Assyrian Bronze Bucket with Anthropomorphic Winged Bulls, Circa 800-600 BC
The gently incurving sides decorated with three pairs of confronting stylized rearing winged bulls, with anthropomorphic heads and animal horns, with horizontal bands across the chest, the outstretched wings with incised feather detail, the tails curved in-between the two hind legs, with flowers in the field and a band of incised lattice patterning above and below, the handle attachments styled as characteristic T-shaped birds with rivets through the wings and tail and a suspension loop above for the high arching handle with incised spiral decoration towards the hooked terminals.
To the ancient Assyrians human-headed winged bulls represented the spiritual guardians “Sheedu Lamassu” translated as the “Repellent of Evil”. The figure represented the might of Assyria in that it is endowed with intelligence, strength of a bull and the ability of an eagle in flight.
If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would have a key to the universe.
LEVANTINE Bronze idol
DATE: 2500 BC - 1900 BC
CULTURE: Mesopotamian, Persian
The presence of horns was seen as a sign of supernatural power and divinity throughout the Near East, as horns represented a harnessing of the forces of nature.