They were no doubt expelled or absorbed by the Hittites, but we have the proof of their existence and of the fallacy of the statement that the Semite never crossed the Taurus, in the cuneiform tablets written in their language which have been found near Kaisariyeh and are now being published by various scholars.
The sudden rise of the later Babylonian empire under Nebuchadrezzar, the son of Nabopolassar, must have tended to produce so thorough an amalgamation of the Chaldaeans and Babylonians, who had theretofore been considered as two kindred branches of the same original Semite stock, that in the course of time no perceptible differences existed between them.
Of the socalled Arabian philosophers of the East, al-Farabi, Ibn-Sina and al-Ghazali were natives of Khorasan, Bokhara and the outlying provinces of north-eastern Persia; whilst al-Kindi, the earliest of them, sprang from Basra, on the Persian Gulf, on the debatable ground between the Semite and the Aryan.
To the primitive nomadic Semite the presence of the divinity was indicated by springs, shady trees, remarkable rocks and other landmarks; and from this earliest conception grew the theory that a numen might be induced to take up an abode in an artificial heap of stones, or a pillar set upright for the purpose.
Pilgrims visiting Paphos, the original home and temple of Astarte, could of course be in no doubt about which of the heavenly powers inhabited the cone of stone in which she was there held to be immanent; nor was any Semite ever ignorant as to which Baal he stood before.
In the north-east the brown-skinned Hamite and the Semite mingle in varied proportions.
The Semite or savage who sets up a sacred stone or Bethel believes indeed that a divine power or influence enters the stone and dwells in it, and he treats the stone as if it were the god, kisses it, anoints it with oil, feeds the god in it by pouring out over it the blood of victims slain.
While the common Semite wore a short skirt, often with tassels and sometimes with an upper tunic, the more important had an elaborate scarf (extending from waist to knee) wound over the long tunic, or a longer and close-fitting variety coloured blue and red and generally adorned with rich embroidery.