Photographer's Note

Today an example of a positive role of museums as saviors of endangered artefacts. I start with an fragment of article from National Geographic:

Nimrud was the first Assyrian capital, founded 3,200 years ago. Its rich decoration reflected the empire's power and wealth. The site was excavated beginning in the 1840s by British archaeologists, who sent dozens of its massive stone sculptures to museums around the world, including New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum in London. Many originals remained in Iraq. The site itself is massive: An earthen wall surrounds 890 acres. The Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities says ISIS bulldozed parts of the site, but the extent of the damage isn't yet clear. Some of the city was never uncovered and remains underground—protected, one hopes.

The sculptures which you see in this picture are a part of quite extensive exhibition of artefacts from Assyrian archeological sites. This particular gateway marked the entrance into the king's private apartments in the magnificent Northwest Palace at Nimrud (near present day Mosul in Iraq). The palace was built by the Neo-Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 BC). The gateway is protected by two human headed winged lions, lamassu. There are at least three ancient Assyrian gates like that in British Museum. This one is the smallest of them but best lit, hence my choice to show it.

If you follow the link above to the National Geographic article, it shows a map of ancient archeological sites demolished by the Islamic State. I suppose we can thank the British Museum that at least some of the rich decorations were protected from the destruction. Below I will give coordinates of the archeological site rather than that of the British Museum.

36.098812, 43.327398

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7392 W: 106 N: 19422] (74375)
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