The Semitic culture followed on from the Ghassulians. People became urbanized and lived in city-states, one of which was Jericho. The area's location at the center of routes linking three continents made it the meeting place for religious and cultural influences from Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor.
It was also the natural battleground for the great powers of the region. It was also subject to domination by adjacent empires, beginning with Egypt in the late 3rd millennium BCE.