British Museum

The sun-god Shamash reigns from his throne (right) as attendants present to him the Babylonian king Nabu-apla-iddina (second from left), in this ninth-century B.C.E. tablet from Sippar. Between them, a flat sun-disk stands on edge on an altar, supported by ropes held by attendant deities (above center). The cuneiform text describes Nabu-apla-iddina’s restoration of Shamash’s temple at Sippar, which had been ravaged two centuries earlier. Like P, the sun-disk tablet combines a cult legend with stipulations of priestly income. According to this text, a priest discovered a model of the lost divine image of the sun-god. He showed it to the king, thereby making it possible to restore the statue. The priest was duly rewarded.