[38][39], According to The Encyclopedia of Religion, the Ugarit texts represent one part of a larger religion that was based on the religious teachings of Babylon. [citation needed], Group of ancient Semitic religions practiced by the Canaanites, Whereas the Israelites originated as Bronze Age Canaanites, the origin of Yahweh is indeterminate (see. Harriet Lutzky has presented evidence that Shaddai was an attribute of a Semitic goddess, linking the epithet with Hebrew šad "breast" as "the one of the Breast". From time to time it subverted the essential monotheism of the Israelites after they occupied Canaan, the Promised Land of the Old Testament. In the Proto-Sinaitic and early Proto-Canaanite inscriptions the kaf was drawn as a pictograph of the palm of the hand and hence its name. 200 BCE, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/11620441/Islamic-State-fighters-seize-the-world-heritage-site-of-Palmyra-in-pictures.html, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/01/satellite-images-reveal-isis-destruction-of-palmyras-temple-of-bel, "The Shelby White & Leon Levy Program: Dig Sites, Levant Sothern", "Life, Death, and Afterlife in Ancient Israel and Canaan", "Canaanites Imported Sacrificial Animals From Egypt, Archaeologists Find", "A view from Copenhagen: Israel and the History of Palestine", "The Cuneiform Texts of Ras Shamra~Ugarit", Bibliography of Canaanite & Phoenician Studies, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ancient_Canaanite_religion&oldid=991032802, Articles needing additional references from February 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Athirat, "walker of the sea", Mother Goddess, wife of El (also known as Elat and after the Bronze Age as, Astoreth or Athtart, better known by her Greek name. Detailed study of the Ugaritic material, of other inscriptions from the Levant and also of the Ebla archive from Tel Mardikh, excavated in 1960 by a joint Italo-Syrian team, have cast more light on the early Canaanite religion. GIMMELGIMMEL (Heb. The Canaanite religion was practiced by people living in the ancient Levant throughout the Bronze Age and Iron Age. This record was supplemented by a few secondary and tertiary Greek sources: (Lucian's De Dea Syria (The Syrian Goddess), fragments of the Phoenician History of Philo of Byblos (died 141 CE), and the writings of Damascius). Until the excavation of Ras Shamra in Northern Syria (the site historically known as Ugarit), and the discovery of its Bronze Age archive of clay tablet alphabetic cuneiform texts, little was known of Canaanite religion, as papyrus seems to have been the preferred writing medium, and unlike Egypt, in the humid Mediterranean climate, these have simply decayed. El approves, and the palace is built by Kothar-wa-Khasis. [2](c) a hypothetical ancestor of the Phoenician script, with an undefined affinity to Proto-Sinaitic. Furth… Leviathan was known in northern Canaanite texts as the foe of the storm god Baal at least as early as the 14th century bce (var. Updates? https://www.britannica.com/topic/Canaanite-religion. Pidray, goddess of light and lightning, one of the three daughters of Ba'al Hadad. Canaanite religion, beliefs and practices prevalent in ancient Palestine and Syria during the 2nd and 1st millennia bc, centring primarily on the deities El, Baal, and Anath (qq.v.). Omissions? [38] As a result, the accounts contained within the Bible represented almost the only sources of information on ancient Canaanite religion. Although child sacrifice was known to surrounding peoples, there is no reference to it in ancient Phoenician or Classical texts. What archaeologists have been able to discover of ancient scripts indicates not only that proto-Canaanite was an ancestor of later Phoenician, but that it was a likely middle step from Hieratic, a cursive script derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs. כ ,ך ;כָּף), the eleventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet; its numerical value is 20. From time to time it subverted the essential monotheism of the Israelites after they occupied Canaan, the Promised Land of … [26], Canaanite religious practice had a high regard for the duty of children to care for their parents, with sons being held responsible for burying them, and arranging for the maintenance of their tombs. Finkelstein, Israel, and Silberman, Neil Asher, 2001, Asherah: goddesses in Ugarit, Israel and the Old Testament, By Tilde Binger. The Levant region was inhabited by people who themselves referred to the land as 'ca-na-na-um' as early as the mid-third millennium BCE. Thus while "Phoenician" and "Canaanite" refer to the same culture, archaeologists and historians commonly refer to the Bronze Age, pre-1200 BCE Levantines as Canaanites; and their Iron Age descendants, particularly those living on the coast, as Phoenicians. Canaanite religion refers to the group of ancient Semitic religions practiced by the Canaanites living in the ancient Levant from at least the early Bronze Age through the first centuries of the Common Era. After the palace is constructed, Ba'al gives forth a thunderous roar out of the palace window and challenges Mot. The Phoenician, Hebrew, and other Canaanite dialects were largely indistinguishable before that time. The Canaanite Pantheon. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. KAF (Heb. Dead relatives were venerated and sometimes asked for help.[22][23]. The basic shape of this letter consists of two strokes forming an angle: thus in the Proto-Sinaitic , Proto-Canaanite . Proto-Canaanite is the name given to (a) the Proto-Sinaitic script when found in Canaan. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Ishat, goddess of fire, wife of Moloch. In the Baal Cycle, Ba'al Hadad is challenged by and defeats Yam, using two magical weapons (called "Driver" and "Chaser") made for him by Kothar-wa-Khasis. The earliest known alphabetic (or "proto-alphabetic") inscriptions are the so-called Proto-Sinaitic (or Proto-Canaanite) script sporadically attested in the Sinai and in Canaan in the late Middle and Late Bronze Age.The script was not widely used until the rise of new Semitic kingdoms in the 13th and 12th centuries BC.. For the origins of the modern-day religion of Judaism, see Origins of Rabbinic Judaism.. It was associated with sensuous fertility-cult worship of a particularly lewd and orgiastic kind, which proved to be more influential than any other nature religion … The ideas of pairs of mountains seem to be quite common in Canaanite mythology (similar to Horeb and Sinai in the Bible). An abjad of twenty-plus acrophonic glyphs, found in Levantine texts of the Late Bronze Age (from ca. [24] [25] [26] [21] Synonym for Paleo-Phoenician or Paleo-Hebrew script [ edit ] [1](b) the early Phoenician script before some cut-off date, typically 1050 BCE. The late period of this cosmology makes it difficult to tell what influences (Roman, Greek, or Hebrew) may have informed Philo's writings. MS in Canaanite West Semitic on bronze, Canaan, Israel/Lebanon, 11th c. BC, 1 arrowhead, inscribed on both sides with Proto-Canaanite script/early Phoenician script. The religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans is not directly attested, but reconstruction has been attempted based on the existence of similarities among the deities, religious practices and mythologies of the Indo-European peoples. [32], Canaanite religion was strongly influenced by their more powerful and populous neighbors, and shows clear influence of Mesopotamian and Egyptian religious practices. With no one to give rain, there is a terrible drought in Ba'al's absence. According to the pantheon, known in Ugarit as 'ilhm (Elohim) or the children of El, supposedly obtained by Philo of Byblos from Sanchuniathon of Berythus (Beirut) the creator was known as Elion, who was the father of the divinities, and in the Greek sources he was married to Beruth (Beirut = the city). This article discusses the historical roots of Judaism throughout the 1st millennium BCE. [27], Canaanite deities such as Baal were represented by figures which were placed in shrines often on hilltops, or 'high places' surrounded by groves of trees, such as is condemned in the Hebrew Bible, in Hosea (v 13a) which would probably hold the Asherah pole, and standing stones or pillars.[28]. With Mot defeated, Ba'al is able to return and refresh the Earth with rain. Canaanite religion, beliefs and practices prevalent in ancient Palestine and Syria during the 2nd and 1st millennia bc, centring primarily on the deities El, Baal, and Anath (qq.v.). Kings also played an important religious role and in certain ceremonies, such as the hieros gamos of the New Year, may have been revered as gods. 600 BCE to ca. Anat goes to the Underworld, attacks Mot with a knife, grinds him up into pieces, and scatters him far and wide. The use of this language in early Hebrew history would explain why the same language was used in the ancient kingdom of Saba (Sheba). Moscatti, Sabatino (1968), "The World of the Phoenicians" (Phoenix Giant), Ribichini, Sergio "Beliefs and Religious Life" in Maoscati Sabatino (1997), "The Phoenicians" (Rissoli), This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 22:21. his "Einleitung in das Alte Testament" (Leipzig, 1787), I, p. 45). Canaanite divinities seem to have been almost identical in form and function to the neighboring Arameans to the east, and Baal Hadad and El can be distinguished amongst earlier Amorites, who at the end of the Early Bronze Age invaded Mesopotamia. [24], Archaeological investigations at the site of Tell es-Safi have found the remains of donkeys, as well as some sheep and goats in Early Bronze Age layers, dating to 4,900 years ago which were imported from Egypt in order to be sacrificed. In this program we take a quick look at the history of the ancient land of Canaan and its inhabitants, the Canaanites. Tallay, the goddess of winter, snow, cold and dew, one of the three daughters of Ba'al Hadad. Canaanite religion refers to the group of ancient Semitic religions practiced by the Canaanites living in the ancient Levant from at least the early Bronze Age through the first centuries of the Common Era. Philo of Byblos states that Atlas was one of the Elohim, which would clearly fit into the story of El Shaddai as "God of the Mountain(s)". The Canaanite scribes who produced the Baal texts were also trained to write in Babylonian cuneiform, including Sumerian and Akkadian texts of every genre. Canaanite religion was influenced by its peripheral position, intermediary between Egypt and Mesopotamia, whose religions had a growing impact upon Canaanite religion. This chart lists the letter assignments for these first alphabetic scripts found in the Sinai desert of Egypt which have been called Proto-Canaanite and Proto-Siniatic. [32] The excavation of the city of Ras Shamra (1928 onwards) and the discovery of its Bronze Age archive of clay-tablet alphabetic cuneiform texts provided a wealth of new information. Just uploaded to academia.edu: The Gezer Agricultural Calendar Almanac in Paleo-Hebrew (ca. One of the sacrificial animals, a complete donkey, was found beneath the foundations of a building, leading to speculation this was a 'foundation deposit' placed before the building of a residential house. Similarly Athirat (known by her later Hebrew name Asherah), Athtart (known by her later Greek name Astarte), and Anat henceforth were portrayed wearing Hathor-like Egyptian wigs. When the Greeks later traded with the Canaanites, this meaning of the word seems to have predominated as they called the Canaanites the Phoenikes or "Phoenicians", which may derive from the Greek word "Phoenix" meaning crimson or purple, and again described the cloth for which the Greeks also traded. For example, during the Hyksos period, when chariot-mounted maryannu ruled in Egypt, at their capital city of Avaris, Baal became associated with the Egyptian god Set, and was considered identical – particularly with Set in his form as Sutekh. [2] (c) a hypothetical ancestor of the Phoenician script, with an undefined affinity to Proto-Sinaitic. It was proposed at first to refer to the languages related to Hebrew by Ludwig Schlözer, in Eichhorn's"Repertorium", vol. Proto-Canaanite is the name given to (a) the Proto-Sinaitic script when found in Canaan. Lotan, Lawtan, and Lat = goddess in Canaanite). The making of these assignments was based upon trial and error which was guided by assuming that Akkadian words were behind them. The Phoenician, Hebrew, and other Canaanite dialects were largely indistinguishable before that time. Bodies were buried with grave goods, and offerings of food and drink were made to the dead to ensure that they would not trouble the living. Phoenician script two types occur: and . Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. ... art and perhaps even religion. The term Semite means a member of any of various ancient and modern Semitic-speaking peoples originating in southwestern Asia, including Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Arabs, and Ethiopian Semites. In his "Gesc… (1985)"Analyzing the Abominable: Our Understanding of Canaanite Religion" (The Jewish quarterly review, 1985), The Encyclopedia of Religion - Mcmillan Library Ref. and Proto-Arabian scripts. A great number of deities in a four-tier hierarchy headed by El and Asherah[1] were worshiped by the followers of the Canaanite religion; this is a detailed listing:[2], Canaanites believed that following physical death, the npš (usually translated as "soul") departed from the body to the land of Mot (Death). They show that Proto-Canaanite, the common ancestor of Phoenician, Moabite, Ammonite and Hebrew, existed already in the third millennium B.C.E as a language distinct from Aramaic, Ugaritic and the other Semitic languages. W. F. Albright, for example, says that El Shaddai is a derivation of a Semitic stem that appears in the Akkadian shadû ("mountain") and shaddā'û or shaddû'a ("mountain-dweller"), one of the names of Amurru. Shamayim, (lit. Through Eichhorn the name then came into general usage (cf. The biblical representation of Canaanite religion is always negative. More recently, detailed study of the Ugaritic material, of other inscriptions from the Levant and also of the Ebla archive from Tel Mardikh, excavated in 1960 by a joint Italo-Syrian team, have cast more light on the early Canaanite religion. "Skies"), god of the heavens, paired with Eretz, the land or earth. In Canaanite mythology there were twin mountains Targhizizi and Tharumagi which hold the firmament up above the earth-circling ocean, thereby bounding the earth. Proto-Canaanite, also referred to as Proto-Canaan, Old Canaanite, or Canaanite, is the name given to the proto-Sinaitic script (c. 16th century BC), when found in Canaan. Evans, Annette H. M. "Monotheism and Yahweh". She was slain by. "At the center of Canaanite religion was royal concern for religious and political legitimacy and the imposition of a divinely ordained legal structure, as well as peasant emphasis on fertility of the crops, flocks, and humans."[33][34]. 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