Wayne T. Pitard/Courtesy Directorate of Antiquities and Museums, Damascus, Syria

Asherah emerges most clearly from texts written in alphabetic cuneiform script on clay tablets, found at Ugarit on the Mediterranean coast of Syria. In these tablets from the 14th–12th centuries B.C.E., Asherah is the consort of the god El, called “Asherah of the Sea,” and mother of the gods. The 400-year gap between these texts and the Bible, however, renders these references essentially irrelevant as to whether Asherah was a consort of the Israelite God YHWH.