Revisiting the Fosse Temple at Tel Lachish

in Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
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This paper reconsiders the Late Bronze Age history of the Fosse Temple at Lachish and reconstructs its context vis-à-vis the broader role of the local Canaanite cult. During the reign of Amenhotep iii the structure’s plan was modified to conform to Egyptian-style and there was a profusion of Egyptian imports to the site, primarily associated with the cult of Hathor. These facts reflect the cultic innovations that were taking place in Egypt itself—the self-deification of Amenhotep iii and his consort, Tiye, including her depiction and worship as Hathor. It is consequently argued that the translation of Hathor/Tiye into the local goddess, Elat, and its continuous practice until the late 13th century bc echo the integration of Egypt within the indigenous cultural world.

Revisiting the Fosse Temple at Tel Lachish

in Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions




Ibid.2124 83; L. Singer-Avitz “The Pottery of the Late Bronze I Phase” in D. Ussishkin The Renewed Archaeological Excavations at Tel Lachish (1973–1994) 1024–1026.




Ibid.37–38 and pl. 67.


Ibid.22; E. Yannai “The Late Bronze Age Pottery from Area S” in D. Ussishkin The Renewed Archaeological Excavations at Tel Lachish (1973–1994) 60–61.


Bietak“Function” 63–74.


S. Wimmer“Egyptian Temples in Canaan and Sinai,” in Studies in Egyptology Presented to Miriam Lichtheimed. S. Israelite-Groll (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Hebrew University1990) 1080–1082.


A. D. Espinel“The Role of the Temple of Ba’alat Gebal as Intermediary between Egypt and Byblos during the Old Kingdom,” Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur 30 (2002): 103–119; R. Flammini “Elite Emulation and Patronage Relationship in the Middle Bronze: The Egyptianized Dynasty of Byblos” Tel Aviv 37 (2010): 154–168; idem “Northeast Africa and the Levant in Connection: a World-System Perspective on Interregional Relationship in the Ear Second Millennium BCE” in Interweaving Worlds: Systemic Interactions in Eurasia 7th to 1st Millennia BC eds. T. C. Wilkinson S. Sherratt and J. Bennet (Oxford: Oxbow Books 2011) 205–217.


Berman in A. P. Kozloff and B. M. BryanEgypt’s Dazzling Sun: Amenhotep III and His World (Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art1992) 70–72; A. P. Kozloff Amenhotep III: Egypt’s Radiant Pharaoh (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2012) 108–109.


Johnson“Monuments and Monumental Art” 66–75.


Ibid. 79; Kozloff and BryanEgypt’s Dazzling Sun105–110; Kozloff Amenhotep III 169–172.


Kozloff and BryanEgypt’s Dazzling Sun110; Kozloff Amenhotep III 172–174. See also fragments of statuettes of Tiye from the temple of Hathor at Serabit el-Khadim depicting her with traditional attributes of the goddess (W. M. F. Petrie Researches in Sinai [London: J. Murray 1906] Fig. 133; also M. Dijkstra “A Seated Queen Hathor Statue from Amenhotep iii’s 33rd Regnal Year at Serabit el-Khadim” Tel Aviv 42 [2015]: 165–176) which might indicate her local worship as Hathor.


Kozloff and BryanEgypt’s Dazzling Sun39–41; Johnson “Monuments and Monumental Art” 86–89; Kozloff Amenhotep III 182–196; R. A. Grover “Queenship and Eternal Life: Tije Offering Palm Ribs at the Sed-Festival Thrones of Amenhotep III” Studia Antiqua 6 (2008): 1–14.


Grover“Queenship and Eternal Life” 11–12.


Kozloff and BryanEgypt’s Dazzling Sun43; Kozloff Amenhotep III 102–103; S. Schoske “At the Center of Power: Tiye Ahhotep and Hatshepsut” in Queens of Egypt: From Hetepheres to Cleopatra ed. C. Ziegler (Monaco: Grimaldi Forum; Paris: Somogy editions d’art 2008) 188 190.


Kozloff and BryanEgypt’s Dazzling Sun171–172 175–177 202–203 212; Johnson “Amenhotep III” 72–77; Grover “Queenship and Eternal Life” 8–9; L. Troy “The Queen as a Female Counterpart of the Pharaoh” in Queens of Egypt ed. C. Ziegler 158–159 162–163.


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S. L. Budin“Before Kypris was Aphrodite,” in Transformation of a Goddessed. D. T. Sugimoto obo 263 (Fribourg: Academic Press; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht2014) 195–215.


G. J. Stein“Introduction: The Comparative Archaeology of Colonial Encounters,” in The Archaeology of Colonial Encounters: Comparative Perspectivesed. G. J. Stein (Santa Fe: School of American Research Press; Oxford: James Currey2005) 3–31.


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  • View in gallery
    Location map showing major sites mentioned in the text.
  • View in gallery
    Plan of the three phases of the Fosse Temple (after Tufnell, Inge and Harding, Lachish ii: The Fosse Temple, pl. 66–68).
  • View in gallery
    The Lachish ewer inscription (after Tufnell, Inge and Harding, Lachish ii: The Fosse Temple, pl. 60 no. 3).


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