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By Andy Ross

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I am Ashurbanipal

The British Museum is showing "I am Ashurbanipal. King of the world, king of Assyria" in the BP exhibition.

The show is comprehensive and has lots of amazing pieces, but one of them is especially intriguing. It is a piece of a doorsill decorated to resemble a carpet. Made out of limestone, the piece is carved using intersecting circles which come to resemble flowers. On the outside is an edge of lotus flowers and buds, and rosettes. The floors of the royal residences at that time would have been covered in just such carpets, and the walls hung with textiles. It is not clear from the piece on display if it is was coloured; given the fact that it was on the floor, perhaps not. But part of the show uses coloured light to replicate what the pieces would have looked like originally.

If you would like to see the doorsill, this link is of the official record for it on the British Museum site.