Consort of the Sumerian goddess Ishtar who was prominent in the fertility rituals of the Sacred Marriage. Upon death, he became a god of the underworld. The earliest known mention of Tammuz is in texts dating to the early part of the Early Dynastic III period (c 2600-2334 BC), but his cult was probably older. The cult is attested for most of the major cities of Sumer in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. He eventually changed to an agricultural deity, viewed as the power of the grain in texts of the Assyrians and Sabaeans.