There she goes again

Cement floors are not the only place where the Tanit symbol lingers at Kerkouane. She also appears on architectural fragments. Note the stone fragment with bas relief (on the right) on display at the local museum. See the crude figure composed of a circle, a line, and a triangle? Compare it with the figure posted yesterday here. What is new in this presentation is the image of a crescent moon (?) beside or above her crossbar "arms." The combination of the Tanit symbol and the crescent moon is not unusual. Typically, though, she isn't gripping it in jai alai mode; it hovers above her head like a crown.

Tanit is believed by many to be the Punic presentation of the fertility goddess. In Near Eastern contexts, she is Astarte or Ishtar or even Asherah. These matters get gummy (no doubt!) as one moves cross-culturally, but you really shouldn't be surprised to find this new old lady doing the shay-shay on Punic floors. The Phoenicians lugged Baal Hammon from one end of the Mediterranean to the other and gave him a fresh start; why not his babycake as well? 

I placed my ball-point pen in the shot for scale.

In case you are wondering, reading Brian R. Doak's, Phoenician Aniconism in Its Mediterranean and Ancient Near Eastern Contexts (SBL Press, 2015) is on my to-do list. Maybe it should be on yours too?