Zev Radovan

“The Venus of Jerusalem.” This amply endowed figurine, with a slight, Mona Lisa-like smile, received its nickname from the excavators because it was found armless (the smoother areas show where the arms and parts of her torso have been restored). “Venus” now sits with other First Temple-period remains on display in the corridor between the Western House and the rest of the Herodian Quarter. A remnant from Canaanite times (second millennium B.C.E.), the use of figurines such as this continued to be popular among the Israelites as talismans for fertility and for warding off evil during pregnancy and childbirth.