Last week it was announced that the Festschrift for Shalom Paul, celebrating his 70th birthday has just appeared, with a slew of interesting article by a large group of scholars.
Among others, there is a short piece by yours truly on an interesting find from Tell es-Safi/Gath – a seated image of diety, which was found in the 9th century BCE destruction level (Stratum A3), which we relate to the conquest of Gath by Hazael.
This is the title of the article:
Maeir, A. M. 2008. A Seated Figurine from Tell es-Safi/Gath: A Philistine Image of El? In Birkat Shalom: Studies in the Bible, Ancient Near Eastern Literature, and Postbiblical Judaism Presented to Shalom M. Paul on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, eds. C. Cohen, V. Hurowitz, A. Hurvitz, Y. Muffs, B. Schwartz and J. Tigay. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.
The figurine, which originally was apparently applied to some other object, is reminiscent of the Canaanite god “El”, and I thus suggest in this article that perhaps, this is a manifestation of this god as part of the Philistine pantheon (of which we know so little).
Interestingly, this figurine was found several seasons ago. In the last two seasons, when we continued to excavated in the same area, we found the concentration of cultic objects that I have reported before, including another exactly similar figurine.
Very interesting …