Royal Reliefs

Royal Reliefs
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The Assyrian kings of the early first millennium BC founded the new capitals and cities of Nineveh, Calah (now called Nimrud), and Dur-Sharrukin (now called Khorsabad) along the northern Tigris River and its tributaries. The emergence of Assyrian kingdoms from 1133 to 609 BC in northern Mesopotamia resulted in an unprecedented flourishing of artistic achievement. The kingdoms’ new palaces were embellished with magnificent wall decorations such as inscribed bas-reliefs, lamassus (statues of human-headed, sphinx-like creatures that were placed in doorways), and glazed bricks. The Assyrian sculptures mostly date from the peak of the Assyrian kingdoms, roughly between 900 and 600 BC. In the same line of artistic accomplishment are the two fragments from decorated staircases at Persepolis, which display the peak of this art in Iran in the fifth century BC.

- Ali Mousavi, Assistant Curator of Ancient Iranian and Near Eastern Art, 2008

View Persepolis Reconstruction

This virtual reconstruction, realized by two German architects, Kourosh Afhami and Wolfgang Gambke, is based on the documentation obtained from the archaeological excavations at the site, especially from the work of the architect Friedrich Krefter, who produced a wealth of reconstruction drawings and two scale models of the great terraces of the Achaemenid palaces, including the great entrance vestibules and interiors. The present reconstruction makes it possible to see LACMA's two fragments in their original context, decorating the outer face of the monumental staircases at Persepolis.

This video was made possible by funds provided by the Farhang Foundation, the Art of the Middle East Council, and Karl Loring.