According to Bible, ancient Canaanites were commanded to be exterminated. But studies, after analysing their DNA, reveal that they did not die out but evolved to become the modern-day Lebanese.
Cannaites have been believed to live between the 3000 and 4000 years ago in the Bronze Age in Israel, Syria, Jordon and Lebanon. Even though they were the first group of humans to use alphabets, they haven’t left behind many written records. They were believed to have lived in the ages when pharaoh had ruled the Egypt and the Greeks had built their cities.
THEIR END ACCORDING TO THE RELIGION
Since whatever written records they had, haven’t managed to survive (owing to the use of degradable papyrus rather than clay), the researchers had to figure out their history by using borrowed sources like the Old Testament of Bible. In the Bible, it was mentioned that when the Israelites had been forced to depart from Egypt, God had commanded them to execute each and every living Canaan.
THE SCIENTIFIC CLAIM
Archaeological data had suggested the theory to be false as the Canaanite cities showed no symptoms of being abandoned or destroyed, according to the sources. Recently, DNA was recovered from five of the Canaanite skeletons which showed that the Canaan people had managed to survive despite everything and had contributed their genes to various people living in today’s world.
Marc Haber, a geneticist in the United Kingdom at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, managed to extract the DNA from the new samples that came from Sidon. The DNA extracted was more than enough to make the sequence of the genomes of the Canaanites. For extracting the DNA for the study, researchers targeted the bone area behind the skull and managed to preserve the DNA from there.
It was found that almost 50% of the genes of Canaanites were from the local farmers in the Levant (almost 10,000 years ago in history) and the other 50% was from Iran. The researchers claim that these Eastern migrants might have lived in Levant and had affairs with the locals for mixing their blood line, around 5000 years ago.
Chris Tyler-Smith, one researcher, claimed that the modern day Lebanese are more likely the direct descendants of the Canaanites with a small addition of the Eurasian ancestry. With the use of genetics, soon enough, the historical gap will be filled and scientists will be able to tell what truly happened to them.