A wall sculpture of an Assyrian horse head, based on a three thousand year old original in the British Museum's collection.
Horses such as that featured here played a significant role in the Assyrian empire of the ancient Near East (incorporating modern day northern Iraq, north east Syria, south east Turkey and north west Iran).
The original is a wall relief carved from a type of gypsum known as Mosul marble, hence the colour; although interesting discoveries have found that originally all Assyrian reliefs were brightly coloured with paint.
The sculpture has been recreated here using resin, with a finish to resemble the original as closely as possible.
More about this sculpture
The Middle Assyrian Period (around 1400 BC), where the original dates from, is marked by the long wars fought during this period that helped build Assyria into a warrior society.
The king depended both on the citizen class and priests in his capital, and the landed nobility (upper class) who supplied the horses needed by Assyria's military.
It was only in the ninth century BC that cavalry horses (for warriors who fought on horseback) were introduced. Thus a new form of warfare, the cavalry charge (mounted troops on horseback), was introduced.
The horses were elaborately adorned as shown in this relief sculpture. For example, the horse wears headstalls decorated with small bosses, a richly decorated saddle-cloth and is fitted with spade-shaped blinkers.