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The Assyrian Palace (King Sargon II)

The Assyrian palace, official residence of the sovereign, is the incarnation of the imperial power, by its architectural gigantism and the display of a splendor nourished of the riches of the world. The majesty of the decor of great reliefs exalted the power of an empire which at its peak extends its hegemony from Iran to Egypt.

Become king of Assyria, Sargon II decides the construction of a new capital which will testify to the size of its reign. The entire city is devoted to the exaltation of the sovereign, even in the length of the outer wall whose 16 283 cubits correspond to the numerical value of its name.

It is from an external facade of this private sector that this relief comes. Sargon appears there, recognizable by his tall stature and the tronconic royal tiara adorned with ribbons with which he is wearing. In front of him stands a high dignitary whose ribbon diadem seems to indicate that he is Crown Prince Sennacherib. Traces of pigments suggest that the reliefs should be painted, at least partially. Their combination with friezes of murals contributed to an ostentatious display destined to magnify the role of a sovereign who posed as elected gods and master of the cosmos.