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Welcome to History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site. From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History Buff wants to know.

Michelle Moran
Historical fiction author


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Jerablus and the land of Carchemish

 Biblical sites were highly sought after by some of our earliest and greatest archaeologists. One such site, Carchemish, was the famed city of the Hittite Empire. It attracted the attention of T.E. Lawrence and Woolley, pioneers of British Near Eastern Archaeology, who excavated there just before the First World War. Then came the crashing calamity of the Great War, and after it came new political borders...

Carchemish then found itself on the border between Syria and Turkey, which rendered the site inaccessible for further investigation. The region soon fell into neglect for some 70 years. All changed in the late 1980s when the construction of dams along the Euphrates River brought archaeologists back in major local and international rescue projects. But what have the archaeologists found? Edgar Peltenburg and T.J. Wilkinson were among the archaeologists to return. Here they tell of mega-floods linked to climate change, of champagne cup graves and of the changing fortunes of the land of Carchemish.

When we arrived in the land of Carchemish we arrived with a sense of great urgency. Dams were being built and the land was to be flooded. We needed to rescue excavate and we needed to survey. This is a key area of the Ancient Near East since Carchemish was the Hittite Empire’s capital of its Syrian provinces, and thereafter the centre of a paramount kingdom with lively relief sculptures and inscriptions lining processional ways from the Euphrates to the Inner City and Acropolis.

We were coming in the footsteps of T.E. Lawrence and Woolley. While Lawrence is best known for being Lawrence of Arabia, Sir Leonard Woolley (1880-1960) is considered to be one of the first 'modern' archaeologists. Thus, while at Carchemish he determined to set the city in a wider context and began exploring throughout the area, albeit in an unsystematic way.

Read the rest here.