BAR 17:05, Sep/Oct 1991
Understanding AsherahExploring Semitic Iconography
I would like to focus on a single well-known archaeological artifact as an entry into ancient Semitic iconography. More specifically, I would like to examine the Lachish ewerand related artifactsin order better to understand the ancient Canaanite goddess Asherah,1 who is mentioned at least 40 times in the Hebrew Bible.
From the Biblical references, it appears that Asherah is referred to in three different manifestations: (1) as an image, probably a statue or figurine representing the goddess herself; (2) as a tree; and (3) as a tree trunk. The latter two are, in effect, symbols of the goddess.