The Amorites were a Semitic people who seem to have emerged from western Mesopotamia (modern day Syria) at some point prior to the 3rd millennium BCE. In Sumerian they were known as the Martu or the Tidnum (in the Ur III Period), in Akkadian by the name of Amurru, and in Egypt as Amar, all of which mean 'westerners' or 'those of the west', as does the Hebrew name Amorite.
They worshipped their own pantheon of gods with a chief deity named Amurru (also known as Belu Sadi - 'Lord of the Mountains’ whose wife, Belit-Seri was 'Lady of the Desert’), which also became a designation for the people as the Akkadians also referred to them as 'the people of Amurru’ and to the region of Syria as 'Amurru’. There is no record of what the Amorites called themselves. The god Amurru’s association with the mountains and his wife's with the desert suggests that they may have originated in the area of Syria around Mount Hermon but this is unsubstantiated. Their origins are unknown and their precise history, until they settle in cities like Mari, Ebla, and Babylon, is equally mysterious. From their first appearance in the historical record, the Amorites had a profound impact on the history of Mesopotamia and are probably best known for their kingdom of Babylonia under the Amorite king Hammurabi. The span between 2000-1600 BCE in Mesopotamia is known as the Amorite Period, during which their impact on the region can most clearly be discerned, but there is no doubt that they influenced the people of the various cities long before that time and their impact was felt long after.
AMORITE MAY NOT HAVE ORIGINIALLY REFERRED TO A SPECIFIC ETHNIC GROUP BUT TO ANY NOMADIC PEOPLE WHO THREATENED THE STABILITY OF ESTABLISHED COMMUNITIES EARLY HISTORY
The Amorites first appear in history as nomads who regularly made incursions from the west into established territories and kingdoms.
exracted from www.ancient.eu