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11 September 2010

At http://heritage-key.com/blogs/ann/qatnas-royal-palace-reveals-further-archaeological-treasures/ … current excavations of Qatna by a joint German/ Syrian archaeological team have unearthed jewellery, gemstones, alabaster vases, ivories, and various other burial gifts from burial chambers beneath the royal palace – including objects with an Egyptian origin. Presumably, they belong to the LB Age when the Egyptians exerted influence over a large area of Syria-Palestine – but chronological clues are not spelled out in this piece as it is a preliminary report. The discoveries will in the end prove to be important as it includes 73 cuneiform tablets. The date of the burials at one point is said to be 1650-1550BC but later it says one of the tablets is 3000 years old and comes from a Hittite general, Idanda, telling the king to prepare for war. During the MB and LB periods Qatna was an important town on the edge of the Syrian steppe occupied continuously between 2000 and 1340BC. The story claims it was sacked and burnt by the Hittites – but this is one interpretation. There are others.

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