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In the earliest Sumerian sources concerning the Amorites, beginning about 2400 BC, the land of the Amorites ("the land") is associated not with Mesopotamia but with the lands to the west of the Euphrates, including Canaan and what was to become Syria by the 3rd century BC, then known as The land of the Amurru, and later as Aram and Eber-Nari.

They appear as an uncivilized and nomadic people in early Mesopotamian writings from Sumer, Akkad and Assyria, especially connected with the mountainous region now called Jebel Bishri in northern Syria called the "mountain of the Amorites".

The Amorites appear as nomadic clans ruled by fierce tribal chiefs, who forced themselves into lands they needed to graze their herds. TU who know no house nor town, the boors of the mountains.... Elsewhere, the armies of Elam, in southern Iran, were attacking and weakening the empire, making it vulnerable.

After their expulsion from Mesopotamia, the Amorites of Syria came under the domination of first the Hittites and, from the 14th century BC, the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365–1050).

They appear to have been displaced or absorbed by a new wave of semi-nomadic West Semitic-speaking peoples, known collectively as the Ahlamu during the Late Bronze Age collapse.

The rise of the Amorite kingdoms in Mesopotamia brought about deep and lasting repercussions in its political, social and economic structure, especially in southern Mesopotamia.

The division into kingdoms replaced the Babylonian city-states in southern Mesopotamia.