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Canaanites: New insight from 73 ancient genomes

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Republication from phys.org/

A general view of the Tel Megiddo site. Credit: Megiddo Expedition

The people who lived in the area known as the Southern Levant—which is now recognized as Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Lebanon, and parts of Syria—during the Bronze Age (circa 3500-1150 BCE) are referred to in ancient biblical texts as the Canaanites. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Cell on May 28 have new insight into the Canaanites’ history based on a new genome-wide analysis of ancient DNA collected from 73 individuals.

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On the Warfare in Ancient Israel and the Importance of Iron

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Phillistine

Philistine swords and daggers.

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Modern reconstruction of Phillistine and Canaanite battle-axes (images added by  periklisdeligiannis.wordpress.com).

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Republication from Article Myriad

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The general history of ancient Israel is, by its very nature, somewhat challenging to piece together, as the written and archaeological record is fragmentary (DeVaux & McHugh 213; Miller & Hayes 19). The limited information that is available is sourced primarily from religious texts, and the metaphorical and interpretive nature of these writings creates difficulties in establishing the accuracy of the stories as historical fact (DeVaux & McHugh 241). The same difficulties are confronted when studying the military history of ancient Israel. As DeVaux and McHugh wrote, “the very words used for military equipment are far from precise, and their meaning is often uncertain” (241). In addition, the traditional sources that are used to corroborate historical interpretations, such as archaeology, have not been helpful in terms of expanding historians’ knowledge of ancient military history in Israel.

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