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Amherst College Assyrian Reliefs Collection

Identifier: RG 002-004-003


In a letter of 1856, Amherst President Edward Hitchcock noted that the recently-purchased “sculpted slabs” from ancient Nineveh, then on view in the College’s library, were attracting “more attention than any other specimens in our collection.” Acquired for $250 with the assistance of the Reverend Henry Lobdell (AC 1849) a missionary stationed in Mosul, the group of ancient Assyrian reliefs included this depiction of a winged mythological creature shown in the ritual act of pollinating the sacred date palm tree using a pinecone. The cuneiform text inscribed across the figure proclaims the power of Ashurnasirpal, “the Great King, the Mighty King, King of the World, and the Kingdom of Ashur.”


  • 1855 - 1946

Conditions Governing Access

In general, there is no restriction on access to the collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.


0.5 Linear feet (1 archives box)

Language of Materials



This collection has been arranged into folders by source or creator wherever possible, with topic or genre-based arrangement if origin could not be determined. Folders are arranged chronologically by earliest dated material.

Custodial History

This collection is a small group of material formerly part of the Amherst College Buildings and Grounds Collection (MA.01005). It was separated into its own collection because the material concerns the Assyrian reliefs as objects rather than their location on campus.

Related Materials

In Archives and Special Collections

Henry Lobdell (AC 1849): Volume of letters written from the Middle East
Edward and Orra White Hitchcock Papers

Mead Art Museum

Reliefs, from Dr. Henry John Lobdell (AC 1849)
Accession numbers: AC S.1855.2, AC S.1855.4, AC S.1855.5, AC S.1855.6, AC S.1855.9, AC S.1855.10, AC S.1855.11
Small objects, from Dr. Henry John Lobdell (AC 1849)
Accession numbers: AC I.1855.9, AC M.1855.3, AC M.1855.4
Later acquisitions, gift of the Estate of Talcott Williams (AC 1873)
Accession numbers: AC I.1928.1, AC M.1928.4, AC M.1928.5, AC M.1928.6, AC S.1928.5
Amherst College Assyrian Reliefs Collection
In Progress
Jennifer Bolmarcich
2020 February
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299