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Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Region between the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian desert, containing sites holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. The exact borders have varied in different periods, but the term has come to be applied to the area now covered by Israel and Jordan, Hashemite Kingdom of. Artistic development in this region between the 13th millennium and the 1st bc is discussed in the survey on Syria-Palestine, and development of some specific types of art is also discussed in the wider context of the Ancient Near East. The first permanent agricultural settlements were established in 8000 bc at Jericho. After c. 1200 bc the coastal zone of Palestine was settled by the Peleset, later known as the Philistines (see Philistine), from whom the name of the region is derived. By 1000 bc the area was dominated by Hebrew tribes, who made Jerusalem their capital. The Kingdom of Palestine became divided into the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah, but these were destroyed, the former by Assyria in ...