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Published on Sep 4, 2012
In ancient Assyria, lion-hunting was considered the sport of kings, symbolic of the ruling monarch's duty to protect and fight for his people. The sculpted reliefs illustrate the sporting exploits of the last great Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal (668-631 BC) and were created for his palace at Nineveh (in modern-day northern Iraq).
Lions were released from cages, one by one, and men on horses would drive or lure the lions towards the king's chariot for him to shoot.
Keepers with dogs are stationed on the edge of the arena to deter any lions from trying to escape. Behind them are a line of soldiers with tall shields ready to stop any lions that do make it passed the dogs.