History of Palestinian: Canaanites

History of Palestinian: Canaanites Last updated on Thursday 22nd April 2010

Even before the Palestinians or the Jews were in Palestine, a group of people known as Canaanites had established themselves there. Around 4000 BC, the Canaanites, who were a Semitic people from the inner Arabian peninsula, settled in the land which came to be known as Canaan and later, Palestine. One of the Canaanite tribes, the Jebusites, built a settlement which they called Urusalim (Jerusalem), meaning "the city of peace".

The Egyptian Pharaohs occupied part of Canaan in 3200 BC and built fortresses to protect their trade routes, but the country maintained its independence. By the third millennium BC they were living in cities, one of which was Jericho. They developed an alphabet from which other writing systems originated and their religion had a major influence on that of the Jews and through them on both Christianity and Islam.

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