Stela of King Shamshi-Adad V


Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin

12 February 2014
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This stela was erected in the capital city of Kalhu (modern Nimrud) by the Assyrian king Shamshi-Adad V (reigned 824-811 BCE). It depicts the king, before the symbols of his principal gods. He extends his right hand, with the forefinger outstretched, as if he has just snapped his fingers. This is the typical Assyrian gesture of respect and supplication towards the gods. The gods could be worshipped in symbolic form and here represent (from top to bottom) the gods Ashur, Shamash, Sin, Adad, and Ishtar. The king wears a large Maltese cross on his chest as an alternative symbol of Shamash, god of the sun and justice.

The image is unusual, as the king wears his beard in a strange archaic style, and the cuneiform text is written in an artificial antique script. Shamshi-Adad was keen to stress his legitimacy because he had been forced to fight for the throne against a rebellion, probably led by his elder brother.

From Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), northern Iraq, neo-Assyrian era, 824-811 BCE, Mesopotamia, Iraq.

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Amin, O. S. M. (2014, February 12). Stela of King Shamshi-Adad V. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Amin, Osama S. M. "Stela of King Shamshi-Adad V." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified February 12, 2014.

MLA Style

Amin, Osama S. M. "Stela of King Shamshi-Adad V." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 12 Feb 2014. Web. 24 Oct 2020.

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