Ashurbanipal (668-627 BC) was one of the last great kings of Assyria. Throughout his reign, Ashurbanipal faced many rebellions from those nations under Assyrian control. These military problems presented a mortal danger to his reign and threatened the stability of the Assyrian empire.
Ashurbanipal decorated his palace with wall reliefs depicting his military activity in Elam. Ashurbanipal also liked to hunt, especially lions. The famous lion hunt reliefs, some of which are now in The British Museum, formed part of Ashurbanipal’s palace in Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire. According to a description of the lion hunt reliefs in The British Museum, “In Assyria, the lion hunt was seen as a royal sport; the depictions were seen as a symbol of the king’s ability to guard the nation.”
The video below, “The Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal” was produced by The American Schools of Oriental Research as part of their forum design to help teachers teach archaeology to undergraduate students. This forum is the result of papers presented at the 2010 ASOR Annual Meeting in Atlanta. ASOR has made available four papers, all in PDF format, designed to help teachers “to incorporate similar techniques and technology into their own curriculum.” Read the papers here.
Watch the video: The Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary