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Imgur-Enlil (Balawat)

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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Imgur-Enlil (modern Balawat) is about fifteen miles east of Mosul (Jastrow 1915, p 35). After George Smith's death, excavations by Hormuzd Rassam unearthed many bronze strips embossed with ornaments, figures and inscriptions.

Scenes depicted on the panels illustrated his campaigns "with remarkable attention to details, the camp scenes, the marching Assyrian armies, the taking of booty and captives, as well as sacrificial rites [for good favor amidst battles]" (Jastrow 1915, p 36). Three gates' bronze strips were excavated.

Balawat GatesThe most famous of the gates are the Balawat Gates erected by Shalmaneser III in his palace at Balawat. The original gates were wood partly covered and reinforced with bronze strips. Only the bronze strips have survived. Cuneiform captions list societies captured or force into tribute, with each strip corresponding to a single campaign. Decorative embossing depicts vivid scenes such as: the Assyrian army marching from camp; enemies defeated in siege or open battle; and Assyrians offering sacrifices and erecting memorial stelae. Examining the details, the variety of workmanship and subject matter suggests that several workers were involved in the manufacture, perhaps a single worker per strip. The strips are now found in Baltimore, London and Istanbul.
Temple of Mamu GatesThe doorway to the temple of Mamu, excavated 1956-1957. Date from Ashurnasirpal II and now displayed in Iraq.