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==[TASK]== Improved Carthaginian Priestess

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20 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

There are good references we can go off of, namely a relief on a Carthaginian sarcophagus found in North Africa. Potentially a priestess of Isis, but unconfirmed.




A bust of Tanit from Ibiza:



indeed not confirmed.

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necrópolis_de_los_Rabs (Spanish only)


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aal (in Semitic Canaanite [baʕal], "master" or "lord"; in Hebrew, בָּעַל [Báʿal]; in Arabic, بعل [Ba,al]) is an ancient divinity of several peoples located in Asia Minor and its area of influence: Babylonians, Chaldeans, Carthaginians, Phoenicians (associated with the ancient deity Melkart), Philistines and Sidonians. He was the god of rain, thunder and fertility.

On the other hand, Moloch Baal is a god of Canaanite origin who was worshipped by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Syrians. He was considered the symbol of purifying fire, which in turn symbolizes the soul. He is identified with Cronus1 and Saturn.2

Isis was equivalent to Asherah and tanit.


Heb. Ashêrâh [plural is *Ashêrîm and Ashêrôth; ugar. Aserat; Amarna Letters,*Ashirtu and *Ashratu.

1. Phoenician goddess of vegetation called "Asherah of the Tyrians" in an Ugaritic text.  Ugaritic literature refers to her as the "mistress of the gods," the "mistress [bride] of the [sky] gods," and as the mother of 70 deities, but her most distinctive title is Ashirat of the sea, the "mistress [who walks] of [the] sea."

Baal and Asherah were the most important fertility gods in Canaan and in the region of present-day Palestine. Their worship usually included sexual acts with a priest or priestess, to whom an offering had to be given. This basically became a sexual activity that was performed for money, which is why the veneration of these gods is related to prostitution.

The worship of Asherah was initially linked to that of Baal, but later acquired its own weight. The name of the goddess has variations depending on the language of the region:

In Ugaritic 'ṯtrt (also 'Aṯtart or 'Athtart, transliterated Atirat).
In Akkadian As-tar-tú (also Astártu).
In Etruscan Uni-Astre.
In Abyssinian (Ethiopian) Astar.
In South Arabian Athar.
In Mesopotamia Isthar
For the Sumerians it was the ancient Inanna.

In Hebrew and Phoenician it was called Ashtoreth.



the iconography of all these goddesses is the same.






The Priestess of Tanit and the Sheep

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19 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Right, Ishtar, Baal, Tanit, all related through Mesopotamia and Phoenicia, imported to Carthage. Good finds. (y) 

Syncretism and Sacred Prostitution ,lol.


the belief in the mother goddess and the goddess of sex is from Spain to the Arabian peninsula and Mesopotamia.

The only thing that would have to be investigated would be rites, even the iconography is the same.

There is quite a bit of modern Neonoaganism.






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there are Sumerian poems that take us back to the queen of heaven Inana.


1-19. When I go, when I go — the mighty queen who ……, who ……;

when I, the queen, go to the Abzu, when I, Inana (Inanna), go to the Abzu,


when I go to the Abzu, the E-nun, when I go to Eridug (Eridu, Enki‘s patron city) the good,


when I go to E-engura, when I go to E-ana (ziggurat residence in Uruk), the temple of Enlil,


when I go to ……, when I go to where the great offering bowls stand in the open air,


when I go to where the …… pure …… bowls, when I go to where …… is honored,


when I go to where Lord Enki is honored,


when I go to where Damgalnuna (Ninhursag) …… is honored,


when I go to where Asarluḫi (Marduk, Enki‘s son) …… is honored —


 (Ninurta, his mother Ninhursag, & Inanna in battle dress)


When I go into the van of the battle, I go as one who brings forth its brightest light (?).


When I follow at the rear of the battle, I go for …… the evil of the …….


66-69. (Inana speaks:)


“Wild bull, face of the Land!


I will give life to its man! I will fulfill all its needs (?)!


I will make its man produce correct speech in the shrine,


…… correct speech in the interior hall of the palace.”


70-77. (The priests (?) speak:)


“Oh mistress, let your breasts be your fields



your wide fields which pour forth grain!


Make water flow from them!


Provide it from them for the man!


Make water flow and flow from them!


Keep providing it from them for the man!


…… for the specified man, and I will give you this to drink.

I didn't put it in full text.




Inana have a contradictory nature.



Inana/Ištar is by far the most complex of all Mesopotamian deities, displaying contradictory, even paradoxical traits (Harris 1991; see also Bahrani 2000). In Sumerian poetry, she is sometimes portrayed as a coy young girl under patriarchal authority (though at other times as an ambitious goddess seeking to expand her influence, e.g., in the partly fragmentary myth Inana and Enki, ETCSL 1.3.1 and in the myth Inana's Descent to the Netherworld, ETCSL 1.4.1). Her marriage to Dumuzi is arranged without her knowledge, either by her parents or by her brother Utu (Jacobsen 1987: 3). Even when given independent agency, she is mindful of boundaries: rather than lying to her mother and sleeping with Dumuzi, she convinces him to propose to her in the proper fashion (Jacobsen 1987: 10). These actions are in stark contrast with the portrayal of Inana/Ištar as a femme fatale in the Epic of Gilgameš. Taken by the handsome Gilgameš, Inana/Ištar invites him to be her lover. Her advances, however, are rejected by the hero who accusingly recounts a string of past lovers she has cast aside and destroyed (Dalley 2000: 77ff).


Inana/Ištar is equally fond of making war as she is of making love: "Battle is a feast to her" Harris 1991: 269). The warlike aspect of the goddess tends to be expressed in politically charged contexts (Leick 1994: 7) in which the goddess is praised in connection with royal power and military might. This is already visible in the Old Akkadian period, when Naram-Sin frequently invokes the "warlike Ištar" (aštar annunītum) in his inscriptions (A. Westenholz 1999: 49) and becomes more prominent in the Neo-Assyrian veneration of Inana/Ištar, whose two most important aspects in this period, namely, Ištar of Nineveh and Ištar of Arbela, were intimately linked to the person of the king (Porter 2004: 42). The warrior aspect of Inana/Ištar, which does not appear before the Old Akkadian period (Selz 2000: 34), emphasizes her masculine characteristics, whereas her sexuality is feminine.

Divine Genealogy and Syncretisms

The family tree of Inana/Ištar differs according to different traditions. She is variously the daughter of Anu or the daughter of Nanna/Sin and his wife Ningal; and sister of Utu/Šamaš (Abusch 2000: 23); or else the daughter of Enki/Ea. Her sister is Ereškigal. Inana/Ištar does not have a permanent spouse per se, but has an ambivalent relationship with her lover Dumuzi/Tammuz whom she eventually condemns to death. She is also paired with the war god Zababa.


In the Assyrian Empire, Ištar of Nineveh and Ištar of Arbela were treated as two distinct goddesses in royal inscriptions and treaties of Assurbanipal. Also during this period Ištar was made the spouse of Aššur and known by the alternative name of Mulliltu in this particular role (Porter 2004: 42).


Cult Place(s)

The main city of Inana/Ištar is Uruk. As one of the foremost Mesopotamian deities, she had temples in all important cities: Adab, Akkade, Babylon, Badtibira, Girsu, Isin, Kazallu, Kiš, Larsa, Nippur, Sippar, Šuruppak, Umma, Ur (Wilcke 1976-80: 78; see also George 1993 for a comprehensive list).


Time Periods Attested

Inana is listed in third place after An and Enlil in the Early Dynastic Fara god-lists (Litke 1998). Inana/Ištar remains in the upper crust of the Mesopotamian pantheon through the third, second and the first millennia. She is especially significant as a national Assyrian deity, particularly in the first millennium.



The Iconography of Inana/Ištar is as varied as her characteristics. In early iconography she is represented by a reed bundle/gatepost Frankfort 1939: 15; Szarzyńska 2000: 71, Figs. 4-5), which is also the written form of her name in very early texts (Black and Green 1998: 108). The uppermost register of the famous Uruk Vase shows the goddess in anthropomorphic form, standing before two such gateposts (Black and Green 1998: 150, Fig.122). In human form as the goddess of sexual love, Inana/Ištar is often depicted fully nude. In Syrian iconography, she often reveals herself by holding open a cape. The nude female is an extremely common theme in ancient Near Eastern art, however, and although variously ascribed to the sphere of Inana/Ištar (as acolytes or cult statuettes), they probably do not all represent the goddess herself. A sound indication of divine status is the presence of the horned cap. In her warrior aspect, Inana/Ištar is shown dressed in a flounced robe with weapons coming out of her shoulder, often with at least one other weapon in her hand and sometimes with a beard, to emphasize her masculine side. Her attribute animal as the goddess of war is the lion, on the back of which she often has one foot or fully stands. In praise of her warlike qualities, she is compared to a roaring, fearsome lion (see Inana and Ebih, ETCSL 1.3.2). In her astral aspect, Inana/Ištar is symbolized by the eight-pointed star. The colours red and carnelian, and the cooler blue and lapis lazuli, were also used to symbolise the goddess, perhaps to highlight her female and male aspects respectively (Barret 2007: 27).


Name and Spellings

Inana/Inanna is the Sumerian name of this goddess. It is most often etymologically interpreted as nin.an.a(k), literally "Lady of the heavens" (Selz 2000: 29). A different interpretation (Jacobsen 1976: 36) translates her name as "Lady of the date clusters."


The Semitic name Ištar originally belonged to an independent goddess that was later merged and identified with the Sumerian Inana (Abusch 2000: 23). The meaning of her name is also unclear (for more information see Westenholz 2000: 345).




Inanna is the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, sensuality, fertility, procreation, and also of war. She later became identified by the Akkadians and Assyrians as the goddess Ishtar, and further with the Hittite Sauska, the Phoenician Astarte and the Greek Aphrodite, among many others.


She was also seen as the bright star of the morning and evening, Venus, and identified with the Roman goddess. Inanna is one of the candidates cited as the subject of the Burney Relief (better known as The Queen of the Night), a terracotta relief dating from the reign of Hammurabi of Babylon (r. 1792-1750 BCE) although her sister Ereshkigal is the goddess most likely depicted.


In the famous Sumerian/Babylonian poem The Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 2700 - 1400 BCE) Inanna appears as Ishtar and, in Phoenician mythology, as Astarte. In the Greek myth The Judgment of Paris, but also in other tales of the ancient Greeks, the goddess Aphrodite is traditionally associated with Inanna through her great beauty and sensuality. Inanna is always depicted as a young woman, never as mother or faithful wife, who is fully aware of her feminine power and confronts life boldly without fear of how she will be perceived by others, especially by men.


Aspects of the Goddess

She is often shown in the company of a lion, denoting courage, and sometimes even riding the lion as a sign of her supremacy over the 'king of beasts'. In her aspect as goddess of war, Inanna is depicted in the armor of a male, in battle dress (statues frequently show her armed with a quiver and bow) and so is also identified with the Greek goddess Athena Nike. She has been further associated with the goddess Demeter as a fertility deity, and with Persephone as a dying-and-reviving god figure, no doubt a carry-over from her original incarnation as a rural goddess of agriculture.

Although some writers have claimed otherwise, Inanna was never seen as a Mother Goddess in the way that other deities, such as Ninhursag, were. Dr. Jeremy Black notes:


One aspect of [Inanna's personality] is that of a goddess of love and sexual behaviour, but especially connected with extra-marital sex and - in a way which has not been fully researched - with prostitution. Inanna is not a goddess of marriage, nor is she a mother goddess. The so-called Sacred Marriage in which she participates carries no overtones of moral implication for human marriages. (108).


The Enduring Goddess

Inanna is among the oldest deities whose names are recorded in ancient Sumer. She is listed among the earliest seven divine powers: Anu, Enlil, Enki, Ninhursag, Nanna, Utu, and Inanna. These seven would form the basis for many of the characteristics of the gods who followed. In the case of Inanna, as noted above, she would inspire similar deities in many other cultures.


A vastly different personality from that of the traditional Mother Goddess (as exemplified in Ninhursag), Inanna is a brash, independant young woman; impulsive and yet calculating, kind and at the same time careless with other's feelings or property or even their lives. Jeremy Black writes:


The fact that in no tradition does Inanna have a permanent male spouse is closely linked to her role as the goddess of sexual love. Even Dumuzi, who is often described as her `lover', has a very ambiguous relationship with her and she is ultimately responsible for his death. (108)

Inanna endured, however, because she was so accessible and recognizable. Women and men both could relate to this goddess and it was no coincidence that both sexes served her as priests, temple servants, and sacred prostitutes. Inanna made people want to serve her because of who she was, not what she had to offer, and her devotees remained faithful to her long after worship in her temples had ceased. She was closely associated with the morning and evening star and, even the present day, she continues to be - even if few remember her name.

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Tanit, with a pill-box crown, the “polos.” She is dressed in a robe in the Greek style. Her jewelry consists of a glass-paste necklace with graduated beads, and gold earrings. Her arms are in what was probably a “blessing” position, and they have some limited movement. A number of other figurines like this came from Ibiza. Terracotta. Half life-size. Fifth-fourth century BCE. Found in the Punic graveyard of Puig des Molins, Ibiza, Spain (The Phoenicians settled in Spain around 650 BCE.) Archaeological Museum, Barcelona.


The heyday of the great temple began when the Carthaginians gained control of the Maltese archipelago in the 6th century BCE. Over the next 300 years, the temple, now belonging to Astarte and Tanit, grew in grandeur and wealth until, in 218 BCE, the Carthaginians lost Malta to the Romans. As was their custom, the Romans identified the local goddess with their Juno Caelestis and expanded the sanctuary on a grand scale, with a monumental gateway and magnificent mosaic floors. This rich and flourishing temple complex was certainly the world-famous sanctuary to Juno that Roman orator Cicero accused Caius Verres of pillaging while governor of Sicily and Malta, between 73 and 71 BCE. Despite Verres’s depredations, the temple survived well into our era, still dedicated to Tanit’s Roman counterpart, Juno Caelestis. 

The great Carthaginian goddess Tanit is definitely still a puzzle. We do know that she was the tutelary or protector goddess of the city of Carthage, originally a Phoenician colony in North Africa (Aubet 2001: 343). However, scholars are still undecided on the spelling and meaning of her name, her origins, her personality and powers, and, most of all, the question of her having been the prime recipient of child sacrifices at Carthage and elsewhere in the Punic (Carthaginian) and Phoenician world.[2]

Tanit,” according to this theory, derived from the same root as Tannin, the snaky, dragon-like sea monster of Canaanite myth and the Hebrew Bible (Isaiah 51: 9; Ezekiel 29: 3-5) (Olyan 1988: 53-54 note 63). The first to make this suggestion was F. M. Cross, and he also argued that Tanit began as an epithet of the Canaanite goddess Asherah (1973:32-33; Olyan 1988: 58)


Not surprisingly, most scholars treat Tanit as having come from the Phoenician mainland — as a descendant of one or more of the great Canaanite goddesses. Many think she was a Punic version of Astarte (Hardin 1963:87-88), but in some temples the two were clearly separate deities, though related (Ahlström 1986: 312; Betlyon 1985: 53-54). Some argue that her name is a version of Anat (Hvidberg-Hansen 1986: 178; Albright 1968: 42ff.). A few others see her as either originating in North Africa or being a combination of an indigenous North African goddess with one or more of the Phoenician/Canaanite deities (Ben Khader and Soren 1987: 44-45). An older explanation connects Tanit with the Egyptian goddess Neith (Olyan 1988: 54 note 63).


The English Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge suggested that the Christian biblical account of the flight into Egypt as recorded in the apocryphal gospels was directly influenced by stories about Isis and Horus; Budge argued that the writers of these gospels ascribed to Mary, the mother of Jesus, many peculiarities which, at the time of the rise of Christianity, were perceived as belonging to both Isis and Neith, for example, the parthenogenesis concept shared by both Neith and Mary.[14]


However, an ivory plaque solved the problem. The plaque, found in an 8th century BCE temple at Phoenician Sarepta, was dedicated to “Tanit and Astarte.” This constituted the first evidence that Tanit was worshiped in the Phoenician homeland, especially what is now Lebanon (Bordreuil 1987: 81). Before that find, Tanit was thought to be a strictly western and Carthaginian goddess (Aubet 2001: 68).


One of Astarte’s titles at ancient Ugarit in Syria and in Phoenicia was Shem Baal (shm b’l) “Name of Baal,” and it is interesting that Pane Baal (pn b’l) “Face [or Presence] of Baal” was a Tanit epithet in Punic inscriptions. It might have indicated that Tanit represented Baal (Hamon) in some way (Seow in Toorn et al. 1999: 322). In addition, in one 5th-century BCE inscription, Astarte was also called Pane Baal (Betlyon 1985: 54). However, Edward Lipiński, who thinks the epithet tnt signifies “She Who Weeps,” suggests that Tanit Pane Baal meant “Pleureuse en face de Baal” — “Weeper in the Presence of Baal” (1995: 2003). Undoubtedly, Tanit and Astarte were closely connected.


The details of Tanit’s nature and powers are not really clear. Like Astarte, she had a complex personality (Markoe 2000:130). First and foremost, she was the mother deity of Carthage, protector of the city and provider of fertility. As such she seems to have been a deity of good fortune. Goddess of the heavens, she was often associated with the moon (Benko 2004: 23). Like Asherah, she had maritime connections and was a patron of sailors (Brody 1998: 32-33; Betlyon 1985: 54). There is also some indication that she had a warlike nature, as we would expect of the protector of a city (Ahlström 1986: 311).



—same as a Athena, lol—

On carvings, Tanit’s presence was often signaled by dolphins or other fish as befitted her patronage of sailors.[5] Fertility symbols also abounded: pomegranates, palm trees, bunches of grapes, grain, leaves, and flowers. Indicators of her celestial connections were the crescent moon and sun. A caduceus entwined with what look like snakes might refer to Tanit as “She of the Snake” or, as one scholar has suggested, it might be a stylized version of Asherah’s sacred tree (Carter 1987: 378). Often, dove-like birds appear (Benko 2004: 24; Moscati 1999: 139). On some stelae an enigmatic open hand might suggest the delivery of a blessing (Azize 2007:196). In addition, Tanit was depicted in winged form in a cult cave on the Spanish island of Ibiza (Lipiński 1995:424-425; Ferrer 1970).


Scholars still dispute the conditions under which fetuses, infants, or children were sacrificed to deities. As elsewhere, human sacrifice seems to have been practiced in the Phoenician world in times of crisis (Aubet 2001: 246ff.). However, according to a number of Greek and, later, Christian writers, the Carthaginians regularly sacrificed their children to Baal-Hamon. Later, Tanit also received the grisly offerings. Adding to the gruesome reputation of the Phoenicians, the Hebrew Bible forbade the Israelites from burning their sons and daughters “as an offering to Molech” (2 Kings 23: 10). Such sacrifices took places at sites called “tophets” (Jeremiah 7: 31). A deity named Malik or Malek, probably originally an epithet meaning “king,” existed in the ancient Near East, since the word occurs as a theophoric or “god-bearing” element in names at Ebla, Mari, Ugarit, Phoenicia, and elsewhere (Müller in van der Toorn et al. 1999: 538-542; Lipiński 1995: 227-229; Heider 1985: 401).

There is little or no evidence that Malik required human sacrifice. The “Molech” in the Hebrew Bible is likely the same name presented with the vowels of the Hebrew word boshet meaning “shame” (Weinfeld 1972: 149). On the other hand, archaeologists have unearthed sacred enclosures in a number of Carthaginian cities that were extensive cemeteries. They contained the burnt remains of extremely young humans and animals interred in urns and usually marked with stelae, sometimes ornate, sometimes with inscriptions. Many of the inscriptions described the deposit as a molk, now understood as a kind of offering (Weinfeld 1972: 135 ff.). The recipient of molk offerings was originally Baal-Hamon alone and, later, Tanit joined him. Archaeologists began calling the cemeteries “tophets” and interpreting the contents of the urns as burnt sacrifices (Brown 1991: 14; Stager and Wolff 1984: 2). Because so many inscriptions mentioned Tanit, the “tophet” at Carthage became regarded as the “precinct” of the goddess (Aubet 2001: 250). Tanit was then seen as demanding child sacrifice.


The cemetery at Carthage was in use from around 700 BCE to 146 BCE. It contained over 20,000 urns holding the cremated bones of young humans and animals, 80% of which were fetuses or neonates (Aubet 2001: 251-252; Schwartz 1993:49). The accepted scholarship agrees with the excavators that the bones are the result of thousands of sacrifices, especially since the inscriptions were mostly votive; that is, they indicated that the depositors owed the deities a return for a favor. An example of such an inscription is: “To our lady, to Tanit . . . and to our lord, to Ba’al Hammon, that which was vowed . . . “ (Stager and Wolff 1984). The interpretation that the vow entailed the infant in the urn may not be correct, but it is generally advanced.


The physical anthropologist Jeffrey Schwartz had a different idea about the meaning of the cemetery. He carried out extensive studies of the bones from Carthage’s “tophet.” He pointed out that burials of infants and young children were very rare at Carthage, except in the “tophet,” and that 95% of the burials outside the “tophet” consisted of older children, teenagers, and adults. He concluded that the site was a graveyard for the very young, aborted fetuses, stillborn babies, and newborns who had died of natural causes (1993: 53-56). This explanation makes sense, even in the interpretation of inscriptions. Carthaginian parents would probably have wanted to entrust their dead babies to protective deities, particularly a kindly, motherly goddess, whom they might ask for another child.




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  • 2 weeks later...


National Bardo Museum, Tunis - photo: A well preserved mosaic in the Bardo Museum


obviusly is late but still better.


Punic religious practices continued, surviving until the fourth century AD in some cases. As with most cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, Punic religion suffused their society and there was no stark distinction between religious and secular spheres.


The Punics derived the original core of their religion from Phoenicia, but also developed their own pantheons.[3] The poor quality of the evidence means that conclusions about these gods must be tentative.[4] There are no surviving hymns, prayers, or lists of gods and while there are many inscriptions,[5] these are very formulaic and generally only mention the names of gods


t Carthage, this divine couple appears to have consisted of the god Baal Hammon and the goddess Tanit, who appear frequently in inscriptions from the tophet of Salammbô, with which they seem to have been especially associated.[4][11] 


From the fifth century BC, Tanit begins to be mentioned before Baal Hammon in inscriptions and bears the title "Face of Baal" (pene Baal), perhaps indicating that she was seen as mediating between the worshipper and Baal Hammon.[12] An anthropomorphic symbol, composed of a circular "head", horizontal "arms", and a triangular "body," which is frequently found on Carthaginian stelae, is known by modern scholars as the sign of Tanit, but it is not clear whether the Carthaginians themselves associated it with Tanit. The connections of Baal Hammon and Tanit to the Phoenician pantheon are debated: Tanit may have a Libyan origin,[12] but some scholars connect her to the Phoenician goddesses Anat, Astarte or Asherah; Baal Hammon is sometimes connected to Melqart or El.[4] The gods Eshmun and Melqart also had their own temples in Carthage.[4] The priests of other gods are known from epigraphic evidence, include Ashtart (Astarte), Reshef, Sakon, and Shamash.[11]

the attire looks like wings is no coincidence.



the pose is important. many cultures have this very Important pose.


Salammbô by Alfons Mucha (1896).


more modrn art.




Stella showing a priest carrying a child to sacrifice © The Bardo National Museum (Tunisia)


Carthage's mythology was essentially brought in from Phoenicia. The pantheon ferried by seamen and traders come from the East was adjusted to local traditions. Some deities achieved a poliad status. Tanit, originally a Berbero-Libyan divinity, whose name has resisted interpretation, was a symbol of fertility, birth and growth. Growing in importance, she became the poliad goddess of the Carthaginian city, identified to Astarte a Syro-Palestinian goddess of fertility and war. In other posts, though not in Carthage it was the latter who maintained her predominance in Phoenician cults. Tanit is so frequently associated to Baal Hamon that they seem to form a couple. Phoenician born, this god had also garnered Egyptian traits. He was a symbol of fecundity and good harvests. It is to this god, central to Carthaginian cult, that human sacrifices were offered. Other deities complemented the Carthaginian pantheon among which Eshmun, god of medicine and Melquart, god of growth and wealth. Brought in by the Phoenicians, Melqart's figure was later augmented with features from Greek hero Heracles. Ammon, familiar to the « Libyans », was associated to a ram-featured local god enjoying a large following, this regardless of a Greek name meaning « sandy » owed perhaps to his cult place in the Siwa oasis some 500 km west of Memphis, one of Pharaonic Egypt's capitals.


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@wowgetoffyourcellphone we got it.


are almost the same outfits.

the top hat.
dressed with the mystical moons and moons. (very Semitic by the way).


In his case, it was found that the prototype of the headdress was the double crown of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs pshent. It also suggests itself to Tanith, since a similar trend is observed in other Hellenistic goddesses.:




Goddess, 5th Century BC, Boeotia.



he goddess in Fig.5 is depicted without any hints in the ancient Egyptian crown of Lower Egypt deshret. Obviously, Tanith's headdress is a simplified deshret crown (without the "back").

Another characteristic feature of Tanith figurines is the method of hair styling (Fig. 2, 3, 10, 11, 26). At first glance, it seems that there is nothing unusual about it, but in reality it repeats the hairstyles of ancient Egyptian goddesses, gods (see Figure 24) and royalty:



fig 24.


The goddess Kadesh stands on a lion and holds a bouquet of lotuses in her right hand and a snake in her left. Ancient Egyptian medical stele.


However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the iconography of Kadesh was poorly known among archaeologists, so since then the so-called "Goddess with Snakes"has been walking on the pages of scientific works. Let me remind you that the iconography of Kadesh comes from the name Tzippi Hora:






Actually, the goddess Kadesh is derived from Hathor. Thus, there is every reason to assume that the figurines of Tanith, by analogy with the tzippi Hora, were used for medical purposes. Evidence of this is the caduceus found on them, or accompanying the symbolism of Tanith. In the iconography of the latter, there are images in the form of a praying goddess (Orants):


is similar to "Tanit symbol"



Carthaginian stelae.

The stele on the right is interesting because Tanith is depicted twice: at the bottom above the square and above, where her hands form a crescent-they support the solar disk, and the sun is depicted as a daisy with 12 petals. On the sides are shown two Choir spears, combined with caduceae. They certainly perform a protective function.



Compositionally, the stele is similar to the previous one, but something abstract is already depicted on the left and right, although a distant resemblance to a spear and a caduceus is still visible. The Tanith symbol is traditionally with raised hands, meaning Oranta. Her "head", by analogy with Fig. 18, depicts the moon, and exactly following the ancient Egyptian iconographic canon:



On the lunar disk is superimposed the symbol of the sun in the form of a six-petaled daisy. Lemon and pomegranate fruits are carved on either side of the sun. Further development of the symbolism of spears with caduceus is reflected in the following votive stele:



A few words should be said about the etymology of the name Tanit. Since everything points to the ancient Egyptian roots of the goddess, the origin of the name must be sought in the same place - in Ancient Egypt. The ending -t denotes the feminine gender, respectively, the root-tan. This word has already been used before "it comes from the euphemistic name of the sun god, Aten. Tanith could be represented as a female hypostasis, but in reality it comes from the ancient Egyptian goddess of Isis-Hathor, and in the Hellenistic era it acquired a new content and became associated with the goddess of the moon.


1. The goddess Tanit (Tinit) did not originate among the mythical Phoenicians, but is a further development of the image of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis-Hathor.

2. The name Tanith is derived from the name of the god Aten by forming the feminine gender: TN =>TNT. The names of Theon and Theon can be attributed to its closest dialect variants, and the goddess Athena - to the Greek equivalent of Tanith.

3. The prototype of the symbol of the goddess Tanith was the Ankh, and in such a way that the" body " of the Ankh became the dress of the goddess, and the horizontal bar became the hands.

4. Tanith figurines were obviously used for medical purposes (similar to tzippi Hora and Kadesh stelae ) or for protective purposes. Tanith symbols served mainly as protection and are most often found on funerary stelae.



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anit was a Phoenician and Carthaginian goddess, chief goddess of Carthage along with her husband Baal Hammon. She was adopted by the Punic Berbers. Her name seems to originate in Carthage (present-day Tunisia), although she does not appear in local theophoric names. She is equivalent to the lunar goddess Astarte, being romanized and worshipped in Roman Carthage as Dea Caelestis, Juno Caelestis or simply Caelestis.

In modern Tunisian Arabic, it is common to invoke "Omek Tannou" or "Oumouk Tangou" (Mother Tannou or Tangou, depending on the region) in years of drought to bring rain.

Their symbol was a circumference on a horizontal line and an inverted triangle or "V". Initially, the triangle was a trapezoid. Some scholars associate it with the Ankh symbol of Ancient Egypt.

In the south of the Iberian Peninsula, in Malaga, at the mouth of the Guadalhorce River, in the place known as Cerro del Villar, a Phoenician settlement was found and among its belongings and trousseaus a Tanit in a fairly good state of preservation.

Tanit was worshipped in the Punic contexts of the western Mediterranean, from Malta to Gades in the Hellenistic period. From the 5th century BC onwards, her worship was associated with that of Baal Hammon. He is given the epithet baal pene ("Baal's face") and the title rabat, the feminine form of rab (chief). In North Africa, where inscriptions and material remains are best preserved, she was a celestial goddess of war, wife of Baal Hammon, a virginal (unmarried) mother goddess and nurse, and, less specifically, a symbol of fertility, as are all female forms. Many of the major Greek goddesses were identified with Tanit by the interpretatio graeca, which recognized foreign deities as proper Greek gods.

Her shrine excavated at Sarepta in southern Phoenicia revealed an inscription that first identified her in her homeland and linked her with certainty to the goddess Astarte (Ishtar). One place where Tanit is uncovered is Kerkouane, on the Cape Bon peninsula in Tunisia.

Long after the fall of Carthage, Tanit was still venerated in North Africa under the name Juno Caelestis, because of her identification with the Roman goddess Juno. The ancient Berber people of North Africa also adopted the Punic cult of Tanit. In Egyptian, her name means Land of Neit, Neit being a warrior goddess. Her symbol, found on many stone inscriptions, appears as a trapezoid closed by a horizontal line at the top and crowned in the middle by a circle: the horizontal arm ends in two ascending lines at right angles or by hooks. Later, the trapezoid was frequently replaced by an isosceles triangle. Hvidberg-Hansen interprets the symbol as a woman raising her hands. Hvidberg-Hansen (Danish professor of Semitic philology), points out that Tanit is sometimes represented with a lion's head, showing her warrior aspect.

Numerous witnesses to the cult of Tanit have been found in Spain. First of all there are the toponyms related to Juno-Hera: the lunonis insula, cited by Pliny and identified with the current Isla de Leon in Cadiz; Strabo placed the islet of Hera next to the Strait of Gibraltar, identified with the islands of Perejil, La Paloma or Tarifa; Lunonis ara templumque, next to Ebora, near Sanlucar de Barrameda, mouth of the Guadalquivir River, a temple that may be the same as the sanctuary Phosphoros or Lux Divina cited by Strabo. Mela locates the lunonis Promunturium between Baesippo and the strait, identifiable with the Akrotérion Héras of Ptolemy, with the Promunturium Iunonis of Pliny and with the Sacrum iugum of Avieno, toponyms reducible to the cape of Trafalgar.

The most documented sanctuary in Spain, discovered in 1907, is in the Cueva d'Es Culleram (Sant Vicent de sa Cala) in the northeast of the island of Ibiza, where the cult was strongly rooted until Christianization in the second century. There, terracotta figures have been found (representing a winged bust of the goddess delimited by lotus flowers, a solar disk or a crescent moon) polychrome or even in some cases covered by thin layers of gold. The figures represent Tanit and Demeter. They appeared covered with ash and calcined bone, which may have served as a sacred cemetery or place of ritual sacrifice. In the same place, a plaque confirms the veneration of Reshef-Melkart.

The cult of Tanit spread beyond the Mediterranean area and even reached the Canary Islands (in fact, the aborigines of these islands, commonly called Guanches, were of Berber origin). The current neo-pagan religion called Church of the Guanche People, uses the symbol of the goddess Tanit to represent this new cult. This is because its faithful believe in the concept of the Mother Goddess3 venerated through the centuries and with different names. Tanit is also included in this cult, as she represents for this religion (like all the other goddesses) an invocation of the Guanche goddess Chaxiraxi who was venerated on the island of Tenerife. The possibility that the goddess Chaxiraxi was in fact the goddess Tanit herself with a different name and attributes due to the aforementioned Berber origin of the ancient Canarian aborigines is not ruled out either.



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29/Septiembre/2015 Islas Baleares. Ibiza Museo arqueológico del Puig de's Molins en Ibiza. Pieza encontradas en la cueva de Es Culleram, antiguo santuario púnico de culto a la diosa Tanit. © JOAN COSTA


The sanctuary of Es Culleram has something special. Beyond the certainty that it was dedicated to the most important goddess of the Punic pantheon and the mysteries that still, a century after its discovery, undoubtedly encloses, its uniqueness lies in the large number of original pieces that were found in it. The inventory includes a thousand bell-shaped votive offerings representing the goddess, which are unique in all the Punic sites in the Mediterranean. In all these figures, which represent 86 percent of the material found in the cave, Tanit wears a winged cloak, a representation unknown on the island, although, in fact, wings are one of the most frequent attributes of this divinity, which inherits them from the great winged goddess of Antiquity, Isis, the queen of the gods of Egyptian mythology.
A study carried out by researchers from the Archaeological Museum of Ibiza and the University of Seville, funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and which is expected to be published soon, has cataloged a total of 1,422 pieces, scattered in various museums and private collections, of which 1,114 are terracottas and 958 of them are the aforementioned flared figures (if the fragments are added there are more than two thousand votive offerings). These representations of Tanit, made with earth from the island, show, between the folded wings of the goddess, iconographic motifs such as the lotus flower (the most frequent and a well-known motif on coins minted on the island), the rosette, the palm, the lunar crescent or the caduceus, and some still retain traces of the paint with which they were decorated. The theory with the most consensus about the cave holds that all these figures are representations of Tanit and were consecrated pieces acquired as offerings that were probably burned and broken in the course of a ritual that included animal sacrifices. And the certainty that it is to this deity that the sanctuary was dedicated is provided by a small bronze plaque that a farmer found in 1923 and that has two inscriptions; the oldest, from the late fifth or fourth century BC, points to the worship of the associated divinities Reshef-Melqart (prior to Tanit) and the reverse, for which a disused plaque was probably reused, indicates that Tanit was the tutelary goddess of the place and that there was a group of priests at her service. In this inscription can be read the name "Tanit the mighty and Gad", and today, and it is a fact that is included in the work that will soon see the light, it is interpreted that Gad can refer to one of the characteristics of Tanit, translating as "Tanit the mighty and of the good fortune", a theory that reinforces other plates with neopunic inscriptions found in other places of the world and that allude to the goddess as "fortune of the sky", which would confer to her cult the character of oracle. That is to say, it is possible that in Es Culleram not only the goddess was asked that the harvests were prosperous but also that she could be asked if they would be. One mystery less, perhaps. At least one more that seems to be solved.


The lion, by the way, is not a rare attribute in the goddess Tanit, since it was the animal representative of the warrior character of the oriental goddesses.
Coins of the god Bes, censers and remains of the knives and crockery used during the rituals are also part of the inventory of remains of Es Culleram, of which we must also highlight a score of flat figures copied from Greek-Sicilian originals related to Demeter, which could lead us to suspect that the cult of this Greek goddess was introduced in the Punic world, but it is more likely (although this issue also divides researchers) that it is an exclusively iconographic loan; the molds would have arrived in Ibiza from Sicily and here the images would still represent Tanit, Benjamí Costa clarifies. The list of pieces found in the cave is completed with four figures of enthroned goddesses, two gold medallions and a fragment of a silver one and seven weights of nets and a lead scandal that are considered offerings of fishermen to ask the goddess for good catches.

The cave of Es Culleram was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1994 and has been owned by the Consell since 1997. And although the sanctuary's heyday was in the third and second centuries BC and its cult probably ended when the cave sank due to natural causes, today there are still many visitors who leave on a rock, as an altar, what they understand as offerings.


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1 hour ago, wackyserious said:

Having very detailed textures for with garments extending beyond the upper thighs is really complicated and we may really need a newer mesh for it (which is another problem for us, I think because we are again shorthanded on people with excellent skills in mesh creation.

even for me it is difficult to draw it, there are many ideas in the images.

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I will make several conceptual designs of priestesses, for lack of drawings, there are only modern neo pagan and Egyptian illustrations of Isis. based on that I will make a priestess for these goddesses of war and sex.


this the pose.



with some fashion mixed 


Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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On 12/02/2022 at 5:45 PM, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:



16 hours ago, wackyserious said:

Having very detailed textures for with garments extending beyond the upper thighs is really complicated and we may really need a newer mesh for it (which is another problem for us, I think because we are again shorthanded on people with excellent skills in mesh creation.

@Stan` are you willing to investigate making 1 "long dress" female mesh for us? Essentially just use f_dresss.dae but UV map adjusted for a taller texture (we've discussed this before). No new modeling, only new uv mapping. f_dress_02.dae? Would be useful for this Carthaginian priestess and Kushite female heroes. 

(can delete a couple of the hero meshes, I believe)

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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On 24/02/2022 at 7:25 PM, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:


@Stan` are you willing to investigate making 1 "long dress" female mesh for us? Essentially just use f_dresss.dae but UV map adjusted for a taller texture (we've discussed this before). No new modeling, only new uv mapping. f_dress_02.dae? Would be useful for this Carthaginian priestess and Kushite female heroes. 

(can delete a couple of the hero meshes, I believe)

Can you detail a bit what kind of uvmap you want ? IIRC it lead to unused texture space which wasn't so great.

Something like 256x512

Arm - Left. Arm Right


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 During this period, Proto-Indo-European beliefs were still animistic and their language did not yet make formal distinctions between masculine and feminine, although it is likely that each deity was already conceived as either male or female.[116] Most of the goddesses attested in later Indo-European mythologies come from pre-Indo-European deities eventually assimilated into the various pantheons following the migrations, like the Greek Athena, the Roman Juno, the Irish Medb, or the Iranian Anahita. Diversely personified, they were frequently seen as fulfilling multiple functions, while Proto-Indo-European goddesses shared a lack of personification and narrow functionalities as a general characteristic.[117] The most well-attested female Indo-European deities include *H₂éwsōs, the Dawn, *Dʰéǵʰōm, the Earth, and *Seh₂ul, the Sun.[8][118]

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