The Aramaeans (11th century B.C. to 8th century B.C.) were a nomadic semetic people from the area of the northern Syrian desert. They absorbed aspects of earlier fertile crescent civilizations. Most of the smaller tribes were subjugated by the Assyrians from 740 to 720 B.C., but one of the tribes, the Chaldeans, which settled near the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, was ultimately about to displace the Assyrians and become the new dominant empire in the region.
The New American Desk Encyclopedia, Penguin Group, 1989