Babylonian clay lion mould, 2000-1600 B.C.

The lion enjoyed a strong symbolism in the ancient city of Babylon. In fact, Istar, or Ishtar, was the Babylonian goddess of war, who was often depicted graphically as a lion or with her image next to lions, symbolizing dominance and strength in battle. Another good example is the Ishtar Gate, one of the eight monumental gates of the inner wall of Babylon, decorated with reliefs of lions and dragons, symbols of Ishtar and Marduk.  


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