God with sword and quiver striding over bull-headed dragon and aiming at lion-griffin

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between 1000 B.C. and 700 B.C.
37 x 15 mm
Morgan Seal 689
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"In 689 the god's victim is not a serpent but the lion-griffin, which appears as the antagonist of heroes from the time of the Third Dynasty of Ur onward. In the discussion of the Old Babylonian contest frieze... it has been suggested that the lion-griffin is to be regarded as a creature of Nergal, god of the nether world. In relation to Neo-Assyrian representations, Schott similarly suggests that the lion-griffin represents a constellation associated with Nergal or equivalently used for this deity, while the god pursuing the lion-griffin is to be regarded as some still unidentified astral deity. However, it must be mentioned that on a relief of Ashurnasirpal II, the god pursuing the lion-griffin holds the lightning fork of the weather god. It is possible therefore that the deity depicted in 689 is the weather god."--Porada, CANES, p. 83


God with sword and quiver striding over outstretched bull-headed dragon and aiming with star-studded bow at lion-griffin that menaces tree -- In sky: winged sun disk, crescent, star -- Fish, two rhombs (behind god).

Southern Mesopotamia.