Ancient Canaan and Israel

New Perspectives

by Jonathan M. Golden


We know the power of the Bible as a source of inspiration and faith, but how well does it serve as a historical record and field guide? What do we know about daily life in ancient Canaan and Israel—not just that of kings and religious leaders, but that of their subjects and followers?

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November 2004


Pages 415
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics World History/Culture
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It's the cradle of civilization, the wellspring of three of the world's most powerful faiths, a place where vestiges of the ancient past remain vibrantly alive today—but what do we really know about the day-to-day lives and defining culture of the people of Israel and Canaan?

Ancient Canaan and Israel takes readers beyond the scriptural portrayals of the region and into the everyday lives of Canaanites and Israelites. It draws on recently discovered archaeological evidence and fresh interpretations of biblical and extrabiblical texts to show how archaeologists and other researchers reconstruct the many facets of these civilizations—political, geographic, social, economic, religious, technological, and aesthetic.

For experienced scholars or enthusiastic newcomers, it is an enlightening portrayal of the people and the land of Canaan and Israel, which traces many well-known spiritual and cultural traditions back to their ancient roots. It is also an objective introduction to a number of much-debated topics, such as the fate of the Canaanite cultures, the origins of the Israelites, and the historical accuracy of the Bible.


  • A rich illustration program including detailed plans of archaeological sites, settlements, and architecture, plus a number of drawings, photos, and scientific illustrations of ancient artifacts
  • A variety of regional maps, showing geography, topography, and climate, as well as maps that depict culture areas and trade routes


  • Emphasizes social history, including a discussion of everyday life in ancient Canaan and the role of women in society
  • The only title to offer long-term perspectives on development within important industries such as metal production, as well as a focus on the region's environment and cultural ecology
  • Includes a discussion of the most recent debates concerning the historicity of the biblical narratives
Author Info

Jonathan M. Golden is adjunct professor of anthropology at Drew University, Madison, NJ.



"Golden presents a balanced, nonjudgmental synopsis of scholarly opinion on the culture, faith, and fate of biblical Israel . . . In sum, a well-crafted primer to the life and time of ancient Israel."American Reference Books Annual

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