The Ashmolean

Iraq: Navel of the World

Worship [4]

Hammurabi, king of Babylon in the 18th century BC, reformed the old religion by making his personal god Marduk the most important deity. The 'Epic of Creation' describes how Marduk earned his position by creating the world from the body of a slain monster. The reform was enduring: this finely written tablet containing the first chapter of the Epic was copied out in Kish in the 7th century BC, over a millennium later. The cylinder seal impression below shows Marduk enthroned on his mushhushu dragon.
[1924.790, 1931.199]

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