In Search of Canaanite Art
During the Late Bronze Age (c. 1600-1200 BC), the Land of Canaan was one of the most important commercial and cultural crossroads of the Eastern Mediterranean. Canaan's position astride the land bridge between the Hittite Kingdom to the north and Pharaonic Egypt to the south guaranteed her an important role in the international politics of the day, while her ports were host to sailors from Cyprus, Rhodes, and the Minoan/Mycenaean world beyond.
The degree to which this spirit of internationalism pervaded the upper levels of Canaanite society is well demonstrated by a hoard of carved ivory fragments that were discovered during the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute excavations at Megiddo. Though small in size, these tiny pieces tell a large story and document the artistic stimuli from the many cultures with whom the ciefs of Canaan traded. This presentation isolates the individual "foreign" influences detectable in the Megiddo Ivories and probes more deeply in an attempt to recognize pieces that reflect the art of the indigenous Canaanites themselves.