Assyrian Crown-Prince


Not on view

This relief fragment dates to the time of Sennacherib (r. 704-681 B.C.), and comes from the great Southwest Palace, called by Sennacherib the "Palace Without Rival," at Nineveh. It originally formed part of a procession scene, and depicts in low relief the upper part of a male figure whose beard, clothing, and jewelry indicate particularly high status. His diadem, with incised decoration representing embroidered rosettes and a thin length of fabric running from its back, is an attribute often associated in this period with the Assyrian crown-prince. Visible jewelry includes a large earring, crescent-shaped with multiple projecting pendants or studs, thick armlets, and a bracelet whose faces originally would have depicted rosettes; related forms have been found among the gold jewelry discovered in the tombs of royal women at Nimrud. The figure rests his hand on the pommel of a short sword, the scabbard of which terminates in two lions. Much of the clothing was incised with fine detailed decoration representing embroidery, now difficult to see as the surface of the stone itself has suffered considerable wear. It seems likely that the panel was discovered out of position, possibly having been reused in antiquity, which might help explain its relatively poor condition. Other damage seems deliberate: part of the figure’s face appears to have been chiseled away in antiquity. Following the sack of Nineveh in 612 B.C., images of kings and some other royal figures were targeted, probably for magical as well as propagandistic reasons.

#7062. Overview: The Assyrian Palaces at Khorsabad and Nineveh

Assyrian Crown-Prince, Gypsum alabaster, Assyrian

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