Tribute Bearer, Bas Relief, 710-705 BC, Assyrian Empire
This sculptured head of a man comes from a bas relief of tribute bearers in a procession. The turban on his head and style of his hair and beard identify him as being fron the western part of the Assyrian Empire, probably the Syrian Coast or Turkey. The relief was on a wall in the Palace of Sargon II, located in Khorsabad, Iraq.
Sargon II, a son of Tigiath-Pileser III, came to power late in his life, by ursurping the throne of his brother in a coup. Sargon II suppressed rebellions, conquered the Kingdom of Israel, and in 710 BC conquered the Kingdom of Babylon. He reunited Assyria with its southern rival, Babylonia, which had been seperated for the last thousand years.
In 705 BC, five years after taking Babylon, Sargon II was killed while leading a campaign to Tabal, which had rebelled against Assyrian rule seven years prior. His body was never recovered; his son Sennacherib became the new king.