|25 July 2012
In the troubled land of Syria lies a Neolithic site which has been referred to as 'Syria's Stonehenge'. Out in the Syrian desert, approximately 80 kilometres north of Damascus, can be found a series of stone circles, alignments and tombs. The site was first discovered in 2009 by a team from the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada. The site has been roughly dated at between 8,000 and 4,000 years BCE and was discovered by accident by the team when searching for a lost Roman watchtower. The Roman tower itself had been rebuilt as a Christian Monastery in the late 4th and early 5th Century CE and it is believed that the Neolithic site had been robbed of stone to form the later structures.
Corbelled stone structures have been found, believed to be tombs, located near and around small stone circles. Even though some of the earlier structures have been destroyed or 'recycled', archaeologist Robert Mason, of the Royal Ontario Museum team, believes more research could be carried out. He is quoted as saying "The highlands of Western Syria also feature structures like this. However, they were later joined by tombs of the Bronze and Iron ages, and of the Roman, and so later material obscures any dating evidence for the early structures".
Edited from Discovery News (26 June 2012)
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