II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > B. Kingdoms of Western Asia and Africa, to 323 B.C.E. > 5. Syria-Palestine, c. 3500–323 B.C.E.
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5. Syria-Palestine, c. 3500–323 B.C.E.
a. Geography
 
Syria-Palestine has three geographic zones: a coastal area along the Mediterranean, a desert fringe along the Syrian Desert, and a double mountain chain from the central steppe, which divides the other two zones. In the third millennium the major cities were Mari (Tell Hariri), located where the Euphrates met the road to the Mediterranean, and Ebla (Tell Mardikh) near the Orontes River. The second millennium saw the development of Canaanite cities: Ugarit, Byblos, Sidon, and Tyre along the coast; Damascus, Aleppo (Halab), Carchemish, Yamhad, Qatna, and Qadesh in the central steppe; and Hazor, Gezer, and Shechem (among others) in Palestine. After 1200, the region is divided into Palestine (Philistia, Israel, and Judah), Aram (Syria), and Phoenicia (discussed separately). The population of Syria-Palestine rose from approximately 250,000 in 3000 B.C.E. to about 800,000 by 1000 B.C.E.  1
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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