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: This book is a study of the woman-and-child motif - known as the kourotrophos - as it appeared in the Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean. Stephanie Lynn Budin argues that, contrary to many current beliefs, the image was not a universal symbol of maternity or a depiction of a mother goddess. In most of the ancient world, kourotrophic iconography was relatively rare in comparison to other images of women and served a number of different symbolic functions, ranging from honoring the king of Egypt to adding strength to magical spells to depicting scenes of daily life. This work provides an in-depth examination of ancient kourotrophoi and engages with a variety of debates that they have spawned, including their role in the rise of patriarchy and what they say about ancient constructions of gender.