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Broken Obelisk

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    118898

  • Title (object)

    • Broken Obelisk
  • Description

    Limestone obelisk known as 'the broken obelisk'; carved panel (damaged and restored) shows the king, in front of the symbols of two gods, holding two pairs of prisoners on a leash; inscription.

  • Authority

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 11thC BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 63 centimetres
    • Thickness: 41 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Cuneiform
      • Inscription Language

        Akkadian
  • Curator's comments

    This is the earliest known Assyrian obelisk.

  • Bibliography

    • Curtis 2007a bibliographic details
    • Ornay T 2007a bibliographic details
    • Gadd 1936b 123 bibliographic details
    • Rassam H 1897a 9 bibliographic details
    • Strommenger E & Hirmer M 1962a pl. 188, bottom, n.126 bibliographic details
    • Paterson 1901-11 pl. LXIII bibliographic details
    • Budge & King 1902a pl. on p. li bibliographic details
    • Smith S 1928a pl. XVII bibliographic details
    • Frankfort H 1954a pl.73a bibliographic details
    • Grayson, RIMA 2 RIM.A.0.89.7 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Condition

    Limestone encrustation removed with a vibrotool in 1968/69

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1856

  • Acquisition notes

    Discovered by Rassam mid-August 1853 at a "locality about half-way between Sennacherib's palace and that of Assur-bani-pal"; designated by C. Hodder as from "Centre Palace" in Or.Dr. VI, 33; exact findspot marked as "portion of obelisk" on plan based on drawing by W. Boutcher (BM Add.MS.21258B) which was published in 'Trans. Soc.Bib.Arch.' VII (1882), opp. p. 37 where discovery wrongly credited to Loftus. Shipped from Basra to Bombay on the Acbar in March 1854; from Bombay to London on the Merchantman, arriving London February 1855

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number

    118898

  • Registration number

    1856,0909.59

Limestone obelisk; 'the broken obelisk'; carved panel (damaged and restored) shows the king, in front of the symbols of two gods, holding two pairs of prisoners on a leash; inscription.

Limestone obelisk; 'the broken obelisk'; carved panel (damaged and restored) shows the king, in front of the symbols of two gods, holding two pairs of prisoners on a leash; inscription.

Image description

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Object reference number: WCO26818

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