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017534

This gigantic standing lion, roaring angrily, formed one of a pair carved half in the round which once flanked the entrance of a small temple dedicated to the goddess Ishtar, adjoining the palace of King Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883-859 BC). The temple was excavated by Henry Layard in 1849. The placing of figures of lions beside the doors of temples or the gates of cities was an ancient custom in Mesopotamia. Actual lions were common in the region and survived there until the nineteenth century.

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017534.JPG
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Irish Photo Archive
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4680x4108 / 1.8MB
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This gigantic standing lion, roaring angrily, formed one of a pair carved half in the round which once flanked the entrance of a small temple dedicated to the goddess Ishtar, adjoining the palace of King Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883-859 BC). The temple was excavated by Henry Layard in 1849. The placing of figures of lions beside the doors of temples or the gates of cities was an ancient custom in Mesopotamia. Actual lions were common in the region and survived there until the nineteenth century.