Because most people in the ancient Near East could not read, artists developed symbols to help individuals identify the figures on palace and temple walls. As a sign of their supernatural essence, the human-headed genies in the reliefs from Ashur-nasir-pal II’s palace all wear horned helmets. This association between horns and divine (or semidivine) presence had a long history in the ancient Near East. Beginning in the Akkadian Period (circa 2371–2230 b.c.) artists used bovine horns as symbols of divinity, and biblical and archaeological evidence indicates that horned altars were common in Israelite religion.
- Culture: Assyrian
- Medium: Alabaster
- Place Made: Nimrud, Assyria (Iraq)
- Dates: ca. 883-859 B.C.E.
- Period: Neo-Assyrian Period
- Dimensions: 93 1/16 x 80 13/16 in. (236.3 x 205.3 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Ancient Middle Eastern Art, The Hagop Kevorkian Gallery, 3rd Floor
- Accession Number: 55.147
- Credit Line: Purchased with funds given by Hagop Kevorkian and the Kevorkian Foundation
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Assyrian. Winged Genie, ca. 883-859 B.C.E. Alabaster, 93 1/16 x 80 13/16 in. (236.3 x 205.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by Hagop Kevorkian and the Kevorkian Foundation, 55.147. Creative Commons-BY
- Record Completeness: Best (81%)