Who were the Canaanites, the oldest known inhabitants of what was to become Israel, the biblical Promised Land? This is not just a historical and archaeological question, it is now also a political issue. Palestinians claim that they are descendants of the Canaanites in order to gain points in the fight for this Land. Researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem have now established that the genetic roots of the Canaanites stretch as far as the Caucasus and Iran.
The land of Canaan is known to us mainly from biblical stories as the Promised Land, which was conquered by the children of Israel. In archaeological literature, Canaan is a region from the Late Bronze Age in the second millennium BC. In Scripture and other ancient Middle Eastern sources, the peoples of the land are mentioned as Canaanites, but very little is known about them and their origins. The Bible counts seven ethnic groups in the land of Canaan: the Amorites, Girgashites, Hittites, Hivite, Jebusites, the actual Canaanites and the Perizzites.
The new study suggests that the Canaanites were a mix...
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