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The Taylor Prism / The Sennacherib Prism / Library of Ashurbanipal

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Taylor Prism
    • The Sennacherib Prism

    Title (series)

    • Library of Ashurbanipal
  • Description

    Hexagonal clay prism, foundation record lists campaigns of Sennacherib until the start of his final war against Babylon, and includes a description of the tribute received from Hezekiah, King of Judah in 701 BC; 82 + 83 + 82 + 80 + 85 + 75 lines of inscription.

  • Authority

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 691BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 38.1 centimetres
    • Width: 16.51 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 8.57 centimetres (faces)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

  • Curator's comments

    This object is often known as the Taylor Prism after a previous owner, Colonel R. Taylor.

    It has been on almost continuous display since entering the British Museum in 1855 and has been repeatedly illustrated; it features as No. 5 in a previously issued series of postcards captioned "Assyrian monuments bearing on Bible history in the British Museum".

    This object was moulded for casting by Mr Prescott between 2/2/65 and 6/5/65 (Objects to Lab, 6 May 1958-31 December 1970). Prior to that it was re-fired on 28th September 1964.


  • Bibliography

    • Bezold 1896a bibliographic details
    • Luckenbill 1927b II, pp.115-28, cols 231-54 bibliographic details
    • Layard A H 1853a p.345 bibliographic details
    • Barnett 1977a p.57, fig.30 bibliographic details
    • Wiseman 1958 pl.54 bibliographic details
    • Margueron J-C 1965a pl.62 bibliographic details
    • Guide 1922 pp.225-27, pl. 47 (illustration shows column iv) bibliographic details
    • Pritchard 1950a pp.287-88 bibliographic details
    • Pallis S A 1956a pp.32-33 (on provenance) bibliographic details
    • Budge 1920a vol. II, p.25, n.4 (on acquisition) bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G55/dc3

  • Exhibition history


    2001 11 Jun-16 Sep, Leeds, Henri Moore Foundation, 'The Sculpted Word'
    1995-1996 22 Nov-29 Feb, Germany, Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, 'Die Reise nach Jerusalem'
    1993 29 Mar-14 Jun, Northern Ireland, Belfast, Ulster Museum, 'Reverend Edward Hincks D.D. 1792-1866'
    1992-1993 21 Sep-29 Mar, Northern Ireland, Downpatrick, Down County Museum, 'Reverend Edward Hincks D.D. 1792-1866'
    1990s BM, G55/Later Mesopotamia, case 11
    BM, Babylonian Room, Table-case H
    BM, Room of Writing
    BM, Assyrian Room, centre case

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Said to have been found at Nebi Yunus and purchased by Colonel R. Taylor in 1830. Purchased from Taylor's widow via Rawlinson in 1855.

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 12174
COMPASS Title: The Taylor Prism


COMPASS Title: The Taylor Prism

Image description



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Object reference number: WCT20387

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