Saturday, December 10, 2016

Black Obelisk of Salmaneser III

Fig. 1 - the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III
     Shalmaneser III was a powerful Assyrian King who pushed the borders of Assyria eastwards into Babylonia and Iran, westwards into Urartu and Syria and then southwards  up to the borders of ancient Israel. This obelisk describes his conquests in text located at the top and bottom of the object.

Fig. 2 - and Elephant and Three Monkeys Being Brought as Tribute
     In between the text descriptions of this King's victories are illustrations of some of the tribute brought to Assyria by foreigners. Figure 2 shows an elephant and three monkeys being brought to Shalmaneser's palace at Nimrud. Figure 3 shows a pair of double humped camels being presented to his highness while Figure 4 shows Jehu, the King of Israel, kissing the ground before Shalmaneser's feet.

Fig. 3 - Camels Brought Before the King
     Shalmaneser ruled a little over 100 years earlier than Sargon II (who built Khorsabad). He ordered this obelisk to be set up in Nimrud, which was the Assyrian capital during his reign. This object is now in the Oriental Institute, in Chicago.
Fig. 4 - King Jehu of Israel Submits to Shalamneser

     No word on who cleaned up after all these animals were paraded before the ruler.

All photos copyright (c) John Freed 2016

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