The year 2006 will mark the passage of 150 years since the arrival at Dartmouth of one of the college's most prized possessions in the realm of art and culture: the Assyrian reliefs, currently on display in the Kim Gallery of the Hood Museum of Art. Originally part of the decorative scheme of the so-called "Northwest Palace" of King Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BCE) in Nimrud, Iraq, six large-scale reliefs depict a ritual performance undertaken by the king. Human and supernatural beings are also in attendance. Scholarly understanding of Assyrian art has increased considerably over time, as its visual, cultural, and historical meanings have been studied from a variety of perspectives and their role as visual propaganda has been recognized.
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