The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel refers to those tribes of ancient Israel that formed the Kingdom of Israel, and which disappeared from biblical and all other texts after the kingdom was destroyed in about 722 BCE by Assyria. Many groups have traditions concerning the continued hidden existence or future public return of these tribes.

This is a subject based upon written religious tradition and speculation.

In declaring his unabashed conviction that "the Lost Tribes are indeed nothing but a myth", Tudor Parfitt writes that,

The continued belief in the Lost Tribes is unabated... The present writer does not believe that the Ten Tribes are still to be found and accepts their disappearance as a historical fact that requires no further proof.

He also states that,

...this myth is a vital feature of colonial discourse throughout the long period of European overseas empires, from the beginning of the fifteenth century, until the later half of the twentieth. (Ibid, p.1)

In medieval Rabbinic legends the concept of the ten tribes who were taken away from the House of David (who continued the rule of the southern kingdom of Judah) becomes confounded with texts describing the Assyrian deportations leading to the belief in the "Ten Lost Tribes".

The recorded history differs from this legend: no record exists of the Assyrians having exiled people from Dan, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun or western Manasseh. Descriptions of the deportation of people from Reuben, Gad, Manasseh in Gilead, Ephraim and Naphtali indicate that only a portion of these tribes were deported and the places to which they were deported are known locations given in the accounts. The deported communities are mentioned as still existing at the time of the composition of the books of Kings and Chronicles, and not wholly assimilated into the Assyrian populace.

Read more about Tlt:  Twelve Tribes, Background, Definition, Religious Beliefs, See Also, Bibliography