Crusader States in the Medieval Levant

The Westerners managed to maintain a political presence in the region until 1291 CE but were constantly hampered by dynastic rivalries. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction The Crusader States (aka the Latin East or Outremer) were created after the First Crusade (1095-1102 CE) in order to keep hold of the territorial gains made by Christian armies[…]

Dome of the Rock: Religious Significance, History, and Architecture

Completed in 691 CE, the Dome of the Rock is the oldest extant Islamic building in the world. Introduction The Dome of the Rock (Arabic: مسجد قبة الصخرة, translit.: Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhrah, Hebrew: כיפת הסלע, translit.: Kipat Hasela) is an Islamic shrine and a major landmark in Jerusalem. It was completed in 691 C.E., making it the oldest extant Islamic building in the[…]

A History of Early Jericho

Jericho started as a popular camping ground for the hunter-gathers of the Natufian culture dating to 10000 BCE. By Art RamosHistorian Introduction The city of Jericho is remembered for the story in the Book of Joshua in the Bible regarding its destruction by the Israelites. Excavations have revealed that Jericho is one of the earliest[…]

Ancient Canaan: In Search of Identity

Whoever the ancient Canaanites were, their identity was lost in the successive invasions by foreign people interested in controlling an important hub of commerce. Introduction Canaan was the name of a large and prosperous ancient country (at times independent, at others a tributary to Egypt) located in the Levant region of present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel. It was also known as Phoenicia. The[…]

Canaanite Religion in the Ancient Levant

Early Israelite religion may once have shared the Canaanite belief in El and other gods, before the Jewish monotheistic tradition emerged. Introduction Canaanite religion describes the belief systems and ritual practices of the people living in the ancient Levant region throughout the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Until recently, little was known of these traditions outside[…]

Historical Overview of the Ancient Levant

The Levant 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. Introduction 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[…]