SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Assyrian archers, 7th century BC carving. Neo-Assyrian bas relief from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal, Nineveh, showing Assyrian archers in battle, protected by a reed shield (far right). Ashurbanipal (reigned 669-631 BC) was the last great king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. He established the Library of Ashurbanipal, the first systematically organized library in the ancient Middle East, which survives in part today. Nineveh lay on the eastern bank of the Tigris in ancient Assyria, near the modern-day major city of Mosul, Iraq, which lies across the river. The carving is now in the Vatican Museums, Italy.
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