Canaanites explores the ancient population of the Western Levant (Israel, Transjordan, Lebanon, and coastal Syria), examining the development of its distinctive culture from the early farming communities of the eighth millennium B.C. to the fragmentation of its social and cultural ideals in the latter half of the first millennium B.C.
Jonathan N. Tubb makes judicious use of the Hebrew Bible in describing Canaanite culture. He views the Bible as a rich resource for understanding the literary and theological heritage of Israel, which he classifies as a subculture of Canaan. At the same time he reveals the limitations of the Bible as a historical document, arguing that to reconstruct the Canaanites' history we must first look at the archaeological data.
Tubb stresses the continuity of Canaanite civilization, portraying events such as the imposition of Egyptian imperial rule and the development of historical Israel as episodic interruptions.