Botta and Flandin, Monument de Ninive I, Pl. 68

Sprouting flames like stag horns from its upper turrets, the city of Kishesim, in the Zagros mountains east of Assyria, succumbs to the fiery Assyrian attack. (Since horns sometimes decorated Elamite temples, this feature may represent a temple decoration rather than flames.) In this relief from the palace of Sargon II (721–705 B.C.) at Khorsabad, two Assyrian soldiers torch the city gate, at center, while another soldier bearing a torch, at left, runs toward the city. The gate was an especially vulnerable point in a city’s fortifications, because fire or a battering ram could easily destroy its usually wooden doors.