The most popular and earliest cults in the ancient Near East related to fertility. Astarte and other fertility goddesses influenced the growth of crops and the prosperity of the people. Figurines of her were made of clay and mass produced. Some were made by hand, others in molds. Fine sculpted works were also produced, like the above Jewish Astarte in ivory (8th century BC) from the Gaza Strip. It is thought that these statuettes were used in magic rituals or given as offerings to the fertility goddess.

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