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HOME : Biblical Antiquities : Chalcolithic Artefacts : Golan Basalt Altar
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Golan Basalt Altar - CK.0531
Origin: Golan, Israel
Circa: 4000 BC to 3000 BC
Dimensions: 4.75" (12.1cm) high x 10.625" (27.0cm) wide x 10" (25.4cm) depth
Collection: Biblical
Medium: Basalt

Location: United States
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This basalt altar dates from the Chalcolithic era, the intermediate period after the advent of stone tools and before the beginning of the Bronze Age. This was an age of experimentation, when metalworking was slowly perfected, giving rise to the Bronze Age. This work is one of the earliest examples of religious art from a region that would become known as the Holy Lands. Libations and offerings to the gods would have been placed in the shallow concave bowl, likely to insure the continued prosperity of crops. A drainage spout runs off to one of the sides, implying that liquid libations played a central role in the ancient ceremonies this altar would have been utilized during. This work was a result of religious superstition that sought to link the forces of nature with the actions of civilization. By worshipping offering ritual sacrifices on this altar, the ancient peoples of Golan hoped to influence the gods, to gain their benevolent favor, and to dissuade their wrath. Even in our modern era, such superstitions persist as good luck charms. This ancient sculpture touches the very foundations human emotions, our fear of disaster and determination to understand the natural world around us. - (CK.0531)


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