Stele of Esarhaddon.jpg

Excavated in the inner gate-room of the citadel of Sam ‘al / Zincirli / Zenjirli (Turkey)


During his campaigns against Egypt, Esarhaddon of Assyria conquered and subjected numerous Syrian city-states including Sam ‘al. The commemorative stele depicts a super-human sized Esarhaddon with his right hand raised, worshipping his gods. The gods, in the upper right hand side, are shown in human-form riding their associated animal or symbolically. The king wears the beribboned, decorated royal crown. In his left hand he holds both the mace and two ropes. The ropes end with rings through the lips of two subjected prisoners. The kneeling smaller figure appears to depict the Egyptian crown prince. The supplicating, standing figure, is likely that of a Syrian city-state ruler.

On the left side of the stele is the figure of king Shamash-shum-ukin, later king of Babylon and on the right side, Assurbanipal the heir apparent of Assyria. A cuneiform inscription covering the lower half of the front of the stele and completely covering the reverse reports the victorious campaigns of king Esarhaddon.

The stela lists a number of kings from “Beyond-the-River” (meaning west of the Euphrates), including “Menasseh, King of Judah.”

Staatliche Museum, Berlin