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Model Clay Dogs from Nineveh


Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
published on 18 April 2016
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These counterparts of real mastiffs were buried to guard a property from devils and demons. Ritual instructions for making and inscribing them survive on clay tablets. This pack was found beneath a palace doorway at Nineveh. Each is named after a quality required in guard dogs:
Loud is his bark! (black dog).
Bitter of his foe! (blue dog).
Don't think, bite! (white dog).
Catcher of the enemy! (red dog).
Expeller of evil! (white dog with red spots).
From the North Palace (Room S, door D) at Nineveh, Northern Mesopotamia, Iraq. Neo-Assyrian Peridod, circa 645 BCE. (The British Museum, London)

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About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Amin, O. S. M. (2016, April 18). Model Clay Dogs from Nineveh. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "Model Clay Dogs from Nineveh." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified April 18, 2016.

MLA Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "Model Clay Dogs from Nineveh." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 18 Apr 2016. Web. 20 Apr 2021.

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