Erich Lessing

Let them eat (sacred) cake. Wearing an elaborate headdress and necklace, and cupping her breasts in her hands, a curvaceous female graces this clay cake mold found at Mari (its front and back are shown here). Malamat believes the woman on the mold may be the goddess Ishtar. He cites an early Israelite parallel in the Book of Jeremiah, where the prophet condemns the making of holy cakes for Ishtar (Jeremiah 7:16–20 and 44:19). As the passage indicates, worship of Ishtar was widespread and represents a religious phenomenon common to both Mari and ancient Israel.