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Check Out Our Archaeology and Ancient Religion Essay

Archaeology plays a pivotal role in explaining the intricacies of the type of religion practiced in the Levant and Canaan during the Middle and late Bronze Ages. Canaanites practiced Canaanite religion and they inhabited the ancient Levant from the beginning of the Bronze Age until the start of the Common Era. Their religion centered on a common supreme deity but, in some cases, it was polytheistic. Recent archaeological excavations have been fundamental in unearthing the facts about the religion of ancient Canaanites that were unknown. In the year 1960, a combined team of Italian and Syrian excavators discovered valuable inscriptions from the Levant as well as from an archive known as Ebla (Hillers 1985, p 69).

They discovered that the Canaanites held polytheistic beliefs, where families worshipped ancient goddesses and gods. This was the Elohim but, at the same time, they gave recognition to other deities like El and Baal (Johnston 2007, p 235). Due to the Middle East location, other religions had a profound influence on their religion. The Levant area is sandwiched between Egypt and Mesopotamia, and their religious practices found their way into the Canaanite religion. There was a strong inclination to certain ceremonies, for instance, marriage was considered sacrosanct and the New Year was considered as very holy. Consequently, there were gods associated with these ceremonies. Other gods were associated with soil and crop fertility, humans, and livestock.

 During this era, south Levant’s largest city was Hazor, and texts unearthed in Syrian town of Mari suggest that Hazor enjoyed autonomy from Egypt (Ebeling 2002, para 3). Excavations at Hazor commenced in the 1950s and continued until 1969 by the Archeology Institute of the Hebrew University. They discovered that there was a sequence, character, and the physical coverage of the Levant and Canaan during this ancient period. Unfortunately, a number of questions raised had no immediate answers. For this reason, further excavations should be carried out in order to establish any other unknown historical facts.

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