An analysis of a stamp seal with complex religious motifs excavated at Tel 'En Gev

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Abstract

This paper analyses the nature of a large stamp seal with complex religious motifs, recently excavated at Tel 'En Gev, Israel. The find is compared with other seals unearthed from sites in surrounding regions. Although the form and material of the seal reflect a local style, the motif of a degenerated form of a stylised tree indicates divergence from the local fertility symbols of the Middle to Late Bronze Age. The appearance of a variety of horned quadrupeds and suckling animals, together with scorpions, suggests cultural influence from northern Syria. Since this seal was unearthed from an Iron IB stratum at a site on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, its iconography seems to reflect the changing religious atmosphere at the beginning of the Iron Age in the southern Levant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-21
Number of pages13
JournalIsrael Exploration Journal
Volume64
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology

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