New DNA study casts doubt on Bible claim
In the Hebrew Bible, Canaanites are a group of people who once inhabited the southern Levant and are credited with building the first alphabet before being systematically destroyed by the Israelites.
A new DNA study, however, the Canaanites may have survived and their descendants live in Lebanon today, reports New Scientist.
The researchers were able to find intact DNA samples from five skeletons discovered from a Canaanite burial site in the Lebanese city of Sidon, and then compared the DNA with that of the Canaanite life of 99 volunteers from Lebanon.
Surprisingly, almost 90 percent of Lebanese DNA now turned out to be shared with the Canaanite, which casts a significant shadow on the biblical accounts of its annihilation.
“There is no evidence of substantial continuity in the area from the Bronze Age to today,” said Chris Tyler-Smith of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK.
This continuity is even more serious as the region has experienced repeated invasions over the millennia since the Bronze Age. For example, the massive invasion of people on Asian steppes leave about 10 percent of their DNA in modern inhabitants of Lebanon, according to the analysis. This shows the resilience of the Canaanite lineage.
The researchers were also able to set a timetable for the separate Canaanite line, proving that they are probably about 4 000 6 000 years before the Bronze Age.
The timeline supports theories that suggest the appearance of the Canaanites is related to the fall of the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, there are some 4,200 years.
Although some texts survived from the perspective of the Canaanites, who were one of the great empires of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The temple was built in Palmyra in Syria, for example, and eventually developed a formidable maritime presence throughout the region.
This is good news for a region so devastated by the war, at least one Genocide Bible turned out to be a fiction, at least from a genetic point of view.