The antiquity and complexity of the Egyptian goddess Hathor are reflected in her numerous roles, the diverse forms she assumed, and her many cult centers. The most distinctive symbol of the goddess was a frontal human head with cow’s ears. This symbol decorated objects associated with her cult, such as stone capitals, musical instruments, and mirrors, and was the most common representation of the goddess in Canaan. The importance of Hathor outside Egypt is related to her role as patroness of the exotic goods that the Egyptians imported from foreign lands, such as turquoise from Sinai, copper from Timna, myrrh and frankincense from Punt in East Africa, and cedar from Byblos in Lebanon. This role finds expression in her titles “Lady of Turquoise,” “Lady of Punt,” and “Lady of Byblos.” The use of Hathoric symbols in Canaan is first attested on Canaanite scarabs of the Hyksos Period, which feature a Canaanite goddess with the typical Hathor hairstyle or large ears inspired by the goddess’s cow ears. This trend continued into the time of the Egyptian Empire in Canaan, when Hathoric attributes were introduced into the images of Canaanite goddesses, as seen on gold pendants and plaques and clay figurines.

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