Friday, 26 June 2015
Military History Photo Friday: An Assyrian Chariot from the National Museum of Iraq
This bas-relief shows an Assyrian chariot, c. 9th century BC. The king stands in all his splendor, relaxing under a parasol as he runs over an enemy. His soldiers have gathered a pile of heads for his inspection. Yeah, the Middle East has been a rough place for quite some time now.
If we are to judge from Assyrian art, the chariot was an important arm of their powerful war machine. Chariots could move quickly, with a driver steering while an archer fired from the back. The chariots could be used to break up enemy formations before the Assyrian infantry moved in, as well as for scouting missions and running down fleeing soldiers. The Assyrians had one of the most organized and technologically advanced armies of the time, with elaborate siege machines, a disciplined and professional force, and quality weapons. It's no wonder they were both feared and hated.
I took this shot in the National Museum of Iraq when I was in Baghdad in 2012. Yeah, I'm still nattering on about that trip. I haven't gotten to travel much in the past year so I miss being on the road! Hopefully 2016 will be a better travel year. I've also blogged about the museum for Black Gate, with plenty more photos.