British Museum

Early Aryan? King Ashurbanipal of Assyria (668–627 B.C.E.) relaxes with his wife in the palace gardens while slaves offer food, wine, music and a fresh breeze (compare with sketch of lady from King Ashurbanipal relief). The relief from the British Museum was discovered by archaeologists in the king’s palace at Nineveh; Friedrich Delitzsch seized upon it as evidence for the western—and non-Semitic—nature of ancient Mesopotamia. Ashurbanipal’s wife, he said in his lectures, was “obviously to be thought of as a princess of Aryan blood and blond hair.”