Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ancient Assyrian Winged Bull

Here is another interesting design from my “Sacred Symbols” collection. Actually, this particular design came into existence in a somewhat unusual manner.  I was working on one of my “Military Insignia” designs at that time, the United States Forces – Iraq emblem to be exact, and this winged bull was a part of the emblem. This prompted me to do more research on the topic, and here is the result. I have created four different versions of design, as I often do with my Sacred Symbols series: Gold, Silver, Art Nouveau and Ancient. The actual known historical Babylonian winged bulls, however, were discovered mostly in various forms of huge stone statues or engraved on clay tablets.

Ancient Assyrian Winged Bull, also known as Lamassu or less frequently – Shedu . It is a protective deity, often depicted with a bull or lion's body, eagle's wings, and human's head.

The lamassu is a celestial being from Mesopotamian mythology. The lamassu and shedu were household protective spirits of the common Babylonian people. Later during the Babylonian period they became the protectors of kings as well, always placed at the palace entrances. Statues of the bull-man were often used as gatekeepers. The Akkadians associated the god Papsukkal with Lamassu and the god Išum with Shedu.

To protect houses, the Lamassu were engraved on clay tablets, which were then buried under the door's threshold. They were often placed as a pair at the entrance of palaces. At the entrance of cities, they were sculpted in colossal size, and placed as a pair, one at each side of the door of the city, that generally had doors in the surrounding wall, each one looking towards one of the cardinal points.

As usually, the four different versions of the above design: Gold, Silver, Art Nouveau and Ancient -- are available on a limited number of high quality customizable products exclusively from my Sacred Symbols gallery at Zazzle.

The above information provided in part Wikipedia and various printed materials on Babylonian and Assyrian  symbols. All images are Copyright © of C.7 Design Studio

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