History of the Levant

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The Levant is a geographical term that refers to a large area in Southwest Asia, south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the Arabian Desert in the south, and the Zagros Mountains in the east. It stretches 400 miles north to south from the Taurus Mountains to the Sinai desert, and 70 to 100 miles east to west between the sea and the Arabian desert.[1] The term is also sometimes used to refer to modern events or states in the region immediately bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea: Israel, Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

The term normally does not include Anatolia (although at times Cilicia may be included), the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper. The Sinai Peninsula is sometimes included, though it is more considered an intermediate, peripheral or marginal area forming a land bridge between the Levant and northern Egypt.

For what the area is called by natives and others, see Names of the Levant. See also History of the Middle East.


Stone Age

Anatomically modern Homo sapiens are demonstrated at the area of Mount Carmel, during the Middle Paleolithic dating from about c. 90,000 BC. This move out of Africa seems to have been unsuccessful and by c. 60,000 BC in Israel/Syria, especially at Amud, classic Neanderthal groups seem to have profited from the worsening climate to have replaced Homo sapiens, who seem to have been confined once more to Africa.[2]

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