Photo by the British Museum

Hammered gold rosettes festoon the gown and headband of the Assyrian king Assurbanipal (ruled c. 668–629 B.C.E.), who is shown killing a lion in a typical relief scene. The prophet Jeremiah—born in Judah at a time when religious reforms had been abandoned and pagan practices were allowed to flourish openly—censures the Israelites for making idols and decorating them with “beaten” gold from the city of Uphaz (Jeremiah 10:9). In Assyria, both kings and gods were represented wearing “golden garments,” robes with golden rosettes sewn onto the hem or, as in this photo, covering the whole gown; whereas in Babylonia such gowns were reserved for divine beings.