Reduced to Her Bare Essentials: Bronze Age Piriform Pendants in the Levant

Map of Eastern Mediterranean, with sites referenced in the text. Courtesy of Paul C. Butler.

Map of Eastern Mediterranean, with sites referenced in the text. Courtesy of Paul C. Butler.

Near Eastern Archaeology 79:3 (2016) article, “Reduced to Her Bare Essentials: Bronze Age Piriform Pendants in the Levant,” by Stephanie L. Budin, ancient historian who focuses on ancient Greece and the Near East.

This article considers the symbolic meanings of the face, breasts, vulva, and branch images which typify the schematic piriform pendants which first emerged in Tell el-‘Ajjul in the Late Bronze Age and spread through the Levant. In contrast to the usual hypotheses regarding fertility, Budin suggests that each of these elements refer to the Egyptian goddess Hathor as aspects of her attributes and powers in the Levant under Egyptian domination.


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