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Archaeo News 

26 July 2010
Great deal of prehistoric findings unearthed in Syria

The American- Dutch archaeological expedition working at the site of Tal Om al-Mara, 50 kms to the east of Aleppo (Syria), has unearthed two archaeological tombs dating back to the Ancient Bronze Age 2800 BCE. Several archaeological artifacts, a golden coin and ten skulls dating back to the same era were uncovered inside one of the tombs during the current season.
     Chairman of the Excavations Directorate at Aleppo Department of Antiquities and Museums Yusuf Kinjo said that the unearthed tombs are located in the main area of tombs in Tal Om al-Mara, adding that they are the most important findings among the ten tombs discovered by the expedition up till now. Kinjo said the tombs indicate that the city of Om al-Mara was part of the Methanic Empire that was destroyed by the Hittites later on. The expedition started to work at the site in 1994 where it has discovered four skeletons for animals similar to the zebra inside the central tombs. The animals are thought to be hybrid about which Ebla inscriptions talks. The animals' skeletons indicate that they were only used for transportation and later in agriculture. The findings will be displayed in Aleppo Museum.
     At the same time, archaeological excavations in the Houran region in Daraa, southern Syria, show that the region mastered the craft of pottery and its various uses 5000 years ago. According to these discoveries, the pottery craft emerged in Houran around 3000 BCE, producing pottery of various sizes and purposes, most important of which are those discovered in tombs dating back to the Bronze Age (3100-2100 BCE) indicating that the people of Houran at the time believed in an afterlife and buried simple items needed by the deceased with them, similar to the ancient Egyptians.
     Archaeologist Yasser Abu Nuqta said the uncovered pottery includes lanterns, containers, plates, jars, glasses and bottles of various sizes used for a range of purposes, with the various specimens giving a glimpse at the development of the pottery craft and the new techniques that were introduced to it due to cultural interaction and the prosperity of the region throughout the ages. Abu Nuqta pointed out that the Bronze Age pottery is distinguished by the impurities and stone fragments in the thick clay used in making them, saying that the people of Houran gradually began to purify the clay and bake it at higher temperatures.
     Around 4,200 pieces of pottery were discovered by the Daraa Directorate of Archaeology, 1,200 of which were uncovered during the current season at the Tal al-Ashaari tombs which date back to 2100-1600 BCE.

Sources: Global Arab Network (23 and 25 July 2010)

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