Stele Inscribed with the Law Code of Hammurabi
Date ca. 1760 BCE
Movement Ancient Near Eastern | Babylonian
Dimensions stele height approx. 7’, relief height 28”
Provenance Khuzestan, Iran
Housed at Musée du Louvre
The Mesopotamian tradition of symmetry and smooth surfaces hold here in one of the earliest known forms of written law. Given that Hammurabi and Shamash see eye-to- eye, and without the use of an intercessor, we can deduce Hammurabi’s powerful status; however, with the use of scale, the viewer can still understand his position as a “shepherd,” and not an actual god.