Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Lamassu

A lamassu is an Assyrian protective deity, often depicted as having a human's head, a body of an ox or a lion, and bird's wings. The Lammasu or Lumasi represent the zodiacs, parent-stars or constellations. Large lamassu figures up to 5 metres high are showpieces in Assyrian sculpture, where they are the largest figures known to have been made.
In art, lamassu were depicted as hybrids, either winged bulls or lions with the head of a human male. The motif of a winged animal with a human head is common to the Near East, first recorded in Ebla around 3000 BC.
The lamassu appears frequently in Mesopotamian art. The lamassu and shedu were household protective spirits of the common Babylonian people, becoming associated later as royal protectors, and were placed as sentinels at entrances.