Zev Radovan

From Tell Mevorakh

The artifacts pictured here were brought to Mevorakh by Phoenicians, the ancient seafaring people whose native territory was the coastal region of today’s northern Israel, Lebanon, and southern Syria. One of the indicators of the expansion of Phoenician settlement and commerce is their vessels and votive objects, distinctively shaped and decorated.

The female head is the goddess Astarte—part of a votive figurine which probably was placed with its flat back against a wall in a place of worship. The clay statue was made in two parts: the face was made in a mold and the body—now missing—was formed by hand in the shape of a pillar. Wearing the wig of Astarte over her curled Greek bangs, this figurine is a typical example of mixed influences in Phoenician art from the fifth to fourth centuries B.C., the period when the Persians ruled in Israel and encouraged settlement by the Phoenicians.