The British Museum has one of the finest collections of Assyrian artefacts in the world, centred around the famous sculpted reliefs from the palaces of the Assyrian kings at Nimrud and Nineveh. Dating from the 9th to the 7th centuries, these sculptures show the kings' exploits in battle and in hunting, and ceremonies at the Assyrian court. This catalogue describes their excavation in the mid-19th century and the excitement aroused in Western Europe by the discovery of reliefs depicting peoples mentioned in the Bible. A broader picture of life in Assyria is created by numerous smaller objects, such as delicate ivories, embossed bronze bowls, pottery and glass vessels, jewellery, and cylinder seals, carved in miniature. Particularly important are the clay tablets from the royal library of King Ashurbanipal, written in the cuneiform script and dealing with a wide range of subjects, from the administration of the empire to magic, religion and divination, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, history and literature. Over 250 items are described and illustrated, providing a record of one of the great civilizations of antiquity.