Stone panel from the Central Palace of Tiglath-pileser III

Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), northern Iraq
Neo-Assyrian, about 730-727 BC

This alabaster panel was part of the decorative scheme of the palace of King Tiglath-pileser III (reigned 745-727 BC) at Kalhu. The king is shown in his chariot, while in another scene above Assyrian soldiers drive out prisoners and flocks from a fortified city. The band of cuneiform across the middle relates part of Tiglath-pileser's account of his building and military achievements, but has no direct relation to the scenes depicted.

The name Astartu is inscribed in cuneiform above the defeated city. It has been suggested that this is the Old Testament Ashtaroth in northern Transjordan. The defeat must have taken place during one of the western campaigns of Tiglath-pileser in about 733-732 BC. The city is shown on a typical tell which would have grown up over centuries of rebuilding: dilapidated buildings were demolished so that the rooms were filled with rubble and new buildings erected on the levelled remains.

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More information

Bibliography

J.E. Reade, Assyrian sculpture-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1998)

T.C. Mitchell, The Bible in the British Museu (London, The British Museum Press, 1988)

R.D. Barnett and M. Falkner, The sculptures of Tiglath-pile (London, The British Museum Press, 1962)

R.D. Barnett, Illustrations of Old Testament, 2nd edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1976)

Dimensions

Length: 188.000 cm
Width: 195.000 cm
Thickness: 16.000 cm

Museum number

ME 118908

WCO23165

The palace was excavated by A.H. Layard (from 1847)

Location

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