Skip to comments.Did Uruk soldiers kill their own people? 5,500 year old fratricide at Hamoukar Syria
Posted on 09/24/2010 3:17:03 PM PDT by Little Bill
Five years ago an archaeological team broke news of a major find that forever changed our views about the history of the Middle East.
Researchers from the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, and the Department of Antiquities in Syria, announced in a press release that they had found the earliest evidence for large scale organized warfare in the Mesopotamian world.
They had discovered that a city in Syria, named Hamoukar, had been destroyed in a battle that took place ca. 3500 BC by a hostile force. Using slings and clay bullets these troops took over the city, burning it in the process. Their motive may have been to gain control over trade in the area particularly that of copper coming from Southern Turkey.
The likeliest culprit for this act is a city named Uruk located to the south in modern day Iraq. The artifacts found at Hamoukar which postdate the battle, were created in the same style as those discovered at Uruk.
"If the Uruk people weren't the ones firing the sling bullets, they certainly benefited from it. They took over this place right after its destruction," site excavator Dr. Clemens Reichel told the New York Times, back in 2005.
But now archaeologists have made a new discovery that sheds more light on this battle. They have found evidence that an Uruk colony near Hamoukar was also destroyed in this conflict.
So, if the invading army was from Uruk, did they kill their own people? If so why?
The information was first released in the 2008-2009 annual report on the Oriental Institutes website. Before now it has not appeared in popular media. This story is a long one so bear with me....
An excavated part of Hamoukar, the city dates back at least 6,000 years.
Hamoukar is a city that flourished in northern Syria since at least 4000 BC. It was an ancient Pittsburgh, said Dr. Clemens Reichel, who, in addition to leading work at Hamoukar, is now also a professor at the University of Toronto and curator at the Royal Ontario Museum.
The citys industry and access to material made people come together.
The people obtained obsidian, a valuable substance in the ancient world, from volcanoes in modern day Turkey. To the south of Hamoukar archaeologists have found obsidian workshops spread across 280 hectares. These workshops were in use as early as 4500 BC.
In later times copper working became important to the citys economy, as the metal became increasingly popular in the Middle East.
The wealth of Hamoukar is reflected in its crafts. Numerous stamp seals of great artistry were found, one showing a lioness killing a calf or gazelle, another one a reclining leopard, and one showing a lively scene of two bears kissing each other.
>p>Archaeologists have found thousands of clay sealings once used to lock doors or containers and impressed with stamp seals. They tell of a bureaucratic system that was almost as complex as our own
paleo-muslims promoting their cause ?
They get credited with war now.
Ain't civilization grand!
That has a nice Ring to it!
Here is some more a bit older.
Answer: They were killed under Sumerian Obummercare because they couldn`t afford any health insurance and no money to pay the fine for not having any.
Perhaps the Hamoukarians wiped out the Urukian colony and so Uruk sent an army to retaliate and wipe out the Hamoukarians. Seems to me this is a more likely scenario.
Is this a ‘Burgh’ thing?
Yes, this is the one. Thanks for sending, now I can read it again.
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Of course they killed their own.
The Fighting Uruk Hai were well known for killing each other when Sauron or Saruman couldn’t point them at any other opponents.
Oh; excuse me. It said “Middle East”, not “Middle Earth”.
Fair question, as is: why did Sherman burn 'from Atlanta to the sea'; or why did the British burn Washington?
Civil wars and rebellions and their aftermaths somehow seem to have a way of being 'people killing their 'own' people'...can't imaging how that comes about, but it may be an answer to look for here. *<];-)
I also read the original, and then, as well as now, am intrigued by the 'clay bullets', as if the Middle East doesn't have enough stones to use. Never seems to be any shortage for the Palis to throw at Joooz; or Muslims to use for stoning women.
Quite simple. Standard shape, size and weight from a mold increases accuracy and thus lethality over random stones. Lead "bullets" for slings, when those became available during Hellenistic times, worked even better.
Beat me to it! :)
There's a difference?
The Moslems were well known for killing each other when __________ (fill in the blank with your fav) couldnt point them at any other opponents.
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