The Black Obelisk, 2m high, celebrates Shalmanezer III's
campaigns in Syria.
The second panel down, the title 'Jehu, son of Omri', shows king Jehu of Israel paying tribute to Shalmanezer.
The BLACK OBELISK was set up at Nimrud (Calah) by Shalmaneser II, king of Assyria, about 860-825bc.
On the lower part of the four sides are 290 lines of cuneiform writing detailing the principal events of Shalmaneser's campaigns, and on the upper part are cut bas-reliefs illustrating the historical narrative.
The text relates that Shalmaneser conducted thirty-one expeditions against the peoples of various countries;
his sway extended to the shores of the Mediterranean on the west,
to Cilicia on the north-west,
to Babylonia and the Persian Gulf on the South and south-east,
and to Media on the east.
At certain places he set up memorial tablets sculptured with figures of his majesty and inscribed with his warlike deeds.
In the Black Obelisk he records two wars against Hazeal of Damascus in the eighteenth and twenty-first years of his reign, and it appears from another inscription that the payment of tribute by 'Jehu, the son of Omri,' as represented in one of the bas-reliefs on this monument, took place after the first of these campaigns.
From another inscription which Shalmaneser set up at Kurkh on the Tigris, we learn that he defeated a confederation of tribes of Northern Syria, and that one of the allies was 'Ahab of Israel,' who contributed a force of ten thousand men.
Illustration: "Picture Archive of the Bible", edited: Caroline Masom
and Pat Alexander, archaeological notes: Alan Millard. Lion
Description: "Helps to the study of the Bible." Oxford University Press, undated.
British Museum. BM 118885.