Stone panel from the Central Palace of Tiglath-pileser III

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

A successful Assyrian campaign against the Arabs

This alabaster panel decorated the mud-brick walls of the Central Palace of King Tiglath-pileser III (reigned 745-727 BC). It was discovered by the excavator Henry Layard. It is one of a series of panels that depicts a procession of prisoners and booty captured during one of the king's campaigns against Arab enemies. A woman leads a herd of camels. The one-humped camel, or dromedary, was probably domesticated by the inhabitants of Arabia at the end of the second millennium BC.

Under Tiglath-pileser the administration of defeated territory was reorganized by extending direct Assyrian rule over them, transforming them into provinces of an empire. These provinces included territory as far west as Damascus. Increasingly Assyrian kings came into conflict with Arabs.

The Arabs first appear in Assyrian records in the ninth century BC. Assyrian texts tell of Arab tribes led by queens, and show how they became increasingly important for escorting trading caravans or military expeditions in northern Arabia and Sinai. 

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More information

Bibliography

J.B. Pritchard, Ancient Near East in pictures (Princeton University Press, 1954)

Dimensions

Height: 99.000 cm
Width: 162.000 cm

Museum number

ME 118901

WCO26591

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

Location

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