Modern-day Lebanese descended from ancient Canaanites, study shows

BY JOSE JEFFERIES | PUBLISHED: 08-01-2017

Although the Bible's Old Testament records that after their exodus from Egypt the Israelites destroyed the Canaanite people, archaeological evidence has suggested that Canaanite populations and cities continued to live on.

Although the Bible's Old Testament records that after their exodus from Egypt the Israelites destroyed the Canaanite people, archaeological evidence has suggested that Canaanite populations and cities continued to live on. Now, DNA evidence confirms that the Canaanites not only survived, but contributed their genes to 90 percent of the people living in Lebanon today.

Marc Haber, a geneticist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxon, UK, extracted DNA samples and sequenced the genomes from five ancient Canaanite skeletons recovered at the coastal city of Sidon in Lebanon, according to Science Magazine. All the specimens are about 3,700 years old.
The study is detailed in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Because ancient Greek sources said the Canaanites migrated to the Levant from the East, Haber and his team compared the Canaanite genomes to other ancient peoples across Eurasia. They found that while about half of the Canaanites' genes derived from local farmers who settled the region some 10,000 years ago, the other half came from an ancient population found in Iran.

The researchers also analyzed the genomes of 99 modern-day Lebanese individuals and compared them to the ancient Canaanite population.

"We found that the Canaanites were a mixture of local people who settled in farming villages during the Neolithic period and easter migrants who arrived in the region about 5,000 years ago," said Haber, in a statement. "The present-day Lebanese are likely to be direct descendants of the Canaanites, but they have in addition a small proportion of Eurasian ancestry that may have arrived via conquests by distant populations such as the Assyrians, Persians, or Macedonians.

 

 

Comments
Laurel Kornfeld - Sep 19, 2017
Although the Bible’s Old Testament records that after their exodus from Egypt the Israelites destroyed the Canaanite people, archaeological evidence has suggested that Canaanite populations and cities continued to live on.
Laurel Kornfeld - Sep 19, 2017
Although the Bible’s Old Testament records that after their exodus from Egypt the Israelites destroyed the Canaanite people, archaeological evidence has suggested that Canaanite populations and cities continued to live on.
Wilson Soto - Sep 19, 2017
Although the Bible’s Old Testament records that after their exodus from Egypt the Israelites destroyed the Canaanite people, archaeological evidence has suggested that Canaanite populations and cities continued to live on.
Dan Taylor - Sep 19, 2017
Although the Bible’s Old Testament records that after their exodus from Egypt the Israelites destroyed the Canaanite people, archaeological evidence has suggested that Canaanite populations and cities continued to live on.
Laurel Kornfeld - Sep 18, 2017
Although the Bible’s Old Testament records that after their exodus from Egypt the Israelites destroyed the Canaanite people, archaeological evidence has suggested that Canaanite populations and cities continued to live on.
Joseph Scalise - Sep 18, 2017
Although the Bible’s Old Testament records that after their exodus from Egypt the Israelites destroyed the Canaanite people, archaeological evidence has suggested that Canaanite populations and cities continued to live on.
Joyce Clark - Sep 16, 2017
Although the Bible’s Old Testament records that after their exodus from Egypt the Israelites destroyed the Canaanite people, archaeological evidence has suggested that Canaanite populations and cities continued to live on.