Expert Voices: Alexandra Olsman on the Assyrian Gypsum Plaque

London | 6 December

In the multi-millennial history of Assyria, the so-called Middle Assyrian period (14th-11th century B.C.) represents a key moment when, for the first time, Assyria reached the dimensions of an empire. This period culminated in the 13th century, under the reign of three energetic and ambitious rulers: Adad-nirari I, Salmanazar I and Tukulti-Ninurta I. The construction work carried out by Tukulti-Ninurta I in Ashur is impressive: he completely rebuilt the temple of Ishtar, thoroughly renovated the other temples of the city, significantly improved its fortifications and built a new palace. In this inscription, which follows the classical form of this kind of text, Tukulti-Ninurta I first recalls his military exploits and all his many royal epithets, then he celebrates his complete restoration of the temple of the goddess Ishtar in Ashur and finally he blesses those who, in the future, will want to take good care of this temple and its inscription.
This Assyrian Gypsum Plaque and other works will be offered in the Ancient Sculpture and Works of Art Part 1 on 6 December at Sotheby's London.

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