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Stela of Shalmaneser III. c. 852 BC Stela of Shalmaneser III. c. 852 BC
© The Trustees of the British Museum


This stela shows Shalmaneser III (reigned 858-824 BC) worshipping the symbols of his gods. The inscription describes the military campaigns of his reign down to 853 BC. In the next year, Shalmaneser passed through the Diyarbakir region and it was probably then that he ordered this stela to be set up in emulation of his father, Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883-859 BC). The stelae are known as the 'Kurkh Monoliths'.

It was traditional for rulers of the Ancient Near East to set up stelae at the borders of their realms, or to carve representations of themselves accompanied by inscriptions on rock faces.

AN inscribed
Middle East