Israel Museum/Erich Lessing
The Bible also mentions that the Judahite king Manasseh “bowed down to all the host of heaven…and he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the House of the Lord” (2 Kings 21:3–5). Manasseh’s altars must have been fairly small if several of them were set up in the Temple courts, Haran notes, concluding that the small horned altars excavated in Israel once may have held the honey-sweetened cakes and other grain-offerings presented to the Queen of Heaven. Significantly, most of the altars date to the seventh century B.C.E., a period of Assyrian hegemony in Judah. The only similar horned altar discovered outside Israel was found in Nineveh—in Assyria.