Second millennium bce texts from western Asia provide a rich source of information regarding the peoples of the ancient Near East. These documents, generally written from the perspective of urban elites, also present snapshots of individuals and entities living on the fringes of society that have proven to be particularly challenging to define and identify. These include the Amorites, hapiru, and Arameans, peoples who are usually portrayed as threats to settled society. Other groups, such as the Canaanites, Israelites, and Philistines, appear in contemporary Near Eastern literature, but are best known from the Hebrew Bible narratives. This chapter presents the relevant textual and archaeological evidence regarding these entities and examines a variety of approaches to define these groups ethnically.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities(all)