41 Maps Covering 5,000 Years of History
Introduction - 5,000 Years of Dynamic Maps

Go to Map Methodology -- Go to First Date

TIME PERIOD: Introduction

"For about two thousand years the name Palestine has been used internationally for the lands on both sides of the Jordan River... The name Palestine will here be used...to refer to the area from southern Syria (the Beqa Valley) to Egypt and the Sinai, and from the Mediterranean to the Arabian desert.

The Greek historian Herodotus called Cisjordan [the land west of the Jordan River] the Palestinian Syria or sometimes only Palaestina. Thus, there is a tradition from at least the fifth century B.C. for the use of this name...

Another well-known name for Palestine, which is the most common one in the Bible, is Canaan. The earliest known reference to this name, read as 'Canaanites', is in a letter from [the kingdom of] Mari (on the Euphrates) [see 700 mile radius map] to Iasmah-Adad from the eighteenth century B.C... The letter does not give any information about the territory of these Canaanites... In many Egyptian texts Canaan refers to southern Syria and Palestine...

The Sinai peninsula is not part of Palestine, but because of its geographical location between Egypt proper and Palestine it has a place in a history of Palestine."

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine, 1993


The following history is divided into 41 time periods. You can view the history by selecting a time period of your choosing, or by viewing the history sequentially.

To select a time period of your choosing, click the down-facing arrow to the right of the above box labeled "Choose Another Time Period." After selecting a time period, a new page will appear with a text and map corresponding to the time period selected.

To view the history of the region in sequence, simply click the "Go to First Date" link located below and to the right of the Introduction title above. Subsequent maps will also include "Previous" and "Next" links on either side of the title for ease of use.

At any time during your exploration of the region, you can use the Time Period box to skip ahead, or jump back to a time period of your choosing.

Finally, to view a larger area of the Middle East, click the down facing arrow to the right of the Map Area box located at the top of each map. After selecting a Map Area, a new map of the same time period will appear corresponding to the map area selected.


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= Israel & the Disputed Territories (the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights)
= Ancient Palestine