The head of the sculpture is in the Iraqi National Museum. Now archaeologists have found the almost intact remains of the deity statue in Iraq.
During excavations in northern Iraq, French archaeologists made a spectacular discovery: the researchers came across a 3.8 by 3.9 meter large and largely intact sculpture of an Assyrian deity. He has never made such a huge discovery, said project leader Pascal Butterlin from the Sorbonne University in Paris on Wednesday. Normally something like this only happens in Egypt or Cambodia.
The 2,700-year-old and approximately 18-ton sculpture stood as symbolic protection at the gates of the ancient city of Khorzabad, which is located about 15 kilometers north of today’s metropolis of Mosul. It depicts the Assyrian protective demon Lamassu – a winged bull with a human head. The attention to detail was “unbelievable,” enthused the archaeologist.
Villagers hid statue before ISIS came
According to Butterlin, the only thing missing was the head. It was stolen in the 1990s, but customs officials later confiscated it from smugglers and gave it to the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad . Today it is part of the museum’s collection.The fact that the rest of the sculpture has now appeared is thanks to the residents of what is now the village of Chorzabad, said Butterlin. They hid the body of the protective demon in 2014 before fleeing into government-controlled areas from the advancing Islamic State jihadist militia. This would have saved the statue from destruction.