Syro-Palestinian archaeology is a term used to refer to archaeological research conducted in the southern Levant. Palestinian archaeology is also commonly used in its stead, particularly when the area of inquiry centers on ancient Palestine. Besides its importance to the discipline of biblical archaeology, the region of ancient Palestine is one of the most important to an understanding of the history of the earliest peoples of the Stone Age.
The geographical scope of Syro-Palestinian archaeology includes ancient southern-central Syria and Palestine, both west and east of the Jordan River, or what was once known as ancient "Greater Canaan". In modern-day terms, this comprises Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and parts of Syria. The southern Levant's geographical location on the land bridge connecting Asia and Africa and its proximity to the "cradle of humankind" in Africa and the ancient civilizations of the Near East has played a key role in determining the prehistory and history of social change in the region dating back over one million years. Though the term Syro-Palestinian archaeology "is commonly employed by archaeologists in the southern Levant, it is rarely used by specialists in Syria itself."
Syro-Palestinian archaeology is marked by a degree of acrimony not shared in other area studies in the field. Archaeologists who consider Biblical scriptures to be legitimate historical documents have been attacked by mainstream scientific archaeologists who see the hard data from excavations as being incompatible with the Biblical "historical" record. The dispute led to a definitive split between biblical archaeologists and Syro-Palestinian archaeologists in the 1970s, and continues to rage within the field(s) of Syro-Palestinian and biblical archaeology today.
Read more about Syro-Palestinian Archaeology: Terminology and Scope, Origins, Archaeology in Gaza, Archaeology in Israel, Archaeology, History and Modern Arab-Israeli Politics, Archaeology in Jordan, Archaeology in The West Bank, Archaeology in Lebanon, Archaeology in Syria, See Also
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