The Israelites were a confederation of Semitic-speaking tribes who, during the Iron Age (1200–586 BC), inhabited an area of the Levant later known as Palestine. They practiced a mixed economy including semi-nomadic pastoralism and cultivation of wheat, barley, olives and grapes. Israelite families were endogamous, patrilineal, patriarchal, patrilocal, extended and polygynous, and formed part of larger, segmentary kinship system that included lineages, clans, and tribes. Religious festivals followed the agricultural cycle and focused their worship primarily on one god, Yahweh. The emphasis on monotheism became more acute with the formation and centralization of state power.
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Middle East --Middle East
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