Conference Proceedings

A Seventh Century BCE Pendant, Ištar and Cross-Cultural Artistic Exchange



What is the proper approach that scholars should use for understanding cross-cultural artistic exchange in the ancient Near East? There are certainly a number of ways one group may borrow another group’s artistic motifs and incorporate them into their own system. This paper examines a seventh-century BCE silver pendant that was discovered at Tel Miqne-Ekron in 1992. Since the time of publication, the pendant is usually understood as depicting the Mesopotamian goddess Ištar. The present paper challenges the prevailing scholarly opinion on the grounds that the consensus is too simplistic. It is not always the case that when a culture borrows ‘foreign’ imagery it also adopts the meaning that the image possessed in the source culture. It is argued that there is good reason to conclude that the pendant from Ekron incorporated an Assyrianising artistic style, which looks like Ištar but was intended to show a local goddess.


How to Cite: Gray, T. (2022) “A Seventh Century BCE Pendant, Ištar and Cross-Cultural Artistic Exchange”, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. 33(1). doi: