Goddess Discoveries in the Holy Land
The secrets of the earliest religions and the worship of goddesses seem to keep washing up in or being excavated in the Holy Land.
Goddess Discoveries Made in the Holy Land in 2022
"Palestinian archaeologists say that the head of the Canaanite deity, Anat, dates back 4,500 years to the late Bronze Age. The discovery was made by a farmer digging his land in Khan Younis, in the south of the strip." writes Yolande Knell, for BBC News, Jerusalem, on April 26, 2022.
"A team of archaeologists in northern Israel have discovered a rare bronze coin depicting a symbol of the zodiac, dating back nearly 2,000 years. The treasure was found near Haifa in the Mediterranean Sea, and was minted in Alexandria, Egypt, during the reign of Roman emperor Antonius Pius," writes Caroline Goldstein, Art News, on August 5, 2022. "Exceptionally well-preserved, the coin depicts a crab, the image of the Cancer zodiac sign—which, in astrology, is associated with sensitivity and intuition—under a portrait of Luna, the moon goddess." It was likely lost to the sea after a shipwreck.
"Before the Israelis and the Palestinians, before the Greek and the Roman empires, before the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah, before the Umayyad Caliphate and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem – there were the Yarmukians," writes Judith Sudilovsky, in The Jerusalem Press, on July 7, 2022. "This 8,000-year-old Neolithic agricultural culture is considered the first culture in the prehistoric area of what today is called Israel. It is one of the oldest cultures in the Levant to make use of ceramic pottery, with a distinctive style of herringbone decorations incised in horizontal and diagonal lines over the body of their ceramic cooking, serving, and storage vessels."
"The culture is also known for its enigmatic and iconic "Mother Goddess" figurines, which are believed to have been part of a Yarmukian fertility cult," she says.
"Archaeologists excavating an ancient cemetery in Israel have discovered an idol they believe belongs to the goddess Ashera at a place of worship that is at least 7,500 years old," writes Leman Altuntaş, in Arkeonews, on May 22, 2022. "Found during excavations on a mountainside near Eilat, Israel's southernmost city at the northern tip of the Red Sea, the site was first discovered in 1978 and excavated as a salvage excavation before the city's westward expansion in the late 1980s. But it took take three decades years to analyze the findings and publish the articles."
Altuntaş goes on to explain: "Who is the Asherah?: Asherah, ancient West Semitic goddess, consort of the supreme god. According to texts from Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra, Syria), Asherah's consort was El, and by him, she was the mother of 70 gods. As mother goddess she was widely worshiped throughout Syria and Palestine, although she was frequently paired with Baal, who often took the place of El; as Baal's consort, Asherah was usually given the name Baalat."
Earlier Goddess Discoverings in the Holy Land
"Divers in the Eastern Mediterranean last month came across a treasure trove of sunken artifacts dating back to the Roman Empire, finding remarkably well-preserved metal figures, statues, lamps, and coins," writes Christopher Hassiotis, Archeology section of How Things Work, on May 16, 2016. "The treasure was submerged 1,600 years ago when the cargo ship it was on, taking the metal items to melt and recycle, sank in the harbor of the ancient Roman port city of Caesarea, which is today part of Israel's Caesarea National Park. A layer of fine sand covered the artifacts, which helped protect the statues, leading authorities to say they looked as if they were cast yesterday."
It is believed the ship sank during a storm that buried the objects, including a bronze lamp depicting the Roman sun god Sol, a sculpture of the moon goddess Luna, and fragments of three life-size bronze statues.
"A long-lost Roman statue buried for thousands of years has been unearthed by massive winter storms that have lashed the coast of Israel this week," according to a Daily Mail Reporter, writing for the Daily Mail, on December 16, 2010. "The mysterious white-marble figure of a woman in a toga and 'beautifully detailed' sandals was found in the remains of a cliff that crumbled under the force of 60mph winds and enormous 40ft waves. The statue, which lacks a head and arms, is about 4ft tall and weighs 440lbs. It was found at the ancient port of Ashkelon, around 20 miles south of Tel Aviv."
"It dates back to the Roman occupation of what was western Judea, between 1,800 and 2,000 years ago. The incredible find, which was discovered by a passer-by, will now be put on display in a museum," they reported.