Baal with a Thunderbolt

Baal Stela from Acropolis of Ugarit, 15th-14th Century B.C.E. Limestone, Louvre Museum, Paris.

This white limestone bas-relief stela depicts Baal, the Semitic god of storm and rain, standing on a pedestal, brandishing a club in his right hand and holding a thunderbolt in his left. He wears a helmet with bull’s horns on his head. Behind the large depiction of the god is a smaller male figure, thought to represent the king of Ugarit. The French archaeologist Claude F. A. Schaeffer discovered the Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 B.C.E.) stela during excavations of the temple of Baal at the site of the ancient acropolis of Ugarit, now in northwestern Syria.


Baal Stela from Acropolis of Ugaritwith a Thunderbolt (Baal au foudre). Limestone stela from Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit).

The supreme male divinity of Mesopotamia and Canaan.

The stage of development during which humans used copper or bronze weapons; in the ancient Near East, approx. 3300 to 1200 B.C.E.

An upright stone slab usually inscribed or carved for commemorative purposes.

A Canaanite city-state on the Mediterranean coast in what is today western Syria. Ugarit was at its peak as an important regional center in the 15th to 13th centuries B.C.E., during which time it developed its own system of writing (an adapted cuneiform alphabet) and a rich collection of literary texts, many of which bear remarkable similarities to some biblical texts.

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