The remaining fragments of the carved panels that once covered the Pozo Moro monument include a helmeted hero or god fighting a monster in front of an uprooted tree of life, supported by tridents carried by two smaller figures; a winged figure, possibly a seraph, smelling a lotus flower, a symbol, from the 16th century B.C.E. on, of the survival of the soul in the netherworld; an erotic scene, perhaps representing a sacred marriage and the birth of new life; and a muscular warrior or god bearing a circular shield.
On a sepulchral monument, the repeated themes of war, survival and new life illustrate the human struggle against death and the promise of resurrection. 063“My soul longs to kill, to kill. My desire is to kill many. Behold, my two hands hold food. Behold they are greedy … ,” the deity Mot describes himself in a Canaanite myth. In this well-preserved relief from the Pozo Moro monument, the bloodthirsty god of the underworld, enthroned at left, tilts back his head to swallow a child stuffed into a bowl while he grasps the tail of a piglet on an offering table before him. (A second head in the upper left corner may belong to a servant usually depicted to the left of Mot; the artist may have simply run out of room.) An animal head, a jar and what may be a loaf of bread lie on a second table; a goddess, center, offers Mot a drinking cup. At right stands an animal-headed figure who may be the Phoenician version of Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead.
The Pozo Moro sculptor has transformed the popular scene of a banquet commemorating the dead into a banquet in the underworld intended to help raise the dead. Upon the introduction of the belief in resurrection, annual sacrifices began to be offered in the deceased’s name to satiate and appease Mot, as depicted in the relief, and thereby sustain the deceased’s soul in its new abode.