The lamassu is a celestial being from Mesopotamian mythology. Human above the waist and a bull below the waist, it also has the horns and the ears of a bull. It appears frequently in Mesopotamian art, sometimes with wings. The lamassu and shedu were household protective spirits of the common Babylonian people. Later during the Babylonian period they became the protectors of kings as well always placed at the entrance. Statues of the bull-man were often used as gatekeepers.In art, lamassu were depicted as hybrids, winged bulls or lions with the head of a human male. There are still surviving figures of lamassu in bas-relief and some statues in museums, most notably in the British Museum in London, Louvre in Paris, National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Pergamon Museum in Berlin and the Oriental Institute, Chicago. They are generally attributed to the ancient Assyrians. The lamassu is at the opening of the city, so that everyone who enters sees it. From the front it appears to be standing and from the side walking. This was intentionally done to make it seem powerful. The lamassu in real life is very tall. In this case the lamassu is being used as a symbol of power. The motif of a winged animal with a human head is common to the near east, first recorded in Ebla, around 3000 BCE. The first distinct lamassu motif appeared in Assyria during the reign of Tilgath Pilser

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