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Ancient DNA solves mystery of the Canaanites

History at 30,000 feet: The Big Picture

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Jul 27, 2017, 11:37pm Top

Ancient DNA solves mystery of the Canaanites, and reveals the biblical people’s fate.

From The Washington Post:

Jul 28, 2017, 2:02am Top

Sounds kind of like the Neanderthal's fate too...

Jul 28, 2017, 3:08am Top

Not exterminated but dissolved

Jul 28, 2017, 8:35am Top


Jul 28, 2017, 8:43am Top

coercive assimilation or consensual assimilation ?

Edited: Jul 28, 2017, 10:56am Top

I'm guessing there was a bit of both!

Jul 28, 2017, 11:21am Top

People being people, yeah, it's a good bet that sometimes it was consensual and sometimes coercive.

Jul 28, 2017, 7:34pm Top

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

The story of the Canaanites may be a lot more complicated. As revealed in recent archaelogical investigations .... the Israelites "were" Canaanites. See the fascinating NOVA special "The Bible's Buried Secrets" ... particularly from 23:00 to 51:00 +, which discusses the Exodus from Egypt into Canaan. See:


Jul 28, 2017, 11:00pm Top

>8 Rood: True. I remember finding that NOVA notably fascinating

Jul 29, 2017, 3:28am Top

That's a sobering reminder of how much information simply disappears from the historical and archaeological record over time.

Jul 30, 2017, 11:49am Top

>1 clamairy: (from the Washington Post) "The comparison revealed that 90 percent of the genetic ancestry of people in Lebanon came from the Canaanites."

Whatever else happens, this should create a sensation in Lebanon. Probably a complex reaction, as Lebanon is the only mostly Arab country that is also mostly Christian, so it's the most influenced by the biblical portrayal of Canaanites as despicable pagans and enemies of the Lord. (The Quran has no ax to grind concerning Canaanites.) OTOH the evidence of a stable ancient lineage should be a source of national pride in a country often bullied by stronger neighbors.

Aug 14, 2017, 11:52am Top

What am I missing? I would think it expected that the current population of the region has genetic ties to the ancient past. I always thought (don't know why) that Canaanites for the most part was just another name for Phoenicians. So, I see this as an interesting development but not unexpected. I'm curious to understand the ramifications of this discovery.

Aug 14, 2017, 12:00pm Top

>11 Muscogulus:

Lebanon is 40.4% Christian according to the 2014 CIA World Factbook.

Aug 14, 2017, 12:05pm Top

>12 pmackey: I saw it as confirming expectations, verifying a genetic continuity over a long stretch of time rather than finding some unexpected discontinuity -- not a radical or surprising finding. It reminds me of the finding that contemporary Jews have much in common with Middle Eastern peoples despite having left the area 2000 years ago, even if they have been living, for example, in Russia for the last several hundred years.

Aug 14, 2017, 1:20pm Top

>14 stellarexplorer: Good. I was afraid I missed something.


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