A common symbol of the ancient Assyrian/Mesopotamian Sun God Shamash. It is often referred to as the “Seal of Shamash,” and appears near images of the God, or to represent his presence when worn by Kings or in inscriptions.

The Seal of Shamash is a typical solar symbol, and probably represents the Sun Wheel, or solar calendar, much like the Celtic Cross or the Pueblo Zia. The four arms most likely represent the solstices and equinoxes, which were extremely important calendar days in ancient agrarian cultures.

Image of Shamash- Click for Gallery

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Sonja October 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Yes is is spelled “Shamash” which is interesting because in our Chaldean church we refer to those of teacher lower power of the priest as “shamasha”. The symbol is also displayed on the Assyrian flag as well as Chaldean yet differ in designs.

Yoram Bar-Am May 1, 2011 at 6:20 am

I came across your website through a message received from an ITA (Israel Translation Association) member. I am surprised and amazed about the vast scope and nformation contained therein.
I would like to mention that the title “SHAMASH” in your SOLAR Symbols should be spelled “SHEMESH” which means “SUN” in Hebrew. “SHAMASH” is the “Attendant or Caretaker” in the religious ceremonies and it is even employed to designate the special nineth candle used during the HANNUKAH celebrations, where the jewish people light the special 8 arms candelabra commemorating the Hashmonayin revolt to achieve freedom from the Roman empire in Mesopotamia – Israel.

Jennifer June 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Hello Yoram, thank you for your note. I thought it might be worthwhile to point out that this variation refers to the Mesopotamian/Akkadian, but I do believe there’s enough wiggle room that either could be transliterated either way.

Illuminatus December 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I agree with Jennifer. I have personally came across native Aramaic (Syriac) speakers pronouncing it as “Shamsha” or “Shmsha” (also compare to Arabic “shams”).

By the way “shamash”, in sense of “caretaker (in ceremonies)” could be transliterated as either “shamaash” or “shamāsh”.

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