JERUSALEM (CNN) — An archaeological dig in Jerusalem has turned up a 3,700-year-old wall that is the largest and oldest of its kind found in the region, experts say.
Standing 8 meters (26 feet) high, the wall of huge cut stones is a marvel to archaeologists.
“To build straight walls up 8 meters … I don’t know how to do it today without mechanical equipment,” said the excavation’s director, Ronny Reich. “I don’t think that any engineer today without electrical power [could] do it.”
The wall is believed to have been built by the Canaanites, an ancient pagan people who the Bible says inhabited Jerusalem and other parts of the Middle East before the advent of monotheism.
It is incredible that such a wall could have been built 3,700 years ago without modern heavy equipment. Who were the builders, the Caananites?
See the International World History Project (2 quotes): Caananite Culture and Religion
The Canaanites, with whom the Israelites came into contact during the conquest by Joshua and the period of the Judges, were a sophisticated agricultural and urban people. The name Canaan means “Land of Purple” (a purple dye was extracted from a murex shellfish found near the shores of Palestine). The Canaanites, a people who absorbed and assimilated the features of many cultures of the ancient Near East for at least 500 years before the Israelites entered their area of control, were the people who, as far as is known, invented the form of writing that became the alphabet, which, through the Greeks and Romans, was passed on to many cultures influenced by their successors–namely, the nations and peoples of Western civilization.
Very impressive achievements in the technical area, but their religion was very sexually oriented:
Cultic ceremonies involving sexual acts between male members of the agricultural communities and sacred prostitutes dedicated to the Baalim were focused on the Canaanite concept of sympathetic magic. As the Baalim (through the actions of selected men) both symbolically and actually impregnated the sacred prostitutes in order to reproduce in kind, so also, it was believed, the Baalim (as gods of the weather and the Earth) would send the rains (often identified with semen) to the Earth so that it might yield abundant harvests of grains and fruits.
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The Caananites were descended from Caanan, the son of Ham, and after the dispersion they lived in the land of Caanan, which later became known as the land of Israel after it had been conquered by the Israelites.
Who are the modern-day Caananites?