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While object representing deities were common in the ancient world, only statues created under carefully prescribed conditions and with proper rituals were regarded as real images that the deity inhabited. Some images were made of stone, cast of solid metal or molded from clay; however, the primary statues of deities that dominated the temples were usually carved of wood and covered with a thin layer of gold or silver and adorned with precious stones and elegant clothing. The Assyrian king Esarhaddon commissioned a major restoration of temples and images.

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