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Home » Friends of ASOR Webinar: Maritime Viewscapes and the Material Religion of Levantine Seafarers with Aaron Brody » Friends of ASOR Webinar: Maritime Viewscapes and the Material Religion of Levantine Seafarers with Aaron Brody

Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology Director Aaron Brody will present a Friends of ASOR Webinar: Maritime Viewscapes and the Material Religion of Levantine Seafarers.

Ancient seafarers faced dangers and fears posed by the sea and hazards of sailing. Accordingly, specialized sacred beliefs and ritual practices developed among Levantine mariners, who are the focus of this study, which were a subset of terrestrial religion. Sailors honored deities whose maritime, celestial, or meteorological attributes could either benefit or devastate a voyage. While on land, these divine patrons were worshipped in harbor temples and promontory shrines, sometimes with maritime votives. While at sea, divine protection came from the ships themselves, which were considered to be imbued with the spirit of a deity; the vessels also contained sacred spaces that allowed for continued contact with their divine patrons.​​​​​​​ Mariners performed religious ceremonies to enlist and ensure sacred safeguarding and success for their voyages. Maritime features were also part of the funerary practices and mortuary rituals of seafarers. These specialized sacred beliefs and ritual practices were generated by the liminality of the deep and the unique uncertainties and perils at sea, and aided in Levantine maritime exploration, commercial exchanges, and Phoenician settlement that eventually spread throughout the Mediterranean basin and beyond to the Atlantic coasts of Iberia and Morocco. The webinar will conclude with a live Q&A session. 

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