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The large Qatna ruin hill is situated North-East of Homs, in a rainy and fertile agri-cultural plain. Qatna was settled during all parts of the Bronze Age (3000–1200 BC).

Qatna was discovered scientifically by French Comte Robert du Mesnil du Buisson. He worked between 1924 and 1929 on the ruin hill and ensured, through clay tablets featuring the town’s name, the identification of the place with the old Qatna kingdom.

Already in 2002, a royal tomb accessible from the central palace rooms was unveiled.

The discovery was made by the German-Syrian excavation team under the shared direction of Dr. Michel al-Maqdissi of the Syrian directorate of antiquities and Prof. Dr. Peter Pfälzner of Tübingen University.

The excavation campaign in summer 2009 unveiled an amazing discovery: an un-robbed rocky tomb under the palace. An abundant grave inventory listing hundreds of findings and bones has been preserved in the tomb. They date back to the times between 1600 and 1400 BC.

 

Beside numerous ceramic pots, the chamber contained several granite pots. They are imports from Egypt, fabricated 1,000 years earlier than the grave, within the era of the Old Empire. In addition, archaeologists discovered also a large amount of alabaster pots which are likely to have come from Egypt, too. In one of them, they had put a set of gold jewels consisting of rings, rosettes, and gold sheets.

On other places of the tomb, they found thin punched gold sheets. They perhaps served to decorate clothes or furniture. Among the objects made of bronze, a heavy lance tip and a large cloth nail are particularly worth-mentioning. Another very thin and finely worked cloth nail consists of gold. A cylinder seal made of Lapis lazuli as well as a seal in the form of a Scarab completes the inventory.

 Especially pretty: a little stone sculpture of a monkey holding a make-up pot in his hands.A human figurine made of ivory with a very finely cut face is of major importance in terms of art history. In Germany, the Qatna kingdom was presented through an exhibition, „Treasures of Ancient Syria – The discovery of the Qatna kingdom“ which was shown from October 17th 2009 to March 14th 2010 in Landesmuseum Württemberg in Stuttgart.

 

 

 

 

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