Zev Radovan

Asherah? Called “pillar figures” because of their pillar-like torso, pottery figurines such as this one may have represented the Canaanite “mother goddess” Asherah, who played a key role in Canaanite fertility cults. Common in Judah in the ninth through seventh centuries B.C.E., such figurines were constructed with mold-made heads, possibly imported from Phoenicia, attached to handmade bodies fashioned by Judahite potters. At the Annual Meeting, archaeologist William G. Dever discussed the continued popularity of the Asherah cult among the Iron Age Israelites and the attempt suppress it, especially by King Josiah (640–609 B.C.E.).