Colossal Winged Bull. This Winged Bull was discovered in the ruins of ancient Khorsabad by the Oriental Institute in 1929.
A colossal human-headed winged bull standing over 16 feet tall and weighing 40 tons guarded the entrance to the palace of king Sargon II of Assyria at his capital city, Khorsabad. The winged bull was called a "lamassu," which was believed to be a spiritual being with the head of a human, the body and ears of a bull, and the wings of an angel or bird. The lamassu was placed on each side of palace entrances to guard against evil spirits. The Winged Bull discovery is important in the study of Biblical Archaeology and confirms the Biblical text. Sargon is not mentioned by name in any literature outside of the Bible and was considered a biblical myth by many scholars. In 1842 the French archaeologist Paul Emil Botta uncovered the ruins of Sargon's palace in Khorsabad revealing him as one of the most powerful monarchs of all time.
"In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it" Isaiah 20:1
One of Sargon's inscriptions reads "In my first year I captured Samaria. I took captive 27,290 people. People of other lands, who never paid tribute, I settled in Samaria."
"...Where can we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape?" Isaiah 20:6
Reign of Sargon II
Date: 721-705 BC.
Height: 495.3 cm (16.25 feet)
Width: 491.4 cm (16.12 feet)
Weight: 40 tons
Khorsabad, Northern Iraq
Sargon Palace, Court VIII
Excavated by: the Oriental Institute 1929
Location: Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago
Item: OIM A7369
Oriental Institute Excerpt
HUMAN-HEADED WINGED BULL
U.S.A.: Chicago - The human-headed winged bull from the palace of King Sargon II at Khorsabad (721-705 B.C.) as restored and exhibited in the galleries of the Oriental Institute Museum.
This colossal sculpture stands about sixteen feet high and weighs forty tons. It was one of many sculptures that guarded the entrance to the throne room of King Sargon II. A protective spirit known as a lamassu, it was shown as a composite being with the head of a human, the body and ears of a bull, and the wings of a bird.
Between 900-630 B.C. the kings of ancient Mesopotamia built great palaces filled with colossal stone reliefs such as this. These massive palaces reflected the power that these rulers wielded over an empire that stretched from Egypt to Iran. King Sargon II ruled Mesopotamia and much of the then-known world from his palace at Khorsabad in northern Iraq.
The Mesopotamians became empire-builders for a variety of reasons. They fought for security, believing that they could protect themselves by expanding into areas where threats might arise. They went to war for economic gain, taxing the peoples they conquered, collecting tribute in land and resources, and taking prisoners to serve as slave labor. Warfare was also justified on the grounds of religious beliefs. Conquest was considered the divine mission of the king, whose role was to bring more land, people, and goods under the jurisdiction of the national god, Ashur.
"Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, And against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, To seize the spoil, to take the prey, And to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Yet he does not mean so, Nor does his heart think so; But it is in his heart to destroy, And cut off not a few nations. For he says, "Are not my princes altogether kings? Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Samaria like Damascus? As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols, Whose carved images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria, As I have done to Samaria and her idols, Shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols?"' Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, "I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks." For he says: "By the strength of my hand I have done it, And by my wisdom, for I am prudent; Also I have removed the boundaries of the people, And have robbed their treasuries; So I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man." Isaiah 10:5-13
Human-headed winged bull
Free Bible - Winged Bull - Two Sided (Biblical Archaeology)
Bible History Links - Biblical Archaeology : Assyria
Biblical Archaeology: Assyria
Winged Assyrian Bull
Archaeology of Ancient Assyria - Archaeological Discoveries
Ancient Babylonia - Nimrud
Archaeology of Ancient Assyria - Austen Henry Layard
Archaeology of Ancient Assyria - Ancient Assyria
HUNTING in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Calah