Ancient Cemetery Found in Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Archeologists have unearthed a Roman-era cemetery dating from the 3rd century A.D. in northeast Syria, one of several recent archaeological discoveries in the history-rich country, a government newspaper reported Thursday.

The cross-shaped limestone cemetery was discovered in the Nasiriya area in the remote Hasaka province, some 440 miles northeast of the capital Damascus and contained coins, pottery shards and bracelets dating to the later Aramaic era, Al-Thawra newspaper reported.

Local archaeology official Khaled al-Ahmed said that studies were under way to learn more about the site.

Just on Tuesday, an even older cemetery from the 2nd century A.D. was discovered in the famed ruins of Palmyra, one of the region’s most impressive sites from Classical antiquity.

Syrian archaeologists also reported finding a rare limestone panel in Palmyra.

The stone, which depicts two men standing next to a heavily laden camel led by a young boy, also dates to the 2nd century A.D., Khalil Hariri, head of the Syrian National Archaeological Expedition, told the official SANA news agency.

Palmyra was the center of an Arab client state to the Roman empire during this period and thrived on the caravan trades across the desert to Mesopotamia and Persia, especially after the decline of ancient Petra in Jordan.

Under Queen Zenobia, the city rebelled against Roman rule and briefly carved out an independent desert Arab kingdom before being re-conquered and razed by the Romans.


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