Canaanite Religion in the Patriarchal Period: Distribution and Analysis of the Seven-Cupped Bowl

The Tell el-Hayyat excavations in northern Jordan have produced significant material dating to the Middle Bronze Age (2000–1550 B.C.E.). A temple is among the architectural features discovered, which served multiple phases of use. The temple’s courtyard included a number of artifacts of a cultic nature. Recent research at the Lanier Center for Archaeology shows that some published ceramic fragments from the temple were misidentified. This paper presents a new identification for these finds, namely, that some are fragments of a known vessel called a seven-cupped bowl. A survey of other notable Middle Bronze cultic assemblages that include seven-cupped bowls from sites in Canaan will serve as a comparison in understanding the context of this form’s occurrence at Tel el-Hayyat. Further, this study contributes evidence for the function, influence, and reach of the vibrant Canaanite religion during the Middle Bronze Age.

7 thoughts on “Canaanite Religion in the Patriarchal Period: Distribution and Analysis of the Seven-Cupped Bowl”

  1. Hesler
    I’m open to this sort of thing. We are Old Testament Backgrounds and ANE, and our overview on the ETS website includes a bit about material culture. To my mind, then, we don’t need to limit to literary comparisons. On the other hand, I know that Steve and Ralph and others were becoming dissatisfied with the archaeology section’s culture and approach. I would be open to seeing them present archaeological stuff with us, so long as they demonstrate relevance to the Bible. Unfortunately this abstract doesn’t really do that. I’m sure that seven-cupped bowls are important, but the abstract doesn’t point me to why.

  2. Hesler
    Might be a good idea for Steve Ortiz, Ralph Hawkins, etc. to think about submitting a proposal to establish a second archaeology section in ETS where they will not be frustrated by the ABR crowd that currently populates that group. Until then, we might be the only alternative that they have.


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