Israel Museum

The Ashdoda. This remarkable artifact portrays a female figure, with an elongated neck and conical breasts, in the form of a chair. It was found at Ashdod, a sister city to Philistine Ekron that gives the object its name. Fragments of similar figurines were also found at Ekron. The Ashdoda dates to the 12th century B.C.E. and measures nearly seven inches tall; it was found near a site of cultic activity, which may mean that it was used for votive offerings. The figurine bears typical Philistine red and black decoration and shows Mycenaean influence, harkening back to the Philistine homeland in the Aegean. Such works of art disappear at about 1000 B.C.E., which has led many historians to mistakenly conclude that the Philistines vanished from history at about that time.