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Macalister provided some light, but some confusion, also

Reader comment on item: The 11th Encyclopædia Britannica on Who Lived in Palestine

Submitted by dante (United States), Aug 8, 2016 at 02:14

the article is useful in presenting Macalister's perceptions of the diverse non-Jewish population as it appeared to him in the first decade of the 20th Century and as he recorded it for EB. however, when Macalister offers his speculations about a notionally "fundamental Canaanite element" in Palestine, he creates more confusion than clarification. the area of what came to be called "Palestine" was conquered many times in antiquity and subsequently; some of the conquests resulted in wholesale deportations of the indigenous populations. the idea that "[i]t is by no means unreasonable to suppose that there is a fundamental Canaanite element in this population..." is ridiculous; it is unreasonable, about as ludicrous as Macalister's conclusions about purported skeletal similarities between ancient remains and a certain part of the contemporary population.

if it has not been done, some scholar should study the regional "tribal" identities of the Muslim (often non-Arab) population and, also, the family names of the Muslim population as evidence of its origins; it is not uncommon to find surnames that indicate an origin in other parts of the "Middle East," e.g. Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Arabia, Turkey, Balkans, Iran, Yemen, Algeria, etc.


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