Canaan and Ancient Israel Scavenger Hunt at the

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Your task is to navigate through the museum’s internet site and use the information given to answer questions about the land, time, daily life, economy, and religion of the ancient Israelites.  Not all the answers will be directly stated on the site.

You will have to use your critical and creative thinking skills to apply the information given to the questions asked.  Please write all your responses in complete and correct sentences.  Take the time to carefully read and look at the information and images in the museum.  Have fun!


Land - Time

What modern day countries are included in Canaan?

Describe one of the excavated sites from which the artifacts found in this museum came from.

In Canaan, what are archaeological mound sites called?

How are these mounds formed?

What types of sources do archeologists use to learn about ancient Israel?

Canaanites in the Early Bronze Age lived both as wandering nomads in the countryside and as settled traders in walled cities.  What would have been the differences between these two modes of life?  Which lifestyle would you prefer?

Describe the climate of this region.

The lowest point on the earth’s surface is?

How might the drastic differences in topography and climate found in Canaan have affected the people?

Define: Shasa

Define: Stratigraphy


Daily Life

Describe homes in ancient Israel.  How might the climate of the southern Levant have affected the design of homes?

Discuss the role of women in Canaan and ancient Israel.  What were appropriate activities for women?  Did women have less freedom than men?  Were women permitted to do what they wanted?

What was the staple of the ancient Israelites diet during the Bronze and Iron Ages?

Why were sheep and goats their principal herd animals?



Sketch a piece of jewelry or pottery from ancient Israel.

What are the basic steps by which a pot is made? 

Why is pottery of the utmost importance to archaeologists?  Where and in what condition do archaeologists typically find pottery?

What is the single most important contribution of the Canaanite culture?  Why was it so important?

Consider what it would be like to live without money.  Imagine you are the head of a Canaanite household and need to go to the market to buy a goat.  What types of things do you have that you can trade?

How do we know that the ancient Israelites had trade routes on the Mediterranean Sea?  What countries did they conduct sea trade with?

Why was long distance trade appealing to the Israelites?

Write three sentences about the Phoenicians.



How were people commonly buried? 

What were their rituals at the time of death? 

Compare and contrast these rituals to those of any other civilization we have studied.