A divine offering. Discovered during construction at Elyakhin, in the central Sharon plain, and sold on the antiquities market, this Persian-period bronze bowl may have been offered to a group of deities called the ‘Ashtars with thanks for saving a man’s life. Punched into the bowl with a bronze needle or awl, the Aramaic dedication encircling its rim reads “This which ‘TH gave to Bagoi, for the life of his soul, to the ‘Ashtars.”
The late fifth-century B.C. bowl was discovered with several bronze votive offerings, including one dedicated to “the ‘Ashtars, who are in Sharon.” The inscriptions suggest that the cult of a previously unknown group of deities flourished in this region during the Persian period.