Map showing the distribution of Semitic languages
The Semites are a group of people that live in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. They include Jews, Arabs, and other ethnic groups.
We only know about their origin from the history of the semitic languages. The earliest proved history of any Semitic people is from 30th century BC Mesopotamia. The East Semitic Akkadian-speaking peoples of the Kish civilization, entered the region which had been dominated by the non-Semitic Sumerians.
Images for kids
The first depiction of historical ethnology of the world separated into the Biblical sons of Noah: Semitic, Hamitic and Japhetic, 1771, Gatterer's Einleitung in die Synchronistische Universalhistorie
This T and O map, from the first printed version of Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae, identifies the three known continents as populated by descendants of Sem (Shem), Iafeth (Japheth) and Cham (Ham).
1879 statute of the Antisemitic League, the organization which first popularized the term