From the middle of the 2nd millennium BC on, Assyria gradually developed into a territorial power that considered itself the equal of Babylonia to the south. Dating from this same period is a hoard found in the forecourt of the Ashur Temple: a large bronze cross with a gilt rivet and a small bronze cross, two gold pendants and a cylinder seal. During restoration an inscription was discovered on the large cross that explained the significance of the find: “To Kusarikku, son of Shamash [the sun god], his lord, Shamash-Tukulti, son of Eriba-Ashur, the brewer [one of the highest cult officials] from E-shara [the chief temple of the god Ashur] has donated [this] for his life and the well-being of his realm this ‘vestment set’ to Kusarikku, the son of Shamash: Shamash-Tukulti, your servant.” Pictured on the gold plaquette is the bull-man Kusarikku, son of the sun god, a protector against evil. The second gold plaque pictures a ribcage with trachea, apparently a votive gift related to some illness.


  • Title: Bronze cross from Assur
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 13th or 14th century BCE
  • Location: Assur, Iraq
  • Physical Dimensions: w20.9 x h20.9 cm
  • Type: Jewellery
  • Medium: Bronze, gold plates
  • Inv. no.: VA 5372
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-815718
  • External link: Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Collection: Vorderasiatisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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