Talk:Southern Levant

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This article appears to be discussing a geographical region, but without actually mentioning where it is located. This seems absurd to this admittedly ignorant reader. It appears to be written from a archaeological POV that assumes the reader knows where this place is and is only looking for its relation to various archaelogical time periods. If so, it should be have a title like Archaeology of the Southern Levant. -- Jeff Q 01:36, 3 May 2004 (UTC)

I've added an intro and put it into clean-up. The term southern Levant is only really used by archaeologists, I think, so the title's probably OK (the article just needs work). --G Rutter 08:09, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)


I think this should be merged with Levant. The page isn't describing anything particularly different from the Levant page and there isn't a page for Northern Levant or Eastern Levant and the term is vague enough anyway as it's usage has changed over time. It looks like a forgotten about page to me. (talk) 22:41, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

avoiding taking a stance?[edit]

I have removed the statement "These terms are used by archaeologists and residents of the region who wish to avoid taking a modern geo-political stance in a region rife with border disputes." as it is unsourced and an important statement. The archaelogists reference is believable, but i have never heard of "residents of the region" using the term in common parlance.

Can anyone provide WP:RS for this?

Oncenawhile (talk) 00:43, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

could the statement be rinstated if "residents of the region" was excluded? Laurel Lodged (talk) 11:15, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Sources are provided in the Syro-Palestinian Archaeology page

"Archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation that is neither biblical nor national have utilized terms such as Syro-Palestinian archaeology and archaeology of the southern Levant. (Dever, William G. "Syro-Palestinian and Biblical Archaeology", pp. 1244-1253.) (Sharon, Ilan "Biblical archaeology" in "Encyclopedia of Archaeology" Elsevier.)"

Why was this citation removed? Laurel Lodged (talk) 16:48, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Removed text[edit]

Although the term was attested in the early 19th century[1], use of the term was extremely rare until at least 1967.[2][3]

We cannot come to such conclusions using such tools. Why? Because Googlebooks does not have each and every book ever published, It is obvious there are more than 54 early books which use the term. Secondly, the Neologism tool also suffers from the same problem and only shows a hike in the mid-20th century since that is when publishing was becoming more common, so natuarly it occurs in many more books. Chesdovi (talk) 11:28, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi Chesdovi, hope you're well. I did think of both those points - if you read the expanation from google here you'll see that it is relatively clear. The key point you might have missed is that the chart shows a %, not an absolute number. As google says "Publishing was a relatively rare event in the 16th and 17th centuries. (There are only about 500,000 books published in English before the 19th century.) So if a phrase occurs in one book in one year but not in the preceding or following years, that creates a taller spike than it would in later years." So (1) it really is a "like for like" comparison, and (2) we don't have any big spikes in earlier years. You can dig further to find out the size of the data set, which you'll see is very large, even in the late 19th century. Google Books Ngrams a great source, and can be useful for lots of articles. Even so, the wording in the lede was written to provide a margin for error. Oncenawhile (talk) 18:55, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Ultimately the information is irrelevant however, one could say the same thing about the West Bank but it's not mentioned in the wikipedia article due to its unimportance. Drsmoo (talk) 19:26, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
It would be a good addition to the West Bank article. It's pretty intuitive that the term West Bank wasn't used often in English prior to 1967. And it proves that the ngram works. The only reason why it's not used more on wiki is because it is less than a year old. It is a very powerful tool and should be used more on wikipedia. Oncenawhile (talk) 01:02, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
I disagree that it is relevant to an encyclopedia article. In the context of Wikipedia, it can be abused to push a non NPOV stance. Which is not to say it should never be used anywhere, just not in cases where it is the only source for a claim. Wikipedia articles must be based on reliable sources, not individual editors original research "Material based purely on primary sources should be avoided. All interpretive claims, analyses, or synthetic claims about primary sources must be referenced to a secondary source, rather than original analysis of the primary-source material by Wikipedia editors.". Drsmoo (talk) 23:57, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Google books is a tertiary source. Please review the policy on that.
Are you disputing the veracity of statement which you keep trying to remove? It seems to me that you accept the statement to be true, but you think that such truth is being "abused" by keeping it in this article? Please could you explain further, as i do not understand your logic.
Anyway, if your primary goal is to establish the term Southern Levant as a strong alternative name for the region, I don't see how this sentence that you keep trying to remove makes a difference either way. Just because a term is new, doesn't devalue it as such. Oncenawhile (talk) 00:36, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
In addition to the policy on Original Research, please see Wikipedia:GOOGLE#Uses_of_search_engine_tests Raw "hit" (search result) count is a very crude measure of importance. Some unimportant subjects have many "hits", some notable ones have few or none, for reasons discussed further down this page. Hit count numbers alone can only rarely "prove" anything about notability, without further discussion of the type of hits, what's been searched for, how it was searched, and what interpretation to give the results. and A raw hit count should never be relied upon to prove notability. Attention should instead be paid to what (the books, news articles, scholarly articles, and web pages) is found, and whether they actually do demonstrate notability or non-notability, case by case. Hit counts have always been, and very likely always will remain, an extremely erroneous tool for measuring notability, and should not be considered either definitive or conclusive. While this argument is not about notability per say, I feel these policies still apply. Please feel free to open a discussion on a noticeboard regarding the use of Ngrams on Wikipedia, until then I'll seek a compromise on this article pending a decision by other editors. I hope that this will be the end of the edit-warring. Drsmoo (talk) 11:22, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Hi Drsmoo, I acknowledge your attempt at compromise, and am happy to compromise also. On your post above, where you say "While this argument is not about notability per say, I feel these policies still apply", I disagree with you. Having said that, your proposed amendments to the text appear reasonable, although I would amend your second sentence slightly to "The term Levant, which derives from the Latin verb "to rise" (levare) in reference to the sunrise in the East, has been popular in scholarly texts since the early 1600s". In addition, I don't think it fits in history, and would move the text to a new "Etymology" section. OK? Oncenawhile (talk) 20:31, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Hi Oncenawhile, I've removed the section, due to the unanimous consensus on the reliable sources noticeboard that use of Google N-Grams constituted original research and that they are not a reliable source. Drsmoo (talk) 16:38, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation[edit]

Laurel Lodged, quick question re an edit you made about 3 years ago.

Re the text beginning "Archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation...", was that a direct quote or your description? I couldn't find it in Dever's article.

Oncenawhile (talk) 21:06, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

It is not a quotation from the sources but a quotation of now-defunct text in Syro-Palestinian_archaeology. The exact wording was created by Gilabrand here by slightly editing the original added by HG1 here. Laurel Lodged confirmed the origin of the text above on this page; the use of quotation marks is an editing error. The issue comes down to whether the text is a fair summary of the sources or some editor's claim with the sources serving only as examples. Until this is clarified, the passage does not belong here. Incidentally the two "Encyclopedia of Archaeology" mentions are to different works. Zerotalk 04:21, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for getting to the bottom of this Zero. Oncenawhile (talk) 10:59, 2 May 2015 (UTC)



Imprecise claim[edit]

A random, non-notable editorial opinion by one individual does not justify the subject of an article being devalued in its lead. In fact, multiple people having the same opinion would still make the sentence POV. Drsmoo (talk) 19:09, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

I am fine with it being moved to the body. And it should be balanced with other views. A balanced commentary on the usage of this term is what this article needs. Oncenawhile (talk) 21:19, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Why would you put it in the lead to begin with? Drsmoo (talk) 23:42, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
There's also no need to have a discussion on the precision or lack thereof in the article. There's no precedent for that on wikipedia. Why would you think the article "needs" this when no other article has that? Drsmoo (talk) 03:39, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Please stop worrying about this one source, which is the only scholarly commentary we have so far on the usage of this term (not just on "precision", which is only one of the relevant factors). Instead, I suggest you focus your efforts on finding more sources to balance it out. The only reason it's in the lead is because there's no other obvious place for it to go. Let's find more sources, and then we can put them in a dedicated section. Oncenawhile (talk) 06:52, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
You ignored my question. I find that line's existence in this article extremely problematic in terms of being POV and being non-encyclopedic. Drsmoo (talk) 07:44, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
It is well sourced and will fit perfectly in a section on usage, balanced with a range of other views. To put that in the context of your question, this article "needs" a usage section, and this is a well sourced component of it. Oncenawhile (talk) 19:08, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Drsmoo, thanks for your edit on the article just now. You added a lot of unsourced text - will you be adding references to support it? Oncenawhile (talk) 22:50, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Over time, yes. Ideally everything on Wikipedia would be completely cited, but we're not yet at that point. Drsmoo (talk) 00:12, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Drsmoo, how much time? It seems to me like WP:OR, so if you can't cite it in the next few days I will delete it. If you need more time, let me know and I will be patient, but I don't feel comfortable leaving this original research in the article for too long. Oncenawhile (talk) 15:54, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Probably a week or so. It seems strange that you would rush to delete this section while many of the articles you've created/moved/edit regularly, etc are full of uncited material that you've ignored, but that's your prerogative I suppose.Drsmoo (talk) 23:05, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

"The Southern Levant encompasses roughly the southern half of the shaded area"[edit]

The quote in the header is from the image in the lead. I don't think it is correct - I have always understood the Levant to refer to the fertile area on the Mediterranean coast, and to not include the large parts of desert which are in the shaded area in our map. Oncenawhile (talk) 22:36, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Don't think so. Read Levant which shows the area as quite easterly. Laurel Lodged (talk) 13:17, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
That is circular (we can't reference wikipedia). We need a source if we want to show the Levant extending far into the desert. Oncenawhile (talk) 17:29, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
Please see the source used in the main body of the article Rowan, Yorke; Golden, Jonathan (2009-04-09). "The Chalcolithic Period of the Southern Levant:A Synthetic Review". Journal of World Prehistory. "The focus of this discussion, the southern Levant, encompasses the southern sections of Lebanon and Syria, the Palestine Autonomous Authority, Israel, and Jordan." Drsmoo (talk) 18:58, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
That is just one source, and it disagrees with many others:
"Levant" refers to a cultural region - it is clear from the above that the Syrian Desert is part of that same region, so we should not have a WP:OR map which suggests that. Oncenawhile (talk) 20:40, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
"The Southern Levant represents all of the area of ancient Canaan including modern Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, southern Syria and Cyprus."
"the southern Levant, encompasses the southern sections of Lebanon and Syria, the Palestine Autonomous Authority, Israel, and Jordan." It would be ideal if we could use an image like this which is located here but I believe we would need permission. Drsmoo (talk) 21:40, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
All we have proven with the above is that some sources include Jordan and other do not. Some specifically exclude the desert, and others are silent and don't say either way.
So what do you want to do with the article. Just going with your preference and ignoring the balance of quality sources is not acceptable. Oncenawhile (talk) 13:41, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
I think we should work to find a better image, while keeping the current image up until a better image is found. Drsmoo (talk) 15:59, 6 August 2015 (UTC)