Water flows from the mountain god (identified by the scalloped pattern of his robe) in four directions on this 13th-century B.C.E. ivory inlay from the Assyrian capital As
ur. Like the goddess with the vase, the mountain god is both the source of the water and the water itself. In this scene he stands between two sacred trees and holds a vase from which four streams of water flow to four pots. Winged bulls stand guard at right and left. In the ancient world, powerful composite creatures, such as the cherubim upon which Yahweh sits in the Temple in Jerusalem, often accompanied the gods.
Mountains also had great religious significance. They were sacred places where humanity might approach divinity. It was no coincidence that Solomon built both his own palace and the Temple of Yahweh on Mt. Zion, the mountain of God, in Jerusalem.