The sun god of the Ammonites and sometimes associated with the Sumerian Baal, although Moloch was entirely malevolent. Moloch worship was practiced by the Canaanites, Phoenician and related cultures in North Africa and the Levant. In the 8th-6th century BC, firstborn children were sacrificed to him by the Israelites. These sacrifices to the sun god were made to renew the strength of the sun fire. Moloch was represented as a huge bronze statue with the head of a bull. The statue was hollow, and inside there burned a fire which colored the Moloch a glowing red. Children were placed on the hands of the statue. Through an ingenious system the hands were raised to the mouth (as if Moloch were eating) and the children fell into the fire where they were consumed by the flames. The people gathered before the Moloch were dancing on the sounds of flutes and tambourines to drown out the screams of the victims.