Canaanites Inhabit the Levant (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: The Canaanites, a new culture in an already ancient land, inspired city building, metalworking, and large-scale trade with Mesopotamia and Egypt, ultimately leading to alphabetic writing and biblical religions.
Summary of Event
Human presence and village life in the Levant go back many millennia. Excavations at Jericho reveal levels of habitation dating back to at least 8500 b.c.e. The Canaanites appeared around 3000 b.c.e., with a new way of life based on cities. There is some controversy over whether the Canaanites were invaders or a group already living in the region. They may have incorporated elements of both. Archaeologists have found their urban sites throughout the area, including 5,000-year-old stone gates at Beirut. An emerging, relatively coherent Canaanite culture was accompanied by technological advances.
Writing, which had already been invented in Mesopotamia, apparently had not reached the Levant by this time. There are no king lists or commercial records of early Canaan. Archaeological evidence can show much about material culture and city layout and sometimes can reveal the makeup of populations, but archaeologists can only make guesses regarding many matters of Canaanite social organization, based on later patterns and those in neighboring lands.
Canaanite cities, like those in Mesopotamia, had sturdy fortifications, public buildings, and some sort of water...
(The entire section is 956 words.)
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