Basalt stela: rounded at the top, and bearing on its obverse the figure of a king and astronomical symbols (the star of Ishtar-Venus, the winged disc of the sun god Shamash and the crescent of the moon god Sin; the latter is the largest, showing supremity), sculptured in relief within a sunk panel. The king wears a conical headdress and a fringed garment, which reaches to the ankles. In his right hand, which is raised, he holds a short cylindrical object, and with his left hand he supports a ringed staff or standard with its end resting on the ground. The standard has nine or ten rings, or bands, around the lower part of the shaft, and six rings round the upper part; the central part of the shaft, where it would be grasped by the hand, is without rings. The symbol it supported is now broken, but its outline resembles a small crescent. The symbols are carved in the upper field of the panel; the blank space below at one time bore an inscription, but it has been rubbed down and the surface prepared for a new record. A portion of the text, which was engraved on the right-hand side of the stele, has only been partially rubbed down, and the characters may still be deciphered. It is an inscription of a Babylonian king, and recounts how the gods put an end to a period of drought in consequence of the king's good deeds. To indicate the extraordinary prosperity of his country after the return of the rain, the king gives details with regard to the prices at which grain, dates, sesame-seed, wool, and wine changed hands. In each case the amount is stated, which could be bought for a shekel of silver. The edge of the reverse is chamfered off. The lines of the inscription on the right-hand side extend from the edge of the obverse to the edge of the reverse across this chamfered face.
© The Trustees of the British Museum
Using this image
To license images for charged-for journals and publications, and other commercial uses, please contact British Museum Images.
Contact BM images
The image will be released to you under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. You can read more about the British Museum and Creative Commons here.
Download this image
If you cannot see an image that you want on the British Museum website, you can order new photography from us.
Order new image