British Museum

“Tribute of Jehu, son of Omri” reads the cuneiform caption over the second register from the top of the Black Obelisk. Discovered in 1846 by Austen Henry Layard at Nimrud, this four-sided, 6.5-foot-high stone stela was erected by the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III in about 841 B.C.E. It is carved with five registers of relief sculptures—each identified by a short caption running above the scene—and depicts the tributes paid by various kingdoms to Shalmaneser. At right, King Jehu (c. 841–814 B.C.E.) of the northern kingdom of Israel is shown bowing in obeisance as his tribute is presented to the Assyrian king: “Silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden beaker, golden goblets, pitchers of gold, tin, staves for the hand of the king, [and] javelins.”

Interestingly, the Assyrians refer to Jehu as “son of Omri,” meaning “son of the house of Omri”—suggesting the existence of a northern Israelite dynasty dating back at least to the time of King Omri (c. 885–874 B.C.E), providing further confirmation of the chronology of the Book of Kings.