Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University/Nikolay Tarakhanov-Adani

Distinctive Edomite vessels are turning up by the hundreds at sites in southern Judah. At Qitmit alone, excavators have found more than 800 cult stands, bowls, figurines, reliefs and other objects—including the collection shown. Uniquely Edomite are the large anthropomorphic cult stands at the right side of the photo; their only parallels are from ‘Ein Hatzeva, another Edomite site in the Negev. These stands, fitted on top with a bowl (such as the one decorated with a pomegranate, second from the left in the photo), were probably used to make offerings of burnt incense or fragrant oil at Qitmit’s Edomite shrine. Many of the Edomite pieces, including the three-horned goddess, at left, and the sphinx, at right, are quite small, as is clear in comparison with the cult stands, which are about 20 inches high.