Syria, Home of Oldest Codified Peace Agreement in Human History

The Syrians were the first to call for peace, friendship and fraternity in the history of humanity. Since old ages, the Syrian people sought to lay the foundations and principles of attaining peace in Syria as well as in the neighboring countries and kingdoms.

According to researchers and archeological experts, the Syrians are the owners of the oldest codified peace agreement in the world. This agreement bans attacking and killing others and calls for peace.

Dr. Mahmoud al-Sayyed, Deputy Director of Laboratories at the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums says that the oldest codified peace agreement was discovered in Tel Mardiekh of Ebla Kingdom northwestern Syria. The agreement was codified in local Ebla cuneiform figures on a pottery plate that was found in the archive room of the royal palace of Ebla Kingdom. The plate dates back to the 24th century BC.

According to al-Sayyed, the text is currently kept in Idleb Museum to tell about the oldest international peace accord signed between the kingdom of Ebla and the kingdom of (Abersal), which is according to researches, located between Ebla and Mari Kingdoms.

According to al-Sayyed, the text provides for the oldest political and commercial agreements which were written down in cuneiform figures and which preserved the rights of people and punish the guilty.

He said the Kingdom of Ebla had signed many international diplomatic and trade agreements with its neighbors. Most remarkable of which was that signed between the King of Ebla and the King of Assyria with the aim of organizing political, trade and diplomatic ties between the two kingdoms. In addition, there was a temporary peace agreement signed between the King of Ebla and the King of Mari, which was older than the peace agreement signed between the Pharaoh of Egypt and the King of Hittites after the end of Kadesh Battle.

The expert indicates that four peace agreements were discovered in the palace of the king of Mari "Zimrilim" in the archeological site of Tel al-Hariri in the era between  1775-1761 B.C. Most important of which were those signed with the King of Babel, Hammurabi, and with the Kingdom of Eshnunna in the archeological site of the presently known as Tell Asmar.

Al-Sayyed affirms that these agreements indicate how mature the concept of peace and the idea of sophisticated peaceful dialogue were in Syria since old ages.

Moreover, the researcher said, the Syrian land was the site of great battles in the old East history and that ended in an everlasting peace. Most important of which was the battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC and which was considered as one of the best old East battles in terms of documentation. He pointed out that the battle was between the Huttite Empire and the Egyptians in the surroundings of Kadesh city which is currently named as the archeological site of Tell Mando in the south east of Syria near the Lebanese borders 25km to the south of Homs.

He clarified that one of the most important reason behind the battle was to dominate Syria which formed the link between the countries and Kingdoms of the Mesopotamia and the countries and kingdoms of the Mediterranean coast, and because of Qadesh's strategic trade position on the Orontes.

According to given data and to the developments of events, the battle ended with the victory of the Huttites. The researcher said that the final peace agreement between the Huttites and the Egyptians within the framework of an everlasting treaty was signed in 1259 BC between the Pharaoh of Egypt Ramses II and the King of the Huttites Hatusili III. A copy of this treaty's articles was written down on the walls of Ramses II temple and Amoun temple in al-Karnak in Egypt. Another copy was written down on a plate of roasted pottery in Akkadian cuneiform and was found in Hattusha, the capital of the Huttites.

H. Mustafa   

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