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Idols of the People – Miniature Images of Clay in the Ancient Near East - British Academy Scholarship Online
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Idols of the People: Miniature Images of Clay in the Ancient Near East

P.R.S. Moorey


This book presents work that investigates the numerous miniature baked clay images from Canaan, Israel and Judah (c.1600–600 bc). They constitute vital evidence for the imagery and domestic rituals of ordinary people, but significantly are not explicitly mentioned in the Old Testament. These terracottas are treated as a distinctive phenomenon with roots deep in prehistory and recurrent characteristics across millennia. Attention is focused on whether or not the female representations are worshippers of unknown deities or images of known goddesses, particularly in Early Israelite religion.

Keywords: clay images, Canaan, Israel, Judah, imagery, domestic rituals, people, Old Testament, terracottas

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780197262801
Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197262801.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

P.R.S. Moorey, author
Formerly Acting Director, Keeper of Antiquities, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Fellow of the British Academy