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HOME : Biblical Antiquities : Masterpieces of Biblical Art : Bronze Sculpture of Asherat
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Bronze Sculpture of Asherat - FZ.351
Origin: Byblos, Lebanon
Circa: 1900 BC to 1300 BC
Dimensions: 6.5" (16.5cm) high
Collection: Biblical
Style: Middle Bronze Age
Medium: Bronze


Location: United States
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Description
This extraordinary bronze statue is one of the earliest examples of the goddess Asherat, the "Mother of the Gods", or "the Holy One". She was the spouse of El the "Father of Men"; and in Ugarit, a maritime city, she was associated with the sea. It may not be a coincidence therefore that a statue of her came from Byblos, a coastal city. Called Byblos by the Greeks, this prosperous city was the source of papyrus on which they wrote their books, byblia. Though there were close ties with Egypt during this period, this statue is distinctly Near Eastern in style. She is the archetype female, naked and proud, with her arms upraised and fists clenched, characteristic of such goddess figures. Her femininity and overt sexuality is directly related to her being a fertility image. Her function was probably to stand in a temple dedicated to fertility rites, and accept homages by women hoping to conceive. Though she may be a goddess of the past, her power and sexual energy makes her as alive and vibrant today as she was thousands of years ago. - (FZ.351)

 

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