An important Phoenician Inscribed Limestone Plaque, ca. 1200 - 300 BCE
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This rare and extraordinary small plaque, carved from pale pink limestone is of thick rectangular form. On the front, lightly carved in raised relief is the standing figure of a Phoenician male deity, probably the god Baal, brandishing a thunderbolt in his right hand. The reverse is incised with three lines of Phoenician script.
Background: Descendants of the original Canaanites, the Phoenicians worshipped the same god Baal who was considered one of the most important gods in the pantheon. Known as Baal Shamen, Lord of the Heavens, he was the archetypal god of both fertility and the thunderstorm, as well as a mighty warrior, sometimes a sun god and the protector of crops and livestock.
Dimensions: Height: 6.8 cm (2.67 inches), Width: 3.2 cm (1.26 inches), Depth: 2.2 cm (0.86 inches)
Condition: A few minor chips to the edges and small loss to the bottom right area of the figure, otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Alex Malloy collection, acquired in the 1970s.