Canaanite alabaster bowl, 1850-1550 B.C.

Material:  Alabaster
Conservation:  Good condition
Material:  Alabaster
Dimensions:  4 x 9 cm
Provenance:  Archaeological Gallery, Israel, 2014. Export authorization from the Israel Antiquities Authority No. 526597 with date 21/08/2014 / This piece is accompanied by an export certificate from the Spanish Ministry of Culture No. 2020/01851 with date 13/03/2020 and certificate of authenticity.
Ref m6059 Category Tag

This cup has a handle and is made of a quality stone such as alabaster. Alabaster is one of the most precious stones, but less used by the Canaanites, who used to make their terracotta containers. Surely, used as a funerary trousseau or as part of a set of ritual vessels, because of its depth it could have contained ointments or oils of great quality, which were available in this type of material since alabaster is fresher than terracotta.

The territory of Canaan was since 4000 B.C. the connection between East and West. It was inhabited by very diverse peoples, such as Amorites, Jebusites, Hyksos, Philistines, Phoenicians, Arameans and Hebrews, who finally conquered the territory. From settlements like Jericho, Ugarit, Tyre or Damascus, the Canaanites were dedicated to trade with the neighboring lands of Mesopotamia or Egypt. More than one thousand two hundred kilometers could be crossed on foot by the Canaanite clans to reach their destinations. The routes ran from Mesopotamia to Egypt, where family groups loaded with goods for exchange would travel.

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