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Plaster Cast Pergamon Museum, Berlin Original: Alabaster, 9th cent. BCE, Kalhu/Nimrud [Iraq), British Museum (England)
The entrance to the so-called “Palace Room” is guarded by two human-headed hybrid creatures, known in Akkadian as lamassu. The original from which the casts shown here were taken was discovered in the palace of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BCE) in Nimrud and is now in the British Museum. Lamassu have the body of a lion or a bull, they usually have wings, and they wear the horned crown that identifies them as supernatural beings. One foreleg of the creature is shown twice: seen from the front, it appears to be standing still; seen from the side it appears to be walking.