Journal of Undergraduate Research


Egyptian iconography, Late Bronze Age, Canaan


Religious Education


Church History and Doctrine


The globalized Late Bronze Age world was one of sophisticated trade, conquest, and foreign influence in many of the Old World’s nations. Archaeological excavations in modern Israel have revealed numerous artifacts of Egyptian origin and style within Canaan’s Late Bronze Age. The Late Bronze Age in Canaan encompasses the 18th through 20th dynasties in Egypt, and evidence of Egyptian control in Canaan is manifest throughout the reigns of Tutmoses III, Amenophis III, Akhenaten, Ramses II, and Ramses III. Egyptian administrative centres have been recorded at Megiddo, Beth Shean, Jaffa, and Deir el-Balah. My intent was to determine the nature of Egyptian-style artifacts at these sites and how they relate to the relationship between a Canaanite elite and the Egyptian ruling class. Although there is some evidence of the importation of Egyptian goods as luxury items, especially at cities such as Lachish, I found that Late Bronze Age Canaanite peoples of the working class retained their own iconographic representations and styles with very few exceptions. Temples, stelae, statues, and jewellery found in the region conclude that Egyptian iconography penetrated only into administrative and cultic centres established by Egypt. Canaanite culture as a whole, however, did not extensively adopt an Egyptian iconography or cultural expression and there is little case for Egyptian infusion into the presentation of Canaanite identity.

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