Yehawmilk Stele

Yehawmilk Stele (detail), limestone, c.450 BCE, Louvre, Paris.

The Yehawmilk or Byblos stele was discovered in the 1869 season of the excavations of Byblos. On this detail of the top section, we can see the Egyptian winged disc that follows the top curve of the stele. There is also the mark of a metal peg that would have held an emblem inserted at the top of the stele. On the left, a woman sitting on a throne is greeting a standing figure. She has all the characteristics of the Egyptian goddess Hathor: the headdress with a sun held by two horns, the wadj scepter, and the clinging gown. However, there is nothing Egyptian about the figure on the right facing the goddess. He is dressed in a long pleated robe and wearing a wearing a short cylindrical peakless hat, which suggests a Persian costume. He is bearded and longhaired, with a dagger thrust in his belt. He is holding a cup with handles and greeting the goddess with his free hand. The Phoenician inscription beneath the engraving identifies the characters as Yehawmilk, the king of Gubal, ancient Byblos, and the city’s protective goddess Baalat Gubal.


The Egyptian goddess of love and fertility.

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