From the ninth to the seventh century BCE, the Assyrians ruled an empire which eventually stretched from Mesopotamia to Egypt. While they may have been universally reviled for their brutal tactics, they at least left behind some beautiful, if often rather martial, reliefs:
Tukulti-apil-esharra AKA Tiglath-pileser III ruled the Assyrians from 745 to 727 BCE. Among his many achievements was the conquest of Babylon.
Depiction of a siege in Babylonia from Nimrud, ca. 728 BCE.
Ashurnasirpal II (883 – 859 BCE) made Kalhu (Nimrud) his capital and built a palace there.
Assaulting a city with Ashurnasirpal and a siege-engine, from Nimrud, ca. 865 – 860 BCE.
An eagle-headed spirit from Nimrud, ca. 860 BCE
Scene from a lion hunt relief, Nineveh, ca. 645 – 635 BCE.