Feminine Beauty in the Neo-Assyrian Palace at Nimrud (Oxford University Press)

gold diadem with tassels
Headdress, Queens’ Tombs at Nimrud, 8th c. BCE. Gold, agate, and lapis lazuli; l. of ribbon 40 cm. (ND 1989.5, Iraq Museum inv. no. 105696)

Monograph in-progress

Feminine Beauty in the Neo-Assyrian Court reveals the ornately adorned women and alluring female imagery that inhabited Nimrud’s Northwest Palace, a ninth- to seventh-century BCE Mesopotamian site best known today for its kings, male courtiers, and monuments displaying their powerful bodies. Disrupting this dialogue of masculinity through an iconographic and aesthetic analysis of the contents of royal tombs, portraits of queens and goddesses, and ivory carvings of idealized female figures, my book aims to restore the vital role of feminine beauty in the palace. Embodying fecundity and complementing the king’s potency, I demonstrate that in life, death, and art, feminine beauty was literally and conceptually integrated into the courtly experience and imperial ideology.