Important Canaanite myths tell of Baal's quest for a suitable palace and his battles with Yam (sea) and Mot (death)
Book of the Dead
this text, written on tomb walls and on papyrus, provides spells for the deceased to use to survive the tests and judgements of the dead. Praises to the gods are also included
Code of Hammurabi
From the eighteenth century BCE, one of the earliest known legal codes. The laws deal with various property and commercial regulations, violence, marriage, and social order. Codes like this are often seen as providing models for the biblical collections of Israelite laws.
Often referred to as the Babylonian creation story, it tells the tale of Marduk, who becomes the chief god after killing Tiamat, whose body was used to create heaven and earth
Epic of Gilgamesh
Often referred to as the Babylonian flood story, it recounts the mythical adventures of a Mesopotamian king and his friend Enkidu. One of the stories recounts a great flood. It is the oldest recorded stories on earth, known as early as the third millennium BCE
The Iliad and the Odyssey
Greek epics traditionally ascribed to the poet Homer (700s BCE) telling tales of the battle at Troy (of Trojan horse fame) and the travels of one of the heroes returning from war. Deities play major roles
A multilingual stone inscription from the 100s BCE, discovered in 1799. It was the key to deciphering the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing system
In the Genesis tradition, the first human. He lived with his wife Eve, in the garden of Eden, the primordial paradise, until expelled for disobedience, popularly portrayed as "eating the forbidden apple"
A great Mesopotamian sage before the flood; brought culture to humanity. He providedd food for the gods but incurred some disfavor after breaking the wing of the divine South Wind in a storm
Aqhat and Danel
Heros of two different Ugaritic (canaanite) legends (danel's story is named after his ill-fated son Aqhat) Both stories involve the loss of one's children and of offending the dieties
Atrahasis, Utnapishtim Ziusudra
Heros of Mesopotamian legends and myths of a great flood. The hero is instructed to save himself, his family, and the animals by building a great boat
The king of kish who ascended on an eagle to Ishtar to request a son. Fearing for his life, he returned to earth, later succeeding in his hopes for fatherhood
A king who became the hero of the legendary Epic of Gilgamesh. Hr is viewed as a partly divine and had initially been a poor ruler. He reformed, and his story recounts a series of adventures as he tries and fails to win immortality
In the Genesis tradition, the man who built an ark to save humans and animals from a great flood.
Mesopotamian Deity Patron Deity of the city of Assur and of the Assyrian civilization, which identified Assur's consort as Ishtar. Worship of Assur was closely related to Assyrian royal ideology.
(Mesopotamian Deity) Master of the primeval watery abyss. Ea, like many other deities, is associated with fertility
(Mesopotamian) A powerful god and father of many of the gods. He guards the sacred tablet of destiny, which records the fate of everything.
(Mesopotamian) Goddess of fertility and war; identified as the planet Venus. Myths tell of her descending to the underworld and of her lover, Dumuzi or Tammuz, who must soend six months of the year in the realm of the dead.
(Mesopotamian) The god of he city of Babylon. He became the chief god after fighting and slaying Tiamat.
(Mesopotamian) A widely worshiped sun god, even though the sun-deity was not as central a figure in Mesopotamia as in Egypt. Later Assyrian kings consulted him through diviners for advice on political and military affairs
(Mesopotamian) A goddess who tried to destroy the other gods but was herself destroyed by Marduk. Her body was cut into two pieces, which were used to create heaven and earth. Her tears created the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
(Egyptian) An early primeval deity worshiped as a creator and sustainer of the universe, typically shown with a tall, feathered crown.
(Egyptian) The sun disk. Akhenaten of the New Kingdom established a monotheism dedicated to Aten, which had only recently been deified.
(Egyptian) Another primeval creator deity who became associated with the sun and was represented in human form.
(Egyptian) A universal mother goddess also associated with death; often portrayed as a woman with horns or as a cow. She is associated with sun iconogaphy
(Egyptian) Son of Osiris and Isis; the sky god who avenged his fathers death; closely associated with royalty and depicted in hawk form.
(Egyptian) The divine mother and queen of heaven; wife ans sister of Osiris who gathered her slain and dismembered husband.
(Egyptian) Husband and brother of Isis; killed by his brother Seth. He became lord of the Underworld and judge of the dead
(Egyptian) The sun-deity had many names and forms. Re was the most important and was considered a creator and sustainer. He was often merged with other deities, such as Re-Atum. Re was depicted in human form
(Egyptian) God of storms and violence. He murdered his brother Osiris
(Canaanite) A form of the Mesopotamian goddess Isthar (Asharte), associated with the morning star; well known from biblical tradition. Some Ancient inscriptions combine worship of Yahweh with the goddess or with some ritual item called an asherah
(Canaanite) A major goddess, associated with sexuality and violence. She is an ally of Baal in a number of important myths. Her mourning for Baal after her was swallowed by mot is a significant theme
(Canaanite) The most important deity, associated with storms, rain, and fertility. Myths tell of his adventures in obtaining a temple and combating Yam (Sea) and Mot (Death). In the Bible, Baal is the Israelite deity's chief rival.
(Canaanite) The elderly, wise father of the gods. He is less active in mythological dramas than Baal and Anath, but he holds authority over the other members of the pantheon. In Hebrew, the word el can be both a proper name for a deity and a common noun indicating god
(Canaanite) Craftsman for the other deities with associated with the underworld.
The oldest Written script, invented by the Sumerians in about 3000 BCE. Wedge-shaped characters are mainly found on clay cylinders and tablets in various cultures of Mesopotamia
Fragments of clay pots on which material has been written; the "scrap Parer" of the anciet world
An upright stone slab on which inscriptions are carved; something like an ancient billboard, often with official pronouncements.
A technical term in archeology for a mound formed by a settlemet lived in and rebuilt over time, reflectong various strata of sttlement