The Tree of Life Motif, Late Bronze Canaanite Cult, and a Recently Discovered Krater from Tel Burna

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Christian Locatell
Chris McKinny
Itzhaq Shai



This paper discusses a krater recently discovered in a cultic building at Tel Burna in the Shephelah. Of special interest is the krater’s relatively well-preserved decoration containing multiple nature scenes related to the so-called tree of life or sacred tree motif. The krater’s physical description and archaeological context and the decoration’s relationship to relevant comparanda are explored in order to elucidate the significance of its iconography. In light of this discussion, we conclude that the decoration includes an abstract representation of a Canaanite goddess as a “pubis of life” variation of the “tree of life” motif on the krater as a votive vessel in the Late Bronze Age cult.

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