Ancient Ugarit, Ras Shamra, outside current Latakia, Syria
This is the view of the (or an) entrance to the city pre-1200. Nothing of this beauty or scale existed in the Levant–especially the So Levant with the possible exception of ‘Asqalon–but that was Canaanite, of course.
“The foundations of the Bronze Age city Ugarit were divided into quarters. In the north-east quarter of the walled enclosure, the remains of three significant religious buildings were discovered, including two temples (of the gods Baal Hadad and Dagon) and a building referred to as the library or the high priest’s house. Within these structures atop the acropolis numerous invaluable mythological texts were found. These texts have provided the basis for understanding of the Canaanite mythological world and religion. The Baal cycle represents Baal Hadad’s destruction of Yam (the god of chaos and the sea), demonstrating the relationship of Canaanite chaoskampf with those of Mesopotamia and the Aegean: a warrior god rises up as the hero of the new pantheon to defeat chaos and bring order.” Plagiarised from Wikipedia
Much of Israelite–but especially Judahite–Iron 2A-Hellenistic religion(s), anti-religion(s) are derivative of Ugaritic “culture” or what is represented by Ugaritic culture. In other words, major portions of the HB are directly or inversely transmuting No. Levantine culture, i.e. hatred of Baal and Asherah. Once again, I speculate that the OT/HB is a clash of Northern/Southern (Phoenician-Syrio-Egyptian) cultures and the war between fertility and desert religious worldviews.
But the good news in all this is I finally saw Ugarit in Jan 2017–I never thought I would see this site.
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