Picture of the Month

June 2013

The Mesha Stele (or the Moab Stele)

This basalt stele was discovered in 1868 at Dibon, the ancient capital of Moab, in Southern Jordan. Although it was discovered intact, it was smashed by the local people the next year due to a dispute over its ownership. It was reconstructed from a paper impression using the fragments recovered. It is currently kept in the Louvre in Paris. It records the warfare between King Mesha of Moab and King Omri of Israel and his son. It mentioned the name of the Moabite god Chemosh 10 times, and the building of an altar for Chemosh. It is also the earliest extant document that mentioned Yahweh, the God of Israel. II Kings 3:4-27 may be another record of the same history.