Zila Sagiv/Israel Antiquities Authority

ON THE COVER: “Who ordered the soup?” is the caption one wag in the office attached to this anthropomorphic (human-shaped) cult stand, found smashed to pieces in a pit near a seventh-sixth century B.C.E. fortress at ‘En Hatzeva, about 20 miles southwest of the Dead Sea. Two other anthropomorphic stands were found in the pit, along with numerous cultic objects, such as stone altars and incense burners; the pit was found covered with ashlars (hewn stones), which had probably been taken from a nearby shrine. In “Smashing the Idols: Piecing Together an Edomite Shrine in Judah,” Rudolph Cohen and Yigal Yisrael note that the anthropomorphic stands, used to make offerings to a deity, appear to identify the shrine as Edomite. The authors also solve a puzzle: How can it be that every piece of every object has been recovered? Because these Edomite objects were dumped in the pit intact and crushed with the ashlars—probably as part of the Judahite king Josiah’s religious reform (late seventh-century B.C.), intended to rid Judah of pagan practices.