In Ancient Mesopotamian cultures, lions held important symbolic and religious meanings, and depiction of them have been recovered engraved in walls and modelled in round. In Sumerian religion, the goddess of love and war Ishtar was usually depicted on the back of two lionesses. Her Babylonian counterpart, Ishtar was also portrayed conducting a chariot drawn by seven lions. Lions were also associated with royalty, attested in numerous lion metaphors applied to the king in both Sumerian and Akkadian texts as well as in artistic evidence.
To discover more about these ancient peoples, please visit our relevant post: Civilisations of the Ancient Near East.