The Sargonic victory stele from Telloh is one of the most celebrated works of art from third millennium Mesopotamia. Two fragments, one inscribed (AO 2679 = Pl. III) and one with relief (AO 2678 = Pl. II), have been known since 1893, and all who have examined them agree that the two fragments very probably belong to the same monument. Because of the incomplete inscription, the monument has generally been dated on art historical grounds to sometime between the reigns of Sargon and Naram-Sin. The purpose of this study is three-fold: to publish a newly identified fragment of this stele, to offer a new interpretation for the entire monument, and to propose a precise dating and historical context for it.
YBC 2409 is of white limestone, and was at least twice reused (in antiquity ?) as a door socket. As a result, the stone is heavily damaged. To judge from its accession number, the piece was acquired by Yale before 1915. Remains of three bands of inscription are found on one side. A glance at the photograph (Pl. IV) will show that this stone is strikingly similar in appearance to AO 2679. Samples of AO 2679 and YBC 2409 were analysed by Catherine Skinner, Yale University (see Appendix II).