THE ANCIENTS
The Tree of Life
The Assyrians
The Assyrian Tree of Life
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Figure1 (above) Reconstruction of the bas-relief by H. Lewakowa for J. Meuszynski's publication of the throne room (Room B; the bas-relief is in position B-13) of the NW Palace of the King Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud. The bas-relief depicts the king and a divine attendant at a royal ritual before the "sacred tree" surmounted by a God in a winged disk.
 

Figure 2 H. Lewakowa's drawing of the bas-relief in position 9 in Room I. I-9: After Paley and Sobolewski 1987, plate 1:3.

"The Tree of Life was a Babylonian concept, and as represented in carvings it does not look particularly like a tree at all. It was shown as a series of leafy rosettes, arranged and construction in a strange [lattice] pattern...To the Babylonians, it was a tree with magical fruit, which could only be picked by the gods. Dire consequences befell any mortal who dared to pluck from it. The tree found its way into the Hebrew legend of Adam and Eve...which is heavily loaded with allusions of the Ancient of Days. Recent works on the Kabbalah make extensive use of this tree. Ten parts or attributes of the Ancient of Days are identified with ten of the rosettes..."
     - George Sassoon and Rodney Dale, The Manna Machine
The Assyrian Tree
Two carved figures of Ashurnasirpal II, facing a stylized Assyrian sacred tree, with the winged disc above the tree.
From the Northwest Palace at Nimrud.
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