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Figurine of a fertility goddess

Figurine of a fertility goddess

Figurine of a fertility goddess

Clay

H: 11; W: 1.4; Th: 1.7 cm

Israel Antiquities Authority
IAA:

1982-219

Archaeology/Chalcolithic & Canaanite Periods

This exceptional figurine of a Canaanite fertility goddess depicts the goddess from both the interior and exterior perspectives, as she prepares herself for the delivery of twins. The twins, seen within her womb, clutch at her breasts.

The figurine may represent Asherah, called the “sacred prostitute” or the “one of the womb.” According to myth, Asherah gave birth to the twin gods Shahar and Shalem. Symbols of Asherah, the sacred tree and ibex, appear on the goddess’ thigh. The figurine was probably an amulet for women in childbirth.

From the Israel Museum publications:

The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by:
The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir