Clay Cover of the Tablet of Shamash

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Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
published on 22 March 2018

This is a fired clay cover of the sun god (Shamash) tablet. Its purpose was to protect the obverse side (face) of the tablet. It has retained the impression of the carved panel of the tablet. The Babylonian king Nabu-apla-iddina (reigned 888-855 BCE) made this cover and the tablet was buried. The Babylonian king Nabopolassar (reigned 626-605 BCE) found the tablet, and in order to open the tablet, this cover had to be broken. The latter cover, however, was replaced with a new one (to cover the face of the tablet) while this broken one was retained. Both covers were placed in a single coffer and then buried. Circa 860-850 BCE. From the Temple of Shamash at Sippar, Southern Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq. (The British Museum, London).

About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Amin, O. S. M. (2018, March 22). Clay Cover of the Tablet of Shamash. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Amin, Osama S. M. "Clay Cover of the Tablet of Shamash." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 22, 2018.

MLA Style

Amin, Osama S. M. "Clay Cover of the Tablet of Shamash." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 22 Mar 2018. Web. 22 Apr 2019.

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