Israel Museum

Egyptian imagery. The goddess ’Athirat/’Elat, the Canaanite equivalent of the Biblical Asherah, wears the distinctive heart-shaped wig of the Egyptian goddess Hathor in this pendant and similar ones from Ugarit and nearby Minet el-Beida. While the portrayal of Qudshu indicates Canaanite influence on Egypt, these pendants show that influences traveled in both directions—from Egypt as well as to Egypt.

Tellingly, the two other prominent symbols on these pendants (other than the wig) are tree branches and pubic triangles (at bottom). The association of trees and pubic triangles, two symbols of life-giving, with the deity corresponding to Asherah is further proof to author Hestrin that the stylized tree on the Lachish ewer does indeed represent Asherah.