Height: 18.250 inches
Thickness: 1.870 inches
Stone tablet of Adad-Nirari I
Middle Assyrian, about 1305-1274
From Ashur, northern Iraq
This gypsum slab was found in the Temple of
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)