The Solar deity of Truth, Justice, and Law


Shamash-Utu has a beard of gold and eyes of lapis-lazuli, and flames or rays of light radiating out from his head and shoulders. He is wears a horned helmet and carries either a pruning saw, which he is said to use to cut up the night each morning, or a mace of gold. He espouses truth, order, and justice, encouraging those who serve him to follow those precepts.

He is known by the symbol of a solar star disk, or his pruning saw.


Shamash-Utu is brother to Nanna-Sin, and father to both Ereshkigal and Inanna. He is the patron deity of Sippar, and is believed to reside there.

It is thought that every day, Shamash-Utu emerges from a mountain in the east (symbolizing dawn), and travels either via chariot or boat across the Earth, returning to a hole in a mountain in the west (symbolizing sunset). Every night, Shamash-Utu descends into the underworld to decide the fate of the dead.

His major temples in Sippar and Larsa are known as “The Shining House”, a direct reflection on the brilliancy of their sun-god.


Dawn of Civilization VadVaro