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Orthostat relief: lion-hunt scene

ca. 9th century B.C.
Syria, Tell Halaf (ancient Guzana)
Basalt, paint
H. 22 in. (56 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1943
Accession Number:
  • Description

    The powerful Neo-Assyrian Empire influenced the surrounding region culturally as well as politically. In the west a number of small but powerful Aramaean city-states acted as a barrier between Assyria and the Mediterranean coast. These have been called Neo-Hittite city-states because of their dynastic continuity and relation to the preceding Hittites of Anatolia. These rival states were gradually brought under the control of the Neo-Assyrian Empire by military conquest.

    Stone slabs carved in low relief had traditionally decorated the walls of the Neo-Hittite palaces and temples. Workmanship was often strong if crude. The figures were carved with little descriptive detail engraved on the surface, but it is nevertheless possible to detect, in some of the reliefs, the influence of Assyrian art in the choice of scene, the types of chariots and horse gear, and the galloping posture of the horses.

  • Provenance

    1911–13, excavated by Baron Max von Oppenheim; ceded to Baron Max von Oppenheim in the division of finds; acquired by the Museum in 1943, purchased from the Alien Property Custodian, New York.

  • References

    Oppenheim, Max F. von. 1931. Der Tell Halaf. Eine neue Kultur im ältesten Mesopotamien. Leipzig: Brockhaus, pl. 19a.

    Oppenheim, Max F. von. 1934. Führer Durch das Tell Halaf-Museum. Berlin : Max Freiherr von Oppenheim-Stiftung, p. 47, Nr. 97.

    Bossert, Helmuth T. 1951. Altsyrien. Tübingen: E. Wasmuth, no. 474, pp. 32, 147.

    Oppenheim, Max F. von. 1955. Tell Halaf III: Die Bildwerke, cataloged by D. Opitz and edited by A. Moortgat. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, pp. 58f, pl. 41 A 3/56.

    Barnett, Richard D. 1964. "The Gods of Zincirli." In Compte rendu de l'Onzième rencontre assyriologique internationale, 23-29 juin 1962, Leiden, Nederlands Institut voor het Nabije Oosten, p. 84, pl. VI B.

    Crawford, Vaughn E. et al. 1966. Guide to the Ancient Near East Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 23, fig. 35.

    Orthmann, Winfried. 1971. Untersuchungen zur späthetitischen Kunst. Saarbrucker Beiträge zur Altertumskunde, Vol. 8. Bonn: R. Habelt, pl. 11b, no. A3/56, p. 121.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1983. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 59, fig. 33.

    Orthmann, Winfried. 2002. Die aramäisch-assyrische Stadt Guzana : ein Rückblick auf die Ausgrabungen Max von Oppenheims in Tell Halaf. Saarbrücken: Saarbrücker Druckerei und Verlag, pp. 106-108, fig. 82.

    Cholidis, Nadja and Lutz Martin. 2010. Tell Halaf V: im Krieg zerstörte Denkmaler und ihre Restaurirung. Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 368-369.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History