Ideology and Power: an Introduction to the Art of the Assyrian Empire

  • Henry Moore Institute
  • Wednesday, 8 May 2019
  • Lecture by John MacGinnis in the Institute's seminar room, starting at 6pm

This lecture will introduce the achievements of Assyrian art, setting them in their ancient context. Starting by outlining the rediscovery of Assyria in the modern age, and continuing with an overview of the rise and fall of the empire, John MacGinnis highlights the major genres of Assyrian art - sculpted reliefs, glazed brick panels, seal engraving, carved ivories and others. In doing so, he aims to explain the social and political messages which these fascinating material remnants of a ruthless empire were designed to convey.

About the speaker

John MacGinnis is Lead Archaeologist on the British Museum’s Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme. He is a specialist in Assyrian archaeology and has worked on Assyrian sites in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, including at the palace of Sennacherib in Nineveh and at the Assyrian provincial capital of Ziyaret Tepe in southeastern Turkey, where he was the Field Director in charge of operations in the lower town. He was previously the Archaeological Advisor on the Citadel in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, and has also worked in Egypt, Sudan, Cyprus, India and Pakistan.

Since 2016 Dr. MacGinnis has been directing the British Museum excavations at the Darband-i Rania pass in Iraqi Kurdistan, where one of the sites being investigated is an Assyrian fortress which must have been overrun as the empire contracted, very likely in the latter part of the reign of Ashurbanipal. He is a Research Fellow at the Cambridge University McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and a member of the Council of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq.

Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

Now open: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm

Entry is free. As we are limiting visitor numbers, we advise booking tickets in advance:

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