salut virtual museum

Discovering Ancient Oman

Head of king

Head of king from Nineveh (Strommenger E., Hirmer M., L'arte della Mesopotamia, Florence 1963: pl. XXIII)

Nineveh, Temple of Ishtar
Baghdad, Iraq Museum (IM 11331)
Copper; H 36.6
Akkadian period (2350-2200 BC)
 
Discovered in 1931, this wonderful head is considered the image of the ancient Mesopotamian royalty. It represents certainly an Akkadian ruler, probably Sargon or his son Manishtusu or its grandson Naram-Sin. Intentionally damaged by enemies in ancient times, with deep lesions on the eyes, ears and beard, the head was part of a statue over life-size.
 
The head has an elaborate hair dress, with chignon, belonging to Mesopotamian royal tradition, and a long curly beard. The facial features are finely worked. Cast with the lost wax technique, with details realized by chisel. (AL)