After a forty-year hiatus, the final report on the excavations at Iron Age Kuntillet Ajrud was released just this past year. Not only does the 360+ page report provide information from the site previously known, but it presents many new long awaited data for the first time. In response to this publication, and in only a matter of a few months, several experts have already offered major revisions and new interpretations of the Kuntillet Ajrud data. This is particularly the case with such issues as the site's date and function, its "ethno-political" affiliations, the interpretation of both new and previously known inscriptions along with the identity of their associated languages, as well as the all important art historical artifacts from the site.
To take but one example, interpretations of the now famous pithoi drawings and inscriptions that mention and that may depict the deities Yahweh and Asherah have likewise been reassessed. Long before the final report came out, these data contributed immensely to the ongoing, vigorous study of Iron Age Israelite religious beliefs regarding the divine-human encounter in four discrete but interrelated areas; the role of the feminine in early Israel’s concept of the divine, the symbiosis of Israel’s diverse henotheistic-monotheistic traditions, the visualization of the divine, and the crucial role of apotropaism.