Foundation deposits

Foundation deposits were buried in various places beneath the palace. This practice, which appears to have emerged at the beginning of the 3rd millennium BCE, was used mainly in temples and prevented evil spirits from rising into the built space. The spirits were symbolically pinned to the ground by figurines of deities, royal figures, or animals.

Foundation figurines

Figurines from foundation deposits at Khorsabad are mostly made from terracotta. They include protective genii wearing a horned tiara, the genius Lahmu identified by his curly hair, and monstrous lion-headed raptors. These magical figurines of hybrid beings had a protective power and were always deposited with other objects, including inscriptions.

Inscribed objects

A terracotta cylinder covered with an Akkadian cuneiform foundation text and tablets in precious metals - gold, silver and copper - were found inside a stone case in the foundations of the palace. Like the inscriptions on the bulls, they provide details of the construction of the palace and temples, the materials used, and list curses against anyone who might try to destroy the buildings.

"I have written my name on tablets of gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, lapis lazuli and alabaster and placed them in the foundations."

(Sargon II foundation tablet, DA<>p. 23)