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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 400

The MET : Gallery 400 : The Assyrian Empire and its Sphere of Influence

Art From Us, Museum Guide #598

Art From Us presents a must-see Museum Guide daily, where we showcase specific artworks in specific museums – from across the globe. Today, for Art From Us, Museum Guide #598 the spotlight is on the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET) NY’s Gallery 400. Showcasing a collection of The Assyrian Empire and its Sphere of Influence.

The three works in focus are :

  1. Orthostat Relief : Lion Attaching a Deer, ca. 9th century BC.
  2. Upper Parts of a Lion’s Head, ca. 9th century BC.
  3. Earrings, ca. 9th century BC.

The significance of the 3 works chosen for Art From Us, Museum Guide #598

Welcome to the Art From Us, Museum Guide #598. The objects in this gallery, including the ones chosen for today’s Museum Guide belong to the Assyrian Era.

The Ancient Kingdom of Assyria

Assyria was one of the great kingdoms of the Middle East in ancient times. It was located in the territories stretching from the north of modern day to southeast Turkey. The capital of the Assyrian empire was Ashur, a city located to the south of the kingdom. The kingdom got its name from its capital city, while the capital was named after from the Mesopotamian deity Ashur.

For some years, Assyria came to be the largest and strongest empire the ancient world has seen yet. The Assyrian army was infamous for their ruthless and unforgiving attitude towards their enemies. They engaged in extreme psychological warfare, and mass killings were therefore a regular feature at the time. The strength and sharpness of the army developed perhaps due to the vulnerable geographic location of the kingdom. The Mitanni, Hittite and Babylonian empires posed a constant threat to Assyria. According to historical records, it was around 626 when Babylon finally defeated Assyria and thus began the decline of this great ancient empire.

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