Immense statue of a winged bull from more than 2,700 years ago is unearthed in Iraq
An archaeological dig in northern Iraq revealed a 2,700-year-old sculpture of a winged Assyrian deitywhich was found with the body intact although the head was stolen decades ago by looters.
The head was stolen by smugglers in the 1990s and found in pieces, but was reconstructed by the National Museum of Iraq.
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"I had never unearthed something so big in my life," said Pascal Butterlin, the French archaeologist who led a mission of European and Iraqi experts.
The statue has impressive dimensions, measuring 3.8 by 3.9 meters, weighing 18 tons and made of gypsum alabaster. It represents a deity known as lamasu who has a human head, a bull's body and wings.
Butterlin explained that Pieces of this size are usually only found in Egypt or Cambodia.
The attention to detail is incredible," highlighted this professor of archeology of Middle Eastern Antiquity at the Paris I Sorbonne University.
The sculpture was erected during the reign of Assyrian King Sargon II -- who ruled from 722 to 705 BC -- to protect an ancient city about 15 kilometers from Mosul in northern Iraq, Butterlin said.
In mythology, "it was one of the monsters that was dominated and tamed" and it was placed at the entrance to cities to protect it, the expert indicated.
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With information from AFP.
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