Stele Inscribed with the Law Code of Hammurabi

Stele Inscribed with the Law Code of Hammurabi

Date ca. 1760 BCE

Movement Ancient Near Eastern | Babylonian

Medium Diorite

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.