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Colossal guardian lion, around 865 - 860 BC, Nimrud, temple of Ishtar Sharrat-niphi
This 15-ton lion symbolises Ishtar, Assyrian goddess of war. The inscription gives the name of the temple's builder, Ashurnasirpal II (883 - 859 BC). This lion is one of a pair excavated by Austen Henry Layard in 1850.
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