Erich Lessing

A symbol of Bronze Age civilization—the law code of the Babylonian king Hammurabi (1792‒1750 B.C.E.), carved on the pedestal of this 7-foot-high stela—is also emblematic of that age’s final collapse. Showing a seated Hammurabi appealing to the enthroned god Shamash, the stela was removed to the city of Susa by invading Elamites, who entered Babylonia in the vacuum left by the fallen Bronze Age powers in Assyria and Babylonia.