THATBrit Sample Clue
LION HUNT FRIEZES Palace of Ashurbanipal, North Palace of Nineveh (Northern Iraq) Assyrian (Mesopotamian), 645 BC
In 12th century Europe lions begin to decorate royal coat of arms; this connection between kingship & lions was probably a result of the European crusades to the Middle East. Here we have a chief source, the Assyrian Lion Hunt frieze – a triumph of Man over Nature. King Ashurbanipal left his mark on his grandfather’s Palace at Nineveh (a city measuring 12kms/7.5 miles) with the North Palace, where these fine feline creatures – vicious, attacking & sad brutes meeting their grisly end – lined the walls. Get a load of just what the fence of this hunting field was made of: shielded soldiers lined shoulder-to-shoulder (oh go on, earn 20 THATMuse points for a photo of your team lined up in profile like them & pointing to one of their rows (there are two human shields within this room)... I guess men were as disposable as lions to the Assyrians! Apparently the Mesopotamian lion, brought to extinction by the 19th C (quelle surprise!), was compared in size to a large St Bernard dog. Still, that doesn’t lessen the queasiness I feel when seeing the small boy standing above their cages (see his small protective cage above?) whose job it was to liberate those ferocious creatures (take 20 THATMuse points for a photo pointing one of these boys out). And yet the 21st C viewer finds compassion for these bloodied beasts, writhing in their last moments. For a bit of your own hunting, scour these gypsum alabaster reliefs & earn 50 THATMuse points by listing 4 of the 8 types of animals found in this room (notincluding lion or man!). No partial credit, but the BM tags do help!
GAME POINTS: 20