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Cultic Bull Stelae, c. 732 BCE

Cultic_Bull_Stelae

 Cultic Bull Stelae

Cultic Bull Stelae found at Bethsaida in the summer of 1997. The stelae had been smashed; it was found in pieces with its upper portion lying at the foot of a high place. The site was the capital of the Geshurites, the inhabitants of a district between Philistia and Sinai.

The bull depicts the city’s chief deity, who symbolically embraces and protects the city. Likely destroyed during the Assyrian conquest of Tiglath-pileser III (732 BCE), the stela recalls Lamentations 4-1- “The sacred stones lie scattered at the head of every courtyard.”

“Prize Finds—The Bull from the Sea- Geshur’s Chief Deity?” BAR Jan-Feb 1998.

See also-

Bethsaida Rediscovered, Rami Arav, Richard A. Freund and John F. Shroder, Jr. BAR 26-01, Jan-Feb 2000.

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