Collection online

stela

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    131124

  • Description

    Basalt stela of Adad-Nirari III: this fragmentary stela shows, in relief, the king in an attitude of worship in front of divine symbols. The king has his right hand raised, as if he had just snapped his fingers; this is a standard gesture of worship. In his left hand he holds the mace symbolic of authority. The symbols are, from top to bottom, a crude version of the winged disc of Shamash, the sun; a rosette or star symbol representing Ishtar or the planet Venus, goddess of the human passions expressed in love and war; and the thunderbolt of the weather god Adad.

    There is an inscription at the bottom of the fragment.

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  • Authority

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 805BC-800BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 82.5 centimetres
    • Width: 50 centimetres
    • Thickness: 14.5 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        cuneiform
      • Inscription Position

        bottom of fragment
      • Inscription Comment

        Describes a campaign westward across the Euphrates in 805 BC.
  • Curator's comments

    Monuments of this kind were erected inside and outside temples, and rock carvings often showed the same scene. Their presence was an assertion of Assyrian hegemony.

    The rough style of carving and the type of stone point to the provincial origin of this piece. It was probably erected by Nergal-eresh, who was for many years governor of the region where it was found.

    Bibliography:
    A. R. Millard & H. Tadmor, Adad-nirari III in Syria, ‘Iraq’ 35 (1973), 57-64.

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  • Bibliography

    • Millard & Tadmor H 1973a bibliographic details
    • Curtis & Reade 1995a 10 bibliographic details
    • Curtis & Reade 1994a 10 bibliographic details
    • Rassam H 1897a pp 311-312. bibliographic details
    • Grayson, RIMA 3 RIM.A.0.104.5 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2008-2009 21 Sept-4 Jan, Boston, MFA, 'Art and Empire'
    2007 2 Apr-30 Sept, Alicante, MARQ Museum, 'Art and Empire'
    2006 1 Jul-7 Oct, Shanghai Museum, 'Art and Empire'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1881

  • Acquisition notes

    See Trustees Minutes 1868-79 p. 1214 and 1880-81 pp. 1538 and 1560. Also Trustees Original Papers 1881, p. 3182

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number

    131124

  • Registration number

    1881,0721.1

Basalt stela of Adad-Nirari III; king in attitude of worship in front of divine symbols; right hand raised in a gesture of worship and left hand holding a mace; winged sun disc of Shamash, rosette/star of Ishtar/ Venus, goddess of human passions in love a

Basalt stela of Adad-Nirari III; king in attitude of worship in front of divine symbols; right hand raised in a gesture of worship and left hand holding a mace; winged sun disc of Shamash, rosette/star of Ishtar/ Venus, goddess of human passions in love a

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Object reference number: WCO23921

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