Sargon II period

An extract from
Armies of the Ancient Near East 3,000 BC to 539 BC
by Nigel Stillman & Nigel Tallis


Warriors and dignitaries wearing this style of dress in Assyrian reliefs represent peoples of the Zagros Mountains and North-West Iran, such as the Madai (Medes), Mannai, and warriors from regions such as Zikirtu, Zamua, Na'iri and Shupria. The shield is shown being used by the defenders of the city of Pazashi. It was probably made of reeds inserted through strips of coloured leather, in such a way that each reed passed through the strip twice, so that the strip would form a panel on the face of the shield. He uses an animal skin cloak, which is shaped to fasten over one shoulder and has a hole for one arm, to give some protection to his unshielded side. It would be a useful garment generally in these cold regions, (c.f. 73).
[Based on sculptures of Sargon II at Dur-Sharrukin (Khorsabad; 'Sargon's city'), room 14,
"The Assyrians Besiege and Assault the city of Pazashi (Panzish), in 715BC" (leather and reed shield at top right)
[West Zagros Iranian skin cloaks]
[West Zagros Iranian boots]

See also 84. Urartian Infantryman, in Armies and Enemies of Ancient Egypt and Assyria by Alan Buttery
A Sassanid Leather and Reed Shield, from Dura-Europos, at Yale University Art Gallery