A new seismic model of the three–dimensional variation in shear velocity throughout the Earth's mantle is presented. The model is derived entirely from shear bodywave travel times. Multibounce shear waves, core–reflected waves and SKS and SKKS waves that travel through the core are used in the analysis. A unique aspect of the dataset used in this study is the use of bodywaves that turn at shallow depths in the mantle, some of which are triplicated. The new model is compared with other global shear models. Although competing models show significant variations, several large–scale structures are common to most of the models. The high–velocity anomalies are mostly associated with subduction zones. In some regions the anomalies only extend into the shallow lower mantle, whereas in other regions tabular high–velocity structures seem to extend to the deepest mantle. The base of the mantle shows long–wavelength high–velocity zones also associated with subduction zones. The heterogeneity seen in global tomography models is difficult to interpret in terms of mantle flow due to variations in structure from one subduction zone to another. The simplest interpretation of the seismic images is that slabs in general penetrate to the deepest mantle, although the flow is likely to be sporadic. The interruption in slab sinking is likely to be associated with the 660 km discontinuity.