Dagon, the name means "corn", is an ancient Mesopotamian vegetation god, father of Baal in his father's attributes. He is the god of crop fertility and the inventor of the plough. He passed this knowledge to mankind to let them better till the soil and produce food. Dagon's temples were in Philistine for about 2000 years, although Baal took over in most parts of the Middle East. Dagon is one of the old gods. The Ras Shamra texts describe Dagon as coeval with El, who is the most ancient and senior of all the Semitic gods. Dagon's temple at Ashdod still existed right up until the time of the Hasmoneans [who ruled parts of Palestine in Jesus' days]. Dagon was portrayed half man and half fish.