The Canaanites are an important group of people mentioned in the Bible. In Biblical times, they lived in the land of Canaan - a place that was described as the "land of milk and honey".
The Canaanites existed during the late 2nd millennium BC and they lived in Canaan. They were a Semitic-speaking population who played a major role during the Bronze Age.
Most of the information from Canaanite history has been derived from the Bible and archaeological excavations.
In modern times, the land of Canaan encompasses Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
Historians believe that the Canaanites included a mix of different ethnic groups and were not one unified ethnicity.
According to DNA studies, the modern-day Lebanese are the direct descendants of the Biblical Canaanites. A genetic study published in 2017 provides evidence that modern-day Lebanese derived most of their ancestry from a Canaanite population.
In the genetic study, five whole genomes were sequenced from the remains of ~ 3700 years old Bronze Age Lebanese individuals. The sequences were compared to the genomes of 99 modern-day Lebanese people.
The modern-day Lebanese were found to be directly related to the Canaanites. However, they are also related to Eurasians who might have arrived in the region 3,170 to 2,170 years ago.
The Bronze Age Lebanese show no signs of this Eurasian ancestry. Scientists believe that there was admixture between the local population and the Eurasians leading to the modern-day Lebanese people.