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Assyria - Room 89

Please note that this room is rarely open to the public

King VII: ASHURBANIPAL (681 - 627 BC)

Defeat of King of Elam (WA 124802) at the Ulai river.

The empire of Elam (the Elamites) in the East were always fighting the Assyrians in the north. Ashurbanipal conquered Egypt as far as Thebes - it had been a long ambition of Assyria to make Egypt its empire. When this was finally done, they turned to end the menace of the Elamites.

These panels show the battle between the Elamites (under King Teumman) and Assyria at the River Ulai. Teumman and his son, the crown prince, are fleeing the lost battle in his chariot. It overturns, and the prince attempts to help his wounded father, who has an arrow in his back. The Assyrian approach is inevitable, so they turn and make a final stand, to be overtaken and killed. Teumman is decapitated, and his head whisked away to Ashurbanipal.

Ashurbanipal had now completed his two ambitions: he had defeated Egypt in the west, and he had defeated the Elamites in the east.

This is a picture of the River Ulai full of debris and bodies from the battle, as the Assyrians present their king as the next king of Elam. It was in this same location that Daniel later fasted and prayed for 21 days (Dan 8:2).

These victories proved too costly in manpower and weakened the economy, and Assyria never recovered its strength. It had won the victories at such an expense that it proved to be the beginning of the end the for the empire.

Battle Scene Showing Walls of Nineveh (ANE 124938)

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This panel shows the walls of Nineveh. It comes from the palace of Ashurbanipal. It shows huge triple walls. At the back is a building decorated with human-headed winged bulls, and column-bases carved like lions, made of bronze. The soldiers in front are from Elam to the east, possibly serving in the Assyrian army.

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