Taanach (Tell Ta’nik)

A beautiful day in Taanach. I have read about this site for years and finally visited a few days ago. The site stands at the threshold between the Valley of Jezreel and the northern hill country. Archaeologists have discovered insightful finds including cultic artifacts. Particularly, one of the most important, complete cult stands was discovered here. This stand exhibits 4 registers dedicated to Yahweh and Asherah, god and goddess, male god and consort demonstrating once again that Iron 2 religion in Israel  (Canaanite/Israelite) was polytheistic and syncretistic. We know very little about the cult in Iron Age Northern Israel so this site is supremely important for us to understand their religious practices.

Here is a link to a map and overview: Map Link

And here is a great link exploring the role of Asherah and Asherim: Asherah and Asherim

Further information about Yahweh and his Asherah (Kuntillet Ajrud): Yahweh and His Asherah (Kuntillet ‘Ajrud)

Here is a passage from the Hebrew Bible in Judges 1: 27-28:

“But Manasseh did not take possession of Beth-shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages; so the Canaanites persisted in living in that land. It came about when Israel became strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not drive them out completely.”