Bronze figure from Tyre, between 1400-1200 BC, probably representing the Canaanite god Baal in the role of warrior
Linguisticly, the ancient Semites have been broadly classified into Eastern and Western groups. The Eastern group is represented most prominently by Akkadian, the language of the Assyrians and Babylonians, who inhabited the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys. The Western group is further broken down into the Southern and Northern groups. The South Western Semites inhabited Arabia and Ethiopia while the North Western Semites occupied the Levant – the regions that used to be Palestine as well as what is now Syria, Israel and Lebanon, the regions often referred to in the Bible as Canaan.
‘Canaanite/Ugaritic mythology FAQ’ is a website devoted to the culture and beliefs of the biblical nation that occupied what is now known as Syria. Aside from biblical accounts, little was known about the Canaanites – who thrived from about 3800-3000 BC – until the discovery of the city of Ugarit in 1928. Since then, writings and objects have been unearthed that have opened this enigmatic culture to modern scholars.
Christopher B. Siren’s site makes available to general readers the basic structure of Canaanite myth. When possible, comparisons with more familiar mythological systems are made. Details of source materials and suggestions for further reading are included.