Assyrian Soldiers Towing a Boat

Iraq: Khorsabad, Palace, Throneroom Debris
Neo-Assyrian Period
Reign of Sargon II, 721-705 B.C.
43.0 cm H, 119.5 cm W
Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1930
OIM A11258

Archaeologists from the Oriental Institute discovered this relief fragment in the debris of the throne room of King Sargon II. The fragment shows naked Assyrian soldiers towing a boat through a shallow river, perhaps during one of Sargon's campaigns against Marduk-apla-iddina II, king of Babylon, whose name is inscribed in the text above the scene. According to the Biblical account, that same Babylonian king (referred to as Merodach Baladan) sent envoys with presents to Hezekiah, king of Judah, upon his recovery from illness (cf. II Kings 20; Isaiah 39).

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