Bucket Held by an Apkallu, Nimrud

Bucket Held by an Apkallu, Nimrud


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File:Alabaster Bas-relief of Eagle-headed winged Apkallu holding a bucket and cone for religious rituals, from the NW Palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud, Iraq, reign of Ashurnasirpal II, 9th C. BC.jpg

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Apkallu-figure

What is the significance of the genie if not to grant wishes? Very cool. What does the cuneiform writing across this work say? What is the significance of the eagle as opposed to the male figures? What language is on these reliefs? Is it lost to us or can people today understand it? What is a cone and what does it do? What distinguishes this as a genie from other figures in these reliefs? Could you tell us what he's holding please? Could you please explain to me how these reliefs came to the United States? How did they make these carvings in the stone? Also, did they draw on the stone first before carving? The calf muscle design seems to be a repeated motif on the panels. Was this a process to repeat this design on purpose? Did they have a "standard design" for these? What are those buckets/bags? Do you know if there is a significance to the two knives carried by the figures in the Assyrian reliefs? Are the cracks in this work original? Is there a reason why the calf muscle is carved like that? I'm not completely sure what my question is but I've never seen muscles carved like that. Are these reliefs originals? Where do they come from? I know that there are different forms of art such as painting and sculpture, but I don't know if I should call this a sculpture or a different name, please enlighten me. How many reliefs are part of this series? What was the purpose of these reliefs? ¿Este mural se que cuenta una historia sobre los dioses de la Mesopotamia? ¿Qué idioma es? I was curious what type of stone this is made out of? Could the pine cone held in his hand symbolize the pineal gland? Is this Sanskrit? Would visitors to the palace be able to read the inscriptions on these reliefs? Were they literate? How much do each of these things weigh? How did this survive 3000 years? Es original esta tesela y las demás piezas que hay en la sala? How many people who come here ask about all the pine cone imagery? Is this Zoroastrian? What is the Neo-Assyrian period? Why is it found in the ancient Egypt section of the museum? These are so elaborate! Where did they come from? How hard is alabaster to carve to produce such fine lines and patterns? In other words is there a particular reason why it was chosen vs another material? These people are as tall as me: 6"6. Was this their real life size or were the images created larger to appear more God like? I noticed some of these have big cracks in them, how are they held together after all these years? Would these genies, later on, inspire the mythology of the Jinn? How may of these reliefs existed and how many of the survive today? And would these have been at eye level? Does the tree theme appear anywhere else? What kind of paints were used to color these reliefs? Do you know how one became a sculptor? Was there a caste system, were you chosen, was an apprenticeship involved? Who would have seen these images?

Roman Gladiator: 11 Facts You May Not Know

A bout two thousand years ago, fifty thousand people filled the Colosseum in Rome to participate in one of the most fascinating and violent events to ever take place in the ancient world. Gladiator fights were the phenomenon of their day – a celebration of courage, endurance, bravery, and violence against a backdrop of fame, fortune, and social scrutiny. Today, over 6 million people flock every year to admire the Colosseum, but what took place within those ancient walls has long been a matter of both scholarly debate and general interest.


Ancient Anunnaki Water Bucket and another find. Thoughts?

There is more information here. As for the pinecone, i believe it represents the pineal gland/3rd eye esoteric knowlege.

The numerous representations seem more like some actually working tools.

There is more information here. As for the pinecone, i believe it represents the pineal gland/3rd eye esoteric knowlege.

The numerous representations seem more like some actually working tools.

In reference to the items held or in general via the carvings? If so yes, some may have been.


originally posted by: Byrd

originally posted by: Harte
The pic in the OP of the two genies anointing the tree is a good example of this.
That piece isn't even Sumerian - it's Assyrian.
The heavily muscled calves give it away every time.

Nor are the two figures "Anunnakis." They are both Assyrian versions of what the Sumerians called Abgal and the Babylonians called Apkallu.
The Abgal in Sumer were seven agents of Anu sent to help humans by giving them science, agriculture, writing, etc. It's a myth repeated in other religions, including the Greek.
In Babylonia, the first Apkallu was a human being - he was a fisherman by the name of Adapa.

In any case, these mythical creatures were NOT gods at all.

Some scholars put them as the origin of both the Djinn myths and the Angel myths of the Levant.

I really should take some Assyriology courses. It's posts like yours that make me realize just how woefully ignorant I am. Hopefully I can find something on Coursera or similar. I love studying these kinds of things.

LOL!
I meant the post for other readers, assuming you knew all that already. In fact, I was just rereading it and cringed because it looked like I was trying to school Byrd!


originally posted by: Byrd

originally posted by: Harte

originally posted by: misskat1
a reply to: Byrd

Most people Ive shown the image to, see honey bees next to two pillars.

Ive also recently read that they are experimenting with creating electric with salt water ponds in Isreal. The ponds in this area are salt ponds. It seems to me that if the lines that make up the honey bee images were made with raw ore, rich in silver or copper or even gold, then yes there is a possibility of electrical generation. At least that is what I have been told by people who experiment with generating electric.

It's called a galvanic cell and results in one of the two metals being corroded.
Every time.

I don't think gold is very good for this, though. as I recall there are many other things that are far better. Nobody with an advanced battery technology would use gold because it performs poorly. No one with a simple battery technology would use it because it's somewhat scarce.
Any pair of dissimilar metal will work so it would be stupid to use gold anyway.
But gold would produce galvanic corrosion when paired with certain other metals. Check the blog about galvanic corrosionhere.

This site has the electrochemical series, a listing of metals in order of electron potential. Any two in the series will react galvanically, but the pairs of metals that are far apart in the series will react more than the pairs that are close to each other in the series.


Record-Setting Sale Of An Ancient Assyrian Stone Relief Sparks Looting Fears In Iraq

Assyrian artifacts are displayed at Iraq's National Museum in Baghdad in 2016. The $30 million sale of a 3,000-year-old Assyrian relief is sparking concern that similar artifacts will be looted. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

Assyrian artifacts are displayed at Iraq's National Museum in Baghdad in 2016. The $30 million sale of a 3,000-year-old Assyrian relief is sparking concern that similar artifacts will be looted.

Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

A bidding war at Christie's this week sent the price of a 3,000-year-old stone relief from $7 million to more than $28 million, setting a world record for ancient Assyrian artworks and raising fears among some archaeologists that soaring prices will fuel the market for looted antiquities as well as legally acquired ones.

The 7-foot bas-relief from the palace of Nimrud in present-day Iraq was acquired in the 19th century, long before there were laws prohibiting the wholesale removal and export of archaeological treasures.

Christie's described it as "the finest example of Assyrian art to have come onto the market in decades."

⭕ A rare, 3,000-year-old sculpture sold for $31 million at Christie's New York Wednesday, shattering the previous world record for Assyrian art. The sculpture tripled its pre-sale estimate of $10 million, and the buyer remains anonymous.
ℹ️ https://t.co/oXCJbjNCEe pic.twitter.com/CYRE9ujdiP

&mdash Archaeology in Iraq (@AinIraq) November 1, 2018

The price was thought to have reached as high as it did partly because the piece — brought to Virginia in 1860 and one of the earliest known pieces of ancient art imported to the U.S. — has a clear provenance.

The gypsum slab, depicting a protective deity, is one of hundreds of reliefs that were removed from the palace of Nimrud near Mosul in the 1800s. These are now spread around museums and institutions from Kansas City, Mo., to Kyoto.

But only a few pieces from Nimrud are on display in Iraqi museums — and what was left of the site was smashed and looted by ISIS after it occupied northern Iraq four years ago.

A picture from November 2016 shows a relief at the archaeological site of Nimrud a few days after Iraqi forces retook the ancient city from ISIS. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

A picture from November 2016 shows a relief at the archaeological site of Nimrud a few days after Iraqi forces retook the ancient city from ISIS.

Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

ISIS destroyed pre-Islamic sites as idolatrous but is also believed to have smuggled out pieces for sale on the black market to fund its operations.

This week's multi-million-dollar Christie's sale, some experts warn, may lead to more instances of looting.

"This is going to spark a whole bunch of new looting because the prices of antiquities will go up," says McGuire Gibson, professor of Mesopotamian archaeology at the University of Chicago. "Besides the stuff that was destroyed in Nimrud, I'm sure parts of it were taken out and are on the international market . It's going to make the price of all Mesopotamian antiquities go up."

Gibson says fragments of other Assyrian palaces, along with cuneiform tablets and cylinder seals, have increasingly been showing up on the market with fake documents showing the country of origin.

"There have been bits and pieces of broken reliefs that have been stolen out of these places over the last 10 years," he says.

"A matter of principle" for Iraq

As the auction unfolded at Christie's in New York on Tuesday, two potential buyers placed bids by phone, bidding against two others in the auction room and a preexisting bid on the books.

Bids started at about $7 million, and over the next five minutes increased until they reached more than $28 million, bid by one of those in the room on behalf of an anonymous buyer. The buyer's premium paid to Christie's boosted the total price to almost $31 million.

The relief's seller was the Virginia Theological Seminary, an Episcopalian seminary that was given three Nimrud reliefs in 1860 by Dr. Henri Byron Haskell, an American missionary.

The unusually well-preserved relief depicts a winged genie or minor deity known as an apkallu. He has daggers tucked into his tunic and holds a small bucket in one hand and a cone-shaped object in the other, signifying fertility and protection for the king.

The Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II reigned in the late 9th century B.C. The palace he built at Nimrud was one of the largest in antiquity, reflecting his conquests of much of the ancient Near East.

A cuneiform inscription on the relief calls him a fierce monarch and merciless hero — a "king of kings."

The Iraqi government had earlier appealed to Christie's to stop the sale, arguing the relief was part of the heritage and patrimony of the Iraqi people.

An Iraqi soldier looks at destruction caused by ISIS at the archaeological site of Nimrud in November 2016, a few days after Iraqi forces retook the ancient city. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

An Iraqi soldier looks at destruction caused by ISIS at the archaeological site of Nimrud in November 2016, a few days after Iraqi forces retook the ancient city.

Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

"It's a matter of principle, similar to the Elgin Marbles," Fareed Yasseen, Iraq's ambassador to the United States, tells NPR.

The Elgin Marbles are marble sculptures that stood in the Acropolis of Athens in ancient Greece. They were removed and shipped to Britain in the early 1800s, while Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire.

Christie's international head of antiquities G. Max Bernheimer told NPR by email that the auction house had "completely" responded to Iraq's request to stop the sale with documentation that the piece had been legally imported.

A "difficult decision"

The Virginia seminary said it made "the difficult decision" to sell one of its three Nimrud reliefs after realizing last year it could not afford the insurance premiums for all of them.

"Now that the relief has been featured at Christie's, people think of it primarily as an art object, but for Virginia Theological Seminary the panels have always been considered scholarly resources," Dean Ian Markham told NPR in emailed responses to questions. "For instance, the inscription across the relief is in Akkadian, which is the oldest attested Semitic language and key to ancient Biblical studies . like any ancient text, it was awe-inspiring for those who studied it."

Markham says the remaining reliefs are in temporary storage until the seminary can build a secure display area for them. The seminary has said it would use the funds from the relief's sale for scholarships to increase the diversity of its students.

Five other Assyrian reliefs are at Bowdoin College in Maine, where Haskell, the 19th century American missionary who donated them, studied medicine.

The provenance of the Assyrian relief provides a glimpse into the freewheeling world of archaeology in the 19th century, when English archaeologist Austen Henry Layard was given permission by the Ottoman sultan to excavate Nimrud and ship off whatever he found to patrons and friends.

"There was no law"

Haskell, who obtained at least eight of the reliefs sent to the U.S., was a physician and missionary in Mosul in the late 1850s, says Markham. He says it's not known how Haskell knew Layard, but there is documentation that the missionary wrote to a faculty member at his alma mater, Bowdoin College, to ask if they would be interested in the reliefs. The Bowdoin faculty member's brother was teaching at the Virginia Theological Seminary at the time and said the seminary would also be interested. The requirement was that both colleges raise the money for shipping.

"Layard did give quite a lot of these to people," says London-based Iraqi archaeologist Lamia al-Gailani. "There was no law — he was allowed to take them and to do whatever he wanted with them. That's how he funded the excavations."

Many Christians at the time viewed the discovery of the ruins of Nimrud, known as "Kalhu" in antiquity and "Calah" in the Old Testament, and other Assyrian palaces as proof that Biblical events were real.

The June 1858 edition of the Southern Churchman newspaper contains a fundraising appeal for the shipping costs needed to transport the reliefs. Although it refers to artworks from Ninevah, the reference is actually to the Nimrud reliefs, according to the seminary.

"We learn that the slabs can be obtained . through the kindness of a Presbyterian missionary at Mosul, opposite Ninevah, by the payment for the cost of freight, which is $75 a piece, from Ninevah, down the Tigris to Baghdad, Bombay and thence to Boston," the 1858 notice reads.

It notes that "most of the Northern Colleges have already obtained slabs."

Another Nimrud relief ended up on the wall of a snack shop in a school in Dorset, England. It was sold in 1994 at Christie's in London for 7.7 million British pounds and is now in a museum in Japan.

When the American Civil War broke out and the Virginia seminary was used as a hospital for Union troops, the reliefs were removed to a nearby warehouse for safekeeping.

It wasn't until the end of the 19th century that the Ottomans put in place an antiquities law, requiring part of the findings be sent to Istanbul to obtain permission for export. Iraq's first antiquities law came into force in 1924.

Lingering questions

Christie's said it had consulted with law enforcement authorities on the legality of the sale before Tuesday's auction. The auction catalogue noted that the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Sultan ruling Iraq at the time had given Layard permission to export anything he wished.

"Documentation detailed in Christie's sale catalogue clearly establishes the item's provenance, and literature references confirm its consistent presence in Virginia from 1860 forward," it said.

But Gailani says there appears to be a lingering question about whether the relief was acquired by Haskell from Layard directly or from someone else after the archaeologist left Iraq. If it were the latter, it's not clear that that the permission from Ottoman authorities to Layard would have applied to that piece.

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, which later acquired some of the Nimrud reliefs, says Layard left Mesopotamia, present-day Iraq, "for good" in 1851. Christie's says "the frieze was acquired in Mosul in 1859" by Haskell from Layard.

"There could be a question mark about it," Gailani says. "There was a possibility it wasn't Layard who gave it to them and the piece was removed several years after Layard left Nimrud."

Gailani says while "you can't reverse history," she believes it is still worth protesting the sale.

"I'm not sure there will be a chance of getting it back," she says, "but at least it's not just Christie's version we should accept and the Iraqi government should make a little bit of a fuss about it."


After $31 Million Sale of 3,000-Year-Old Assyrian Relief, Experts and Artists Denounce Christie’s

An Assyrian gypsum relief of a Winged Genius. Reign of Ashurnasirpal II, circa 883-859 BC 7 ft 4 in x 6 ft 5 in (223.5 x 195.5 cm). Estimate on request. (image courtesy © Christie’s Images Limited 2018)

At a Christie’s antiquities auction on October 30, while an exceedingly rare Assyrian relief sold for $31 million, decolonization protesters demonstrated outside. The sale more than tripled the artifact’s initial estimate of $10 million, attracting the attention of experts and activists who say the auction is an insult to the Iraqi people who have already suffered a long history of violence sustained by Western imperialism.

The work is one of three carved gypsum slabs sold to an American missionary, who gave them to the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1859. According to a Christie’s press release, the 7-foot-tall relief on the auction block once adorned the walls of the massive Northwest Palace commissioned by King Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 BCE) at Nimrud in modern-day Iraq. The royal palace was one of the largest in antiquity, reflecting Ashurnasirpal’s status as the most powerful ruler of one of the largest empires in history, spanning much of Mesopotamia and beyond.

The frieze was initially acquired in Mosul, Iraq in 1859 by an American missionary named Dr. Henri Byron Haskell, from the English archaeologist Sir Austen Henry Layard, who had unearthed the royal palace at Nimrud. Haskell also sent five other examples to Bowdoin College in Maine, and another which is now housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other institutions and approximately 60 museums around the world contain reliefs from Ashurnasirpal’s palace, including the British Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery.

Advocates of Iraqi sovereignty have consistently called for museums to return objects they consider tantamount to their nation’s cultural heritage. The reluctance of these museums to negotiate restitution mirrors Greece’s longtime feud with the United Kingdom over the British Museum’s ownership of the Elgin Marbles from the Athenian Parthenon.

Two members of the Iraqi Transnational Collective quietly protested the Christie’s antiquities auction, saying online that the sale of “an Assyrian artifact in a New York City art auction is another way to sustain, reproduce and support a long history of western colonial plunder, looting and stealing epitomized by the US-led invasion of Iraq. Cultural heritage is not a commodity.”

Another anti-colonial protest group, called Decolonize This Place, supported the collective’s actions and reposted their statement on Instagram.

The Ashurnasirpal relief depicts a Winged Genius, a deity also known as an Apkallu, holding a bucket and a cone-shaped object, signifying fertility and protection for the king. The Apkallu has feathered wings and wears elaborately detailed robes, a horned headdress, an earring, a necklace, and armlets, and has two daggers and a whetstone tucked into fabric folds at his waist.

The work was most recently on display in the Virginia Theological Seminary’s library until a 2017 audit revealed its value. The institution reportedly decided to sell the stone slab to cover the cost of the increased insurance premiums of the remaining two pieces it owns, and to support the seminary’s scholarship fund.

Christie’s is often cautious about questions of legality when it comes to selling items of antiquity. A spokesman for Christie’s told CNN that while the auction house was “sensitive to claims for restitution by source countries,” it had been reassured by law enforcement authorities that there was no legal basis for a cultural property claim in this case. But a legal sale is not necessarily ethical.

Zainab Bahrani, a Columbia University professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology who was a senior advisor to Iraq’s Ministry of Culture in 2004, finds the Christie’s sale reprehensible. In an email to Hyperallergic, she stated that “The Virginia Theological Seminary has been incredibly insensitive to the suffering of the Iraqi people who have endured horrendous violence and seen their heritage obliterated under ISIS, including the demolition of the Assyrian palace at Nimrud, from which this relief was originally taken.”

“That ISIS destruction,” she noted, “very likely raised the market price of the relief. The seminary has thus profited directly from the suffering and loss that we have endured. While several thousand of our women and children are still missing and unaccounted for, and the rubble of our blown up heritage still lies all around us, the utter callousness of the sale is astounding.”

Michael Rakowitz, an Iraqi-American conceptual artist who also teaches at Northwestern University, is similarly outraged by the Christie’s sale. Ironically, he has been working on a reconstruction of Room Z from Nimrud’s Northwest Palace that highlights the connections between the plundering of such ancient sites by the West and the destruction of antiquities by ISIS.

Back in June, Rakowitz premiered his reconstruction of Room N from the palace at Art Basel.

“I stand in solidarity with the Iraqi people and Assyrians worldwide condemning this sale of the Assyrian relief that was excavated from the Northwest Palace of Nimrud and demanding its return to Iraq,” the artist-professor said in an email to Hyperallergic.

“Once again the voracious appetite for the cultural heritage of the east by western institutions and private collectors is made apparent. If only the lives of the people fleeing the areas near these recently razed archaeological sites in places like Nimrud were quite as valuable to the West. Instead, they are vulgarly dehumanized as invaders rather than being welcomed as immigrants or refugees.”

The particular relief that Christie’s auctioned off belongs to the palace’s Room S, which connected a public central courtyard to the king’s private chambers. The image of the Winged Genius, Apkallu, was repeated across these walls again and again. The cuneiform text tells of Ashurnasirpal’s ancestry, his military triumphs, the extent of his empire and the construction of the Northwest Palace.


Angels images in Art History: An Angelic Journey through time

In the summer of 2002 I was invited by the Denver Sculpture Society to show my art at the "Joy of Sculpture" Exhibit, on Columbus Day weekend at the Colorado Historical Museum.

The event was a reminder of the richness of sculptural talent that is available to those of you who have an interest in classical art forms. As fate and the muses would have it my exhibit at the Museum was right next to Rik Sargent’s personal exhibit, which had a heavy focus on angel images. My personal background and early training in the arts was steeped in art history and the study of classical themes. The catch is when I lived in Sedona Arizona one of my collectors an author Don Pendleton and his wife Linda, who wrote the unforgettable book “To Dance with Angels”, had asked me to do an angel sculpture for their art collection.


Byzantine Image of the Angel Michael 1000 AD

For those of you who do not know me, I have a personality and mind that tends to be somewhat obsessive compulsive in its basic make up. The effect of Don and Linda asking me to create an angel image was I made a study of the history of angel images, which resulted in covering the Iconography of angel imagery from pre-dynastic Egypt to modern times and tracing the evolution of similar themes through the far eastern cultures.

Through the years I have done many exhibits and met thousands of people within the context of showing my art to the public. Working in the environment of these exhibits resulted in my coming to the conclusion and realization that a viewer’s reactions to any given artwork are often very subjective and depend entirely on their personal background and experience as it relates to the art on display. Within the context of major art exhibits, an artist’s work can be seen to be primarily a pneumonic devise or external stimulus which stimulates the viewer’s subjective experience while viewing the art. This concept and idea leads naturally to the truism that artists as creators can literally transform the experience people have within the environment in which their art is displayed.

At the Joy of Sculpture exhibit these two axiomatic truths were quickly to become a hard-core reality for my own personal experience at the exhibit. For example it soon became apparent I couldn't pass through or be in Rik Sargent’s exhibit space without a flood of angel imagery and ideas entering my mind from my subconscious. The net effect of Rik’s exhibit on me personally was to trigger an outpouring of ideas which seemed to come automatically without prompting, well at least the art seemed to be doing the prompting. From my personal point of view the result of Rick’s exhibit was that his sculptures brought back the memories of my study of angel Iconography and Christian Icons. The images and ideas flooding into my conscious mind were of concepts I had come across during my overview study of angel iconography. It was Rik's art that was stimulating this response from my memory.

This article is an attempt to share some of these memories with the readers of this article.

To put things in chronological order, the earliest image in art history which I could find that seems to relate strongly to our modern Iconography of an angel was created 6000 years ago during the Naquada period of pre-dynastic Egypt in approximately 4000 BC. The Dancing Goddess images can be found both in pottery and petroglyphs in the Egyptian Eastern desert next to long established trading routes between the Red sea and the settlement of Naquada in the Nile river valley near Luxor.

This theme, The Dancing Goddess, in pottery clearly shows a link to an animistic version of the dancing goddess which is a combination of a bird with a human female body.


Naqada Dancing Goddess
Pottery 4000 BCE

The Dancing Goddess theme with hands over her head can also be found in the Cypro Minoan and Malta cultures of the same historic time frame suggesting possible seafaring trading links between the Nile River valley and the Mediterranean island cultures.

The time frame for these seafaring links dates to at least 2000 years before the immigration of Abraham from Ur and at least 2500 years before the Hebrew's Biblical Exodus. This earliest sculptural angel image is called The Dancing Goddess and is an animistic bird goddess with her wings held above her head. This most primal and basic imagery remained fixed within the Egyptian culture and has evolved into several different forms in present time.

The iconography of the Gods in Egyptian culture nearly all had animistic origins and held strong associations with the primal forces of nature. The female body with bird head and/or wings evolved over time into the lexicon of feminine goddesses in the pantheon of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses and eventually evolved into the goddess images of Isis, and her sister Goddesses by the middle Egyptian Culture dating to approximately 1800 BC.

The iconography of Isis and her sister goddesses remained the dominant goddess image in the Egyptian culture until early Christian times, that is until about 600 CE. This means that this imagery and its mythologies evolved over and lasted an amazing 5,000 years of the human experience.

In 1998 by chance I was ask to do an interpretation of what the "Ark of the Covenant" may have looked like by a pastor in Denver. My personal approach to this problem was to put the concept of the ark into its chronological and geographical context in art history in order to interpolate what it may have looked like.

This project was a genuine challenge and I felt it deserved its own thesis because of the interest level in the subject. You can read my thesis and conclusions by using the links in the image below and the red text links.


The likely appearance of the "Ark of the Covenant" Based on its Chronological and Geographical
placement in the evolution of Angel iconography.

Purchase this Image as print

See Chester Comstock's thesis and research.

VIsit: To Dance With Angels

By 875 BCE similar winged figures called “Apkallu” could be found in the city of Nimrud in Assyria in sculptural relief on the palace walls. The winged figures within the Egyptian culture had been primarily of the feminine gender however the Nimrud guardian angels were primarily male in gender.


Angel of Nimrud 875 BCE

cylinder seal from Babylonia 8th century BC
image from the Peidmont Morgan Library NY NY

The Greeks through their contacts with Egypt had adopted the Isis image and by the Classical period, approximately 500 BC, had transmuted the theme into the Goddess Nike. The Egyptian portrayal of the Bah (the spirit of a man) was also borrowed by the Greeks and became the representation of the classical literary theme of the Sirens.



Bronze Image of Nike from the 6th Century BCE
To Dance With Angels

The Greek Nike image is the basis for the winged sculpture of Victory on the prow of a ship which is on display in the Louvre in Paris France.



Victory, "Nike" Classical Greek Statue
550 BC

Hellenistic Greek (Angel) Nike
To Dance With Angels

Greek Winged Figure Earring 330-300 BC

The sculptural image of the Classical/Hellenistic Greek winged Goddess Nike and her son Eros remain the historic and classical basis for Christian angel iconography used from the 1st century AD until modern times, having changed little over the last 2600 years. These Christian Icons, angels and cherubim, had their Greek and Roman counterparts before the Christan Era. The Greek and Roman tradition in the portrayal and use of the Nike/Victory icon were at least 6oo years old by the time Nike/victory was adopted by the Byzantine Church as the standard depiction of an angel.

Attic Pottery Angel 4-5th century BCE

It may be surprising that the Hebrew culture is not the primary source of the modern standard for angel imagery but that the modern concepts are primarily Greek in their origins and those concepts were derived from earlier Egyptian influences. The Hebrews emphasis on an iconoclastic approach to their worship seems to have preempted making sculptural and artistic representations of angels within their culture. The Greeks on the other hand had no such limitations placed on their artistic expression.

Angels of Death 515 BC Greek Krater

The Nike iconographic theme was repeated in the Roman Culture as the winged Goddess Victory and was prominent throughout the Roman Culture. My favorite example of this theme in Roman sculpture is the personal portrait of Augustus the absolute ruler of Rome from 3o BCE- 14 CE. Both the Roman version of Nike and Eros were prominantly used in the art depicting the divine rulership of Augustus Ceasar.


Example of the use of an angel
image in the Roman Culture

Victory holding a palm frond and laurel wreath
Octavian/Augustus- AR denarius, 29-27 B.C. But both the obverse and
reverse of this coin feature types celebrating Octavian's
victory over Antony and Cleopatra.


Augustus Gold Victory Coin


See: AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS Victory proceeding General Sherman 1903

Another example of the roman use of the classical greek image of Nike/Victory is the illustration of Tiberius Caesar with Victory depicted in the upper lefthand corner of the cameo. This celebration of triumph and crucifixion of his enemies is the closest image to the crucifixion of Christ that the romans made for themselves. Although the men being crucified and the families being humiliated are enemy soldiers the techniques and attitudes toward their enemies is uniquely Roman within the first century CE. The image of Victory is common in connection with triumphs and their commemoration and depictions in Roman art, a cannon and standard for the historic time frame.


Tiberius celebrating a Victory with his family Roman 1st century CE ,
An image of Victory can bee seen in the upper left hand corner to the rear.

The early Christian Church, particularly the Byzantine Church between 400 AD and 600 AD, was responsible for adapting and transmuting the Greek and Roman goddess imagery into the lexicon of Christian iconographies in angel art. It is my personal opinion that the development of Byzantine Angel Iconography was one of the most creative periods within the history of angel art bringing many new visual interpretations of angels to the forefront. For example the Iconographic development of the six winged angel image of the seraphim can be dated to the Byzantine period as well as many other imaginative adaptations.

This image of multiple winged human figures was not without precedent the idea was illustrated in Egypt as early as the 15th century BC and in Mesopotamia in the 9the century BC.


Seraphim Mosaic from Greek Orthodox Church


Seraphim Sculpture Anglican
Church 18th Century England
Adapted from the Byzantine tradition

During the European middle ages of 1100-1500 AD angel imagery changed little from its Byzantine origins except for the individual artists style and talent. During the middle ages the literary context of the European culture became replete with angel lore in which stories about both Light and Dark Angels became the explanations for almost every natural phenomenon.


Russian Orthodox Church 16th Century

The Italian Renaissance saw the improvement of artistic techniques and the resurrection of lost art forms and classical themes particularly in sculpture but the basic angel images changed little from their Hellenistic Greek forms. Renaissance Italy was firmly implanted with the Greek and Roman influences in its preferences for its artistic imagery. This historic period was marked with a dramatic renewal in the arts and the application of the basic sciences and scientific procedures. The primary source for these influences were the Greek and Roman ancient world.

The die was cast for the conventions of Angel Iconography in the hellenistic Greek period and these remained consistent for hundreds of years and now for several millennia. The Baroque and Rococo periods of art found the heaven on earth theme taken to new levels of richness and complexity. This trend ended to a large degree with the humanistic French Revolution but continued to some degree until the early 20th century.

"Heaven on Earth" theme as developed
in 16th Century Toledo Spain, this theme was heightened
and further developed in the Baroque and Rococo traditions. A distinct departure from the Gothic style of medieval Europe

The ascension of the Prophet Muhammad
to heaven from 16th century Iran

In Islamic tradition from at least the 14th century, the Buraq myth, combines elements of ancient depictions of griffins, sphinxes, and centaurs, as well as angels and became a favorite subject of Persian miniature painting. The story is of the ascension of the Prophet Muhammad to heaven. The mythological creature called the Buraq was depicted as Muhammad's means of access into heaven.

Yoshitoshi Taiso, 1839-1892 ghost of Sasaki Kiyotaka
from the series "Tsuki Hyakushi"

Not to be ignored are the Japanese artists who illustrated both benevolent and evil spirits in their art. The Japanese had a wonderful and matter of fact relationship with the spiritual world and this is reflected in their mythology and literature. One of the most poignant of these images is from the series "Tsuki Hyakushi" (One Hundred Aspects of the Moon) the maiden Iga-no-Tsubone encounters the ghost of Sasaki Kiyotaka. Walking the world as a troubled spirit he complained to her that he had been accused of conducting an ill fated military campaign and was forced to commit suicide. Tsubone calmly appeased him and he never appeared to her again. This encounter is illustrated in a way that is both beautiful and dramatic, one of the best designs of the One Hundred Aspects of the Moon series.



The Sherman Monument was AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS
largest and most technically demanding project
installed 1903 in Central Park New York city

The romantic and Victorian Era created some of the most ostentatious contributions to the visions of angels with Queen Victoria's memorial, nothing has been done since that compares to her's and prince Albert's memorial.

Queen Victoria's Memorial erected 1911

The trend toward the ostentatious mostly ended with the humanistic French Revolution and the introduction of more scientific paradigms of thinking. However the Victorian era proved once again that you can flaunt it if you have it regardless of good taste and common sense.

Romantic imagery from 19th century artist
Herbert James Draper "The Lament to Icarus"

Upon examination little changed in basic angel iconography during the period from Hellenistic Greek representations of Nike to the Romantic Era except for the wider application of the basic visual concepts to additional literary and religious themes. The basic concept was used in all subsequent periods of European Art. This trend continued and found the reconstituted classical image applied to interests in mythological, historic and Biblical themes. The imagery was nearly universally accepted and applied by different artists according to local tastes and individual style. However the accepted concept of what represents an angel had its roots with the Hellenistic Greeks and has had a run of popular acceptance for an amazing 2500 years.

Some of the World War I Victory Medals Issued by the Allied nations
WW I was called the war to save civilization


Anselm Kiefer's Book with Wings (1994)
Collection of the Fort Worth Museum of Modern art



This image is to help you judge scale
To Dance With Angels


Victoria's Secrets Commercial use of the Angel Image for the promotion
and sale of their lingerie is less than forgettable.

The earliest beginnings of winged human figures started even before the Osiris myth and with the Osiris Myth and the Egyptian book of the dead have lasted an incredible 6000 years of the human experience. The nike/victory/Christian Angel image is a relative newcomer and is firmly imbedded in the western cultures influenced by the Greek and the Romantic languages. . This imagery is approaching its 27ooth birthday a mere child compared to the Egyptian record.

As we enter the new Millennium, with an understanding of relativity and as science pushes back the edges of time and the known Cosmos with deep space telescopes it may be prudent to suggest a greater paradigm for the perception of an angel image. As our ancestors drew inspiration from nature and their know universe for the creation of goddess and angel images, with a little imagination it is easy connect the dots and to find the image of a "Goddess of the night sky" (Nut) , a "Nike", a "Winged Victory", an "Icarus" or an "Arch Angel" in the cosmic dust and stars of the Orion nebula M42_43 where universes and planetary systems, similar to that of our own sun, are currently being born.


Star Dust Angel in the Orion nebulas M43-M42

Comet Hale Bopp illustrates how comets may have
been a significant inspiration for the Egyptian winged goddesses
and the Greek concept of Nike. In the ancient world comets
were considered to be messengers and portents of important events.


The Sumerian Tree of Life

Depictions of the Sumerian Tree of Life has befuddled ancient astronaut theorists, many of whom speculate every few months over what they call “ handbags.” The Assyrian bas-relief from the walls of the Northwest Palace of Ashurbanipal II (reigned 883-859 BC) at Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), c. 870 – 860 BC, shows two Apkallu gods flanked, each with a pinecone and a situla (water bucket), representing the food and water of immortality. This simple yet definitive answer was known to the mythologists of the 19th century, well established decades before the appearance of ancient astronaut theory.

Assyrian relief carving from Nimrud, 883–859 BC, depicting a so-called handbag. ( Metropolitan Museum of Art )

Top Image: Many stories from mythology are misinterpreted. ‘Norandino and Lucina Discovered by the Ogre’ (1624) by Giovanni Lanfranco. ( Public Domain ) Image of the Sumerian god Enki. Modern reproduction of a detail of the Adda seal (c. 2300 BC). ( Public Domain ) Assyrian relief carving from Nimrud, 883–859 BC, depicting a so-called handbag. ( Metropolitan Museum of Art ) ‘Eve Tempted by the Serpent’ (1799-1800) by William Blake. ( Public Domain )

Priscilla Vogelbacher is an independent, autodidact fine artist, writer and researcher. She is the author of ‘ Hallowed Be Thy Name: Lucifer, Origins & Revelation’ , available on Amazon and at the Harvard University Library. She has been on shows and podcasts including Midnight in the Desert, Beyond the Darkness, Late Night in the Midlands and The Sage of Quay Radio Hour. Her expertise is Mesopotamian mythology, though she studies the myths and legends of all cultures. For more information and to see her work, visit www.beautifulnightmarestudios.com.

Priscilla Vogelbacher

Priscilla Vogelbacher is an independent, autodidact fine artist, writer and researcher. She is the author of Hallowed Be Thy Name: Lucifer, Origins & Revelation, available on Amazon and at the Harvard University Library. She has been on shows and. Read More


Ancient Anunnaki Water Bucket and another find. Thoughts?

2 dissimilar conductors immersed in an electrolyte forms a basic battery. The 2 electrodes must be separated from each other or what you have is a short circuit so different metals in the container wall is not going to work. The intrinsic open circuit voltage is a function of the metals used as electrodes EG zinc + carbon gives around 1.5V per cell, lithium cells are 3.7V, lead-acid 2V etc etc.

That container could produce a voltage if a (eg zinc, iron, carbon etc) rod was suspended inside it and it was filled with lemon juice, salt water, vinegar or basically any electrolyte. The same could said of any metal container.

Stick 2 different metals in a lemon and you have a battery for example.

Was the image saved from here?:
www.artifactcollectors.com. (Was posted 3 years ago there. Same exact pic.)

Although. that one looks like an old pot, but with Sumerian art RECENTLY engraved on it, lol.

It also has a rim separated into 12 segments, a common motif representing either the Persian zodiac or, during the Islamic period, the 12 caliphs.

Byrd may well be correct in that it could be modern. At any rate it is certainly not of the "Anunnaki".

This is intriguing! There are also many myths that stem from Sumerian culture.

You clicked onto my own blog. Thank you for the information. I will compare it to other images and see if I can pin point the era. It would answer a lot of questions if it was authentic.

There is no "era" for "Annunaki" as people/culture. They were a group of lesser deities during some periods. "Alternative" culture has popularized the idea that they were real aliens, etc but there's actually no trace of such a culture and no evidence of super-advanced technology. This problem is compounded by people who haven't studied Assyriology identifying all sorts of things as "Annunaki (including various spirits, kings, and other things not related to them.)

And then there's the hoaxers and "pious fraudsters" with all sorts of fakes out there.

This is a relatively modern piece. It may have originally been Russian or Ukranian. Look very closely at all the details on all the figures. Mesopotamians wear kilts (not trousers) and when they are depicted there's a great deal of attention to their musculature. They used a set number of poses. They did not use "onion domes" as symbols for anything. Their artifacts do not have fluted edges.

I'd also say that the gold looks a bit faked (the wrong color) but that's probably just my computer.

This thing really is modern-ish and is more likely to represent a king and a legend/fairy tale.

Here is what a reputable auction looks like
* it's clearly identified where the thing came from
* what it is
* what the material is
* the dates (approximate)
* where it's been written about (literature)
* a really GOOD catalog will have a bit about the subject or other things of note (as this has.)

Artifacts can be extremely valuable - but without the information above they are worth very little. At some time the new owner might want to donate it to a museum or something else and the documentation makes the object a very fat tax deduction. If they or their heirs want to sell the object, this documentation is the difference between a few hundred dollars and tens of thousands of dollars.

If an auction doesn't have that, the authenticity is doubtful at best and the objects are not very valuable (there are exceptions but it's expensive to get something correctly authenticated.)


Watch the video: Hyperborei - Nimrud - Feat Gaby Nekro