved than those in the Domestic side behind it which was undecorated rooms of Assur-Nasir-Pal’s queen and palace’s women, these rooms were a residence area with wells and vaulted tombs.36 The reliefs in the Throne Room Suite was the most important one that excavated over the years and was more preserved than any other room in the palace. The Throne Room (Room B) is long and thin (47 x 10 m.)37, along with the whole width of the Great Courtyard (See Plan 18, p. 26).

The main entrance from doorway (e), to the left, the king seated on his throne on a platform in front of the east wall which decorated with a double image of the king and the Sacred Tree. The western doorway (d) in the northern wall lead to the outer courtyard with a sight of another image of the king through the entrance (a) to Room C to the west. The southern wall has a single doorway (b) lead into a reception Room (F) and then to a central courtyard (Y), where the king took his peoples and special visitors for more private events. (Figure 32-34, pp. 130-131). Construction and Material Techniques

Assyria is a better supply of minerals and natural resources than the other ancient cities in the south like Babylonia.


Stone of excellent quality, limestone, sandstone, and conglomerate rock. The use of stone as foundation material was rare and it employed in the architectural sculptures of wall decorations. The use of gypsum and black limestone such the one in the black obelisk which has been found in Nimrud. On the left bank of Tigris, a soft grey alabaster which is easily cut into slabs. The use of Marbles of different qualities from the Kurdistan mountains which can be transferred and managed easily by river as well as Mosul Marble which used for royal sculptures.38

Glass ‘ Ivory – Wood

Azure glass, Colourless glass, dense red glass is used in vessels and tablets.39 The use of Elephant Ivory as architectural decoration like the Southwest Palace which decorated with ivory set to wooden panels. Some of the ivories carving were made locally and other by workshops outside Assyria.40 The use of diverse types of wood such as Mulberry wood in the roller-wheels, large pieces of Oak beams, Pine in Roof timbers and Walnut wood for the writing board.

of Calah (Nimrud) as a creation of Shalmaneser I (1271-1242 B.C.), he recorded that the city had fallen into decay and arose again when he became a king.50

Assur-Nasir-Pal II removed the debris from the breakdown towers and walls and ordered a completely new city should be built. He constructed a canal which ran from the Upper Zab River to Nimrud, which was previously a small administrative town, now it transformed into Ashur-Nasir-Pal

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