Iron Age IIB-C; c.950-586 BCE
This fragment was originally part of a larger pillar statue of the fertility goddess, Astarte. Fortunately, this example still includes the majority of the iconographically significant elements of the statue, with only the left breast, arm and pillar base missing. The goddess' hair is depicted in a tightly curled, wiglike, manner above a smiling face with full cheeks. The necklaces of the figure are rendered with paint and she cups her right breast with her right hand, a gesture that would have been repeated with the left breast and arm as a symbol of fertility. Polychrome is still present on the face and hair in addition to the jewelry giving the viewer a glimpse into the original rich appearance of the statue.
10.9 x 5 cm (4.29 x 1.97 inches)
Similar complete examples can be found at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem and the Bible + Orient Museum at the University of Freiburg.
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Export Approval from the Israel Antiquities Authority
Dayagi-Mendels and Rozenberg, “Chronicles of the Land: Archaeology in the Israel Museum Jerusalem (Jerusalem: 2011)