Skip to comments.Archaeologists Unearth a War Zone 5,500 Years Old
Posted on 12/16/2005 2:51:40 AM PST by Pharmboy
University of Chicago
Architectural remains in Syria from the fourth millennium B.C. Those at lower left were excavated in 2001,
and those at top center this year. The location is said to be the oldest known excavated site of a large battle.
In the ruins of an ancient city in northeastern Syria, archaeologists have uncovered what they say is substantial evidence of a fierce battle fought there in about 3500 B.C.
The archaeologists, who announced the find yesterday, described it as the oldest known excavated site of large-scale organized warfare. It was a clash of northern and southern cultures in ancient Mesopotamia, the land where urban civilization began, in a region that includes Iraq and parts of Syria.
snip... The ruins are in the upper fringes of the Tigris and Euphrates Valleys, near the Iraq border and within sight of the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey.
"The whole area of our most recent excavation was a war zone," Dr. Reichel said in the announcement, made jointly by the University of Chicago and the Department of Antiquities in Syria.
It was previously thought that the culture had spread north through colonization, trade or conquest.
The new research revealed that relations between north and south were not without major conflict.
The archaeologists reported finding collapsed mud-brick walls that had undergone heavy bombardment and ensuing fire. All around, they collected more than 1,200 oval-shaped "bullets" used with slings and some 120 larger round clay balls. The layer of ruins from that time also held vast amounts of pottery from the Uruk culture of southern Mesopotamia.
"The picture is compelling," Dr. Reichel said. "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."
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Ping for you, friend...
I don't see the torture rooms.
John Kerry remembers it like it was yesterday - it's seared into his mind.
The residents had a heck of an exit strategy, i'm sure
The new research revealed that relations between north and south were not without major conflict.
It is surprising, though not unexpected, that in this part of the world with the biological deficients we know exist there, that the concept of "conquest" is not considered a "major conflict"
Or is this more of that elusive muslim humor?
Beware of duds. They can ruin the rest of your life,when they go off unexpectedly.
NYTimes is the source, are you sure they didn't fabricate parts of this story? hehehehe.
--Finding a 5,500 year old warzone is going to devastate the peace lovers.
Hmmmp! I had no idea Bush was that old.
"Only the dead have seen the last of war"
Great quote, and how appropriate for this thread. Plato said it, for those interested.
Uruk, also known as the biblical city of Erech.
Thanks for the info. Where in the bible is that city mentioned and was anything significant said about it? Also, was it in "The Fertile Crescent?" It seems to be near there based on the description...(Syria/Iraq border).
Finding a 5,500 year old warzone is going to devastate the peace lovers
I don't remember where it is in the Bible, offhand, and will have to look again. From a quick search, Gilgamesh didn't reign for 800-900 years after the dating of the posted dig. Abraham didn't come along for about 1500 years (~ year 2000, if the searched info is correct). The dig mentioned might possibly have been one of the first Sumerian cities.
Thanks for the follow-up. Any further Biblical references you find to this area would be interesting to many who read this thread.
...10:9-11 for minimum context--10:1-11 for more. It appears that Nimrod might have been a grandson of Noah, if I'm reading it correctly. Nimrod, a disobedient tyrant, probably reigned a little over 3700 years ago, long after the estimated date of items in the current archeological dig.
Your assessment may be correct. Other animals go to war only over access to resources. Do humans go to war for any other reasons?
PING for later
Fertile crescent would be the area in the right of the map.. ( Hamoukar noted in red )
In my comment #16, make that maybe about the year -2000 (minus 2000) for Abraham.
Who said that?
Never mind - should have read a little further . . . .
"Do humans go to war for any other reasons?"
Two: Satanic evil, and resisting same.
I am afraid we may have to get into definitions of war here.
Clearly humans go to war to defend themselves (or their resources).
Can you provide an example of an organized group the represents a tribe, city-state or nation that have gone to war for, how did you put it, "satantic evil". In which the acquisition of resources was not the primary motivating factor?
For me the only two instances where there is even a semblance of an argument that religion was the reason were the Muslims in the 700s and then the crusades. But those were just about power, plunder and control of resources as well.
Lets send in the UN and set up an International War Crimes Tribunal, it's never to late for justice!
Other animals go to war only over access to resources. Do humans go to war for any other reasons?
Which resources were Alexander, Napoleon and Hitler after? Sometimes war is driven solely by colossal egos.
"Can you provide an example of an organized group the represents a tribe, city-state or nation that have gone to war for, how did you put it, "satantic evil". In which the acquisition of resources was not the primary motivating factor?"
I can give examples, and you can say no, those were about resources. That's a problem with history.
Your argument seems to be overlooking at least one thing: is the aggressor seeking to avoid his imminent demise (or grinding poverty) due to lack of resources, or is he greedily seeking to increase his wealth? The latter case is entirely congruent with my position.
In addition, the motivation of a leader or ruling elite may be quite different from the motivation they offer the great mass of people. Hitler had all kinds of justifications for going to war, but all the same he did it because Satan was whispering in his ear.
Ditto Tojo, Mao, Ho, Pol, Castro, etc.
"For me the only two instances where there is even a semblance of an argument that religion was the reason were the Muslims in the 700s and then the crusades. But those were just about power, plunder and control of resources as well."
Disagree. A hundred years after mohammed's death, the mooselimbs had conquered everything from Afghanistan to Greece. They didn't need to conquer that much to ensure plentiful resources. They did it because they were in Satan's vest pocket, and Satan loves pain and death.
The Crusades were the first wars on terrorism. Included in the lands reduced under mooselimb tyranny were vast areas that had been Christian for hundreds of years. Christian pilgrims seeking to visit holy sites were murdered, raped, and enslaved (just like today).
Of course one can point to human failings and wail, but the major problem with the Crusades was that their supply line didn't allow them to put paid to the mooselimbs once and for all -- leaving it for us to do.
Those crudbuckets have been attacking Christendom at every opportunity since mohammed was still raping little girls, and they don't do it for resources. They do it because they are still in Satan's vest pocket, and always have been.
Hitler was after numerous natural resources such as petroleum, chromium, and iron. He was also after "living space".
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
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"Which resources were Alexander, Napoleon and Hitler after?"
Alexander was looking for the source of cotton, steel, and black pepper (India). Hitler was in the Caucasus mainly for the oil.
Great generals never fight a war for merely egostical reasons....history has some examples of exceptions but these military leaders have never been considered truly great.
Good morning, Friends....have a great Friday
So much for the evolution of man!
Hitler was not a great general. In fact, had it not been for how bad a general he was, the germans probably would have won.
The only possible explanation is that they must've thought a Democrat was the leader of the conquerors, so therefore war was justified and a good thing.
Of course he was not. I agree....Operation Barbossa and Operation Citadel were carried out under the command of a mediocre military mind.
I was also replying to that poster's comment that Hitler and Alexander did not go searching for resources.
Thank G_D he was so bad at it.
Thanks for replying. Do you know of a military history ping list here? I tried searching for one on the "List of Ping Lists" and have asked around but haven't been able to find one so far.
Catal Huyuk was abandoned by 5600 BC.6,000-Year-Old City Found in SyriaScientists from the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute found a protective city wall under a huge mound in northeastern Syria known as Tell Hamoukar. The wall and other evidence indicated a complex government at an early date... [I]deas behind cities may have predated the Sumerians, said McGuire Gibson of the Oriental Institute. Among the features indicating the site was a full-blown city, not just a town: thin, porcelain-like pieces of pottery, indicating a sophisticated manufacturing technique, and huge cooking ovens, big enough to feed large numbers of people. There also were stamps to make impressions in wet clay - like primitive hieroglyphics - used to make tokens that served as records for trade transactions. The stamps were in the shapes of animals, including bears, dogs, rabbits, fish and birds.
Tuesday May 23 12:35 PM ETDiscovery Challenges Urban TheoryThe discovery of a 6,000-year-old city in Syria is challenging long-held beliefs about the beginning and spread of urban civilization. Archaeologists from the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute uncovered the settlement last year while excavating a huge mound known as Tell Hamoukar. A protective city wall and artifacts indicate a complex government was in place as early as 4,000 B.C. Scholars had long believed the development of cities began in Sumeria in southern Mesopotamia and then spread north around 3500-3100 B.C... But the Hamoukar settlement apparently developed independently at the same time as its southern neighbors, researchers said.
May 23, 2000'Oldest city' unearthed?The Independent newspaper, based in London, said archaeologists believe that the city, called Hamoukar, may date as far back as 6,000 BC... Hamoukar, between the legendary Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, spreads over 750 acres and the population may have reached 25,000 people in the ancient period when the region was known as Mesopotamia. Dr Mouhammed Maktash, director of the Syrian-American joint excavation... told the UK newspaper that "one of the most astonishing finds has been of double-walled living quarters to encourage air flow, suggesting the inhabitants had designed their own air-conditioning system to combat summer temperatures of more than 40 degrees Centigrade." ...Textbooks and historians have theorized that is was the Sumerians who established the oldest known "modern" civilizations of the Babylonian and Mesopotamian era, at about 3500 BC. Hamoukar is thought to have predated the birth of the Sumerian civilization by 2500 to 3000 years.
by Sally Suddock
July 3, 2000 08:40 CDT
Why don't you start one? Put me on it.
Oops, let me clarify that... Hitler's initial political victory led to the military defeat of Germany, partition of Europe, the Cold War, various "brush fire wars" in eastern and SE Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Caribbean, Central and South America, and finally the rise of Islamofascism (bankrolled by OPEC fortunes), the seizure of the US embassy in Iran, the overthrow of that cipher Jimmy Carter, and the election of Ronald Reagan, who not only dismantled the USSR, he dismantled the Cold War. Putin is however trying to reassemble both.
Hi... "that poster" here.
Okay, I'll grant that these guys sought resources in the course of their military adventures. However, I maintain that the quest for resources was not the primary motivator for their adventures. Empire was (plus revenge, in Hitler's case).
Good idea, patton....You're on the list.
I'll also post a vanity on FR announcing the new ping list.
Sunken Civ: hope I won't be duplicating your efforts....this ping list will be for purely military history topics.
Hi, Constitutionalist Conservative :)
We are thinking of a new ping list for military history. Are you interested in joining?