Saturday, August 28, 2010


Archaeology Magazine

What can you say about Qatna, Syria? It's produced one amazing find after another for the German-Syrian team of Michel al-Maqdissi, Directorate General of Antiquities, and Peter Pfälzner from the University of Tübingen. (See "Messages from the Dead" for earlier discoveries at the site.) This year an unplundered "tomb-cellar" was found under the the northwest wing of the royal palace with hundreds of artifacts as well as human bones from 1600-1400 B.C.

There were 30 skulls suggesting at least that many individuals were placed there, likely members of the royal family or household. The bones were not in anatomical position but stacked in groups, indicating that these were secondary burials (perhaps even of earlier royals buried elsewhere and later moved to the tomb-cellar. There were numerous pottery and stone vessels. The stone ones are very interesting. Some are of granite and come from Egypt, BUT the are from the Old Kingdom, a thousand years before these burials. What's the explanation for that?

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