Bronze Band

Iraq: Khorsabad, Shamash Temple; Neo-Assyrian Period; Reign of Sargon II, 721-705 B.C. Bronze. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1931. "The fortress of Sargon II at Khorsabad included a complex of temples, one of which was devoted to the sun god Shamash. This bronze band encircled one of a pair of cedar poles-possibly supports for divine emblems-that once flanked the doorway to this temple. In the upper register, Sargon is shown grasping two massive bulls by the horns. This ancient motif, known as "the master of animals," was well established in Mesopotamian royal iconography and perhaps symbolized the dominance, vitality, and potency of the reigning monarch. To the left of the king and bulls is a large bird depicted in flight, to the right, facing the king and bulls, is an attendant wearing a kilt.

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