Photos of Assyrian Artifacts
Ancient Near East section, British Museum, London
I went to the British Museum on Sunday 2 June 2002, during the Jubilee weekend, it was a good time to go because
the weather was very sunny and the world cup was on, and there weren't any Jubilee activities except for church bell ringing, and under such conditions, the natives in these islands tend to be either watching footy on tellie in pubs or sunbathing, and so the museum was relatively uncrowded. There were only some Asian tour groups and American tourists.
I spent the day in the Ancient Near East galleries in the West wing of the museum, taking photos of the Assyrian exhibits until my last set of camera batteries ran out. After my first photo, i got told off by a guard for using a tripod (i didn't know you are not allowed to), so the rest are taken without tripod and may be a bit blur and shaky as i took them mostly under ambient light, wihout flash.
It was very interesting to see things made by the Assyrians, the people to whom the prophet Jonah was sent. The impression i got was that they were a very powerful and proud people, and fond of violence, which is not unlike some cultures that we see today. The amount of blood and gore depicted in the bas reliefs that decorated their palace walls would be worthy of a modern Hollywood movie. I also saw poignant scenes from the siege of Lachish, an Israelite city, depicted on bas reliefs from the palace of king Sennacherib in Nineveh-- God spared that city, and later they went on to be the rod of his chastisement to punish Israel with destruction.
Links to relevant British Museum websites are given at the bottom of this page.
The following are the photos i took. Those of you who have the book may wish to refer to the chronology / time line on page 20 and page 21 of The Bible in the British Museum by T. C. Mitchell (British Museum Press, 1988). This chronology is in some cases 1 year different from the one used by the SDA BIble Commentary, but it gives you a good idea of the order of the Assyrian kings mentioned in the photos below, and when they reigned with respect to the Israelite kings. Jonah is thought to have lived during or slightly before the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel.