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Canaan (;
Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have emerged from Common Semitic in the Early Bronze Age. It is first attested ...
: ;
Phoenician Phoenician may refer to: * Phoenicia, an ancient civilization * Phoenician alphabet * Phoenician language * List of Phoenician cities * Phoenix, Arizona See also

* Phoenix (mythology) * Phoenicia (disambiguation) {{disambiguation Language an ...
: 𐤊𐤍𐤏𐤍 – ; he, כְּנַעַן – , in
pausa In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...

pausa
– ; grc-bib, Χανααν – ;The current scholarly edition of the
Greek Old Testament The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals Roman numerals are a numeral system that originated in ancient Rome and remained the usual way of writing numbe ...
spells the word without any accents, cf. Septuaginta : id est Vetus Testamentum graece iuxta LXX interpretes. 2. ed. / recogn. et emendavit Robert Hanhart. Stuttgart : Dt. Bibelges., 2006 . However, in modern Greek the accentuation is , while the current (28th) scholarly edition of the New Testament has .
ar, كَنْعَانُ – ) was a
Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta. Semitic may also refer to: Religions * Abrahamic religions ** ...

Semitic
-speaking civilization and region in the
Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark ...
during the late
2nd millennium BC The 2nd millennium BC spanned the years 2000 through 1001 BC. In the Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban de ...
. The name "Canaan" appears throughout the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
, where it corresponds to the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
, in particular to the areas of the
Southern Levant The Southern Levant is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environ ...

Southern Levant
that provide the main setting of the narrative of the Bible:
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
,
Philistia Philistia (, ''Pəlešeṯ'', Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
,
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
, and other nations. The word "Canaanites" serves as an ethnic catch-all term covering various indigenous populations—both settled and nomadic-pastoral groups—throughout the regions of the southern Levant or Canaan. It is by far the most frequently used ethnic term in the Bible. In the
Book of Joshua The Book of Joshua ( he, ספר יהושע ') is the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nev ...
, Canaanites are included in a list of nations to exterminate, and later described as a group which the
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
had annihilated. Biblical scholar Mark Smith notes that archaeological data suggests "that the Israelite culture largely overlapped with and derived from Canaanite culture... In short, Israelite culture was largely Canaanite in nature." The name "Canaanites" is attested, many centuries later, as the
endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 milli ...
of the people later known to the
Ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
from BC as Phoenicians,: "The name 'Canaan' did not entirely drop out of usage in the Iron Age. Throughout the area that we—with the Greek speakers—prefer to call 'Phoenicia', the inhabitants in the first millennium BC called themselves 'Canaanites'. For the area south of Mt. Carmel, however, after the Bronze Age ended references to 'Canaan' as a present phenomenon dwindle almost to nothing (the Hebrew Bible of course makes frequent mention of 'Canaan' and 'Canaanites', but regularly as a land that had become something else, and as a people who had been annihilated)." and after the emigration of Canaanite-speakers to
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
(founded in the 9th century BC), was also used as a self-designation by the
Punics The Punic people or Western Phoenicians, were a group of Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta ...
(as ) of North Africa during
Late Antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Inst ...
. Canaan had significant geopolitical importance in the
Late Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
Amarna period The Amarna Period was an era of History of Ancient Egypt, Egyptian history during the later half of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, Eighteenth Dynasty when the royal residence of the pharaoh and his queen was shifted to Akhetaten ('Horizon of the A ...
(14th century BC) as the area where the
spheres of interest of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values ...
of the
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...
,
Hittite Hittite may refer to: * Hittites, ancient Anatolian people ** Hittite language, the earliest-attested Indo-European language ** Hittite grammar ** Hittite phonology ** Hittite cuneiform ** Hittite inscriptions ** Hittite laws ** Hittite religion ** ...

Hittite
,
Mitanni Mitanni (; Hittite cuneiform ; ''Mittani'' '), also called Hanigalbat or Hani-Rabbat (''Hanikalbat'', ''Khanigalbat'', cuneiform ') in Assyrian or Naharin in Ancient Egypt, Egyptian texts, was a Hurrian language, Hurrian-speaking state in nor ...

Mitanni
and
Assyrian Empire Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria Assyria () ( akk, 𒀸𒋩, syc, ܐܬܘܪ or ), also at times called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the Ancient Near East that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25 ...
s converged. Much of modern knowledge about Canaan stems from
archaeological excavation In archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologists also draw from b ...
in this area at sites such as
Tel Hazor Tel Hazor ( he, תל חצור), also Chatsôr ( he, חָצוֹר), translated in LXX as Hasōr ( grc, Άσώρ), identified at Tell Waqqas / Tell Qedah el-Gul ( ar, تل القدح, Tell el-Qedah), is an archaeological tell at the site of ancie ...
,
Tel Megiddo Tel Megiddo ( he, תל מגידו; ar, مجیدو, Tell el- Mutesellim, ''lit.'' "Mound of the Governor"; gr, Μεγιδδώ, Megiddo) is the site of the ancient city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictio ...
, En Esur, and
Gezer Gezer, or Tel Gezer ( he, גֶּזֶר), in ar, تل الجزر – Tell Jezar or Tell el-Jezari is an archaeological site in the foothills of the at the border of the region roughly midway between and . It is now an . In the Hebrew Bible, Ge ...
.


Etymology

The English term "Canaan" (pronounced since , due to the
Great Vowel Shift The Great Vowel Shift was a series of changes in the pronunciation of the English language that took place primarily between 1400 and 1700, beginning in southern England and today having influenced effectively all dialects of English. Through ...

Great Vowel Shift
) comes from the Hebrew (), via the Koine Greek and the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
. It appears as 𒆳𒆠𒈾𒄴𒈾 (''KURki-na-aḫ-na'') in the Amarna letters (14th century BC), and is found on coins from
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
in the last half of the 1st millennium. It first occurs in Greek in the writings of Hecataeus as (). The etymology is uncertain. An early explanation derives the term from the
Semitic root The root (linguistics), roots of verbs and most nouns in the Semitic languages are characterized as a sequence of consonants or "wikt:radical, radicals" (hence the term consonantal root). Such abstract consonantal roots are used in the formation of ...
, "to be low, humble, subjugated". Some scholars have suggested that this implies an original meaning of "lowlands", in contrast with Aram, which would then mean "highlands", whereas others have suggested it meant "the subjugated" as the name of Egypt's province in the Levant, and evolved into the proper name in a similar fashion to Provincia Nostra (the first Roman colony north of the Alps, which became
Provence Provence (, , , , ; oc, Provença or ''Prouvènço'' , ) is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, R ...

Provence
). An alternative suggestion put forward by
Ephraim Avigdor Speiser Ephraim Avigdor Speiser (January 24, 1902 – June 15, 1965) was a Jewish Polish-born American Assyriologist. He discovered the ancient site of Tepe Gawra in 1927 and supervised its excavation between 1931 and 1938. Speiser was married to Sue G ...
in 1936 derives the term from
Hurrian The Hurrians (; Cuneiform script, cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age Ancient Near East, Near East. They spoke a Hurro-Urartian language cal ...
, purportedly referring to the colour purple, so that "Canaan" and "Phoenicia" would be synonyms ("Land of Purple"). Tablets found in the Hurrian city of
Nuzi Nuzi (or Nuzu; AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the ...
in the early 20th century appear to use the term as a synonym for red or
purple dye Tyrian purple ( grc, πορφύρα ''porphúra''; la, purpura), also known as Phoenician red, Phoenician purple, royal purple, imperial purple, or imperial dye, is a reddish-purple natural dye; the name Tyrian refers to Tyre, Lebanon. It is a ...
, laboriously produced by the
Kassite The Kassites () were people of the ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratificatio ...
rulers of
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' *Kassite The Kassites ...

Babylon
from
murex ''Murex'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their a ...
molluscs as early as 1600 BC, and on the Mediterranean coast by the Phoenicians from a byproduct of glassmaking. Purple cloth became a renowned Canaanite export commodity which is mentioned in
Exodus Exodus or the Exodus may refer to: Religion *Book of Exodus, second book of the Hebrew Torah and the Christian Bible *The Exodus, the biblical story of the migration of the ancient Israelites from Egypt into Canaan Historical events * Jujuy E ...
. The dyes may have been named after their place of origin. The name 'Phoenicia' is connected with the Greek word for "purple", apparently referring to the same product, but it is difficult to state with certainty whether the Greek word came from the name, or vice versa. The purple cloth of
Tyre Tyre may refer to: * Tire, the outer part of a wheel Places * Tyre, Lebanon, a city ** See of Tyre, a Christian diocese seated in Tyre, Lebanon ** Tyre Hippodrome, a UNESCO World Heritage site * Tyre District, Lebanon * Tyre, New York, a town in t ...
in Phoenicia was well known far and wide and was associated by the
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
with nobility and royalty. However, according to
Robert Drews Robert Drews (born March 26, 1936) is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known ...
, Speiser's proposal has generally been abandoned.


History


Overview

* Prior to 4500 BC (prehistory –
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
: hunter-gatherer societies slowly giving way to farming and herding societies; * 4500–3500 BC (
Chalcolithic The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, chiefly in the Near East and SE Europe, ...

Chalcolithic
): early metal-working and farming; * 3500–2000 BC (Early Bronze): prior to written records in the area; * 2000–1550 BC (Middle Bronze): city-states; * 1550–1200 BC (Late Bronze): Egyptian hegemony; After the Iron Age the periods are named after the various empires that ruled the region:
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
n, Babylonian,
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
,
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
(
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...

Hellenistic
) and
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible Roman ...
.


Prehistory

Canaanite culture apparently developed ''in situ'' from the earlier
chalcolithic The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, chiefly in the Near East and SE Europe, ...

chalcolithic
Proto-Canaanites called the
Ghassulian Ghassulian refers to a culture and an archaeological stage dating to the Middle and Late Chalcolithic Period in the Southern Levant (c. 4400 – c. 3500 BC). Its type-site, Teleilat Ghassul (Teleilat el Ghassul, Teleilat el-Ghassul, Tulaylat al ...
archeological culture. Ghassulian culture itself developed from the Circum-Arabian Nomadic Pastoral Complex, which in turn developed from a fusion of their ancestral
Natufian The Natufian culture () is a Late Epipaleolithic (Levant), Epipaleolithic archaeological culture of the Levant, dating to around 15,000 to 11,500 years ago. The culture was unusual in that it supported a Sedentism, sedentary or semi-sedentary popu ...
and
Harifian Harifian is a specialized regional cultural development of the Epipalaeolithic of the Negev Desert. It corresponds to the latest stages of the Natufian culture. History Like the Natufian, Harifian is characterized by semi-subterranean house ...
cultures with
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) is part of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic The Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) represents the early Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that a ...
(PPNB) farming cultures, practicing
animal domestication Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular Multicellular organisms are organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the L ...
, during the 6200 BC climatic crisis which led to the Agricultural Revolution/
Neolithic Revolution The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (Ameri ...
in the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
.


Chalcolithic (4500–3500)

The Proto-Canaanites migrated into the Levant starting in 4500 BC. They pioneered the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
agricultural system typical of the Canaanite region, which comprised intensive
subsistence A subsistence economy is an economy directed to basic subsistence (the provision of food, clothing, shelter) rather than to the market. Henceforth, "subsistence" is understood as supporting oneself at a minimum level. Often, the subsistence econom ...
horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists who grow flowers, fruits and nuts, vegetables and herbs, as well as or ...
, extensive grain growing, commercial wine and olive cultivation and
transhumance Transhumance is a type of pastoralism or nomadism, a seasonal movement of livestock between fixed summer and winter pastures. In montane regions (''vertical transhumance''), it implies movement between higher pastures in summer and lower val ...

transhumance
pastoralism Pastoralism is a form of animal husbandry where domesticated animals known as livestock are released onto large vegetated outdoor lands (pastures) for grazing, historically by nomadic people who moved around with their herds. The species invol ...
. They lived in small villages, mining and manufacturing copper. The Proto-Canaanites became Canaanites BC when the Semitic language split off from Afroasiatic language. The two principal temples of the Proto-Canaanites were built at
Ein Gedi Ein Gedi ( he, עֵין גֶּדִי), literally "spring of the kid (young goat)" is an oasis and a nature reserve A nature reserve (also known as a natural reserve, wildlife refuge, wildlife sanctuary, biosphere reserve or bioreserve, nat ...

Ein Gedi
and Meggido. The majority of Canaan is covered by the
Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forests Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, wit ...
ecoregion. The end of the Chalcolithic period saw the rise of the urban settlement of En Esur in the southern Mediterranean coast.


Early Bronze Age (3200–2000)

By the
Early Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical composition * Period, ...
other sites had developed, such as
Ebla Ebla (Sumer Sumer ()The name is from '; ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", ifrom ''The Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary''). Literally, "land of the native ...

Ebla
(where an East Semitic language,
Eblaite Eblaite (, also known as Eblan ISO 639-3 ISO 639-3:2007, ''Codes for the representation of names of languages – Part 3: Alpha-3 code for comprehensive coverage of languages'', is an international standard for language codes in the ISO 63 ...
, was spoken), which by BC was incorporated into the
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
-based
Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of ...
of
Sargon the Great Sargon of Akkad (; akk, 𒊬𒊒𒄀 ''Šar-ru-gi''), also known as Sargon the Great, was the first ruler of the Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia after the long-lived civilization of Sumer. ...
and
Naram-Sin of Akkad Naram-Sin also transcribed Narām-Sîn or Naram-Suen ( akk, 𒀭𒈾𒊏𒄠𒀭𒂗𒍪: '' DNa-ra-am D Sîn'', meaning "Beloved of the Moon God Sîn", the "𒀭 ''Dingir'' (, usually transliteration of cuneiform, transliterated DIĜIR, ) is a ...
(biblical Accad). Sumerian references to the ''Mar.tu'' ("tent dwellers", later ''Amurru'', i.e.
Amorite The Amorites (; Sumerian language, Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; Akkadian language, Akkadian ''Amurrūm'' or ''Tidnum''; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Amar''; he, אמורי ''ʼĔmōrī''; grc, Ἀμορραῖοι) were an ancient Semitic lan ...
) country West of the Euphrates date from even earlier than Sargon, at least to the reign of the
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian king,
Enshakushanna Enshakushanna ( sux, , ), or Enshagsagana, En-shag-kush-ana, Enukduanna, En-Shakansha-Ana, was a king of Uruk Uruk (; Sumerian language, Sumerian: Cuneiform: , ''unugki'', Akkadian language, Akkadian: ''Uruk'' (Cities of the Ancient Near East, ...
of
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of (and later of ) situated east of the present bed of the River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern , , .Harmansah, 2007 Uruk is the for the . Uruk played a leading ...
, and one tablet credits the early Sumerian king
Lugal-anne-mundu Lugal-Anne-Mundu ( sux, , , ca. 24th century BC) was the most important king of the city-state of Adab in Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian '; Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "na ...
with holding sway in the region, although this tablet is considered less credible because it was produced centuries later. The archives of Ebla show reference to a number of biblical sites, including Hazor and
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
.
Ebla Ebla (Sumer Sumer ()The name is from '; ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", ifrom ''The Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary''). Literally, "land of the native ...

Ebla
and Amorites at Hazor,
Kadesh Qadesh, Qedesh, Qetesh, Kadesh, Kedesh, Kadeš and Qades come from the common Semitic root "Q-D-Š", which means "sacred." Kadesh and variations may refer to: Ancient/biblical places * Kadesh (Syria) or Qadesh, an ancient city of the Levant, on o ...
(Qadesh-on-the-Orontes), and elsewhere in Amurru (Syria) bordered Canaan in the north and northeast. (Ugarit may be included among these Amoritic entities.) The collapse of the Akkadian Empire in 2154 BC saw the arrival of peoples using Khirbet Kerak ware (pottery), coming originally from the
Zagros Mountains The Zagros Mountains ( fa, کوه‌های زاگرس, ''Kuh hā-ye Zāgros;'' Luri language, Luri: کویل زاگروس‎, ''Koyal Zagros;'' Turkish language, Turkish: ''Zagros Dağları;'' ku, چیاکانی زاگرۆس, translit=Çiyakani ...
(in modern
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
) east of the
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...

Tigris
. In addition,
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral gro ...

DNA
analysis revealed that between 2500–1000 BC, populations from the Chalcolithic Zagros and Bronze Age
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
migrated to the Southern Levant. The first cities in the southern Levant arose during this period. The major sites were En Esur and Meggido. These "proto-Canaanites" were in regular contact with the other peoples to their south such as
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
, and to the north
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
(
Hurrians The Hurrians (; cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by th ...
,
Hattians The Hattians () were an ancient Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the ...
,
Hittites The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittites
,
Luwians The Luwians were a group of Anatolian peoples Anatolians were Indo-European peoples of the Anatolian Peninsula identified by their use of the Anatolian languages The Anatolian languages are an extinct branch of Indo-European languages ...
) and
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
(
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
, Akkad,
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
), a trend that continued through the Iron Age. The end of the period is marked by the abandonment of the cities and a return to lifestyles based on farming villages and semi-nomadic herding, although specialised craft production continued and trade routes remained open. Archaeologically, the Late Bronze Age state of
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
(at
Ras Shamra ) , image =Ugarit Corbel.jpg , image_size=300 , alt = , caption = Entrance to the Royal Palace of Ugarit The Royal Palace of Ugarit was the royal residence of the rulers of the ancient kingdom of Ugarit on the Mediterranean Sea, Mediterrane ...
in
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
) is considered quintessentially Canaanite, even though its
Ugaritic language Ugaritic () is an extinct North-West Semitic language, classified by some as a dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two distinct ways to refer to ...
does not belong to the Canaanite language group proper.


Middle Bronze Age (2000–1550)

Urbanism returned and the region was divided among small city-states, the most important of which seems to have been Hazor. Many aspects of Canaanite material culture now reflected a Mesopotamian influence, and the entire region became more tightly integrated into a vast international trading network. As early as
Naram-Sin of Akkad Naram-Sin also transcribed Narām-Sîn or Naram-Suen ( akk, 𒀭𒈾𒊏𒄠𒀭𒂗𒍪: '' DNa-ra-am D Sîn'', meaning "Beloved of the Moon God Sîn", the "𒀭 ''Dingir'' (, usually transliteration of cuneiform, transliterated DIĜIR, ) is a ...
's reign ( BC), ''Amurru'' was called one of the "four quarters" surrounding Akkad, along with
Subartu The land of Subartu (Akkadian ''Šubartum/Subartum/ina Šú-ba-ri'', Assyrian ''mât Šubarri'') or Subar (Sumerian Su-bir4/Subar/Šubur) is mentioned in Bronze Age literature Before the spread of writing, oral literature did not always survive ...
/
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
,
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
, and
Elam Elam (; Linear Elamite: ''hatamti''; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronz ...

Elam
. Amorite dynasties also came to dominate in much of Mesopotamia, including in
Larsa Larsa (Sumerian logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures ...
,
Isin Isin (, modern Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countrie ...
and founding the state of Babylon in 1894 BC. Later on, ''Amurru'' became the Assyrian/Akkadian term for the interior of south as well as for northerly Canaan. At this time the Canaanite area seemed divided between two confederacies, one centred upon
MegiddoMegiddo may refer to: Places and sites in Israel * Tel Megiddo, site of an ancient city in Israel's Jezreel valley * Megiddo Airport, a domestic airport in Israel * Megiddo church (Israel) * Megiddo, Israel, a kibbutz in Israel * Megiddo Junction, ...
in the
Jezreel Valley The Jezreel Valley (from the he, עמק יזרעאל, translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt ...

Jezreel Valley
, the second on the more northerly city of
Kadesh Qadesh, Qedesh, Qetesh, Kadesh, Kedesh, Kadeš and Qades come from the common Semitic root "Q-D-Š", which means "sacred." Kadesh and variations may refer to: Ancient/biblical places * Kadesh (Syria) or Qadesh, an ancient city of the Levant, on o ...
on the Orontes River. An Amorite chieftain named
Sumu-abumSumu-Abum (also Su-abu) was an Amorite, and the first King of the First Dynasty of Babylon (the ''Amorite Dynasty''). He reigned from 1830-1817 BC (short chronology) / 1897-1883 BC (middle chronology). He freed a small area of land previously rule ...
founded Babylon as an independent
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
in 1894 BC. One Amorite king of Babylonia,
Hammurabi Hammurabi () was the sixth king of the First Babylonian dynasty The First Babylonian Empire, or Old Babylonian Empire, is dated to BC – BC, and comes after the end of Sumerian power with the destruction of the Third Dynasty of Ur The ...

Hammurabi
(1792–1750 BC) founded the first
Babylonian Empire Babylonia () was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن '; grc, Μεσοποταμία; Syriac language, Classical Syriac: ...
, which lasted only as long as his lifetime. Upon his death, the Amorites were driven from Assyria, but remained masters of Babylonia until 1595 BC, when they were ejected by the Hittites. The semi-fictional ''
Story of Sinuhe ''The Story of Sinuhe'' (also known as Sanehat) Retrieved November 6, 2018. is considered one of the finest works of ancient Egyptian literature Ancient Egyptian literature was written in the Egyptian language from ancient Egypt's History of ...
'' describes an Egyptian officer, Sinuhe, conducting military activities in the area of "Upper Retchenu" and "Finqu" during the reign of
Senusret I Senusret I (Middle Egyptian The Egyptian language (Egyptian: ''r n km.t'', , Coptic language, Coptic: ) is an Afroasiatic languages, Afro-Asiatic language which was spoken in ancient Egypt. Its attestation stretches over an extraordinarily lo ...
( BC). The earliest ''bonafide'' Egyptian report of a campaign to "Mentu", "Retchenu" and "Sekmem" (
Shechem Shechem , also spelled Sichem (; he, שְׁכָם / Standard ''Šəḵem'' Tiberian ''Šeḵem'', "shoulder"; grc, Συχέμ LXX), was a Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic: ; Phoenician lang ...

Shechem
) is the
Sebek-khu Stele The Sebek-khu Stele, also known as the Stele of Khu-sobek, is an inscription in honour of a man named Sebek-khu (Khu-sobek), who lived during the reign of Senusret III (reign: 1878 – 1839 BC) discovered by John Garstang in 1901 outside Khu-sobe ...

Sebek-khu Stele
, dated to the reign of
Senusret III Khakaure Senusret III (also written as Senwosret III or the hellenised form, Sesostris III) was a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, Egypt. He ruled from 1878 BC to 1839 BC during a time of great power and prosperity, and was the fifth king of the Twelfth ...

Senusret III
( BC). Around 1650 BC, Canaanites invaded the eastern Delta of Egypt, where, known as the
Hyksos Hyksos (; Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with th ...
, they became the dominant power. In Egyptian inscriptions, ''Amar'' and ''Amurru'' (
Amorite The Amorites (; Sumerian language, Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; Akkadian language, Akkadian ''Amurrūm'' or ''Tidnum''; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Amar''; he, אמורי ''ʼĔmōrī''; grc, Ἀμορραῖοι) were an ancient Semitic lan ...
s) are applied strictly to the more northerly mountain region east of Phoenicia, extending to the Orontes. Archaeological excavations of a number of sites, later identified as Canaanite, show that prosperity of the region reached its apogee during this Middle
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
period, under leadership of the city of Hazor, at least nominally tributary to Egypt for much of the period. In the north, the cities of Yamkhad and Qatna were hegemons of important Confederation, confederacies, and it would appear that biblical Hazor was the chief city of another important coalition in the south.


Late Bronze Age (1550–1200)

In the early Late Bronze Age, Canaanite confederacies centered on Megiddo (place), Megiddo and
Kadesh Qadesh, Qedesh, Qetesh, Kadesh, Kedesh, Kadeš and Qades come from the common Semitic root "Q-D-Š", which means "sacred." Kadesh and variations may refer to: Ancient/biblical places * Kadesh (Syria) or Qadesh, an ancient city of the Levant, on o ...
, before again being brought into the New Egyptian Kingdom, Egyptian Empire and Hittites, Hittite Empire. Later still, the Neo-Assyrian Empire assimilated the region. According to the Bible, the migrant ancient Semitic-speaking peoples who appear to have settled in the region included (among others) the Amorites, who had earlier controlled Babylonia. The Hebrew Bible mentions the ''Amorites'' in the ''Table of Nations, Table of Peoples'' (Book of Genesis 10:16–18a). Evidently, the Amorites played a significant role in the early history of Canaan. In Book of Genesis 14:7 ''f''.,
Book of Joshua The Book of Joshua ( he, ספר יהושע ') is the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nev ...
10:5 ''f''., Book of Deuteronomy 1:19 ''f''., 27, 44, we find them located in the southern mountain country, while verses such as Book of Numbers 21:13, Book of Joshua 9:10, 24:8, 12, etc.tell of two great Amorite kings residing at Heshbon and Ashteroth Karnaim, Ashteroth, east of the Jordan. However, other passages such as Book of Genesis 15:16, 48:22, Book of Joshua 24:15, Book of Judges 1:34, as well as others regard the name ''Amorite'' as synonymous with "Canaanite"; however "Amorite" is never used for the population on the coast. In the centuries preceding the appearance of the biblical Hebrews, parts of Canaan and southwestern Syria became tributary to the Egyptian Pharaohs, although domination by the Egyptians remained sporadic, and not strong enough to prevent frequent local rebellions and inter-city struggles. Other areas such as northern Canaan and northern Syria came to be ruled by the Assyrians during this period. Under Thutmose III (1479–1426 BC) and Amenhotep II (1427–1400 BC), the regular presence of the strong hand of the Egyptian ruler and his armies kept the Amorites and Canaanites sufficiently loyal. Nevertheless, Thutmose III reported a new and troubling element in the population. Habiru or (in Egyptian) 'Apiru, are reported for the first time. These seem to have been mercenaries, brigands, or outlaws, who may have at one time led a settled life, but with bad luck or due to the force of circumstances, contributed a rootless element to the population, prepared to hire themselves to whichever local mayor, king, or princeling would pay for their support. Although Habiru (a Sumerian language, Sumerian ideogram glossed as "brigand" in Akkadian language, Akkadian), and sometimes (an Akkadian word) had been reported in Mesopotamia from the reign of the
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian king, Shulgi of Ur III, their appearance in Canaan appears to have been due to the arrival of a new state based in Asia Minor to the north of Assyria and based upon a Maryannu aristocracy of horse-drawn charioteers, associated with the Indo-Aryan peoples, Indo-Aryan rulers of the
Hurrians The Hurrians (; cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by th ...
, known as
Mitanni Mitanni (; Hittite cuneiform ; ''Mittani'' '), also called Hanigalbat or Hani-Rabbat (''Hanikalbat'', ''Khanigalbat'', cuneiform ') in Assyrian or Naharin in Ancient Egypt, Egyptian texts, was a Hurrian language, Hurrian-speaking state in nor ...

Mitanni
. The Habiru seem to have been more a social class than an ethnic group. One analysis shows that the majority were, however, Hurrian (a non-Semitic-speaking group from Asia Minor who spoke a language isolate), though there were a number of Semites and even some
Kassite The Kassites () were people of the ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratificatio ...
and Luwian adventurers amongst their number. The reign of Amenhotep III, as a result was not quite so tranquil for the Asiatic province, as Habiru/'Apiru contributed to greater political instability. It is believed that turbulent chiefs began to seek their opportunities, though as a rule they could not find them without the help of a neighbouring king. The boldest of the disaffected nobles was Aziru, son of Abdi-Ashirta, a prince of Amurru, who, even before the death of Amenhotep III, endeavoured to extend his power into the plain of Damascus. Akizzi, governor of Katna (Qatna?) (near Hama#Hama in the Bible, Hamath), reported this to the Pharaoh, who seems to have sought to frustrate Aziru's attempts. In the reign of the next pharaoh (Akhenaten, reigned 1352 to 1335 BC) however, both father and son caused infinite trouble to loyal servants of Egypt like Rib-Hadda, governor of Byblos, Gubla (Gebal), not the least through transferring loyalty from the Egyptian crown to that of the expanding neighbouring Asia-Minor-based Hittite Empire under Suppiluliuma I (reigned 1344–1322 BC). Egyptian power in Canaan thus suffered a major setback when the Hittites (or Hat.ti) advanced into Syria in the reign of Amenhotep III, and when they became even more threatening in that of his successor, displacing the Amorites and prompting a resumption of Semitic migration. Abdi-Ashirta and his son Aziru, at first afraid of the Hittites, afterwards made a treaty with their king, and joining with the Hittites, attacked and conquered the districts remaining loyal to Egypt. In vain did Rib-Hadda send touching appeals for aid to the distant Pharaoh, who was far too engaged in his religious innovations to attend to such messages. The Amarna letters tell of the Habiri in northern Syria. Etakkama wrote thus to the Pharaoh: :"Behold, Biryawaza, Namyawaza has surrendered all the cities of the king, my lord to the in the land of
Kadesh Qadesh, Qedesh, Qetesh, Kadesh, Kedesh, Kadeš and Qades come from the common Semitic root "Q-D-Š", which means "sacred." Kadesh and variations may refer to: Ancient/biblical places * Kadesh (Syria) or Qadesh, an ancient city of the Levant, on o ...
and in Upu, Ubi. But I will go, and if thy gods and thy sun go before me, I will bring back the cities to the king, my lord, from the Habiri, to show myself subject to him; and I will expel the ." Similarly, Zimredda (Sidon mayor), Zimrida, king of Sidon (named 'Siduna'), declared, "All my cities which the king has given into my hand, have come into the hand of the Habiri." The king of
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
, Abdi-Heba, reported to the Pharaoh: :"If (Egyptian) troops come this year, lands and princes will remain to the king, my lord; but if troops come not, these lands and princes will not remain to the king, my lord." Abdi-heba's principal trouble arose from persons called Iilkili and the sons of Labaya, who are said to have entered into a treasonable league with the Habiri. Apparently this restless warrior found his death at the siege of Gina (Canaan), Gina. All these princes, however, maligned each other in their letters to the Pharaoh, and protested their own innocence of traitorous intentions. Namyawaza, for instance, whom Etakkama (see above) accused of disloyalty, wrote thus to the Pharaoh, :"Behold, I and my warriors and my chariots, together with my brethren and my , and my Sutean, Suti ?9 are at the disposal of the (royal) troops to go whithersoever the king, my lord, commands."El Amarna letter, EA 189. Around the beginning of the New Kingdom period, Egypt exerted rule over much of the Levant. Rule remained strong during the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, Eighteenth Dynasty, but Egypt's rule became precarious during the Nineteenth Dynasty, Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasty, Twentieth Dynasties. Ramses II was able to maintain control over it in the Battle of Kadesh, stalemated battle against the
Hittites The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittites
at
Kadesh Qadesh, Qedesh, Qetesh, Kadesh, Kedesh, Kadeš and Qades come from the common Semitic root "Q-D-Š", which means "sacred." Kadesh and variations may refer to: Ancient/biblical places * Kadesh (Syria) or Qadesh, an ancient city of the Levant, on o ...
in 1275 BC, but soon thereafter, the Hittites successfully took over the northern Levant (Syria and Amurru). Ramses II, obsessed with his own building projects while neglecting Asiatic contacts, allowed control over the region to continue dwindling. During the reign of his successor Merneptah, the Merneptah Stele was issued which claimed to have destroyed various sites in the southern Levant, including a people known as "Israel". However, archaeological findings show no destruction at any of the sites mentioned in the Merneptah stele and so it is considered to be an exercise in propaganda, and the campaign most likely avoided the central highlands in the southern Levant. Over the course of the reign of Ramses III (1186-1155 BC), Egyptian control over the southern Levant completely collapsed in the wake of the invasion of the Sea Peoples, more specifically, the Philistines who settled into the southwestern Coastal Plain.


Bronze Age collapse

Ann Killebrew has shown that cities such as
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
were large and important walled settlements in the 'Pre-Israelite' Bronze Age, Middle Bronze IIB and the Israelite Iron Age IIC period ( and BC), but that during the intervening Bronze Age collapse, Late Bronze (LB) and Iron Age I and IIA/B Ages sites like
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
were small and relatively insignificant and unfortified towns. Just after the
Amarna period The Amarna Period was an era of History of Ancient Egypt, Egyptian history during the later half of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, Eighteenth Dynasty when the royal residence of the pharaoh and his queen was shifted to Akhetaten ('Horizon of the A ...
, a new problem arose which was to trouble the Egyptian control of southern Canaan (the rest of the region now being under Assyrian control). Pharaoh Horemhab campaigned against ''Shasu'' (Egyptian = "wanderers") living in nomadic pastoralist tribes, who had moved across the Jordan River to threaten Egyptian trade through Galilee and Jezreel (city), Jezreel. Seti I ( BC) is said to have conquered these ''Shasu,'' Semitic-speaking nomads living just south and east of the Dead Sea, from the fortress of Taru (Shtir?) to "''Ka-n-'-na''". After the near collapse of the Battle of Kadesh, Rameses II had to campaign vigorously in Canaan to maintain Egyptian power. Egyptian forces penetrated into Moab and Ammon, where a permanent fortress garrison (called simply "Rameses") was established. Some believe the "Habiru" signified generally all the nomadic tribes known as "Hebrews", and particularly the early
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
of the period of the "judges", who sought to appropriate the fertile region for themselves. However, the term was rarely used to describe the ''Shasu''. Whether the term may also include other related ancient Semitic-speaking peoples such as the Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites is uncertain. It may not be an ethnonym at all; see the article Habiru for details.


Iron Age

By the Early Iron Age, the southern Levant came to be dominated by the History of ancient Israel and Judah, kingdoms of Israel and Judah, besides the Philistines, Philistine city-states on the Mediterranean coast, and the kingdoms of Moab, Ammon, and Aram-Damascus east of the Jordan River, and Edom to the south. The northern Levant was divided into various petty kingdoms, the so-called Syro-Hittite states and the
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
n city-states. The entire region (including all Phoenician/Canaanite and Arameans, Aramean states, together with Israel,
Philistia Philistia (, ''Pəlešeṯ'', Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
, and Samarra) was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire during the 10th and 9th centuries BC, and would remain so for three hundred years until the end of the 7th century BC. Assyrian emperor-kings such as Ashurnasirpal II, Ashurnasirpal, Adad-nirari II, Sargon II, Tiglath-Pileser III, Esarhaddon, Sennacherib and Ashurbanipal came to dominate Canaanite affairs. The Egyptians, then under a Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, Nubian Dynasty, made a failed attempt to regain a foothold in the region, but were vanquished by the Assyrian people, Assyrians, leading to an Assyrian conquest of Egypt, Assyrian invasion and conquest of Egypt and the destruction of the Kushite Empire. The Kingdom of Judah was forced to pay tribute to Assyria. Between 616 and 605 BC the Assyrian Empire collapsed due to a series of bitter civil wars, followed by an attack by an alliance of Babylonians, Medes, and Persians and the Scythians. The Babylonians inherited the western part of the empire of their Assyrian brethren, including all the lands in Canaan and
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
, together with Israel and Kingdom of Judah, Judah. They successfully defeated the Egyptians, who had belatedly attempted to aid their former masters, the Assyrians, and then remained in the region in an attempt to regain a foothold in the Near East. The Babylonian Empire itself collapsed in 539 BC, and Canaan fell to the Persians and became a part of the Achaemenid Empire. It remained so until in 332 BC it was conquered by the Greeks under Alexander the Great, later to fall to Roman Empire, Rome in the late 2nd century BC, and then Byzantium, until the Arab Islamic invasion and conquest of the 7th century.


Culture

Canaan included what today are Lebanon, Israel, State of Palestine, Palestine, northwestern Jordan, and some western areas of Syria. According to archaeologist Jonathan N. Tubb, "Ammonites, Moabites,
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
, and Phoenicians undoubtedly achieved their own cultural identities, and yet ethnically they were all Canaanites", "the same people who settled in farming villages in the region in the 8th millennium BC." There is uncertainty about whether the name "Canaan" refers to a specific ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking ethnic group wherever they live, the homeland of this ethnic group, a region under the control of this ethnic group, or perhaps any combination of the three. Canaanite civilization was a response to long periods of stable climate interrupted by short periods of climate change (general concept), climate change. During these periods, Canaanites profited from their intermediary position between the ancient civilizations of the Middle East—Ancient Egypt,
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
(
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
, Akkad,
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
, Babylonia), the
Hittites The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittites
, and Minoan Crete—to become city states of merchant princes along the coast, with small kingdoms specializing in agricultural products in the interior. This polarity, between coastal towns and agrarian hinterland, was illustrated in Canaanite mythology by the struggle between the storm god, variously called Teshub (
Hurrian The Hurrians (; Cuneiform script, cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age Ancient Near East, Near East. They spoke a Hurro-Urartian language cal ...
) or Baal, Ba'al Hadad (
Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta. Semitic may also refer to: Religions * Abrahamic religions ** ...

Semitic
Amorite The Amorites (; Sumerian language, Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; Akkadian language, Akkadian ''Amurrūm'' or ''Tidnum''; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Amar''; he, אמורי ''ʼĔmōrī''; grc, Ἀμορραῖοι) were an ancient Semitic lan ...
/Aramean) and Yam (god), Ya'a, Yaw, Yahu, or Yam (god), Yam, god of the sea and rivers. Early Canaanite civilization was characterized by small walled market towns, surrounded by peasant farmers growing a range of local horticulture, horticultural products, along with commercial growing of olives, grapes for wine, and pistachios, surrounded by extensive grain cropping, predominantly wheat and barley. Harvest in early summer was a season when
transhumance Transhumance is a type of pastoralism or nomadism, a seasonal movement of livestock between fixed summer and winter pastures. In montane regions (''vertical transhumance''), it implies movement between higher pastures in summer and lower val ...

transhumance
nomadism was practiced—shepherds staying with their flocks during the wet season and returning to graze them on the harvested stubble, closer to water supplies in the summer. Evidence of this cycle of agriculture is found in the Gezer calendar and in the biblical cycle of the year. Periods of rapid climate change generally saw a collapse of this mixed Mediterranean farming system; commercial production was replaced with subsistence agricultural foodstuffs; and transhumance
pastoralism Pastoralism is a form of animal husbandry where domesticated animals known as livestock are released onto large vegetated outdoor lands (pastures) for grazing, historically by nomadic people who moved around with their herds. The species invol ...
became a year-round nomadic pastoral activity, whilst tribal groups wandered in a circular pattern north to the Euphrates, or south to the Egyptian delta with their flocks. Occasionally, tribal chieftains would emerge, raiding enemy settlements and rewarding loyal followers from the spoils or by tariffs levied on merchants. Should the cities band together and retaliate, a neighbouring state intervene or should the chieftain suffer a reversal of fortune, allies would fall away or intertribal feuding would return. It has been suggested that the Patriarchal tales of the Bible reflect such social forms. During the periods of the collapse of
Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of ...
in
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
and the First Intermediate Period of Egypt, the
Hyksos Hyksos (; Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with th ...
invasions and the end of the Middle Bronze Age in Assyria and Babylonia, and the Late Bronze Age collapse, trade through the Canaanite area would dwindle, as Egypt, Babylonia, and to a lesser degree
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
, withdrew into their isolation. When the climates stabilized, trade would resume firstly along the coast in the area of the Philistines, Philistine and Phoenician cities. As markets redeveloped, new trade routes that would avoid the heavy tariffs of the coast would develop from Kadesh Barnea, through Hebron, Lachish,
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
, Bethel, Samaria (ancient city), Samaria,
Shechem Shechem , also spelled Sichem (; he, שְׁכָם / Standard ''Šəḵem'' Tiberian ''Šeḵem'', "shoulder"; grc, Συχέμ LXX), was a Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic: ; Phoenician lang ...

Shechem
, Shiloh (biblical city), Shiloh through Galilee to Jezreel (city), Jezreel, Hazor, and
MegiddoMegiddo may refer to: Places and sites in Israel * Tel Megiddo, site of an ancient city in Israel's Jezreel valley * Megiddo Airport, a domestic airport in Israel * Megiddo church (Israel) * Megiddo, Israel, a kibbutz in Israel * Megiddo Junction, ...
. Secondary Canaanite cities would develop in this region. Further economic development would see the creation of a third trade route from Eilath, Timna, Edom (Mount Seir, Seir), Moab, Ammon, and thence to the Aramean states of Damascus and Palmyra. Earlier states (for example the Philistines and Tyrians in the case of Kingdom of Judah, Judah and Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Samaria, for the second route, and Judah and Israel for the third route) tried generally unsuccessfully to control the interior trade. Eventually, the prosperity of this trade would attract more powerful regional neighbours, such as Ancient Egypt,
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
, the Babylonians, Persians,
Ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
, and
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
, who would control the Canaanites politically, levying tribute, taxes, and tariffs. Often in such periods, thorough overgrazing would result in a climatic collapse and a repeat of the cycle (e.g., PPNB,
Ghassulian Ghassulian refers to a culture and an archaeological stage dating to the Middle and Late Chalcolithic Period in the Southern Levant (c. 4400 – c. 3500 BC). Its type-site, Teleilat Ghassul (Teleilat el Ghassul, Teleilat el-Ghassul, Tulaylat al ...
,
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of (and later of ) situated east of the present bed of the River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern , , .Harmansah, 2007 Uruk is the for the . Uruk played a leading ...
, and the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
cycles already mentioned). The fall of later Canaanite civilization occurred with the incorporation of the area into the Greco-Roman world (as Iudaea province), and after Byzantine times, into the Muslim Arab and proto-Muslim Umayyad Caliphate. Western Aramaic, one of the two lingua francas of Canaanite civilization, is still spoken in a number of small Syrian villages, whilst
Phoenician Phoenician may refer to: * Phoenicia, an ancient civilization * Phoenician alphabet * Phoenician language * List of Phoenician cities * Phoenix, Arizona See also

* Phoenix (mythology) * Phoenicia (disambiguation) {{disambiguation Language an ...
Canaanite language, Canaanite disappeared as a spoken language in about 100 AD. A separate Akkadian language, Akkadian-infused Eastern Aramaic is still spoken by the existing Assyrian people, Assyrians of Iraq,
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
, northeast Syria, and southeast Turkey. Tel Kabri contains the remains of a Canaanite city from the Middle
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
(2000–1550 BC). The city, the most important of the cities in the Western Galilee during that period, had a palace at its center. Tel Kabri is the only Canaanite city that can be excavated in its entirety because after the city was abandoned, no other city was built over its remains. It is notable because the predominant extra-Canaanite cultural influence is Minoan civilization, Minoan; Minoan-style frescoes decorate the palace.


List of Canaan's rulers

Names of Canaanite kings or other figures mentioned in historiography or known through archaeology Confirmed archaeologically * Niqmaddu I of
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
(Known from a seal used by Ugaritan Kings) * Yaqarum I of
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
(Known from a seal used by Ugaritan Kings) * Ammittamru I of
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
(Amarna letters) * Niqmaddu II of
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
(Amarna letters) (1349–1315 BC) * Arhalba of
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
(1315–1313 BC) * Niqmepa of
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
(1313–1260 BC) * Ammittamru II of
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
(1260–1235 BC) * Ibiranu of
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
(1235–1220 BC) * Ammurapi of
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
(1215–1185 BC) * Aziru, ruler of Amurru (Amarna letters) * Labaya, lord of
Shechem Shechem , also spelled Sichem (; he, שְׁכָם / Standard ''Šəḵem'' Tiberian ''Šeḵem'', "shoulder"; grc, Συχέμ LXX), was a Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic: ; Phoenician lang ...

Shechem
(Amarna letters) * Abdikheba, mayor of Jerusalem (Amarna letters) * Šuwardata, mayor of Qiltu (Amarna letters) Hebrew Bible and other historiography * Canaan, son of Ham (Gen. 10:6) * Sidon, firstborn son of Canaan (Gen. 10:15) * Heth, son of Canaan (Gen. 10:15) * Cronus, Cronos (Ilus), founder of Byblos according to Sanchuniathon * Mamre, an Amorite chieftain (Gen. 13:18) * Makamaron, king of Canaan (Jubilees 46:6) * Sihon, king of Amorites (Deut 1:4) * Og, king of Bashan (Deut 1:4) * Adonizedek, king of
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
(Josh. 10:1) * Debir, king of Eglon, Canaan, Eglon (Josh. 10:3) * Jabin, name of two kings of Hazor (Josh. 11:1; Judges 5:6) Rulers of Tyre * Abibaal 990–978 BC * Hiram I 978–944 BC * Baal-Eser I (Balbazer I) 944–927 BC * Abdastartus 927–918 BC * Methusastartus 918–906 BC * Astarymus 906–897 BC * Phelles 897–896 BC * Eshbaal I 896–863 BC * Baal-Eser II (Balbazer II) 863–829 BC * Mattan I 829–820 BC * Pygmalion of Tyre, Pygmalion 820–774 BC * Eshbaal II 750–739 BC * Hiram II 739–730 BC * Mattan II 730–729 BC * Elulaios 729 694 BC * Abd Melqart 694–680 BC * Baal I 680–660 BC * ''Tyre may have been under control of Assyria and/or Egypt for 70 years'' * Eshbaal III 591–573 BC—''
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
became independent of Tyre in 574 BC'' * Baal II 573–564 BC (under Babylonian overlords) * Yakinbaal 564 BC * Chelbes 564–563 BC * Abbar 563–562 BC * Mattan III and Ger Ashthari 562–556 BC * Baal-Eser III 556–555 BC * Mahar-Baal 555–551 BC * Hiram III 551–532 BC * Mattan III (under Persian Control) * Boulomenus * Abdemon BC


In Jewish and Christian scriptures


Hebrew Bible

In biblical usage, the name was confined to the country west of the Jordan River. Canaanites were described as living "by the sea, and along by the side of the Jordan" (Book of Numbers 33:51;
Book of Joshua The Book of Joshua ( he, ספר יהושע ') is the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nev ...
22:9). Canaan was especially identified with
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
(Book of Isaiah 23:11). The Philistines, while an integral part of the Canaanite milieu, do not seem to have been ethnic Canaanites, and were listed in the Generations of Noah, Table of Nations as descendants of Mizraim; the Arameans, Moabites, Ammonites, Midianites and Edomites were also considered fellow descendants of Shem or Abraham, and distinct from generic Canaanites/Amorites#Biblical Amorites, Amorites. ''"Heth (Bible), Heth"'', representing the Biblical Hittites, Hittites, is a son of Canaan. The later
Hittites The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittites
spoke an Indo-European languages, Indo-European language (called Hittite language, ''Nesili''), but their predecessors the
Hattians The Hattians () were an ancient Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the ...
had spoken a little-known language (Hattic language, ''Hattili''), of uncertain affinities. The Horites, formerly of Mount Seir, were implied to be Canaanite (Hivite), although unusually there is no direct confirmation of this in the narrative. The
Hurrians The Hurrians (; cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by th ...
, based in Upper Mesopotamia, spoke the Hurrian language. In the Bible, the renaming of the Land of Canaan as the Land of Israel marks the Israelites, Israelite Book of Joshua#Entry into the land and conquest .28chapters 2.E2.80.9312.29, conquest of the Promised Land. Canaan and the Canaanites are mentioned some 160 times in the Hebrew Bible, mostly in the Torah#Pentateuch, Pentateuch and the books of Book of Joshua, Joshua and Book of Judges, Judges. An Origin myth, ancestor called Canaan (son of Ham), Canaan first appears as one of Noah's grandsons. He appears during the narrative known as the Curse of Ham, in which Canaan is cursed with perpetual slavery because his father Ham (son of Noah), Ham had "looked upon" the drunk and naked Noah. The expression "look upon" at times has sexual overtones in the Bible, as in Leviticus 20:11, "The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness..." As a result, interpreters have proposed a variety of possibilities as to what kind of transgression has been committed by Ham, including the possibility that maternal incest is implied. God in Judaism, God later promises the land of Canaan to Abraham, and eventually delivers it to Abraham's family tree, descendants of Abraham, the
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
. The biblical history has become increasingly problematic as the archaeological and textual evidence supports the idea that the early Israelites were in fact themselves Canaanites. The Hebrew Bible lists borders for the land of Canaan. The Book of Numbers, 34:2, includes the phrase "the land of Canaan as defined by its borders." The borders are then delineated in Numbers 34:3–12. The term "Canaanites" in biblical Hebrew is applied especially to the inhabitants of the lower regions, along the sea coast and on the shores of the Jordan River, as opposed to the inhabitants of the mountainous regions. By the Second Temple period (530 BC–70 AD), "Canaanite" in the Hebrew language had come to be not an ethnic designation, so much as a general synonym for "merchant", as it is interpreted in, for example, Book of Job 40:30, or Book of Proverbs 31:24. John N. Oswalt notes that "Canaan consists of the land west of the Jordan River, Jordan and is distinguished from the area east of the Jordan." Oswalt then goes on to say that in Scripture, Canaan "takes on a theological character" as "the land which is God's gift" and "the place of abundance". The Hebrew Bible describes the Israelite conquest of Canaan in the "Nevi'im#Former Prophets, Former Prophets" (, ), viz. the books of Book of Joshua, Joshua, Book of Judges, Judges, Books of Samuel, Samuel, and Books of Kings, Kings. These books of the Old Testament canon give the narrative of the Israelites after the death of Moses and their entry into Canaan under the leadership of Joshua. In 586 BC, the Kingdom of Judah was annexed into the Neo-Babylonian Empire. The city of
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
fell after Siege of Jerusalem (587 BC), a siege which lasted either eighteen or thirty months. By 586 BC, much of Judah was devastated, and the former kingdom suffered a steep decline of both economy and population. The descendants of the Israelites thus lost control of the land. These narratives of the Former Prophets are also "part of a larger work, called the Deuteronomist#Deuteronomistic history, Deuteronomistic History". The passage in the Generations of Noah, Book of Genesis often called the Table of Nations presents the Canaanites as descendants of an Origin myth, eponymous ancestor called Canaan (son of Ham), Canaan, the son of Ham and grandson of Noah (, ). () states:
Canaan is the father of Sidon#The Biblical Sidon, Sidon, his firstborn; and of the Biblical Hittites, Hittites, Jebusites,
Amorite The Amorites (; Sumerian language, Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; Akkadian language, Akkadian ''Amurrūm'' or ''Tidnum''; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Amar''; he, אמורי ''ʼĔmōrī''; grc, Ἀμορραῖοι) were an ancient Semitic lan ...
s, List of minor biblical tribes#Girgashites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arqa, Arkites, List of minor biblical tribes#Sinites, Sinites, List of minor biblical tribes#Arvadites, Arvadites, List of minor biblical tribes#Zemarites, Zemarites, and List of minor biblical tribes#Hamathites, Hamathites. Later the Canaanite clans scattered, and the borders of Canaan reached [across the Mediterranean coast] from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza City, Gaza, and then [inland around the Jordan Valley (Middle East), Jordan Valley ] toward Sodom and Gomorrah, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim (Hebrew Bible), Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
The Sidon whom the Table identifies as the firstborn son of Canaan has the same name as that of the coastal city of Sidon in Lebanon. This city dominated the Phoenician coast, and may have enjoyed hegemony over a number of ethnic groups, who are said to belong to the "Land of Canaan". Similarly, Canaanite populations are said to have inhabited: * the Mediterranean coastlands (), including Lebanon corresponding to Phoenicia () and the Gaza Strip corresponding to
Philistia Philistia (, ''Pəlešeṯ'', Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
(). * the Jordan Valley (Middle East), Jordan Valley (, , ). The Canaanites () are said to have been one of seven regional ethnic divisions or "nations" driven out by the
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
following the Exodus. Specifically, the other nations include the Biblical Hittites, Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites (). According to the ''Book of Jubilees'', the Israelite conquest of Canaan is attributed to Canaan's steadfast refusal to join his elder brothers in Ham's allotment beyond the Nile, and instead "squatting" on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, within the inheritance delineated for Shem. Canaan thus incurs a further curse from Noah for disobeying the agreed apportionment of land. One of the 613 commandments (precisely n. 596) prescribes that no inhabitants of the cities of six Canaanite nations, the same as mentioned in 7:1, minus the List of minor biblical tribes#G, Girgashites, were to be left alive. While the Hebrew Bible distinguishes the Canaanites ethnically from the ancient
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
, modern scholars Jonathan Tubb and Mark S. Smith have theorized—based on their archaeological and linguistic interpretations—that the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah represented a subset of Canaanite culture. The name "Canaanites" is attested, many centuries later, as the
endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 milli ...
of the people later known to the
Ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
from BC as Phoenicians, and following the emigration of Canaanite-speakers to
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
(founded in the 9th century BC), was also used as a self-designation by the
Punics The Punic people or Western Phoenicians, were a group of Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta ...
(''chanani'') of North Africa during
Late Antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Inst ...
. This mirrors usage of the names Canaanites and Phoenicians in later books of the Hebrew Bible (such as at the end of the Book of Zechariah, where it is thought to refer to a class of merchants or to non-monotheistic worshippers in Israel or neighbouring Sidon and Tyre, Lebanon, Tyre), as well as in its single independent usage in the New Testament (where it Exorcism of the Syrophoenician woman's daughter, alternates with the term "Syrophoenician" in two parallel passages).


New Testament

"Canaan" (, ) is used only twice in the New Testament: both times in Acts of the Apostles when paraphrasing Old Testament stories. Additionally, the derivative (, "Canaanite woman") is used in Gospel of Matthew, Matthew's version of the exorcism of the Syrophoenician woman's daughter, while the Gospel of Mark uses the term ().


Greco-Roman historiography

The Greek term ''
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
'' is first attested in the first two works of Western literature, Homer's ''Iliad'' and ''Odyssey''. It does not occur in the Hebrew Bible, but occurs three times in the New Testament in the Book of Acts. In the 6th century BC, Hecataeus of Miletus affirms that Phoenicia was formerly called , a name that Philo of Byblos subsequently adopted into his mythology as his eponym for the Phoenicians: "Khna who was afterwards called Phoenicians, Phoinix". Quoting fragments attributed to Sanchuniathon, he relates that Byblos, Berytus and
Tyre Tyre may refer to: * Tire, the outer part of a wheel Places * Tyre, Lebanon, a city ** See of Tyre, a Christian diocese seated in Tyre, Lebanon ** Tyre Hippodrome, a UNESCO World Heritage site * Tyre District, Lebanon * Tyre, New York, a town in t ...
were among the first cities ever built, under the rule of the mythical Cronus, and credits the inhabitants with developing fishing, hunting, agriculture, shipbuilding and writing. Coins of the city of Beirut / Laodicea bear the legend, "Of Laodicea, a metropolis in Canaan"; these coins are dated to the reign of Antiochus IV of Syria, Antiochus IV (175–164 BC) and his successors until 123 BC. Augustine of Hippo, Saint Augustine also mentions that one of the terms the seafaring Phoenicians called their homeland was "Canaan". Augustine also records that the rustic people of Hippo Regius, Hippo in North Africa retained the Punic language, Punic self-designation ''Chanani''. Since 'punic' in Latin also meant 'non-Roman', some scholars however argue that the language referred to as Punic in Augustine may have been Berber languages, Libyan. The Greeks also popularized the term ''Palestine'', named after the Philistines or the Aegean Pelasgians, for roughly the region of Canaan, excluding Phoenicia, with Herodotus' first recorded use of ''Palaistinê'', BC. From 110 BC, the Hasmoneans extended their authority over much of the region, creating a Judean-Samaritan-Idumaean-Ituraean-Galilean alliance. The Judean (Jewish, see Ioudaioi) control over the wider area resulted in it also becoming known as Judaea, a term that had previously only referred to the smaller region of the Judean Mountains, the allotment of the Tribe of Judah and heartland of the former Kingdom of Judah. Between 73–63 BC, the Roman Republic extended its influence into the region in the Third Mithridatic War, conquering Judea in 63 BC, and splitting the former Hasmonean Kingdom into five districts. Around 130–135 AD, as a result of the suppression of the Bar Kochba revolt, the province of Iudaea was joined with Galilee to form new province of Syria Palaestina. There is circumstantial evidence linking Hadrian with the name change, although the precise date is not certain, and the interpretation of some scholars that the name change may have been intended "to complete the dissociation with Judaea"Moshe Sharon, Sharon, 1998, p. 4. According to Moshe Sharon, "Eager to obliterate the name of the rebellious Iudaea Province, Judaea", the Roman authorities (General Hadrian) renamed it ''Palaestina'' or ''Syria Palaestina''. is disputed.


Archaeology


Early and Middle Bronze Age

A disputed reference to ''Lord of ga-na-na'' in the Semitic Ebla tablets (dated 2350 BC) from the archive of Tell Mardikh has been interpreted by some scholars to mention the deity Dagon by the title "Lord of Canaan" If correct, this would suggest that Eblaites were conscious of Canaan as an entity by 2500 BC. Jonathan Tubb states that the term ''ga-na-na'' "may provide a third-millennium reference to ''Canaanite''", while at the same time stating that the first certain reference is in the 18th century BC. See Ebla-Biblical controversy for further details. A letter from Mut-bisir to Shamshi-Adad I ( BC) of the Old Assyrian Empire (2025–1750 BC) has been translated: "It is in Rahisum that the brigands (habbatum) and the Canaanites (Kinahnum) are situated". It was found in 1973 in the ruins of Mari, Syria, Mari, an
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
n outpost at that time in
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
. Additional unpublished references to Kinahnum in the Mari letters refer to the same episode. Whether the term Kinahnum refers to people from a specific region or rather people of "foreign origin" has been disputed, such that Robert Drews states that the "first certain cuneiform reference" to Canaan is found on the Alalakh statue of King Idrimi (below). A reference to Ammiya being "in the land of Canaan" is found on the Statue of Idrimi (16th century BC) from Alalakh in modern Syria. After a popular uprising against his rule, Idrimi was forced into exile with his mother's relatives to seek refuge in "the land of Canaan", where he prepared for an eventual attack to recover his city. The other references in the Alalakh texts are: * AT 154 (unpublished) * AT 181: A list of 'Apiru people with their origins. All are towns, except for Canaan * AT 188: A list of Muskenu people with their origins. All are towns, except for three lands including Canaan * AT 48: A contract with a Canaanite hunter.


Amarna letters

References to Canaanites are also found throughout the Amarna letters of Pharaoh Akhenaten BC. In these letters, some of which were sent by governors and princes of Canaan to their Egyptian overlord Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) in the 14th century BC, are found, beside ''Amar'' and ''Amurru'' (Amorites), the two forms ''Kinahhi'' and ''Kinahni'', corresponding to ''Kena'' and ''Kena'an'' respectively, and including Syria (region), Syria in its widest extent, as Eduard Meyer has shown. The letters are written in the official and diplomatic East Semitic Akkadian language of
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
and Babylonia, though "Canaanitish" words and idioms are also in evidence. The known references are: * EA 8: Letter from Burna-Buriash II to Akhenaten, explaining that his merchants "were detained in Canaan for business matters", robbed and killed "in Hinnatuna of the land of Canaan" by the rulers of Acre, Israel, Acre and Shamhuna, and asks for compensation because "Canaan is your country" * Amarna letter EA 9, EA 9: Letter from Burna-Buriash II to Tutankhamun, "all the Canaanites wrote to Kurigalzu I, Kurigalzu saying 'come to the border of the country so we can revolt and be allied with you'" * EA 30: Letter from Tushratta: "To the kings of Canaan... Provide [my messenger] with safe entry into Egypt" * EA 109: Letter of Rib-Hadda: "Previously, on seeing a man from Egypt, the kings of Canaan fled before him, but now the sons of Abdi-Ashirta make men from Egypt prowl about like dogs" * EA 110: Letter of Rib-Hadda: "No ship of the army is to leave Canaan" * EA 131: Letter of Rib-Hadda: "If he does not send archers, they will take [Byblos] and all the other cities, and the lands of Canaan will not belong to the king. May the king ask Yanhamu about these matters." * EA 137: Letter of Rib-Hadda: "If the king neglects Byblos, of all the cities of Canaan not one will be his" * Amarna letter EA 367, EA 367: "Hani son (of) Mairēya, "chief of the stable" of the king in Canaan" * EA 162: Letter to Aziru: "You yourself know that the king does not want to go against all of Canaan when he rages" * EA 148: Letter from Abimilku to the Pharaoh: "[The king] has taken over the land of the king for the 'Apiru. May the king ask his commissioner, who is familiar with Canaan" * EA 151: Letter from Abimilku to the Pharaoh: "The king, my lord wrote to me: 'write to me what you have heard from Canaan'." Abimilku describes in response what has happened in eastern Cilicia (Danuna), the northern coast of Syria (
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
), in Syria (Kadesh (Syria), Qadesh, Amurru, and Damascus) as well as in Sidon.


Other Late Bronze Age mentions

Text RS 20.182 from
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
is a copy of a letter of the king of Ugarit to Ramesses II concerning money paid by "the sons of the land of Ugarit" to the "foreman of the sons of the land of Canaan (''*kn'ny'')" According to Jonathan Tubb, this suggests that the Semitic people of Ugarit, contrary to much modern opinion, considered themselves to be non-Canaanite. The other Ugarit reference, KTU 4.96, shows a list of traders assigned to royal estates, of which one of the estates had three Ugaritans, an Ashdadite, an Egyptian and a Canaanite.


Ashur tablets

A Middle Ktav Ashuri, Assyrian letter during the reign of Shalmaneser I includes a reference to the "travel to Canaan" of an Assyrian official.


Hattusa letters

Four references are known from Hattusa: * An evocation to the Cedar Gods: Includes reference to Canaan alongside Sidon, Tyre and possibly Amurru * KBo XXVIII 1: Ramesses II letter to Hattusili III, in which Ramesses suggested he would meet "his brother" in Canaan and bring him to Egypt * KUB III 57 (also KUB III 37 + KBo I 17): Broken text which may refer to Canaan as an Egyptian sub-district * KBo I 15+19: Ramesses II letter to Hattusili III, describing Ramesses' visit to the "land of Canaan on his way to Kinza and Harita


Egyptian Hieroglyphic and Hieratic (1500–1000 BC)

During the 2nd millennium BC, Ancient Egyptian texts use the term "Canaan" to refer to an Egyptian-ruled colony, whose boundaries generally corroborate the definition of Canaan found in the Hebrew Bible, bounded to the west by the Mediterranean Sea, to the north in the vicinity of Hama#Hama in the Bible, Hamath in Syria, to the east by the Jordan Valley (Middle East), Jordan Valley, and to the south by a line extended from the Dead Sea to around Gaza City, Gaza. Nevertheless, the Egyptian and Hebrew uses of the term are not identical: the Egyptian texts also identify the coastal city of Kadesh (Syria), Qadesh in north west Syria near Turkey as part of the "Land of Canaan", so that the Egyptian usage seems to refer to the entire
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
ine coast of the Mediterranean Sea, making it a synonym of another Egyptian term for this coastland, Retjenu. Lebanon, in northern Canaan, bordered by the Litani River, Litani river to the watershed of the Orontes River, was known by the Egyptians as upper Retjenu. In Egyptian campaign accounts, the term Djahi was used to refer to the watershed of the Jordan river. Many earlier Egyptian sources also mention numerous military campaigns conducted in ''Ka-na-na'', just inside Asia. Archaeological attestation of the name "Canaan" in
Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark ...
ern sources relates almost exclusively to the period in which the region operated as a colony of the New Kingdom of Egypt (16th–11th centuries BC), with usage of the name almost disappearing following the Late Bronze Age collapse ( BC). The references suggest that during this period the term was familiar to the region's neighbors on all sides, although scholars have disputed to what extent such references provide a coherent description of its location and boundaries, and regarding whether the inhabitants used the term to describe themselves. 16 references are known in Egyptian sources, from the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt onwards. * Amenhotep II inscriptions: Canaanites are included in a list of prisoners of war * Three topographical lists * Papyrus Anastasi I 27,1" refers to the route from Sile to Gaza "the [foreign countries] of the end of the land of Canaan" * Merneptah Stele * Papyrus Anastasi IIIA 5–6 and Papyrus Anastasi IV 16,4 refer to "Canaanite slaves from Hurru" * Papyrus Harris After the collapse of the Levant under the so-called "Peoples of the Sea" Ramesses III ( BC) is said to have built a temple to the god Amun, Amen to receive tribute from the southern Levant. This was described as being built in ''Pa-Canaan'', a geographical reference whose meaning is disputed, with suggestions that it may refer to the city of Gaza or to the entire Egyptian-occupied territory in the south west corner of the Near East.


Later sources

Padiiset's Statue is the last known Egyptian reference to Canaan, a small statuette labelled "Envoy of the Canaan and of Peleset, Pa-di-Eset, the son of Apy". The inscription is dated to 900–850 BC, more than 300 years after the preceding known inscription. During the period from BC, the dominant Neo-Assyrian Empire, Neo-Assyrian and Achaemenid Empire make no mention of Canaan.


Legacy

"Canaan" is used as a synonym of the Promised Land; for instance, it is used in this sense in the hymn, ''Canaan's Happy Shore'', with the Line (poetry), lines: "Oh, brothers, will you meet me, (3x)/On Canaan's happy shore," a hymn set to the tune later used in ''The Battle Hymn of the Republic''. In the 1930s and 1940s, some Revisionist Zionism, Revisionist Zionist intellectuals in Mandatory Palestine, Palestine founded the ideology of Canaanism, which sought to create a unique Hebrew identity, rooted in ancient Canaanite culture, rather than a Jewish one.


See also

* Amarna letters–localities and their rulers * Ancient Canaanite religion ** Yahwism * Curse of Ham#Curse of Canaan, Curse of Canaan * History of the name Palestine * Names of the Levant


Notes


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


Canaan & Ancient Israel
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Explores their identities (land-time, daily life, economy & religion) in pre-historical times through the material remains that they have left behind.



by Flavius Josephus.
When Canaanites and Philistines Ruled Ashkelon
Biblical Archaeology Society
The Nakedness of Noah and the Cursing of Canaan (Genesis 9:18-10:32)
{{Authority control Canaan, Amarna letters locations Ancient Lebanon Ancient Syria Ancient Levant Hebrew Bible nations Ancient history of Jordan History of Palestine (region) Land of Israel Historical regions