Trilobites: Fate of Ancient Canaanites Seen in DNA Analysis: They Survived

Photo Remnants from an ancient Canaanite found in the Sidon excavation site. A genetic analysis found that the Canaanites survived a divine call for their extinction and that their descendants live in Lebanon. Credit Claude Doumet-Serhal/Sidon Excavation There is a story in the Hebrew Bible that tells of God’s call for the annihilation of the Canaanites, a people who lived in what are now Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories thousands of years ago. “You shall not leave alive anything that breathes,” God said in the passage. “But you shall utterly destroy them.” But a genetic analysis published on Thursday has found that the ancient population survived that divine call for their extinction, and their descendants live in modern Lebanon. “We can see the present-day Lebanese can trace most of their ancestry to the Canaanites or a genetically equivalent population,” said Chris Tyler-Smith, a geneticist with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute who is an aut..

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