Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Accept No Substitutes: Goddess Athirat's Imagery

4 [Ugaru] (month); Shanatu 84 (year)
An ancient ivory box lid from the Canaanite city of Ugarit from around 1200  BCE (3200 years ago) shows the goddess Athiratu. Here is a picture of that very artifact:
Image of Athirat, Canaanite, city of Ugarit, circa 1200 BCE
The image above is the real thing. Notice how the goddess in the image above sits on a seat and has her feet on the ground. She holds two grain sheaves or palm branches aloft over the heads of two animals. These two animals have beards and thus they are likely goats or ibex. This is likely the goddess Athiratu. There are many seals and inscriptions from all over Canaan around this time (the Late Bronze Age) and into the Iron Age which depict a tree of life flanked by two caprids in a pose similar to this, and under that tree, the ancient artisan inscribed the word "Elat" which means "goddess," a known title associated with Athiratu.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Canaanite Music Link Bazaar

21 Ithabu (month), Shanatu (year) 84
Playing the lyre in the city of Ur in Sumer
Seriously--it exists? Canaanite-culture inspired music? I've included links to all the musical goodies, ancient and modern, below: ancient pieces first, and modern items--like heavy metal--at the end.

The Hymn to Nikkal
The goddess Nikkalu-wa-Ibbi, The Fruitful and Radiant one, can lay claim to the oldest recorded hymn on earth, circa 1300-1200 BCE (about 3300-3200 years ago).
In doing a search for “Hymn to Nikkal” or “Oldest Music in the World,” you will run into several different versions of this hymn found in the Canaanite city of Ugarit, in southern modern-day Syria. Here are but a few versions--keep in mind that these versions will sound different because scholars still debate how to read Ugaritic-Hurrian musical notation, and because each musician will add her or his own style to the piece.