Canaanite Creation Myth

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Canaanite Creation from Cosmic Egg

Archaeological research shows that almost every culture has a creation myth and a version called the Cosmic Egg appeared in Egypt and Canaan. The unusual rock art, presented here, describes the steps of creation according to the Canaanite Creation myth. Together with the creation text, we obtain a unique understanding of this ancient myth. 

Canaanite Creation

Canaan, the closest culture to the people of Israel had such a myth, probably influenced by Egyptian mythology, engraved in Negev Desert rock art. The array of symbols in this rock art fits the creation stages as told by Dameskios, a Syrian-born philosopher from the fifth century AD, based on the writing of Mochus (13th century BC) the Phoenician proto-philosopher (N. Darshan – Canaanite Mythology).

“First was the upper air and lower air, these two were the first and from them, God World (Olamos) was created, he was the limit of reason. Saying which, from the merger itself, created Kushar, the God of Wisdom, and then created the egg. Kushar has the opening power given to understanding, he creates the initial separation in nature which is completely inseparable. After the formation of top and bottom air incurred at one end and two spirits created mid, the wind of west and south, and there are who consider these winds previous to God of the World. Kushar is the first step that can be understood and the egg is considered heaven because they say that when it was divided into two halves it created heaven and earth. “

Rock Art Clues 

This rock art deciphering is not straight forward and at first sight, the scene baffles the viewer. The engraved symbols seem unrelated and the storyline is obscure. However, there are guiding clues that unravel the scene’s meaning. For example, the circles have a special and repeated meaning in many rock art, either sun or an egg (like the creation story presented in the Cosmic Egg Creation article). The relative sizes of the circles, big and small,  and their relative heights suggests that they represent different things.

An additional hint in this image came from the symbol that resembles the Egyptian milk tree, Fig.2. It shows how the Egyptians envisioned God feeding hands similar to a symbol representing the god Olamus. With three decoded symbols the connection between them clears. It fits exactly the creation steps in the Canaanite Creation version, as seen in Fig.1.

Deciphering the rock art 

This rock art shown in Fig.1 matches  the Canaanite Creation  sequence  that contains five motifs, which fits exactly the rock art symbols progressing from left to right as follows:

  1. First was the upper air and lower air
  2. from them, the God World (Olamos) created
  3. the merger itself, created Kushar, the God of Wisdom
  4. and the egg is considered a heaven
  5. it divided into two halves it created the heaven and earth
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Fig. 1 Canaanite Cosmic Egg myth, Negev Desert     Fig. 2 Egyptian Milk Tree

The leftmost symbol represents the upper air and lower air, a wavy line separates the top from the bottom giving it the shape of a human body. Next shown the god Olamos engraved with hands only, a symbolic work gesture inspired by the Egyptian Milk Tree. He creates Kushar, the craftsman god of wisdom that creates the egg seen as the small circle beneath him. In turn, creating the heavens and earth from the egg. The big circle (the sun) and the “camel’s” hump (the sky) represent heaven, the camel’s body represents earth, and the dog underneath represents the underworld.

More deciphering, in a new book Rock Art in Israel, available online.

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4 Comments to Canaanite Creation Myth

  1. מרתק! !!!
    האם הספר בעברית גם אינטרנטי? או רק באנגלית? מבקשת לרכוש וגם לראות ולהתבונן בחומרים נוספים של אומנות הסלע בתודה

    • Yes, a bit unknown! Here is a citation from “Ancient Jewish History”
      “.. became the Vulcan of the Greeks and Romans, the god of the smiths. In Canaan his name was Kauthar,-Koshar,-Kushar, the wise craftsman, the inventor of tools and weapons, as well of the arts. He was the discoverer and the patron of music.”

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