In Mesopotamian myths, the alal’ was a kind of demon that, to tempt men, came out of the Underworld and took various forms, temptations that the inhabitants of Babylonia were able to reject by means of amulets.
The Chaldean-Assyrian art represents these spirits in the form of horrible monster s, as in the bas-reliefs of the Palace of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh (now Iraq), today in the British Museum) and in small bronzes and clay tablets cooked in the shape of a cylinder, cone, or stamp.
Generally these demons are seen as theriocephalou, with a human body and the head of a lion with open jaws, the ears of a dog and mane of a horse. The feet are frequently replaced by bird claws of prey.
The goddess to which the alal obeyed was called Alat, and was the wife of Nergal, god of war, and sister of Astarte.