Battle of Til Tuba

Limestone relief-Nineveh

Battle of Til Tuba, South-West Palace, Nineveh, 660–650 B.C.E., Limestone relief, The British Museum, London, England. Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Around 653 B.C.E., the battle of Til Tuba pitted the victorious Assyrians against the Elamites for control of the Ulai River in present-day southern Iran. This relief carving was made to propagandize the victory of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. The chaotic and violent narrative singles out key events from the battle, including the execution of the Elamite king Teumman and his son and the capture of prisoners after the battle. In this detail from the relief, an injured Elamite soldier is seen lying on the ground holding his head up while motioning to the Assyrian solider standing over him to have mercy and cut off his head. Random bodies litter the composition, as the Assyrian soldier stands erect and strong. The violent depictions from the battle were meant to inspire awe in the power of the Assyrian king.

People from the region of northern Mesopotamia that includes modern-day Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

A written, spoken, or recorded story.

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