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Stone tablet of Adad-Nirari I


Width: 8.370 inches
Height: 18.250 inches
Thickness: 1.870 inches

ME 90978

Middle East

    Stone tablet of Adad-Nirari I

    Middle Assyrian, about 1305-1274 BC
    From Ashur, northern Iraq

    This gypsum slab was found in the Temple of Ashur in the city of Ashur, centre of ancient Assyria. It commemorates the restoration of the temple by Adad-Nirari I (reigned 1305-1274 BC) and describes his military exploits and those of his forebears. The text ends with curses on anyone who alters the slab, destroys it, throws it into a river, burns it, takes it away or employs another person to do any of these things.

    Adad-Nirari I was among the earlier expansionist rulers of Ashur. He pushed back the threat of the Babylonians from the south and began to move westwards, conquering what remained of the once mighty Mitannian Empire and stopping just short of Carchemish on the Euphrates. Assyria's borders were then with the Hitittes. In order to reduce tensions Adad-Nirari sent a letter to the Hittite king apparently calling him 'brother', a diplomatic greeting which implied equal status. The Hittite king's sarcastic reply survives: 'Were we born of the same mother and father?' However, within a few years the Hittite ruler had to recognize the power of the Assyrians, as they came to dominate northern Mesopotamia.

    A. Khurt, The ancient Near East c. 3000- (London, Routledge, 1995)


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    Retelling of exciting Mesopotamian myths, £8.99

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