An Israeli citizen discovered a statue of the Egyptian goddess Hathor, more than 3,000 years old, on Palmahime beach. Experts have confirmed that it is a typical artifact of the Canaanite culture of the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age, which adopted religious practices from the Egyptians.
Hathor was considered one of the principal goddesses of the ancient Egyptian pantheon. She was the patroness of women, symbolized beauty and motherhood, and was also associated with music, dance and merriment.
The find was made shortly after the launch of the government’s “Bring Antiquities Back with a Click,” a program that encourages residents to donate objects that look like ancient artifacts to the state for examination. The program was launched by the Antiquities Authority and the Israeli Ministry of Jerusalem and Jewish Heritage.
Dr. Amir Golani, an expert on the Bronze Age of the Israel Antiquities Authority, noted that ritual figurines like the one found were used for religious worship and were typical of Canaanite culture of the time. He also added that the Canaanites were adopting religious practices from the Egyptians who ruled the region at the time.
The figurine is made of clay and has many of the characteristics of images of the goddess Hathor, including a hairdo that mimics bull’s horns and bulging eyes. Despite minor damage, scholars have been able to determine that it is most likely a statue of Hathor.