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Pa-Canaan in the Egyptian New Kingdom: Canaan or Gaza?

Michael G. Hasel


The identification of the geographical name “Canaan” continues to be widely debated in the scholarly literature. Cuneiform sources fromMari, Amarna, Ugarit, Aššur, and Hattusha have been discussed, as have Egyptian sources. Renewed excavations in North Sinai along the“Ways of Horus” have, along with recent scholarly reconstructions, refocused attention on the toponyms leading toward and culminating inthe arrival to Canaan. This has led to two interpretations of the Egyptian name Pa-Canaan: it is either identified as the territory of Canaanor the city of Gaza. This article offers a renewed analysis of the terms Canaan, Pa-Canaan, and Canaanite in key documents of the NewKingdom, with limited attention to parallels of other geographical names, including Kharu, Retenu, and Djahy. It is suggested that thename Pa-Canaan in Egyptian New Kingdom sources consistently refers to the larger geographical territory occupied by the Egyptians in Asia.


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