Winged Assyrian Bulls

Winged Assyrian Bull, Khorsabad

This excavated Limestone winged bull guarded the entrance to the palace of Sargon in Khorsabad of the Assyrian empire

Louvre Excerpt

Winged Assyrian bull
Khorsabad, palace of Sargon of Assyria
721-705 BC
Gypseous alabaster
H 4.40 m
AO 19857


"King Sargon II built his palace in the citadel of the new town that he founded near Nineveh, which was discovered by Paul-Emile Botta in 1843. The gates were guarded by bulls with human heads. These benevolent spirits, called "lamassou", were the guardians of the foundations of the world; in the same way they assured those of the palace. They are sculpted in the round for the foreparts and in high relief for the remainder of the body. They are shown with five legs. Seen from the front they are motionless, but seen from the side they walk. The inscription between the legs includes the titles of Sargon. Then it relates the construction of his town, called Dur-Sharrukîn, i.e. Fort Sargon. The new presention in the courtyard of the museum; called the Cour de Khorsabad, evokes the monumentality of the Assyrian palaces." - Louvre

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Bibliography on Ancient Art

The Art of Ancient Egypt, Revised by Robins, 272 Pages, Pub. 2008