14. Sennacherib Prism

This artifact is known as the Sennacherib Prism. It was made in ancient Assyria in c. 690 BC of baked clay and is approximately 15 inches tall. The cuneiform script in the Akkadian language refers to Israelite King Hezekiah and to Assyrian King Sennacherib, both of whom are in the biblical text (cf. 2 Kings 19:9). In the inscription the Assyrian talks about trapping Hezekiah in Jerusalem like a caged bird. The artifact was purchased from a Baghdad antiquities dealer in c. 1919 and is now in the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures Museum (formerly the Oriental Institute Museum), University of Chicago. It is one of a number of such prisms found so far (e.g. Taylor Prism, British Museum).

PHOTO: © Michael J. Caba