Daily Archives: November 5, 2009

German Archaeologist: Beneath every footstep in Syria is an ancient civilization

The Global Arab Network reports on a statement made by German archaeologist Markus Gschwind, head of the Syrian-German Archaeology Expedition, here. The report says,

Syria, the land of civilizations and history, is rife with ancient monuments that tell the stories of the many peoples and civilizations that lived in it, whose stories endured in the face of time to tell humanity about their greatness.

“Beneath every footstep in Syria is an ancient civilization,” says Archaeologist Markus Gschwind, head of the Syrian-German Archaeology Expedition working at al-Rafina in Hama. He notes that this saying is repeated around Germany, as most Germans consider Syria the most historically deep-rooted country in the Mediterranean.

In a statement to SANA, Gschwind said that he has been living and excavating in Syria for six years, each day discovering many secrets from the history of mankind.

Gschwind is working at the ancient city of al-Rafina in Hama. Hama is at the site of Biblical Hamath  (2 Kings 14:25; 2 Chronicles 8:4).

My limited visits to Syria have convinced me that the statement by Gschwind is correct. Of course, the same could be said of Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, et al.

The Assyrian Empire ruled the ancient near east from the battle of Qarqar (853 B.C.) till the battle of Carchemish (605 B.C.) when they were defeated by the Babylonians. Nineveh had fallen seven years earlier. This was the time of the Divided Kingdom period in Israelite history, and Assyria had contact with a numerous biblical kings. Ahab, for example, fought against the Assyrians at Qarqar. Qarqar is north of Hammath. Both are on the Orontes River.

Qarqar on the Orontes. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.The tell of Qarqar in northern Syria. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

HT: Biblical Paths