Two of the rooms in the British Museum
I always visit are numbers 7
and 8, ‘Assyria: Nimrud’. Named,
in modern times, for the Biblical Nimrod
the three thousand year old city of Kalhu
is twenty miles south of Mosul. On display
from the palace of Ashurnasirpal
are gypsum panels, carved reliefs, products –
faultlessly sculpted – from a master’s workshop.
They are, for the most part, pristine, and portray
absolute kingship, its circumstance, pomp,
and prisoners’ heads severed after battle.