This is a close-up image of a hand carrying an Assyrian mullilu; mullilu is an Akkadian word which means a purifier. This object, most likely a pine cone, was dipped into a certain liquid and then sprinkled on the Assyrian king and his courtiers in order to purify them during ceremonies. The image here is part of a large alabaster bas-relief which depicts an eagle-headed and winged protective spirit (Apkallau or Sage). The Apkallu's right hand holds this mullilu. From room G, panel d1, the north-west palace of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II, Nimrud (ancient Kalhu; Biblical Calah). From Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq. Neo-Assyrian period, 865-860 BCE. The British Museum, London.