© Kay Kohlmeyer/Syro-German mission

FACE-OFF. The “Storm God of Halab” (shown here) seems to square off against the king who built him his sanctuary in this 6-foot-high relief at a temple in Aleppo in northern Syria. This temple was destroyed and rebuilt multiple times during the Bronze and early Iron Ages. An inscription next to the king’s image identifies the monarch as “King Taita … of PaDAsatini, [who] honored the image of the Halabean Storm God.” Scholars differ over the date of this phase of the temple, placing it anywhere from the 11th century to the end of the tenth century B.C.E.—a close contemporary of Solomon’s Temple in either case. PaDAsatini is probably related to Philistine, and Taita might well have been king of a Philistine state that existed here at this time.