Kuntillet ‘Ajrud Storage Jar

Drawings on Pithos A from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, late ninth–early eighth century BCE

Kuntillet ‘Ajrud is an archaeological site on the Sinai Peninsula in present-day Egypt. The site was likely an Israelite trading post or oasis. Excavations undertaken in the 1970's revealed two large pithos jars (used to store water and other liquids) with intriguing drawings and text. The drawings portray several deities, humans, animals, and symbols.

The textual inscriptions found on the jars are, in large part, written in early Hebrew script and are thought to be from a different time period from the drawings. These inscriptions repeatedly mention Yahweh and his Asherah


yahweh-asherah-jar-drawing

Canaanite mother goddess

Gods or goddesses; powerful supernatural figures worshipped by humans.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

Short written texts, generally inscribed on stone or clay and frequently recording an event or dedicating an object.

Short written texts, generally inscribed on stone or clay and frequently recording an event or dedicating an object.

Relating to or associated with people living in the territory of the northern kingdom of Israel during the divided monarchy, or more broadly describing the biblical descendants of Jacob.

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