The Kurkh Stela

The Kurkh Stela, circa 852 BCE, Limestone, British Museum, London.

This stela, found in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey in 1861, shows King Shalmaneser III standing before the symbols of four divine beings: Ashur, Ishtar, Anu, and Sin. The cuneiform inscription that covers the face, sides and back of the stela record the military activities of the king up to the Battle of Qarqar. All the cities conquered and the tributes received over the six-year campaign were recorded.


An upright stone slab usually inscribed or carved for commemorative purposes.

The region of Asia Minor, including modern Turkey, location of the Hittite Empire and Hittite-Luwian languages.

The writing system of ancient Mesopotamia, consisting of wedges pressed into clay.

Characteristic of a deity (a god or goddess).

A city in northern Syria that was the site of a massive battle between the Neo-Assyrian king Shalmaneser III and an alliance of Northwest Semitic kings, including the king of Aram. The battle, which took place in 853 B.C.E., was a notable point in the ascendane of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

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