Bronze figure of Baal

Canaanite, about 1400-1200 BC
From Syria

The god Baal with raised right arm

This figure is typical of bronzes from Syria in the second half of the second millennium BC. Although clearly broken, his pointed cap and raised right arm suggest that this is a representation of the god Baal, one of the major deities of the Canaanites. He would usually be wielding a club, but this example may have held a smaller object, perhaps a thunderbolt. The eyes were originally inlaid and the dowel and hole are modern.

The god Baal embodied royal power and authority. Much of our knowledge about Canaanite gods comes from the local Canaanite literature, particularly from the archive of cuneiform tablets from the site of Ugarit. The Canaanite gods and goddesses continued to be worshipped during the first millennium BC, though some of their functions changed. They were worshipped wherever the Canaanites (Phoenicians) established trading colonies across the Mediterranean.

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More information

Bibliography

H. Seeden, The standing armed figurines i (Munich, Beck, 1980)

Dimensions

Height: 21.000 cm (not including dowel)
Width: 10.000 cm (max.)
Thickness: 4.500 cm (head)

Museum number

ME 134627

WCO24953

Location

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