Naqia-Zakutu and her son King Esarhaddon of Assyria in the temple of Marduk, circa 681-669 B.C.E. Bronze (originally gold-plated), Louvre Museum, Paris.

Naqia-Zakutu may not have as familiar a name as her grandson Ashurbanipal, who is famed for amassing a significant collection of cuneiform documents for his royal palace at Nineveh and is mentioned in the Bible, but she is nevertheless an important female figure in ancient Near Eastern history. The suggestion that Naqia-Zakutu originally came from the West is based on this fragment of a bronze relief, in which she is depicted standing behind the king, her son Esarhaddon. She holds a mirror in her left hand and a plant in her right hand. Scholars point out that the motif of a woman holding a mirror is Syrian/Anatolian in origin and appears in Assyrian art here for the first time.

Naqia-Zakutu and her son King Esarhaddon

A region in northern Mesopotamia whose kings ruled most of the ancient Near East in the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.E.

The writing system of ancient Mesopotamia, consisting of wedges pressed into clay.

A Babylonian deity who becomes the chief god of the Babylonian pantheon, as recounted in the Babylonian creation story Enuma Elish.

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