Although going by several different nomenclatures -- Ashteroth; Ashartaroh; Ashtoreth, etc., -- these names all derived from the ancient 'Queen-of-Heaven' goddess, "Asherah," the consort of the evil spirit master called Ba-al. Basically she was the harem slave channeler of sacrificial spirits.
Mostly of local oak, Ashertroth posts carved with the images of imagined demonic deities were placed at 'temples of fornication,' or at altars of devil worship to honor the local spirits.
Such posts are the carved trees which God's Second of Ten Commandments warns against "graven images" -- specifically of saying that "thou shalt not worship them."
Interestingly, an oak tree in that day was called an 'Elah.' And since the same name described the Asheroth Post, those carved poles were called Elahs' as well.
It's understood that "Elah" is the derivative word from which the Muslim god, Allah, is named -- which rather explains that character more aptly.
Thus, carved posts have evolved throughout the ages to where, although often used in shamanistic ritual, they are now carved from red cedar to be known as, Totem Poles.