Courtesy Michal Artzy

Egyptian reliefs, contemporary with the finds at Tel Nami, provide clues to the ritual significance of incense burning. One such relief at Karnak, from the time of Ramesses II (1290–1224 B.C.E.), shows an Egyptian assault on Canaanite Ashkelon. Men and women on the ramparts seem to be appealing to heaven, the limp figures of children appear about to be dropped from towers on each end, and a man in the right-hand tower holds up a stand similar to the Tel Nami incense burner. The scene suggests the possibility that the Canaanites resorted to child sacrifice and incense burning to entreat the gods to save them from the Egyptians.