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Afqa Spring ... The Mystery of Life in Syrian Badia

 (ST) - The historical sulfur Afqa Spring is one of the main reasons  that helped the people of Palmyra in the Syrian desert and the secret of its existence. The archaeological researcher and expert, Khaled As'ad, confirmed that the spring dates back to more than six thousand years.

 After flowing the mineral water all the time, the water of this spring has dried up since fifteen years. Afqa in Aramaic means 'water outlet' or 'spring'.

The temperature of the water was fixed about forty-three degrees Celsius in summer and winter. Several attempts have been made to invest this spring and return water to the course of the surrounding wells.

Thanks to this spring, the oasis of Palmyra was found. Water comes out the middle of al -Mentar Mount. The spring extends in the mount to a distance of 350 meters. Its entrance is a small temple for the Lord of the spring as it was mentioned in old writings that were found in it. Its water is metal sulfide and its temperature is constant in all seasons of the year, and pours 60 liters per second.

Water was used to irrigate the oasis of Palmyra. It also had recipes in healing a number of diseases including: anemia, inflammation of the kidneys, the sands of the urinary system, liver diseases, skin diseases, chest diseases, bronchitis and pneumonia.

The water contains chlorine, magnesium, sulfur, radio radiation equivalent of (11%), it helps digestive system, activates  glands, circulation, and anti-acidity.

Remains of the stairs, the mihrab, the altar, and a dining room that make up the old temple of the gods of the spring Afqa were found at the exit of the cave. Several altars of carved stones also were found at the entrance to the cave.

Writings on these altars indicate that the water was distributed to citizens within a term of 21 days by order of the god "Yerhaboul". A responsible person oversees this divine command.  Some of these  names are: Bulena Ben Zepeda in 162 AD, Yerhaboul and his son Doweid in 239 AD, Shams Bin Mullah in 256 AD, and some of these altars are now displayed in the halls of the Museum of Palmyra, historical sources mentioned.

Sh. Kh.

Lattakia : The Mediterranean's Mistress and Bride

Lattakia and sea are co-existing together, they outlined the history of humanity. That city is a symbol of civilization having introduced great personages as al-Shiekh Ez al-Deen al-Kasam, Jule Jamal and the late president Hafez al-Assad.

That is a wonderful city with a long history starting from the era of Set Mrkho located 13 km at the north-east of Lattakia, being one of the largest archaeological sites in Asia and Europe.

Ugarit era: between al-Aqra' mountain and al-Sien  river,it included many of ancient archaeological cities like "Barimōta" which is named later by  "Ramita," the new name of Lattakia.

Greece era: The Greeks entered Syria in 333 B.C by al-Exander al-Makdouni, who named Lattakia city by al-lozbakieh according to his mother's name.

Roman era : on 64 B.C, Lattakia was freed by Arab Muslims in 637 A.D, keeping on its name as "Lattakia" till now.

Salah al-Deen al-Ayoubi freed Lattakia after undergoing to Crusader's occupation.

1516-1918 Lattakia struggled against the Ottoman occupation.

It also fought against French occupation till victory is achieved on April. 17,  1946.

Lattakia under the leadership of the late President Hafez al-Assad witnessed a historic renaissance at various levels: economic, social ,and touristic.

There are many significant archaeological sites in Lattakia. Some archaeological samples have been collected in the museum according to the historical, Ugaritic, Greek, Roman and Islamic chronology.

Famous Archeological Sites  

- Ugarit

- Ras al-Baseet

- Ras Ibn Hani

- Salah al-Deen Citadel

- Al-Minka Citadel

- Al-Mahalba Citadel

- Siano Emirate

-  Archeological Jabla Theater

- Al-Soultan Ibraheem Mousque


F.  al-Taleb

Edited & translated: H.SH

Tel Jenderes

Tel Jenderes  located in depth at which played an important role in linking trade routes between Aleppo and the eastern Aegean world. ThisTel extends from the north - east to the south - west between Mount Simon in the Middle and Mountains in the West. And starts this plain in the north of the Syrian – Turkish border and ends in the south-west at the Mediterranean coast, and is positioned hill Jenderes 5 km from the West Bank of the River Afrin, south-west of the village of modern Jenderes, and covers the hill an area of 400 x 500 square meters, or about 20 hectares and has a height of 20 m.

Studies have shown that Afrin has settled since the early period, during the Paleolithic East   on the slope of Mount Simon, like a cave Aldidria .

The most important investigations that took place in the region are those carried out by the Eastern Institute of Chicago in the thirties of the twentieth century, this investigation has shown that on an equal settlement continuously in Depth easy starting from the Neolithic period, has been playing easy depth commercially important role since the late fourth millennium BC , it has been a conduit for internal roads leading to the coast, which have been up Egypt and Palestine with Anatolia.

Jenderes site by geographical Strabo has named Gendaros, and believes that this site is the same as it was Kinallowa capital of the Kingdom Onki in the first millennium BC, and relying on yearbooks Assyrian, in the year 876 BC. M. Information on the trajectory Assyrian army of Carchemish to Azazum (Azaz), where the army arrived Afrin and across the river in one day, and spent the night on the West Bank, after a one-day path reached Kinallowa. As the distance between Azaz and the river 25 km, the distance between the army camp and similar Kinallowa, and the absence of another site in the area of Afrin apply to him specifications mentioned only Jenderes of the indicates that it was and should capital Kinallowa. It is likely that this site was in the second millennium BC, a follower of the Kingdom of Mukesh foregoing.

The results showed the presence of levels starting from the early second millennium and until the Byzantine era in the sixth century AD, have been detected on the remains of the temple on the eastern side of the site, but  it was due to sabotage installations later ages ,remnants of the palace were also found. on the Middle Bronze Age

A group of pottery and glass breakage and other coins and art finds that dated to the Roman era (260-330 AD) and Hellenistic (about 100 BC).

Pottery and other finds, dated to the Late Bronze Age (Figure 6). It also has been detected foundations of a defensive wall extends 325 m to the north and 100 m to the east as well as the presence of residue gates yet to delve. These actions provided important results with regard to the location that seems to have had an important position during the second millennium BC, although the continuation of excavation work that will shed light on many aspects  of being the center of administrative or religious or city vulnerable huge, on the other hand confirm the hypothesis raised with regard Pttabgah with capital Kinallowa during the second millennium BC.


Source: Discover Syria

Tel Suehat

An archaeological site in the province of Raqqa . On the Euphrates River East, flooded the dam, and was above the ruins of the city of Suehat that live up to the era of ancient bronze (the first half of the thousand BC), a fortified town very important in the latter half of the third millennium BC, then cut off the settlement on this site for a while , and then returned again in the Middle Bronze Age (2100-1600 BC.) In modern Bronze Age (1600-1200 BC). then the Iron Age (1200-500 BC).. In the Hellenistic period (333-64 BC). was an ordinary locations. The researchers divided the site to the levels vary between layers old Bronze Age and Middle Bronze Age, and Hellenistic Period (300-250 BC). Then the Roman eraNational Emergency Mission found in archaeological exploration tenderness 175 artifact in the archaeological site of Tel Suehat west of the Raqa city about 110 kilometers.

found in Tel Suehat the back for the third thousand BC inAbout 175 archaeologies 

good condition which is about blades for arrows, knives, and Mkharz, and beads, andutensils, and pottery jars, rings, bracelets Bronze machines, spindles, and seashell river, cut the bone out drawings of birds and animals, and various writings, and toys for bronze animals, and cylindrical seals polymorphic drawings of geometric shapes and planers bronze, and all belonging to the same historical period.

Source: Discover Syria


Temple of Zeus .. Eternal Building Tells History of a Civilization

SWEIDA, (ST) – Wherever you look round Sweida city, you can see temples and archaeological columns that tell stories about the birth of the history in Syria. Biladusham, including Syria, is the cradle of prophets, civilizations and religions to the whole world. Motifs, ornamentations and inscriptions on the walls and columns must answer the visitor’s questions that he won’t find a reply to them but here and carry to him between their stones, tales that were formulated by man on this earth many centuries ago.

The history and the civilization of Syria, full of antiquities and works of art, will take us this time on a trip to the Temple of Zeus in the town al Mushannaf. It is far from the city of Sweida about 30 km to the northeast of the temple. There are several opinions about the date of its building. According to the German mission’s report in 1991, Freiber Gher said that the temple was built in 41 AD for the god Zeus. The evidence is a Greek inscription written on it entitled “For the safety of the King Akreba and for his return according to the vows, Mr. so- and-so built the patriarchal god Zeus Temple.”

Many decorations and inscriptions dating to the first half of the first century AD indicate that the King Akreba was the local governor of the town of al Mushannaf or Nilla as it was known in the past. The researcher, Michael Kvalovski, indicates through a study to this site in her book “Traces and History of Syria 1989”, that the date of construction dates back to the second half of the first century AD.
The researcher, Jean-Marie Dntzer, emphasizes in his writings that the construction date backs to the first half of the second century AD. The American scientist, Butler mentioned in his book “American Archaeological Exploration in Syria 1899-1900” that the history of the building dates back to 171 AD. The site was inhabited by some local residents and they added some rooms at the beginning of the twentieth century. Some reforms, by Alexander Sears, took place between 222 and 235 AD.

Director of Antiquities and Museums Bureau in Sweida city, Hussein Zeineddin, explained that that the temple takes a rectangular shape, divided into three equal parts. The first part is called Prunaous according to a report by Freiber Gher. This part is located between the opposite columns and the wall of the entrance, pointing  out that it is difficult to imagine the form of this wall, it is clear that a wall was built incorrectly between the columns and it currently contains decorations that may not be originally from the site.

The second and third parts are the holy of holies, the statue chamber. It is divided into two almost equal parts with a basaltic arch and the walls of this section consist of basaltic stones also located on two layers.

The original remaining parts in the northern wall of the temple include the mainstays of the columns, lintels, some building blocks of the outer wall of the temple, the mainstays of the column of the southern corner, indicating that the body of the temple advances from the east of the front tiled yard. Notably deformation inflicted the body of the building such as the modification hit the main wall entrance and distortions hit the northern wall. It is clear that this wall tends to the north and likes a straight piece that spins on a hinge.

“Some of the rooms were added on the basic outline of the temple in the period between 1857, and 1902 AD. A rectangular room was constructed in the east resulting from the north wall and the eastern side was filled with cubic and decorated stones as well as for building new interior divisions in the south and west. This room represents a microcosm of the original inside of the temple and moves to the east. In the south, you can observe an empty corridor leads to a broad room and the temple is surrounded from north, west and south, by walls of the temple itself,” Mr. Zeineddine pointed out.

Concerning the current situation of the temple, Mr. Zeineddine clarified that the eastern part of the temple is built completely with antique architectural pieces that were not positioned in their original place because they were re-built. In this part, which is linked with the temple yard, a room was created and still used today. You can see the northern protruding wall in this side of the lintel till the top edge where a crack can be observed within this protuberance. The crack is 3 cm in width.

Columns of the eastern facade still maintain their original position. The facade consists of two columns including the mainstay and the body of the column. The visitor can observe the existence of two stone pieces of the body of the northern column and one piece in front of the southern column.

In the southern side, you can see the impact of modern buildings on the southern wall of the west side, whereas the wall is still in place until the upper edge of the cornice. Fourteen meters of the southern wall has remained. In the west, the status of the western wall is good including the lintel and the cornice but it suffers from curvature to the inside and the center and reaches its maximum at the top. The northern cornerstone and some square stones have been lost but the bigger part still exists although it suffers a strong outer bending, especially in the eastern part.

Mr. Zeineddine expresses the desire of Antiquities Bureau in acquisition the temple and the adjacent properties and removing parts newly built, in order to show what is left of the temple’s features and collecting the archaeological and architectural pieces dating back to the temple. Many of these pieces are found in the houses as well as inscriptions may be present and to compensate the missing stones that match the specification of the original stones and returning the cornerstone which belongs to the head section of the platform of the place, knowing that it is existed in the nearby between the temple and the pond.

Director of Antiquities and Museums drew senior officials’ attention in Sweida to map out a study to restore the northern wall, which is suffering from a strong bending and can be exposed to collapse at any moment and take necessary measures in order to support and strengthen the stones that form the body of the columns and search for the missing stones from the columns, and it is expected to find them near the site or in the nearby houses to maintain the original columns on the eastern side and the other parts in their places

Sh. Kh.