Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III
- For the band see: Black Obelisk (band)
The "Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III" is a black limestone Neo-Assyrian bas-relief sculpture from Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), in northern Iraq, commemorating the deeds of King Shalmaneser III (reigned 858-824 BC). It is the most complete Assyrian obelisk yet discovered, and is historically significant because it displays the earliest ancient depiction of an Israelite. Its reference to 'Parsua' is also the first known reference to the Persians. Tribute offerings are shown being brought from identifiable regions and peoples. It was erected as a public monument in 825 BCE at a time of civil war. It was discovered by archaeologist Sir Austen Henry Layard in 1846 and is now in the British Museum. Replicas can be found at the Oriental Institute in Chicago, Illinois, at Harvard's Semitic Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the ICOR Library in the Semitic Department at Catholic University of America, in Washington, District of Columbia and in the library of the Theological University of the Reformed Churches in Kampen, the Netherlands.
Height: 197.85 cm-(~6.5 ft). Width: 45.08 cm-(~1.5 ft).
The obelisk features twenty reliefs, five on each side. They depict five different subdued kings, bringing tribute and prostrating before the Assyrian king. From top to bottom they are: (1) Sua[disambiguation needed] of Gilzanu (in north-west Iran), (2) "Jehu of Bit Omri" (Jehu of the House of Omri), (3) an unnamed ruler of Musri (probably Egypt), (4) Marduk-apil-usur of Suhi (middle Euphrates, Syria and Iraq), and (5) Qalparunda of Patin (Antakya region of Turkey). Each scene occupies four panels around the monument and is described by a cuneiform script above them.
On the top and the bottom of the reliefs there is a long cuneiform inscription recording the annals of Shalmaneser III. It lists the military campaigns which the king and his commander-in-chief headed every year, until the thirty-first year of reign. Some features might suggest that the work had been commissioned by the commander-in-chief, Dayyan-Assur.
Israelite scene 
In the Obelisk, Jehu's name appears as mIa-ú-a mar mHu-um-ri-i, or "Jehu son of Omri (Bit-Khumri").
See also 
- Millard, Alan (1997) Discoveries from Bible Times, Oxford, Lion, p121
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