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What historians use in an attempt to reconstruct the past, often only bits or fragments remain. Evidence is divided into two categories: Artifacts and Texts


Any man-made material object that survives from the past. 1) monuments or buildings 2) art depicting past events, customs, gods, etc. 3) objects such as tools weapons or clothing


These are the most important types of evidence, can be anything from a complete book, to an inscription on a building, to writing on a coin

Primary Documents

The surviving records of eyewitnesses in the original languages.

Limitations of History

We cannot directly observe any past events beyond living memory. We therefore must rely of small fragments of information (the bulk having been lost) which may not tell the whole story.


The problem of selection and simplification of evidence. There is often too much information to handle and the student of history must decide what is of the most importance. Complex phenomenon into simple explanations.


A historical event is a discreet past occurrence which can be defined in time and space. Such as a battle, death of a king, or writing of a book.


Represents patterns of change over long periods of time. Such as the spread of Christianity.


Refers to societies which possess writing.


Refers to societies before writing


before 500 BC


500 BC to 500 AD


500 AD to 1500 AD


centers of creating, preserving and transmitting sacred symbols. Meeting place. Acted as a University/place to learn astronomy and sciences.

Guardian Figures

angels surround the throne of God. They fulfill roles in heaven.

Astronomy/Calendar and Temples

Sacred time. Cyclical time, temporal center of cosmos, calendar of festivals, east and rising of the sun, astronomical art in the temple.


geographical center of the earth. Place where heaven and earth meet.


To walk around something. Ritual act, center attention on sacred things.

Cosmic Mountain

ziggurat. mountain where God dwells: Eden, Sinai, Zion/Jerusalem

Site of Creation

foundations of the earth at the temple. Took 7 years to build the temple and seven days to create the earth

Sacred Waters

Abyss=waters of chaos=primordial matter. Waters of life flow from the temple. 4 rivers of Eden: Gihon

Tree of Life

Symbol across many cultures. Produces food without having to kill the source.

Celestial Temple

earthly temple is designed and founded by God. Parallels heavenly temple.

Order vs Chaos

Order -Way things operate, designed by God. Chaos - When that order breaks down.


furniture in temple represents parts of cosmos. Earth=stones Air=incense Fire=light Water=brazen sea. "small world" = symbolic models of the cosmos/ creation


ritual washings to enter temple. Parallels baptism and morality.


Indian/ hindu text like psalms. We read a creation myth from there. Primordial text.


a sacred story that deals with relation of humans and gods, describes foundation of the community and establishes a purpose of community.


story of the creation of the cosmos, the universe. Creation narratives .


a description of the cosmos

Primordial Water

chaotic, formless, unorganized matter "the deep", sometimes associated with sea water. It is water with NO life. Fifth element (other four are fire, air, water, and earth)

"Unknown god"

the god who created all other gods.

Creation by breath/wind/spirit

God breathes on the dark formless "deep" and creation occurs. Infusion of divine breath/spirit to make alive

Division into opposites

light/dark, above/below, water/land- opposition in all things. Division of primordial matter into opposite pairs


Marduk and the primordial combat myth. Original war of the gods at foundation of creation; struggle between good and evil for control

Temple as site of creation

temple marks site of creation. The Garden of Eden was a temple./ reenact creation story

Social Organization

A group of people interacting together. This was taking place as people began to work as a civilization, rather than working as hunters/gatherers. fundamental need - obtain food. Beyond family, you organize yourself based on food you're looking for.


those forced to periodically move in order to obtain food

Hunter Gatherer

food collectors, migrate, seasonal patterns


specialized in herding domesticated animals, also migrated seasonally


forced to live in one place in order to obtain food


farming domesticated plants


obtain food by NOT directly farm themselves, but by trading or taxing farmers


transformation of human groups from food collectors to food producers, 1st in near east in 8th mill. BC

Domestication (plants and animals)

began systematically planting, protecting, and harvesting plants, hybridization and selective breeding, same idea with animals

Origins of Civilization

Based on the tools they used.


Farming to provide only enough food for your needs (no surplus). If any famine, you die

Agricultural surplus

Waste, population growth, storage, exchange (trade)

Economic specialization

Increased efficiency technological innovation, exchange. Created classes, rich vs. poor

Temple City

The city is built around a temple, that is the defining element of the layout.

Temple and Palace

Priests and Kings

Hierocentric = Centered on the Holy

Naocentric = Centered on the Temple

Social Stratification

Priests and warriors denominated society as a whole since they used much of the agricultural surplus to ask the gods to continue to provide fertility to farmers and the warriors protected the communities. Development of classes based on spirituality/economics/race/politics. RICH and POOR

Six Primary civilizations

fertile river valleys, original, didn't borrow ideas from other civilizations. Identify on a map...Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, Yellow River, Peru, Mesoamerica.


Witch doctor, specialist in communicating with and seeing the world of spirits, divines the future

Carmel Cave

(Israel) found tools, animal bones, paintings, Gradation of Holiness. Symbolize use of caves with stone age people

Lascaux Cave

(France) one of the oldest caves known. animals/hunting. communal life in outer chambers of cave, more sacred activities as you move to the innermost chamber

Relation of caves, temples and tombs

Caves were the first temple, passage to the underworld

Paleolithic hunting ritual as sacrifice

hunt=kill=sacrifice (to make sacred) Humans must kill to eat, make killing of animal sacred to cope with it

Temple of the Leopards

very early hunting temple in southern Israel.diagrams of leopard to attract spirit of leopard.

Tombs and Ancestor cult (Abraham at Hebron)

ancestors go to live with gods, tombs act as a place where families can regather

burial mounds (Rujm al-Hiri)

Central mound, tomb, mark sacred space

upright/raised stone (maṣṣēbāh)

pillar or raised stone, signifying worship. Stones may represent gods

aligned stones (Gezer)

upright placed stones - not natural, outlined with little rocks. Holy of Holies there, place of worship. ex) Joshua crossed the river and set up the stones there.

stone circles (Gil-gal)

After the conquest of Canaan, Gil-gal remained a holy place where Samuel judged Israel (I Sam 7:16) and Saul was crowned king.


also known as a portal tomb or portal grave and is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table).


stones that commemorate holy experiences, theophanies for example


refers to the appearance of a deity to a human, or to a divine disclosure.It refers to the manifestation of God to man; the sensible sign by which the presence of God is revealed. Only a small number of theophanies are found in the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament


Indo-European herders who migrated form central Eurasia to Anatolia (Turkey) in 2000 BC. Empire collapsed in 1200 BC from attacks-Hittite were the most powerful state in west Asia ...
-their strength came from rich minerals such as silver, lead, copper ...
-they marked their resources by controlling trade routes ...
-their iron workings gave them military advantage ...
-they used cuneiform as well as hieroglyphic writing ...
-they embraced west Asia's religion/myth and Babylon's laws ...
-an important contribution was exchanging elements from old cultures through trade


red men" (1500-330 BC) - descendants of original Canaanites, lived in Lebanon
-they were international traders: glass, metal, dye, fabrics, cedar
-many of their texts were destroyed, and religious beliefs cannot be determined in detail
-Egyptian influence visible in Phoenician art
-Phoenicia served as a major transmitter of Afrocriatre culture throughout eastern Mediterranean, especially Greece. (introduced math, astronomy, alphabet, arts, religion)


Phoenician's invented 1st system of writing, consisting of 22 signs, each depicting a consonantal sound.
-it was easy, accepted in west Asia, used in trade ...
-Greeks added vowels that are now used in Europe


Formed from 2 southern tribes of Israel
-retained independence from Assyrian threat until 586 BC when Neo-Babylonian Chaldeans destroyed temple and occupied Jerusalem and transported most skilled Jews to Babylon.
-after liberation of Cyrus the Great in 538 BC, captives returned to Judah to rebuild their temple.
-next 2 centuries, lived under Persian rule, then subject to Syria after conquest of Alexander the Great.
-then small independence under Maccabees (167-63 BC)
-homeland incorporated into Roman empire


Hebrews filtered into Canaan and in 1025 BC the independent tribes formed the Kingdom of Israel. ...
-two powerful kings: David and Solomon ...
-10 tribes secede in 9th century and regrouped as independent kingdom of Israel


Worship of many gods


Oldest group of people-Pre OT


Old testament Jews about 1200 BCE - 70 CE


Rabbinic Judaism


Time of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob


inland people, grow herds and run vineyards


maritime culture. Known for starting the alphabet.


Canaanites were the metal workers


Sea culture


biggest Canaanite library, major source for understanding Canaanite culture, city in N. Syria that was destroyed by the Sea Peoples in 1180 BC. Its destruction allowed for its preservation.

Jericho (Tower)

BIG ancient Canaanite stone tower uncovered in an oasis by the Jordan River. Could have been a worship site. Earliest temple we have in land of Israel?

En Gedi (Temple)

Near Dead sea with a small spring overlooking dead sea, Spring was covered in a grove and the temple was set a little higher on Mountain.

Gezer (Standing Stones)

Halfway between Jerusalem and the coast of the Mediterranean sight of a polytheist temple.

Tel Qasile (Philistine Temple)

Best preserved temple of the time had two central pillars to hold up roof as in the Samson story.

Middle Bronze Age

2000-1600 BC

Execration Text

sculpture that is written on, then smashed; used as a way to curse the people whose names are written on the pot/sculpture


"My King is Righteous", King of Jerusalem, priest of El Elyon (God Most High)


Nomad paid "bounty" (tithe) from raids to Melchizedek

Melchizedek's Temple?

probably would have had a temple but no remains have been discovered/ assumed temple because if you have a priest, you have a temple


Temple, 1800 BC (Bronze age) Structurally like Solomon's, could be similar to Melchizedek's as well.

Psalm 110

Psalm of David- Follow God and you will triumph

Hebrews 7

A "forever" priest, king of peace. We learn that Abraham gave 1/10 of everything he had, which made him wealthy and great.

DSS 11Q13 Melchizedek

Melchizedek will set them free on day of Atonement


-source: Central Africa ...
-4000 miles long River ...
-provided mineral/nutrient Egyptians exploited to make arable land ...
Lower Egypt delta of rich marshy plains
-Annual flooding carried away salt and left rich alluvium, world's riches agriculture! ...
-Unified Egypt ...
-Fostered communication and trade


Ruled by the gods


autocratic, political and religious control
-High priest, planned and directed economy
-sole owners of land
-state monopoly over trade
-rule by the High Priest or King in claims of ruling by God


- Housed Royal Mummies
-First was Zoser's step pyramid 2650 B.C.
-The modified "true pyramid" appeared during 4th dynasty
-largest located at Giza
-Amazing engineering feat, high cost and high labor
-Reminder that Pharaohs still played central role, even after death

New Kingdom

-1552-1069 B.C.-Theban Brothers, Kamose and Ahmose, expelled Hyksos ...
-Militaristic Pharaohs abandoned Egypt's isolation policy ...
-1490 BC forged great empire into Sedan &West Africa


Monotheistic religious reformer (1367-1350 BCE


Akhenaten moves capital here

Ramses II

Greatest of all the pharaohs (or so he thought). Greatest builder of ancient Egypt, leader during exodus(1290-1223 BCE


main god, Sun god. Sometimes called Amon, sometimes called Re

Pyramid texts

Earliest religious texts- on walls of tombs


Foreign rulers, brought new technologies. Came in during the Second intermediate period of Egypt. Controlled lower Egypt. Eventually expelled.

Chariot Warfare

Brought from Syria-took 2 people to control but Kings are depicted as riding alone.


Female pharaoh, ruled for 22 years, 18th dynasty, was co-regent with her step-son, during her reign their was great stability and peace, took on the image of man even wearing the fake beard that most pharaohs wore

Thutmosis III

Great conqueror of Canaan and Syria, Hated step mother Hatshepsut

Book of the dead

Taught that would would survive after death- inside tomb

Four intellectual revolutions

Writing (Egypt and Mesopotamia), alphabet (cananites/phoenicians), printing (china/germany)and computer (usa). Made spreading of ideas easier with each advancement.

Sacred Way

synonymous with "Way of the Lord". The pathway that leads to sacred places.

• temenos wall

A sacred enclosure wall that marks sacred spaces. It separates the sacred and profane space. esp. Karnak in Egypt

Boundary Markers

Sacred spaces are marked by pillars, stones, or obelisks.

Sacred Water

Sacred water includes waters of creation (referred to as "the deep"), water of life, and waters of purification.


Marks a transition to a sacred space.


synonymous with "the world". It is a place of sacrifice.


There are different types of altars and sacrifices in different parts of the temple complex. Blood sacrifices would take place on an altar in the outer portion of the temple complex (blood is messy).

columned hall

Also known as a hypostyle hall. The original columns were made of wood. Thus, the columns represented trees, marking the "garden of gods".


in order to proceed through degrees of holiness you need to become more and more pure. ex) Sacred Lake.

sacred robes


Holy of Holies

"Most Holy Place"
-Perfect cube of 10 cubits ...
-Blue/Purple/Scarlet veil separated from Holy Place
-Fulfilled cultic role of images ...
-Easily transported ...
-Occasionally carried into battle ...
-Contained sacred relics (Tablet of Law, Manna, Aaron's rod)

presentation to the gods "presentation scene"

This is where a king is pictured in front of the Gods, gaining power and divine right to govern the people. This is usually carved into stone.

embracing the gods

God and King embrace each other.


Occurs on the holy days. The image is removed from the Holy of Holies and placed in a miniature temple box. This box is then put on a miniature bark and carried by the priests. The masses gather to view the procession.


how we know about the past, if we want to learn about Canaanite religion, we can examine these


examine to know about Canaanite religion


examine to know about Canaanite Reilgion


examine to know about Canaanite religio

fertility cult

religion, rituals, and prayers to worship fertility goddess to be able to reproduce (kids, crops, animals, etc.) water=key ingredient


equating Gods w/ different societies, different names for exsentially the same God; accept other Gods & have power in own domain


The Hebrew word referring to God. (i.e. Beth-el = House of God) "Head god" of the Canaanites (can relate to Cronus in Greek mythology)


Canaanite God; Lord. Son of El, but the one the Canaanites worship the most. He's the one who runs things.


Canaanite Goddess; fertility goddess-crops, livestock; queen of heaven. Also associated with "grove" and/or "trees" (to represent her).

human sacrifice

key part of worship. "passing children through fire." Abraham offering Isaac

Amarna Tablets

Dipomatic letters from Egyptian vassals to the king of Egypt. Written in Akkadian. c. 1360-1340 BCE


Around 1250 or 1200 BCE. It took around 12 generations to settle in Jerusalem starting with initial departure from Egypt.

Ramses II

Pharaoh of the Exodus.


Egyptian king who claimed he killed of Israel. The Merneptah Stele is a stone that first mentions the people of Israel. Name of people shown by man and woman, strokes mean many people. No land mentioned because Israelites were wandering in the wilderness


Canaanite inhabitants of Jerusalem before it was conquered by King David around 1,000 BCE


"My Lord is righteous" Amorite King of Jerusalem, defeated and killed by Joshua at the battle of Gibeon.


one of the spies for Israel; "assistant" to Moses; after the death of Moses he led the Israelite tribes in the conquest of Canaan


warriors, administrators, prophets, judges; temporary as the times required

United Monarchy

Israel is major power in Syria/Canaan; economic trade power under Solomon; dynastic marriages lead to cultic corruption

• Divided Monarchy

Judah (south) vs. Israel (north); weak political/military power; dynastic succession (N is fragmented by plots, murders, coups, S is House of David); social and economic (N is richer, larger, more powerful, more important internationally, and social distinctions increase between rich and poor); religion (N has temples at Bethel and Dan and has bull idols, S has Temple at Jerusalem and other cultic sites) major problem with syncretism with Baalism


permanent and hereditary; prophetic designation; popular acclamation; dynastic descent; the evils of kingship


Saul (united tribes), David (expanded empire/war), and Solomon (trading) you become rich. how ideas and information are spread.


fall of Samaria (721 BC); vassal to the Assyrians, conquered by Assyrians; Samaritans as survivors; Judea conquered 703-701; Jerusalem is spared and pays tribute/becomes vasal. Capital of Northern Kingdom Israel.

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