More notes at http://tanguay.info/learntracker
C O U R S E 
The Bible's Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future
Dr. Jacob L. Wright, Emory University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Canaan as Outback between Mesopotamia and Egypt Civilization Centers
Notes taken on June 30, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
many references of early Israel are found in Egypt
defeat, subjugation, conquest and destruction stand at the beginning of Israel's history
these kinds of events also mark the pivotal events in Israel's history
Israel's experience of defeat is closely tied to the rise and fall of empires throughout the ancient Near East
so to understand the history of Israel, you need to understand the empires throughout history in this part of the world
some of the most ancient cities and settlements in human history are found within the land of Israel
most people know this city from the Battle of Jericho
Joshua 6:1-27, the first battle of the Israelites during their conquest of Canaan, according to the narrative, the walls of Jericho fell after Joshua's Israelite army marched around the city blowing their trumpets
Jericho had been inhabited since 10,000 BC
wall of 3.6 meters high and 1.8 meters wide
impressive settlements there continued for millenia
according to the Biblical account, Israel conquered this Canaanite city in the late Bronze Age (3300-1200 BC) but by that time, the city had become basically a village
Canaan cannot be said to be a center of ancient Near Eastern civilization
not where we witness major technological advancements, erection of pyramids and ziggurats, organization of huge armies, or the invention of writing
to find these things we need to look to places that had more abundant and reliable water sources
for Egypt, this is the Nile
an impressive civilization developed, beginning in the late fourth millennium
for Mesopotamia, which means "the land between the rivers", it was the Tigris and Euphrates
here the Sumerian people developed writing in the fourth millennium
cities such as Kish, Uruk, Ur, Lagash, Nippur, Girsu
developed highly stratified and complex societies
the complexities of these societies is due to their population size
made possible by the presence of rivers
writing was invented and adopted for administrative and accounting purposes, mostly for temple economies
writing later takes on more magical and commemorative functions
so Canaan throughout the Bronze Age had two much more advanced civilizations arising on both sides, to the east in Mesopotamia, and to the south west in Egypt