ERICH LESSING/ART RESOURCE, NY
FOUNDING FATHER. Often considered the founder of the Neo-Assyrian empire, Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883–859 B.C.E.) is depicted in this statue from the Temple of Ishtar Belit Mati at Nimrud. He holds in his right hand a ceremonial sickle that gods use to fight monsters in Assyrian art. In his left hand is a mace representing his authority as vice-regent of the supreme Assyrian god Assur.