In 732 BC, The Assyrian king Tiglath Pileser III conquered Damascus. In 722 – 721 BC, his successors, Shalmaneser V and Sargon II, defeated the northern kingdom of Israel, sending its people into exile. And then they vanished from the pages of history, seemingly without a trace. The Kingdom of Judah reminded intact.
Although these Jews were exiled by the Babylonians in 586 BC, they were allowed to return ti their homeland by the Persian ruler Cyrus, who conquered Babylon in 539 BC. The known history of the Jews after this point is essentially that of the Kingdom of Judah, home to only two of the original twelve tribes.
The first hint of the lost tribes’ whereabouts appears in the Bible (II Kings 17:6), placing them in upper Mesopotamia. Josephus, the Jewish historian, believed they were dispersed even farther- “beyond the Euphrates.” According to another Greek text written at around the same time, the tries set off for a place called “Azareth.” But this name has not been attached to any known locations; and it is likely that it merely a corruptions of the Hebrew phrase erez aharet, meaning “another place.”
Historically, interest in the whereabout of the ten lost tribes has revived at times of disaster, when the Jewish people were in need of an inspiring legend. During the Crusades, while the Jews were suffering terrible persecution, they took hoe on the prophecy that promised the entire House of Israel would soon be reunited. New and unfamiliar land shave also frequently been suggested as they location of the lost tribes. For instance, when the New World was discovered, many explorers thought that the native people of the America where descended from one or more of the tribes.