New discoveries in Syria reveal ancient trade routes to Nile
Aug 26, 2010, 16:41 GMT
- An academic excavation team said Thursday it had uncovered artifacts which indicate that an ancient Bronze-Age kingdom in northern Syria had strong international trade relations with Nile river dynasties.
Peter Pfalzner, a professor at the University of Tuebingen and head of a joint German-Syrian archeology team, said that gifts originating from the Nile Valley and Mesopotamia were discovered in burial chambers at the ruins of a once royal city near what is now the Syrian city of Aleppo.
He believes the ancient kingdom enjoyed great wealth and wider international trade than previously thought, the Syrian news agency SANAreported.
The Qatna Kingdom wielded an extensive regional influence during its peak, from 2200 BC until 2000 BC.
The presence of a stone sphinx at the site dedicated by Ita, daughter of Amenemhet II of ancient Egypt, had already suggested the existence of some relations between the Nile pharaohs and Qatna. Thousands of kilometres separated the two kingdoms.
Pfalzner said that about 50 ancient gifts dating back to the late Bronze era (1650-1600 BC) were found in his latest dig, including a gold and lapis bracelet, a sheet of gold with a depiction of a palm tree, a small crystal jar, and a stone statue of a hippopotamus of Egyptian origin.
The area around Aleppo, located along the Euphrates river, holds several important ruins and archaeological sites.
(c) Deutsch Presse-Agentur