© Dr. Eilat Mazar

A GRAVE MATTER. Tombstones were erected above ground to mark the location of urn burials at Achziv, and fires were lit at the base to prepare a meal for the dead (and the living). Some of the tombstones were carved with a simple circle, which represented the sun and the chief Phoenician god Baal-Shamem (visible in center of photo). Others bore a cross with a circle on top (see far right), known from Punic sites as the “Tanit symbol,” which represented a female figure—more specifically the Phoenician goddess Tanit/Ashtoret, the consort of Baal. The stone stela on the left bears a stylistic depiction of a temple façade.