’Ēl is a Northwest Semitic word meaning "god" or "deity", or referring to any one of multiple major ancient Near Eastern deities. A rarer form, ` ila, represents the predicate form in Amorite; the word is derived from the Proto-Semitic archaic biliteral ʾ‑l, meaning "god". Specific deities known as ʾEl or ʾIl include the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion and the supreme god of East Semitic speakers in Mesopotamia’s Early Dynastic Period. Cognate forms are found throughout the Semitic languages, they include Ugaritic ʾilu, pl. ʾlm. In northwest Semitic use, El was both a generic word for any god and the special name or title of a particular god, distinguished from other gods as being "the god". El is listed at the head of many pantheons. In some Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, El played a role of creation. However, because the word sometimes refers to a god other than the great god Ēl, it is ambiguous as to whether Ēl followed by another name means the great god Ēl with a particular epithet applied or refers to another god entirely.
For example, in the Ugaritic texts, ʾil mlk is understood to mean "Ēl the King" but ʾil hd as "the god Hadad". The Semitic root ʾlh may be ʾl with a parasitic h, ʾl may be an abbreviated form of ʾlh. In Ugaritic the plural form meaning "gods" is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm "powers". In the Hebrew texts this word is interpreted as being semantically singular for "god" by biblical commentators; however the documentary hypothesis developed in the 1870s, identifies these that different authors - Jahwist, Elohist and the Priestly source - were responsible for editing stories from a polytheistic religion into those of a monotheistic religion. Inconsistencies that arise between monotheism and polytheism in the texts are reflective of this hypothesis; the stem ʾl is found prominently in the earliest strata of east Semitic, northwest Semitic, south Semitic groups. Personal names including the stem ʾl are found with similar patterns in both Amorite and Sabaic—which indicates that already in Proto-Semitic ʾl was both a generic term for "god" and the common name or title of a single particular god.
The Egyptian god Ptah is given the title ḏū gitti'Lord of Gath' in a prism from Tel Lachish which has on its opposite face the name of Amenhotep II. The title ḏū gitti is found in Serābitṭ text 353. Cross points out that Ptah is called the Lord of eternity and thinks it may be this identification of ʼĒl with Ptah that lead to the epithet ’olam'eternal' being applied to ʼĒl so early and so consistently. A Phoenician inscribed amulet of the seventh century BCE from Arslan Tash may refer to ʼĒl; the text was translated by Rosenthal as follows: However, Cross translated the text as follows: In some inscriptions, the name ’Ēl qōne ’arṣ meaning "ʼĒl creator of Earth" appears including a late inscription at Leptis Magna in Tripolitania dating to the second century. In Hittite texts, the expression becomes the single name Ilkunirsa, this Ilkunirsa appearing as the husband of Asherdu and father of 77 or 88 sons. In a Hurrian hymn to ʼĒl, he is called ’il brt and ’il dn, which Cross takes as'ʼĒl of the covenant' and'ʼĒl the judge' respectively.
Amorite inscriptions from Sam'al refer to numerous gods, sometimes by name, sometimes by title by such titles as Ilabrat'God of the people', ʾil abīka "God of your father", ʾil abīni "God of our father" and so forth. Various family gods are recorded, divine names listed as belonging to a particular family or clan, sometimes by title and sometimes by name, including the name ʾil "God". In Amorite personal names, the most common divine elements are ʾil "God", Hadad/Adad, Dagan, it is that ʾil is very the god called in Akkadian texts Amurru or ʾil ʾamurru. For the Canaanites and the ancient Levantine region as a whole, Ēl or Il was the supreme god, the father of mankind and all creatures, he fathered many gods, most Hadad and Mot, each sharing similar attributes to the Greco-Roman gods: Zeus and Hades respectively. As recorded on the clay tablets of Ugarit, El is the husband of the goddess Asherah. Three pantheon lists found at Ugarit begin with the four gods ’il-’ib, Ēl, Ba’l Ṣapān. Though Ugarit had a large temple dedicated to Dagon and another to Hadad, there was no temple dedicated to Ēl.
Ēl is called again Tôru ` Ēl. He is bātnyu binwāti, ’abū banī ’ili, ‘abū ‘adami, he is qāniyunu ‘ôlam, the epithet ‘ôlam appearing in Hebrew form in the Hebrew name of God ’ēl ‘ôlam "God Eternal" in Genesis 21.33. He is ḥātikuka. Ēl is the grey-bearded ancient one, full of wisdom, malku, ’abū šamīma, ’El gibbōr. He is named lṭpn of unknown meaning, variously rendered as Latpan, Latipan, or Lutpani. "El" and his major son: "Hadad"
Jewish culture is the culture of the Jewish people from the formation of the Jewish nation in ancient Israel through life in the diaspora and the modern state of Israel. Judaism guides its adherents in both practice and belief, so that it has been called not only a religion, but an orthopraxy. Not all individuals or all cultural phenomena can be classified as either "secular" or "religious", a distinction native to Enlightenment thinking. Jewish culture in its etymological meaning retains linkage to the Jewish people's land of origin, the people named for the Kingdom of Judah, study of Jewish texts, practice of community charity, Jewish history; the term "secular Jewish culture" therefore refers to many aspects, including: Religion and World View, Literature and Cinema, Art and Architecture and Traditional Dress, attitudes to Gender and Family, Social Customs and Lifestyles and Dance. "Secular Judaism," is a distinct phenomenon related to Jewish secularization - a historical process of divesting all of these elements of culture from their religious beliefs and practices.
Secular Judaism, derived from the philosophy of Moses Mendelssohn, arose out of the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment, itself driven by the values of the Enlightenment. In recent years, the academic field of study has encompassed Jewish Studies, Literature and Linguistics. Historian David Biale has traced the roots of Jewish secularism back to the pre-modern era. He, other scholars highlight the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, dubbed "the renegade Jew who gave us modernity" by scholar and novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein in an intellectual biography of him. Today, the subject of Jewish secularization is taught, researched, at many North American and Israeli universities, including Harvard, Tel Aviv University, UCLA, Temple University and City University of New York which have significant Jewish alumni. Additionally, many schools include the academic study of Judaism and Jewish culture in their curricula. Throughout history, in eras and places as diverse as the ancient Hellenic world, in Europe before and after the Age of Enlightenment, in Al-Andalus, North Africa and the Middle East, in India and China, in the contemporary United States and Israel, Jewish communities have seen the development of cultural phenomena that are characteristically Jewish without being at all religious.
Some factors in this come from within Judaism, others from the interaction of Jews with host populations in the diaspora, others from the inner social and cultural dynamics of the community, as opposed to religion itself. This phenomenon has led to different variations of Jewish culture unique to their own communities. There has not been a political unity of Jewish society since the united monarchy. Since Israelite populations were always geographically dispersed, so that by the 19th century the Ashkenazi Jews were in Eastern and Central Europe. Although there was a high degree of communication and traffic between these communities — many Sephardic exiles blended into the Ashkenazi communities in Central Europe following the Spanish Inquisition. Medieval Jewish communities in Eastern Europe continued to display distinct cultural traits over the centuries. Despite the universalist leanings of the Enlightenment, many Yiddish-speaking Jews in Eastern Europe continued to see themselves as forming a distinct national group — "'am yehudi", from the Biblical Hebrew — but, adapting this idea to Enlightenment values, they assimilated the concept as that of an ethnic group whose identity did not depend on religion, which under Enlightenment thinking fell under a separate category.
Constantin Măciucă writes of "a differentiated but not isolated Jewish spirit" permeating the culture of Yiddish-speaking Jews. This was only intensified as the rise of Romanticism amplified the sense of national identity across Europe generally. Thus, for example, members of the General Jewish Labour Bund in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were non-religious, one of the historical leaders of the Bund was the child of converts to Christianity, though not a practicing or believing Christian himself; the Haskalah combined with the Jewish Emancipation movement under way in Central and Western Europe to create an opportunity for Jews to enter secular society. At the same time, pogroms in Eastern Europe provoked a surge of migration, in large part to the United States, where some 2 million Jewish immigrants resettled between 1880 and 1920. By 1931, shortly before The Holocaust, 92% of the World's Jewish population was Ashkenazi in origin. Secularism originated in Europe as series of movements that militated for a new, heretofore unheard-of concept called "secular Judaism".
For these reasons, much of what is thought of by English-speakers and, to a lesser extent, by non-English-speaking Europeans as "secular Jewish culture" is, in essence, the Jewish cultural movement that evolved in Central and Eastern Europe, subsequently brought to North America by immigrants. During the 1940s, the Holocaust uproote
The Palestinian vocalization, Palestinian pointing, Palestinian niqqud or Eretz Israeli vocalization is an extinct system of diacritics devised by the Masoretes of Jerusalem to add to the consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible to indicate vowel quality, reflecting the Hebrew of Jerusalem. The Palestinian system is no longer in use, having been supplanted by the Tiberian vocalization system; the Palestinian vocalization reflects the Hebrew of Palestine of at least the 7th century. A common view among scholars is that the Palestinian system preceded the Tiberian system, but came under the latter's influence and became more similar to the Tiberian tradition of the school of Aaron ben Moses ben Asher. All known examples of the Palestinian vocalization come from the Cairo Geniza, discovered at the end of the 19th century, although scholars had known of the existence of a "Palestinian pointing" from the Vitry Machzor. In particular, Palestinian piyyutim make up the most ancient of the texts found, the earliest of which date to the 8th or 9th centuries and predate most of the known Palestinian biblical fragments.
As in the Babylonian vocalization, only the most important vowels are indicated. The Palestinian vocalization along with the Babylonian vocalization are known as the superlinear vocalizations because they place the vowel graphemes above the consonant letters, rather than both above and below as in the Tiberian system. Different manuscripts show significant systematic variations in vocalization. There is a general progression towards a more differentiated vowel system closer to that of Tiberian Hebrew over time; the earliest manuscripts use just six graphemes, reflecting a pronunciation similar to contemporary Sephardi Hebrew: The most occurring Palestinian system uses seven graphemes, reflecting vowel differentiation in the direction of Tiberian Hebrew: Even so, most Palestinian manuscripts show interchanges between qamatz and patah, between tzere and segol. Shva is marked in multiple ways; some manuscripts are vocalized with the Tiberian graphemes used in a manner closer to the Palestinian system.
The most accepted term for this vocalization system is the Palestino-Tiberian vocalization. This system originated in the east, most in Palestine, it spread to central Europe by the middle of the 12th century in modified form used by Ashkenazi scribes due to its greater affinity with old Ashkenazi Hebrew than the Tiberian system. For a period of time both were used in biblical and liturgical texts, but by the middle of the 14th century it had ceased being used in favor of the Tiberian vocalization. Babylonian vocalization Niqqud Joshua Blau. Phonology and Morphology of Biblical Hebrew. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. ISBN 1-57506-129-5. Sáenz-Badillos, Angel. A History of the Hebrew Language. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-55634-1. Tov, Emanuel. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress. ISBN 978-0-8006-3429-2. Yahalom, Joseph. Palestinian Vocalised Piyyut Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections. Cambridge University. ISBN 0-521-58399-3
Judeo-Marathi is a form of Marathi spoken by the Bene Israel, a Jewish ethnic group that developed a unique identity in India. Judæo-Marathi is, like other Marathi, written in the Devanagari script, it may not be sufficiently different from Marathi as to constitute a distinct language, although it is characterized by a number of loanwords from Hebrew and Aramaic as a result of influence from the Cochin Jewish community, Judæo-Malayalam and Portuguese and some influence from the Urdu language. It has some linguistic features in common with various Jewish languages, developed by Jewish communities in disparate places in times, which are variants of a local language with loanwords from Hebrew and Aramaic; the Judæo-Marathi community resides in Raigad and Thane districts and the city of Mumbai in Maharashtra. The majority of its members have emigrated to Israel, most of the rest live in England and Canada. A rare Marathi-Hebrew text titled "Poona Haggadah", was found in Manchester; the 137-year-old book, used by the Bene-Israel community, was discovered by a University of Manchester historian, Yaakov Wise.
A blog about Bene-Israel
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve, according to the creation myth of the Abrahamic religions, were the first man and woman. They are central to the belief that humanity is in essence a single family, with everyone descended from a single pair of original ancestors, it provides the basis for the doctrines of the fall of man and original sin that are important beliefs in Christianity, although not held in Judaism or Islam. In the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible, chapters one through five, there are two creation narratives with two distinct perspectives. In the first and Eve are not named. Instead, God created humankind in God's image and instructed them to multiply and to be stewards over everything else that God had made. In the second narrative, God fashions places him in the Garden of Eden. Adam is told that he can eat of all the trees in the garden, except for a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Subsequently, Eve is created from one of Adam's ribs to be Adam's companion, they are unembarrassed about their nakedness.
However, a serpent deceives Eve into eating fruit from the forbidden tree, she gives some of the fruit to Adam. These acts give them additional knowledge, but it gives them the ability to conjure negative and destructive concepts such as shame and evil. God curses the serpent and the ground. God prophetically tells the woman and the man what will be the consequences of their sin of disobeying God, he banishes them from the Garden of Eden. The story underwent extensive elaboration in Abrahamic traditions, it has been extensively analyzed by modern biblical scholars. Interpretations and beliefs regarding Adam and Eve and the story revolving around them vary across religions and sects; the story of Adam and Eve is depicted in art, it has had an important influence in literature and poetry. The story of the fall of Adam is considered to be an allegory. There is physical evidence that Eve never existed. Adam and Eve are figures from the primeval history, the Bible's mythic history of the first years of the world's existence.
The History tells how God creates the world and all its beings and places the first man and woman in his Garden of Eden, how the first couple are expelled from God's presence, of the first murder which follows, God's decision to destroy the world and save only the righteous Noah and his sons. Although the new world is as sinful as the old, God has resolved never again to destroy the world by flood, the History ends with Terah, the father of Abraham, from whom will descend God's chosen people, the Israelites. Adam and Eve are first woman. Adam's name appears first in Genesis 1 with a collective sense, as "mankind". In these chapters God fashions "the man" from earth, breathes life into his nostrils, makes him a caretaker over creation. God next creates for the man a "helper corresponding to him", from his side or rib, she is called ishsha, "woman", the text says, she is formed from ish, "man". The man receives her with joy, the reader is told that from this moment a man will leave his parents to "cling" to a woman, the two becoming one flesh.
The first man and woman are in God's Garden of Eden, where all creation is vegetarian and there is no violence. They are permitted to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; the woman is tempted by a talking serpent to eat the forbidden fruit, gives some to the man, who eats also.. God curses all three, the man to a lifetime of hard labour followed by death, the woman to the pain of childbirth and to subordination to her husband, the serpent to go on his belly and suffer the enmity of both man and woman. God clothes the nakedness of the man and woman, who have become god-like in knowing good and evil banishes them from the garden lest they eat the fruit of a second tree, the tree of life, live forever; the story continues in Genesis 3 with the "expulsion from Eden" narrative. A form analysis of Genesis 3 reveals that this portion of the story can be characterized as a parable or "wisdom tale" in the wisdom tradition; the poetic addresses of the chapter belong to a speculative type of wisdom that questions the paradoxes and harsh realities of life.
This characterization is determined by the narrative's format and the plot. The form of Genesis 3 is shaped by its vocabulary, making use of various puns and double entendres; the expulsion from Eden narrative begins with a dialogue between the woman and a serpent, identified in Genesis 3:1 as an animal, more crafty than any other animal made by God, although Genesis does not identify the serpent with Satan. The woman is willing to talk to the serpent and respond to the creature's cynicism by repeating God's prohibition against eating fruit from the tree of knowledge; the woman is lured into dialogue on the serpent's terms. The serpent assures the woman that God will not let her die if she ate the fruit, furthermore, that if she ate the fruit, her "eyes would be opened" and she would "be like God, knowing good and evil"; the woman sees
Biblical Hebrew called classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew, a Canaanite Semitic language spoken by the Israelites in the area known as Israel west of the Jordan River and east of the Mediterranean Sea. The term "Hebrew" was not used for the language in the Bible, referred to as שפת כנען or יהודית, but the name was used in Greek and Mishnaic Hebrew texts, it is less mutually intelligible with modern Hebrew. Hebrew is attested epigraphically from about the 10th century BCE, spoken Hebrew persisted through and beyond the Second Temple period, which ended in the siege of Jerusalem, it developed into Mishnaic Hebrew, spoken up until the fifth century CE. Biblical Hebrew as recorded in the Hebrew Bible reflects various stages of the Hebrew language in its consonantal skeleton, as well as a vocalic system, added in the Middle Ages by the Masoretes. There is some evidence of regional dialectal variation, including differences between Biblical Hebrew as spoken in the northern Kingdom of Israel and in the southern Kingdom of Judah.
The consonantal text was transmitted in manuscript form, underwent redaction in the Second Temple period, but its earliest portions can be dated to the late 8th to early 7th centuries BCE. Biblical Hebrew has been written with a number of different writing systems; the Hebrews adopted the Phoenician alphabet around the 12th century BCE, which developed into the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet. This was retained by the Samaritans. However, the Aramaic alphabet displaced the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet for the Jews, it became the source for the modern Hebrew alphabet. All of these scripts were lacking letters to represent all of the sounds of Biblical Hebrew, though these sounds are reflected in Greek and Latin transcriptions/translations of the time; these scripts only indicated consonants, but certain letters, known by the Latin term matres lectionis, became used to mark vowels. In the Middle Ages, various systems of diacritics were developed to mark the vowels in Hebrew manuscripts. Biblical Hebrew possessed a series of "emphatic" consonants whose precise articulation is disputed ejective or pharyngealized.
Earlier Biblical Hebrew possessed three consonants which did not have their own letters in the writing system, but over time they merged with other consonants. The stop consonants developed fricative allophones under the influence of Aramaic, these sounds became marginally phonemic; the pharyngeal and glottal consonants underwent weakening in some regional dialects, as reflected in the modern Samaritan Hebrew reading tradition. The vowel system of Biblical Hebrew changed over time and is reflected differently in the ancient Greek and Latin transcriptions, medieval vocalization systems, modern reading traditions. Biblical Hebrew had a typical Semitic morphology with nonconcatenative morphology, arranging Semitic roots into patterns to form words. Biblical Hebrew distinguished three numbers. Verbs were marked for voice and mood, had two conjugations which may have indicated aspect and/or tense; the tense or aspect of verbs was influenced by the conjugation ו, in the so-called waw-consecutive construction.
Default word order was verb–subject–object, verbs inflected for the number and person of their subject. Pronominal suffixes could be appended to verbs or nouns, nouns had special construct states for use in possessive constructions; the earliest written sources refer to Biblical Hebrew by the name of the land in which it was spoken: שפת כנען'the language of Canaan'. The Hebrew Bible shows that the language was called יהודית'Judaean, Judahite'. In the Hellenistic period Greek writings use the names Hebraios, Hebraïsti, in Mishnaic Hebrew we find עברית'Hebrew' and לשון עברית'Hebrew language'; the origin of this term is obscure. Jews began referring to Hebrew as לשון הקדש "the Holy Tongue" in Mishnaic Hebrew; the term Classical Hebrew may include all pre-medieval dialects of Hebrew, including Mishnaic Hebrew, or it may be limited to Hebrew contemporaneous with the Hebrew Bible. The term Biblical Hebrew refers to pre-Mishnaic dialects; the term'Biblical Hebrew' may or may not include extra-biblical texts, such as inscriptions, also includes vocalization traditions for the Hebrew Bible's consonantal text, most the early medieval Tiberian vocalization.
The archeological record for the prehistory of Biblical Hebrew is far more complete than the record of Biblical Hebrew itself. Early Northwest Semitic materials are attested from the end of the Bronze Age; the Northwest Semitic languages, including Hebrew, differentiated noticeably during the Iron Age, although in its earliest stages Biblical Hebrew was not differentiated from Ugaritic and the Canaanite of the Amarna letters. Hebrew developed during the latter half of the second millennium BCE between the Jordan and the
Lilith is a figure in Jewish mythology, developed earliest in the Babylonian Talmud. Lilith is envisioned as a dangerous demon of the night, sexually wanton, who steals babies in the darkness. Lilith may be linked in part to a earlier class of female demons in ancient Mesopotamian religion, found in cuneiform texts of Sumer, the Akkadian Empire and Babylonia. In Jewish folklore, Alphabet of Sirach onwards, Lilith appears as Adam's first wife, created at the same time and from the same clay as Adam—compare Genesis 1:27; the legend developed extensively during the Middle Ages, in the tradition of Aggadah, the Zohar, Jewish mysticism. For example, in the 13th-century writings of Isaac ben Jacob ha-Cohen, Lilith left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him and would not return to the Garden of Eden after she had coupled with the archangel Samael. Evidence in Jewish materials is plentiful, but little information has survived relating to the Sumerian, Akkadian and Babylonian view of this class of demons.
While the connection is universally agreed upon, recent scholarship has disputed the relevance of two sources used to connect the Jewish lilith to an Akkadian lilītu—the Gilgamesh appendix and the Arslan Tash amulets. In Hebrew-language texts, the term lilith or lilit first occurs in a list of animals in Isaiah 34:14, either in singular or plural form according to variations in the earliest manuscripts. In the Dead Sea Scrolls 4Q510-511, the term first occurs in a list of monsters. In Jewish magical inscriptions on bowls and amulets from the 6th century CE onwards, Lilith is identified as a female demon and the first visual depictions appear; the resulting Lilith legend continues to serve as source material in modern Western culture, occultism and horror. The Semitic root L-Y-L served as derivative for the Hebrew layil and Arabic layl, meaning "night"; the Talmudic and Yiddish use of Lilith is cognate with the Hebrew. In the Akkadian language of Assyria and Babylonia, the terms lili and līlītu mean spirits.
Some uses of līlītu are listed in The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, in Wolfram von Soden's Akkadisches Handwörterbuch, Reallexikon der Assyriologie. The Sumerian female demons lili have no etymological relation to Akkadian lilu, "evening". Archibald Sayce considered that Hebrew lilit לילית and the earlier Akkadian līlītu are from proto-Semitic. Charles Fossey has this translating to "female night being/demon", although cuneiform inscriptions from Mesopotamia exist where Līlīt and Līlītu refers to disease-bearing wind spirits. Another possibility is association not with "night", but with "wind", thus identifying the Akkadian Lil-itu as a loan from the Sumerian lil "air" — from Ninlil, "lady air", goddess of the south wind — and itud, "moon". Samuel Noah Kramer translated ki-sikil-lil-la-ke as Lilith in "Tablet XII" of the Epic of Gilgamesh dated c.600 BC. "Tablet XII" is not part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, but is a Assyrian Akkadian translation of the latter part of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh.
The ki-sikil-lil-la-ke is associated with a zu bird. In Gilgamesh and the Netherworld, a huluppu tree grows in Inanna's garden in Uruk, whose wood she plans to use to build a new throne. After ten years of growth, she comes to harvest it and finds a serpent living at its base, a Zu bird raising young in its crown, that a ki-sikil-lil-la-ke made a house in its trunk. Gilgamesh is said to have killed the snake, the zu bird flew away to the mountains with its young, while the ki-sikil-lil-la-ke fearfully destroys its house and runs for the forest. Identification of ki-sikil-lil-la-ke as Lilith is stated in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. According to a new source from Late Antiquity, Lilith appears in a Mandaic magic story where she is considered to represent the branches of a tree with other demonic figures that form other parts of the tree, though this may include multiple "Liliths". Suggested translations for the Tablet XII spirit in the tree include ki-sikil as "sacred place", lil as "spirit", lil-la-ke as "water spirit".
But simply "owl", given that the lil is building a home in the trunk of the tree. A connection between the Gilgamesh ki-sikil-lil-la-ke and the Jewish Lilith was rejected by Dietrich Opitz and rejected on textual grounds by Sergio Ribichini. Kramer's translation of the Gilgamesh fragment was used by Henri Frankfort and Emil Kraeling to support identification of a woman with wings and bird-feet in the Burney Relief as related to Lilith, but this has been rejected by sources, including the British Museum, in current possession of the piece; the terracotta plaque depicts a beautiful, naked goddess-like sylph with bird-like features who stands atop two lions and between two owls. Although once believed to be the actual image of Lilith, it is now thought to represent Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of love, beauty and sexual desire; the depiction of the nocturnal and predatory owls, have led many to believe the relief is an affirmation of Lilith's role as a demon who flies about the underworld, delivering night terrors to those who sleep.
The Arslan Tash amulets are limestone plaques discovered in 1933 at Arslan Tash, the aut