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MT1405

A Phoenician Terracotta Figurine of Asharte, ca. early 2nd millennium BC

mold made, the great goddess of war and love portrayed in a form of warrior, shown standing on a high integrated plinth, her left arm bent, hand held over her chest, the right arm brandishing a sword, a belt with decorative circle around her waist.

Background: Asharte  (either "the Star", or "She of the Womb"), is a Semitic goddess of love and war who is the cult partner of Ba'al ("the king"),and the Canaanite Great  Goddess As with many of the other Near Eastern Goddesses of the planet Venus, two of Her aspects are that of the Goddess of War and the Goddess of Love. As Venus the morning star, Asharte is a Goddess of War and Hunting; and as the evening star, she is the Goddess of Love, Sex, Fertility and Vitality, depicted as a nude woman. In her role as Goddess of Love she was honored with sexual rites  such as practices of temple prostitution. Asharte's Priests and Priestess where often chosen by the royal family. 

The sources of Phoenician mythology include several (fragmentary) myth cycles preserved on ancient tablets, of which one is the  Epic of Ba'al;   There are many variations in names, as the Phoenician language (like many Semitic languages) did not make use of vowels, and in a lot of cases it seems it was up to the particular translator's fancy as to where to put them in to make things readable; for example,The  Great Goddess A sharte  is better known by Her Greek name of Astarte .

For related example see: The British Museum, Terracottas In The British Museum, fig.110 

Condition:  Good traces of white slip remaining, some wear that does not detract, intact and in very good condition overall. 

Dimensions:  Height: 16.51 cm (6.5 inches) Width: 3.81 cm (1.5 inches) 

Provenance:   S. Bono private collection, Chicago, Il, acquired from the London trade in early 2000's and previously in a private English collection.

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