Talk:History of the ancient Levant

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Former featured article candidate History of the ancient Levant is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
January 19, 2004 Refreshing brilliant prose Not kept


This page was? #1 on Google

probably because "History of the Levant" would be a better title.

Bronze Age Section[edit]

I read the section on the Bronze Age in the Levant, but this section focuses mainly on the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Anatolian/Aegean regions with almost no real discussion of the Levant. This section should be completely rewritten with the proper geographic focus in mind. I haven't looked at the other sections, but someone willing may check those as well. (talk) 19:04, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

PDF Version?[edit]

Somebody added a PDF version of the article. Not sure that this is a good idea, since a) waste of disk space and bandwidth if done for every article b) PDF version will soon be out-of-date.

? I fail to see the logic in having a pdf version of the very same article. Anon is right this will be out of date in a short time. --mav

Two questions. Would it be desirable to have online conversion to PDF format on Wikipedia server ? Does the PDF format have additional merits over HTML for Wikipedia ?
1: Doubtful. 2: Articles that use non-ASCII characters could have a better chance of appearing correctly, as the font outlines can be embedded in a PDF. That's conceivably a marginal nicety. For this article it's completely useless, and the PDF isn't even from the printer-friendly version. There's zero need for it. --Brion VIBBER

A definition of the word "Levant" would be nice. --Auric The Rad 20:55, Nov 25, 2003 (UTC)

Rewrite of the Stone Age[edit]

I have completely rewritten the article on the "Stone Age" going back to Middle Paleolithic period (90,000 BCE). Does anyone know if Acheulian hand-axes have been found in the Levant?

John D. Croft 15:16, 28 March 2007 (UTC)


In the "See also" section, there is a link to the article History of Egypt. Egypt is located in North Africa, and is not in the Levant. So why does this article that's about Levantine history have a link to Egyptian history?--Gramaic 05:39, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

The article itself includes much discussion of the entire Ancient Near East that doesn't belong. It encourages confusion as to the denotation of the term "Levant," and also reinforces the impression that the Levant was just the empty, undeveloped, or backward area where "empires" met to trade and fight.

I assume the inappropriate links share their origin with the inappropriate text. And I suspect that origin has something to do with the article once having a different title.

--Americist 18:57, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Wow! I was going to comment on the same thing when I find that someone pointed this out over 2 and a half years ago and the article is still as bad as ever. Articles like this that are terrible and not improving should just be deleted.Heathcliff (talk) 16:51, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Heh, if you think that this article is terrible, you need to go click on "Random article" a few times.  :) Compared to most articles on Wikipedia, this one is pretty good.
Seriously though, if you see something in an article that you don't like, why not just fix it? Be bold and go in and edit.  :) What's the worst that can happen? The article gets better? :) --Elonka 18:27, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Merge with Levant[edit]

As well as merging with Syro-Palestine I think it would be worth thinking about merging this article with Levant. Levant isn't particularly long and an edited version of the current article could function neatly as a subset of that article. Any thoughts? Saganaki- 00:18, 30 June 2007 (UTC)


Please include references, footnotes, something I can refer to obtain more information (elaboration). Goodnight3455 17:17, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Not a word about Arabs?[edit]

Arabs existed in Levant since the Nabatean migrations, and probably earlier. Where is that meantioned in this article??

The Armenians[edit]

Under Tigran the great, in the last century BC, the empire of Armenia stretched from the Mediteranean to the Caspian. Please research and add their glorious accomplishments and cultural achievements

Removing tags[edit]

No sign of any discussion of the tags, so I'm removing them. PiCo (talk) 02:29, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Section about the Bronze Age[edit]

Maybe nobody has noticed, but this article is about the history of the Levant, yet the Bronze Age section of this article (a chunk of the article that is 8 paragraphs long) does not mention the Levant once in that whole section. Instead, it is mostly concerned with Mesopotamia with a little talk about Anatolia and Egypt thrown in. Repeating myself, not one mention of what the History of the Levant during the Bronze Age is to be found in the 8 paragraph section about the Bronze Age. — al-Shimoni (talk) 04:55, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Quick update. Re-read the section, and there is one brief mention in one paragraph that says "Ebla archive mentions the cities of Hazor and Jerusalem", and two paragraphs later it is briefly mentioned that there were cities spread among "the Canaanites in Syria-Palestine". However, everything in this last sentence that I said was mentioned is basically the whole content (all the information) of what would be found in the Bronze Age section (and I fit it into 1 sentence). The section needs to be rewritten. Any suggestions on content that should be included? — al-Shimoni (talk) 05:05, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Stone age section issues[edit]

I'm copying an IP's edits here - note that a number of statements have been numbered and the IP's request at the bottom. I haven't been able to show the text changes I reverted but they need attention as I have no reason to think they were wrong:

A second move out of Africa is demonstrated by the Boker Tachtit Upper Paleolithic culture, from 52–50,000 BC, with humans at Ksar Akil XXV level being modern humans. [1][1] This culture bears close resemblance to the Badoshan Aurignacian culture of Iran, and the later Sebilian I Egyptian culture of c. 50,000 BC [2]. Stephen Oppenheimer[2]

It would appear this sets the date by which Homo sapiens Upper Paleolithic cultures begin replacing Neanderthal Levalo-Mousterian, and by c. 40,000 BC Palestine was occupied by the Levanto-Aurignacian Ahmarian culture, lasting from 39–24,000 BC.[3] This culture was quite successful spreading as the Antelian culture (late Aurignacian), as far as Southern Anatolia, with the Atlitan culture.

After the Late Glacial Maxima, a new Epipaleolithic culture appears in Southern Palestine. Extending from 23–15,000 BP, the Kebaran culture[4] shows clear connections to the earlier Microlithic cultures using the bow and arrow, and using grinding stones to harvest wild grains, that developed from the c. 19,000–15,000 BP Halfan culture [3] of Egypt, that came from the still earlier Aterian tradition of the Sahara [4]. Some linguists see this as the earliest arrival of Nostratic languages in the Middle East [5]. Kebaran culture was quite successful, and may have been ancestral to the later Natufian culture (15,00–11,500 BP), which extended throughout the whole of the Levantine region. These people pioneered the first sedentary settlements, and may have supported themselves from fishing, and from the harvest of wild grains plentiful in the region at that time.

Natufian culture also demonstrates the earliest domestication of the dog, and the assistance of this animal in hunting and guarding human settlements may have contributed to the successful spread of this culture. In the northern Syrian, eastern Anatolian region of the Levant, Natufian culture at Cayonu and Mureybet developed the first fully agricultural culture with the addition of wild grains, later being supplemented with domesticated sheep and goats, which were probably domesticated first by the Zarzian culture of Northern Iraq and Iran (which like the Natufian culture may have also developed from Kebaran).

By 9500–8500 BC, the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) culture developed out of the earlier local tradition of Natufian in Southern Palestine, dwelling in round houses, and building the first defensive site at Jericho (guarding a valuable fresh water spring). This was replaced in 8500 BC by Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB), dwelling in square houses, coming from Northern Syria and the Euphrates bend.

During the period of 8500–7500 BC, another hunter-gatherer group, showing clear affinities with the cultures of Egypt (particularly the Outacha retouch technique for working stone) was in Sinai [6]. This Harifian culture[5] may have adopted the use of pottery from the Isnan culture [7] and Helwan culture of Egypt (which lasted from 9000 to 4500 BC), and subsequently fused with elements from the PPNB culture during the climatic crisis of 6000 BC to form what Juris Zarins calls the Syro-Arabian pastoral technocomplex [8],[6] which saw the spread of the first Nomadic pastoralists in the Ancient Near East. These extended southwards along the Red Sea coast and penetrating the Arabian bifacial cultures, which became progressively more Neolithic and pastoral, and extending north and eastwards, to lay the foundations for the tent-dwelling Martu and Akkadian peoples of Mesopotamia.

In the Amuq valley of Syria, PPNB culture seems to have survived, influencing further cultural developments further south. Nomadic elements fused with PPNB to form the Minhata Culture and Yarmukian Culture which were to spread southwards, beginning the development of the classic mixed farming Mediterranean culture, and from 5600 BC were associated with the Ghassulian culture of the region, the first chalcolithic culture of the Levant. This period also witnessed the development of megalithic structures, which continued into the Bronze Age.[7]

[1] It has not been demonstrated that the Upper Palaeolithic in the Near East is the result of a second migration out of Africa since there are no known precursors of the Levantine Upper Palaeolithic in Africa. [2] The Sebilian has nothing to do with the Levantine Upper Palaeolithic. [3] The Kebaran industry is an indigenous technology that originated in the Levant and has no connection with the Halfan of Lower Nubia. [4] The Halfan industry did not originate from the Aterian and both are distinct technologies. [5] Nostratic is considered by most linguists to have originated in Asia. [6] The Harifian culture is not considered by archaeologists to have originated in Egypt and is not known to have used the ouchtata retouch technique. [7] Neither the Harifian, Helwan, nor the Isnan culture produced pottery. [8] The Harifian culture ceased to exist c. 9000 BC it did not merge with the Pre-pottery Neolithic B. This article was poorly researched and many of the statements made here are either out of date or simply invented by the author. Would an editor please redo this section?

Dougweller (talk) 21:06, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Marks, Anthony (1983)"Prehistory and Paleoenvironments in the Central Negev, Israel" (Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, Dallas)
  2. ^ Oppemheiomer, Stephen (2004), "Out of Eden", (Constable and Robinson)
  3. ^ Gladfelter, Bruce G. (1997) "The Ahmarian tradition of the Levantine Upper Paleolithic: the environment of the archaeology" (Vol 12, 4 Geoarchaeology)
  4. ^ Ronen, Avram , "Climate, sea level, and culture in the Eastern Mediterranean 20 ky to the present" in Valentina Yanko-Hombach, Allan S. Gilbert, Nicolae Panin and Pavel M. Dolukhanov (2007), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement (Springer)
  5. ^ Belfer-Cohen, Anna and Bar-Yosef, Ofer "Early Sedentism in the Near East: A Bumpy Ride to Village Life" (Fundamental Issues in Archaeology, 2002, Part II, 19–38)
  6. ^ Zarins, Yuris "Early Pastoral Nomadiism and the Settlement of Lower Mesopotamia" (# Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research No. 280, November, 1990)
  7. ^ Scheltema, H.G. (2008). Megalithic Jordan: An Introduction and Field Guide. Amman, Jordan: The American Center of Oriental Research. ISBN 978-9957-8543-3-1
Doug, the appearance of the Kebarian culture, of microlithic type implies a significant rupture in the cultural continuity of Levantine Upper Paleolithic. It did not develop in situ. The Kebaran culture, with its use of microliths, is associated with the use of the bow and arrow and the domestication of the dog[1] It shows connections across to Sinai. Regarding ouchtata bladelets you might like to see "North Africa, the Nile Valley, and the Problem of the Late Paleolithic" by James L. Phillips (Current Anthropology Vol. 13, No. 5 (Dec., 1972), pp. 587-590) and "The Conundrum of the Levantine Late Upper Palaeolithic and Early Epipalaeolithic: Perspectives from the Wadi al-Hasa, Jordan" that speaks of ouchtata in the Levant, but suggests it comes from Africa.


Reinsertion of Israel[edit]

Israel is an important part of the Levant. John D. Croft (talk) 08:24, 6 March 2016 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved to History of the ancient Levant. There's a clear consensus to move and I think there is a reasonable level of support for the "History of the X Levant" format, the question is really whether X should be "ancient" or "pre-Islamic". The problem is that the support is equally split for those two options and I'm not seeing that either option has a stronger argument for it. So I'm supervoting in favour of "ancient" to break the deadlock because this discussion has been open for three weeks and discussion seems to have stalled. If any of the pre-Islamic supporters feel that they've been hard done by I will re-open the RM, but I thought on balance it would be better to have an outcome. I've also created all the other proposed titles as redirects. Jenks24 (talk) 08:11, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

History of the LevantHistory of the Levant (Ancient) – This article covers really only covers up to the early 600s, as seems fitting given other well devloped articles. Normally a history article that covers just the ancient history of a geographic area reflects that in the article name, as well it should. We could also consider Ancient history of the Levant. Relisted. Jenks24 (talk) 11:13, 13 August 2014 (UTC) -- tahc chat 19:58, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Late Antiquity "can be thought of as... [lasting until] in the East, the re-organization of the Eastern Roman Empire under Heraclius and the Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century, or an earlier point." ...but I do see your point. How about the name History of the Levant (pre-Islamic)? tahc chat 20:57, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Medieval is a concept of European history and the western part of Europe at that, not necessarily applicable to the rest of the world. I'm aware that non European history is often seen through an European prism, and that many sources might reflect this. Imc (talk) 16:35, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - as per nom. However either of two alternative forms, 'Ancient history of the Levant' or 'History of the ancient Levant' sound better to me. Imc (talk) 16:37, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Since the article doesn't cover the complete history of the Levant even now, it unclear what you hope will change or not change. tahc chat 13:53, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment – Another possibility would be to rename the article History of the Levant (pre-Islamic). Madalibi (talk) 04:21, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
    • WP:NATURAL says we should use natural language terms rather than parentheticals if possible. Plus, parentheticals are used for disambiguating at Wikipedia but there is no other "History of the Levant" article to disambiguate this one from.  AjaxSmack  02:03, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Agree that 600 is recent for "ancient", but the article is not about 600s CE, but pre-history until the 600s CE. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:27, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment: For the sake of the closing editor, I currently count 6 to 2 in favor (if we count Madalibi), with most people accepting either "ancient" or "pre-Islamic".
User:G. C. Hood -- oppose, but prefer pre-Islamic, prefer "FOOBARish history of the Levant"
User:Imc -- prefer ancient
User:AjaxSmack -- prefer pre-Islamic, prefer "History of the FOOBARish Levant"
User:SmokeyJoe -- prefer ancient, prefer "History of the FOOBARish Levant"
User:Egsan Bacon -- support either, prefer "FOOBARish history of the Levant"
User:Tahc -- support either but prefer ancient, prefer "History of the FOOBARish Levant" tahc chat 23:58, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
In addition, User:Madalibi did not use the word "support" but suggested "pre-Islamic" above.  AjaxSmack  02:03, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.
  1. ^ Dayan, Tamar (1994), "Early Domesticated Dogs of the Near East" (Journal of Archaeological Science Volume 21, Issue 5, September 1994, Pages 633–640)