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This was merely an apron reaching from the waist to the knee, adorned with braid and tassels.


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It was flung round the lower trunk and thighs and kept in place by cords with tasselled ends. Brief overview of the cultural epochs by using selected characteristic elements of style. Architecture, costumes, decoration, furniture, weapons. Nineveh is located on the left bank of the Tigris River opposite the city of Mosul. From research the Assyrian history has been divided into three periods. The old, the middle and the new Assyrian empire. It was towards the end of the 10th Century BC. The new Assyrian Empire ca. The language of the Assyrians was a dialect of Akkadian, which was closely related to the Babylonian.

As a scripture the Assyrians used the cuneiform writing. Assyrian king in ceremonial robe, followed by musicians, court, civil servants. Bas-Reliefs at an Entrance to a small Temple at Nimroud. Part of one side of the entrance near which stood the bas-relief of the King. The group is believed to represent the god to whom the temple was dedicated, driving out the evil spirit. On the opposite side of the doorway the same figures were repeated. Supposed to represent the god Dagon of the Philistines. It formed part of the same entrance as the bas-reliefs last described.

From an entrance to a small temple at Nimroud. Its length is eight, and height thirteen feet. At the opposite side of the entrance was a similar Lion. Rich as has been the harvest gathered by Mons. Layard from the ruins of Assyrian Palaces, the monuments which they have made known to us do not appear to carry us back to any remote period of Assyrian Art.

Like the monuments of Egypt, those hitherto discovered belong to a period of decline, and of a decline much farther removed from a culminating point of perfection. The Assyrian must have either been a borrowed style, or the remains of a more perfect form of art have yet to be discovered. We are strongly inclined to believe that the Assyrian is not an original style, but was borrowed from the Egyptian, modified by the difference of the religion and habits of the Assyrian people.

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On comparing the bas-reliefs of Nineveh with those of Egypt we cannot but be struck with the many points of resemblance in the two styles; not only is the same mode of representation adopted, but the objects represented are oftentimes so similar, that it is difficult to believe that the same style could have been arrived at by two people independently of each other. The mode of representing a river, a tree, a besieged city, a group of prisoners, a battle, a king in his chariot, are almost identical,— the differences which exist are only those which would result from the representation of the habits of two different people; the art appears to us to be the same.

Assyrian sculpture seems to be a development of the Egyptian, but, instead of being carried forward, descending the scale of perfection, bearing the same relation to the Egyptian as the Roman does to the Greek. Egyptian sculpture gradually declined from the time of the Pharaohs to that of the Greeks and Romans; the forms, which were at first flowing and graceful, became coarse -and abrupt; the swelling of the limbs, which was at first rather indicated than expressed, became at last exaggerated; the conventional was abandoned for an imperfect attempt at the natural.

In Assyrian sculpture this attempt was carried still farther, and while the general arrangement of the subject and the pose of the single figure were still conventional, an attempt was made to express the muscles of the limbs and the rotundity of the flesh: Many modern statues differ in the same way from the Venus de Milo, as do the bas-reliefs of the Ptolemies from those of the Pharaohs. Assyrian Ornament, we think, presents also the same aspect of a borrowed style and one in a state of decline.

It is true that, as yet, we are but imperfectly acquainted with it; the portions of the Palaces, which would contain the most ornament, the upper portions of the walls and the ceilings, having been, from the nature of the construction of Assyrian edifices, destroyed. There can be little doubt, however, that there was as much ornament employed in the Assyrian monuments as in the Egyptian: What we possess is gathered from the dresses on the figures of the bas-reliefs, some few fragments of painted bricks, some objects of bronze, and the representations of the sacred trees in the bas-reliefs.

As yet we have had no remains of their constructive ornament, the columns and other means of support, which would have been so decorated, being everywhere destroyed; the constructive ornaments which we have given in Plate XIV. Assyrian ornament, though not based on the same. In both styles the ornaments in relief, as well as those painted, are in the nature of diagrams. There is but little surface — modelling, which was the peculiar invention of the Greeks, who retained it within its true limits, but the Romans carried it to great excess, till at last all breadth of effect was destroyed.

The Byzantines returned again to moderate relief, the Arabs reduced the relief still farther, while with the Moors a modelled surface became extremely rare. In the other direction, the Romanesque is distinguished in the same way from the Early Gothic, which is itself much broader in effect than the later Gothic, where the surface at last became so laboured that all repose was destroyed.

With the exception of the pine-apple on the sacred trees, Plate XII. The natural laws of radiation and tangential curvature, which we find in Egyptian ornament, are equally observed here, but much less truly,—rather, as it were, traditionally than instinctively. Nature is not followed so closely as by the Egyptians, nor so exquisitely conventionalised as by the Greeks. The colours in use by the Assyrians appear to have been blue, red, white, and black, on their painted ornaments; blue, red, and gold on their sculptured ornaments; and green, orange, buff, white, and black, on their enamelled bricks.

The ornaments, 12 and 16, from Sassanian capitals, Byzantine in their general outline, at Bi Sutoun, contain the germs of all the ornamentation of the Arabs and Moors. It is the earliest example we meet with of lozenge-shaped diapers. The Egyptians and the Assyrians appear to have covered large spaces with patterns formed by geometrical arrangement of lines; but this is the first instance of the repetition of curved lines forming a general pattern enclosing a secondary form.

By the principle contained in No. The ornaments from Tak I Bostan,— 17, 20, 21, 23, 24—are all constructed on the same principle as Roman ornament, presenting only a similar modification of the modelled surface, such as we find in Byzantine ornament, and which they resemble in a most remarkable manner.

Babylonian and Assyrian helmets and ornaments. Assyrian King with his entourage, minstrels. Relief and Portal from Chorsabad.


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  • Built by King Sargon in BC. The palace was the largest ever created residence of the Orient. Dur Sharrukin was surrounded by a massive wall with towers and seven gates. Part of glazed brick of a palace in Chorsabad. Sequel to the enclosure wall to the city. Main Courtyard of the front building. Middle courtyard of farm buildings. Main courtyard of the royal apartment. Portal with bull figures as gatekeepers see picture below. Central courtyard of the royal apartment. Step pyramid base area about 43 feet square, with four levels, each with about 6 meters height.

    Entrance for wagon and rider. It is necessary, in order to understand the origin of Assyrian costume, and the influences and modifications which it has undergone, to study the way in which this vast empire was formed and to know above all the countries which have suffered from its ravages in the first place, and its influence afterwards. Like the Turks, the Assyrians have above all been conquerors, invaders, and formidable warriors, with the consequence that, excepting the Amazons, their women have been doomed to strict seclusion and enforced inactivity.

    The Assyrian-Chaldean people built immense and splendid cities such as Nineveh and Babylon, of which only ruins now remain, although of great beauty. The hanging gardens of Babylon are famous; the palaces and temples of Semiramis, queen of Nineveh are superb, and it is this queen Semiramis whom our operas have made famous who, in encouraging Assyrian art, has introduced the refined taste of woman. Assyria is also included in our Vol.

    Then we must say a few words about the Phoenician colonies such as: Sicily, Corsica, Genoa, Venice, Sardinia, etc. The descendants of Ham inhabited the land afterwards known as Syria, and became the Canaanite race; while the sons of Shem founded the Assyrian and the Semitic races. The eleven tribes of Ham have played a considerable part in the history of humanity. They occupied the Mediterranean plains, the banks of the Tigris, and from Arabia extended to the Caucasus, according to the Bible; a fact which was noted some thousands of years later by Herodotus and Strabo.

    We have the approximate date of: No mention of those tribes is made in the report. On the other hand the Bible tells us that at the time when Abraham went to Palestine, that is to say about the 20th century B. The regions of Lebanon were thus occupied by them about the years or bei: The tribes were subdued in turn by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Hebrews, and the Romans, and left few traces of their artistic life.

    Other Canaanites were mariners and took the name of Phoenicians. They were the true forerunners of commercial travelers.

    Assyrian clothing - Wikipedia

    They established the union between the East and the West. Their mountains, covered with valuable forests, led them to construct vessels and their country became a veritable storehouse of merchandise. They were the first to construct houses of nine stores.

    Their towns were like hives, in which women and workmen wove cloths, made them up, and all at once a swarm sallied forth on a cruise and settled at some point on the Mediterranean; thus we find them in colonies with their families at Tripoli, at Beirut, at Sidon, at Byblos. Traces of them are still found at Tyre.

    Their centre of operations was Tripoli, where there was no king invested with great authority, for a republican spirit prevailed in Phoenicia. Only their medals reveal the names and the profiles of these President-Kings. The Phoenicians believed in the Sun-God Baal, principle of life, and another god was Astarte, or night.

    Assyrian and Babylonian culture. Mesopotamia. Fashion history.

    Their manners were dissolute, similar to those of modern Malabar. The court of the Phoenicians seems to have been closed to any generous emotion, and the courtiers sensible only to their interests, their own well-being, coquetry, and material enjoyments; the curse resting upon the children of Noah being affirmed in them, his descendants. It must be pointed out that the arts of the Phoenicians are above all utilitarian.

    Assyrian clothing

    Their architecture is devoted to dykes, aqueducts, etc. It was they who commenced the construction of the temple of Jerusalem. Round their temples they placed long porticoes and enormous cylinders of stone, which are important as regards costume, because these blocks of stone were always adorned with bas-reliefs and human figures, in the style of the Vendome Column. As for their tombs, the walls of the chambers are ornamented with sculpture. Their artisans executed an enormous number of statuettes in terra-cotta and in bronze, as well as household utensils of pottery etc. Having colonized the island of Cyprus, the Phoenicians obtained copper from there for their utensils, ornaments, and the jewels of their women.

    The Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, used for commercial transactions. The Phoenicians were then established at Thasos and exploited gold et silver mines in the islands to the South of Greece. They founded the cities afterwards known as Byzantium or Constantinople, and Phocea or Marseilles, and they established themselves in Cilicia, Rhodes, Crete, Corsica, Sicily, etc. In the third period, a conqueror from Tyre made an expedition, subdued Spain, passed into Gaul, founded Alesia and returned through Italy about the year B.

    But instead of shedding blood, this Phoenician spread civilization. The colonies of the 3rd period were founded between the 10th and 6th century B. They were veritable commercial exchanges which the Portuguese were to reorganize 25 centuries later. When we read in the Bible of the voyage of Jonah, it was in a Phoenician vessel that he embarked. All the facts above stated are supported by indisputable documents, and the results of explorations made in the various places.

    One of their best colonies was Sicily, where they founded the city known afterwards as Irapanie. Then they established themselves in Sardinia, and founded Cagliari, and then in Corsica, founding, without doubt, Ajaccio, the city of Ajax; but six centuries before our era, only ruins remained of the towns they built on the heights. The Phoenicians then, it is believed, founded Nimes, exploited the mines of Morvan, traversed Gaul, and appear to have established themselves at Karnack in Britanny. In Spain, however, most of all, they overran the country, exploited the mines, and increased their wealth.

    Eventually they established themselves at several points in North Africa. While the ark, bearing within it the patriarch Noah, his sons, family, and domestic animals, touched ground at Mount Ararat, in Armenia, its occupents were far from imagining what would follow after their generation, that the water flowing under their feet would form the beds of two of the greatest rivers of the world, the Tigris and the Euphrates, which, descending from the snow-covered summits, would run eternally; at first side by side, then in two opposite directions, and eventually would join together to discharge their waters into the sea, at the Persian Gulf.

    So also peoples with different destinies such as the Hebrew tribes, were to follow the course of these rivers and eventually rejoin one another on the Mediterranean. Between these rivers, an immense territory extends, the cradle of civilization, and which formed part of the empires of Chaldea and Assyria. The impetuous Euphrates leaps from waterfall to waterfall, and after leaving the mountains it flows widely and peacefully through Chaldea near to Babylon, now in ruins. The Tigris leaves its rocks from three springs forming lakes, and its course is rapid until it reaches the sea and is so deep that in our own times boats sail on it from Mosul, and steamers from Baghdad.

    There the two rivers approach one another and intermingle through canals. All this land was prosperous when Europe was still barbarous, the Greeks eating acorns, and the ancestors of the Romans were not even in existence: Assyria forms another plain, surrounded by mountains and rocks, with the same climate and fertile soil as Chaldea and Egypt, thanks to an immense supply of labour and to their intelligent systems of waterworks.

    Some trees are found, walnut, plane trees, oaks, sycamores, the wood of which served to make boxes to hold clothing and jewels. An important fact which seems to have only a far-off connection with costume, is that their quarries yielded soft sandstone, alabaster, and marble. These stones broke away in flat pieces, and on the tablets so formed the Assyrians cut bas-reliefs, thanks to which we can retrace their costumes.

    They had also copper, lead, and silver mines. The Assyrian deserts shelter lions, leopards, gazelles, buffaloes, hares, bears, deer, wild goats, and skins of these animals are found in various parts of the costumes. They had ostriches which supplied feathers, and porcupines whose quills were used in weaving and in dresses.

    A Chaldean legend says that according to their priests they had kings for 30, years; which is long, but undoubtedly it is one of the most ancient kingdoms of the world, and perhaps the earliest one. In any case, after explorations in the ruins dating from over three thousand years before the Christian era, one can find that the Chaldeans were growing wheat, made terra-cotta models, worked metals, made jewels.

    They knew the art of writing, and how to draw, and if they had no spinning mills they at least had weavers at their homes. They wore very complete costumes, built towns and monuments, and in short were as civilized as w e are at the present day. They have thus reconstituted in the low er Euphrates a dozen of towns long disappeared, which we will mention as their names will often occur in this work. Each town had its temple and its high priest, who was at the same time governor or satrap. Assyrians of Khabur John D. Whiting Diary in photos, vol.


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    • Library of Congress-no known copyright restrictions PD-Matson. Views View Edit History. This page was last edited on 29 December , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Description Assyrian woman jewelry. Diary in photos, vol. V, , Library of the Congress. Public domain Public domain false false. This work is from the Matson G.