Stone panels from the South-West Palace of Sennacherib (Room 36, nos. 14-16)

Nineveh, northern Iraq
Neo-Assyrian, about 700-681 BC

The siege and capture of the city of Lachish in 701 BC

These alabaster panels were part of a series which decorated the walls of a room in the palace of King Sennacherib (reigned 704-681 BC). The story continues from the previous panel of the relief (no. 13).

These three surviving slabs complete the royal entourage. The right-hand end shows more cavalry and chariots waiting behind the king. It also shows an aerial view of the Assyrian camp with its oval wall and defensive towers at intervals shown flattened out. Other Assyrian camps shown on reliefs were sometimes round or rectangular. The camp seems to have been methodically planned with a road running through the middle. There are two pavilions, like the one behind the king, and five open tents in which various activities can be seen, including the amusing scene of two men gossiping over a drink. The pair of chariots in one corner of the camp have a standard in each of them; these are the chariots of the gods, sometimes seen charging in battle. On this occasion two priests in tall hats are performing a ceremony; an incense burner stands higher than the priests, and a sacrificial leg of meat sits on an altar.

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More information

Bibliography

J.M. Russell, Sennacheribs palace without ri (University of Chicago Press, 1991)

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)

Dimensions

Length: 172.720 cm
Width: 60.960 cm

Museum number

ME 124913;ME 124914;ME 124915

WCO26729;WCO26730;WCO26731

Location

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