Monday, December 19, 2016


The Amorites were an ancient people who inhabited lands to the west of the Euphrates River from around the middle of the third millennium BC. They are the descendents of one of the sons of Canaan.

Babylonians called the people to the west of them ‘Amorites’, meaning Westerners. This term Amorite or Westerner was used by other peoples including the Egyptians, when speaking of the people living in the area of Palestine.

The Amorites were a Semitic people who may have originated in the Arabian Peninsula. According to the few ancient sources that have survived from the period, the Amorites were primarily a nomadic people who were regarded as ‘uncivilized’ by the unban societies of Mesopotamia at the time.

The Amorites were chiefly responsible for the upheaval of Sumerian power centers in Mesopotamia and the initiation of the Old Babylon Period. During the second half of the third millennium the Amorites seem to have gradually migrated eastward into central Mesopotamian, placing great pressure on the loose affiliation of city-states that made up Sumerian society.

The culturally important and powerful cities of Isin, Larsa, Ashur and Babylon were all rules by Amorites by the last century of the third millennium. Hammurabi is the most famous Amorite from this period.

In about 2004 B.C, Amorites sacked the city of Ur, which had been the center of Sumerian civilization. They dominated the region of Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine from 2000 BC to 1600 BC, bringing them into conflict with Egypt. Inscriptions from the era of Egypt’s First Intermediate Period (2134-2040 BC) indicate that the Amorites controlled Phoenicia, modern Lebanon, disrupting trade with Egypt.

The end of Amorite rule came after the conquest and sack of Babylon (1531 BC) by the Hittites, when its remains were overrun by the Kassites, who were to hold the region for some four hundred years.
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