Canaanite Creation Myth in Rock Art

Canaanite Creation Myth

In the Canaanite creation myth, the birth of the universe is narrated as originating from a cosmic egg containing all the essential elements for creation. This egg symbolizes fertility, growth, and renewal, embodying the cyclic pattern of life and death. Among the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Canaan, the Cosmic Egg myth held significant prominence.

The rock art, from the Negev, showcases the stages of creation according to the Canaanite Creation myth. The engraved symbols faithfully represent the creation process as described by Syrian philosopher Dameskios, who drew on the works of Mochus, a Phoenician proto-philosopher from the 13th century BC. 

'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 

Understanding the meaning behind rock art can be a complex and challenging task. The symbols engraved into the rock may seem unrelated, making it difficult to determine the intended message. However, there are certain clues that can help decipher the meaning of rock art. One important symbol to consider is the circle. Depending on its size and position, the circle can represent either the sun or an egg. Another symbol to consider is the Egyptian milk tree (Fig.2), which depicts God feeding with his hands. By analyzing these symbols, it is possible to piece together the steps of the creation .

Deciphering the rock art 

In Fig.1, a rock art scene represents the stages of creation in accordance with the Canaanite myth. The image features five distinct symbols that depict the sequence of events as described in the related text, 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 then created the egg
  5. it divided into two halves it created the heaven and earth

Rock Art Canaanite Cosmic Egg myth, Negev Desert
Fig.1    Canaanite Cosmic Egg myth, Negev Desert                       Fig.2 Egyptian Milk Tree.

The Canaanite Creation myth describes the origin of the universe through a series of symbolic images engraved in rock art. The first symbol (symbol 1) depicts the division of the air into upper and lower realms, represented by a wavy line resembling a human figure. This division sets the stage for the rest of the creation story.

Next, the god Olamos is portrayed with only his hands (symbol 2), inspired by the Egyptian Milk Tree. Olamos creates Kushar (symbol 3), the wise craftsman deity responsible for creating the egg (symbol 4). The small circle beneath Kushar represents the egg, which contains all the necessary elements for creation.

From the egg, the heavens and earth were created, as depicted by (symbol 5). The large circle represents the sun, while the camel's hump represents the sky. The camel's body represents the earth, while the dog symbolizes the underworld.


Conclusion

The Cosmic Egg Creation myth was a widely-held belief thousands of years ago in Egypt and Canaan. The creation story found in the Negev Desert rock art and the associated symbols were deciphered through careful analysis and comparison with documented creation texts.

The rock art scene shows five distinct symbols, representing the sequence of events in the creation myth. This includes, the division of air into upper and lower realms, the creation of the god Olamos and Kushar, the God of Wisdom, the creation of the egg and the birth of the heavens and the earth.


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Yehuda Rotblum