Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Bull statuette
Samaria region
Iron Age I, 12th century BCE
H: 12.5; L: 17.5 cm
Staff Archaeological Officer in the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria
Accession number: K3942
Found at an open-air ritual site in the Israelite heartland, this fine statuette brings to mind the golden calf of the Exodus story, as well as the golden calves placed by King Jeroboam I in Bethel and Dan. Canaanite in inspiration, it attests to Israelite adoption of a Canaanite motif. For the Israelites it may have symbolized God, or the pedestal of the unseen God.

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir