Anonymous: An Assyrian Banquet Scene (645 - 635 B.C.)

(British Museum, London, UK)

A beautiful wall panel relief made by unknown ancient Assyrian artists. This piece is part of a group of Assyrian palace reliefs from the North Palace of Nineveh (an ancient Assyrian city, now modern Mosul). This relief shows the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (reign 668 – c. 627 BC) and his wife queen Assur-sharrat relaxing in the garden. Both are sitting in elaborate furniture while servants surround the royal couple. Two women are holding napkins, several are fanning the king and queen, bring food and make music. The couple is relaxing in the garden with palms, conifers and vines while birds are singing. In the second tree from the left are military trophies of victory - consisting of the head and hand holding a wand of Teumman, king of Elam. The faces of the royal couple were mutilated in 612 B.C. when Nineveh was destroyed by a coalition of various former Assyrian vassals - the sacking of Nineveh marked the end of the Neo-Assyrian empire. Wall panel relief from around 645-635 B.C.