The Septuagint is the earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures from the original Hebrew. It is estimated that the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century BCE and the remaining texts were translated in the 2nd century BCE. Considered the primary Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is quoted a number of times in the New Testament,particularly in the Pauline epistles,by the Apostolic Fathers, by the Greek Church Fathers; the full title in Ancient Greek: Ἡ τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα μετάφρασις "The Translation of the Seventy", derives from the story recorded in the Letter of Aristeas that the Septuagint was translated at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus by 70 Jewish scholars who independently produced identical translations. The miraculous character of the Aristeas legend is indicative of the esteem in which the translation was held in the ancient Jewish diaspora and early Christian circles, it is clear that a Greek translation was in circulation among the Alexandrian Jews who were not fluent in Hebrew, but in Greek.
The evidence of Egyptian papyri from the period have led most scholars to view as probable Aristeas's dating of the translation of the Pentateuch to the third century BCE. Whatever share the Ptolemaic court may have had in the translation, it satisfied a need felt by the Jewish community, among whom a knowledge of Hebrew was waning before the demands of every-day life." While there are other contemporaneous Greek versions of the Old Testament, most did not survive except as fragments. Modern critical editions of the Septuagint are based on the Codices Vaticanus and Alexandrinus; the Septuagint derives its name from the Latin versio septuaginta interpretum, "translation of the seventy interpreters", Greek: ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα, hē metáphrasis tōn hebdomḗkonta, "translation of the seventy". However, it was not until the time of Augustine of Hippo that the Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures came to be called by the Latin term Septuaginta; the Roman numeral LXX is used as an abbreviation G or G. Seventy-two Jewish scholars were asked by the Greek King of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus to translate the Torah from Biblical Hebrew into Greek, for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria.
This narrative is found in the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas to his brother Philocrates, is repeated by Philo of Alexandria, Josephus and by various sources, including St. Augustine; the story is found in the Tractate Megillah of the Babylonian Talmud: King Ptolemy once gathered 72 Elders. He placed them in 72 chambers, each of them in a separate one, without revealing to them why they were summoned, he entered each one's room and said: "Write for me the Torah of Moshe, your teacher". God put it in the heart of each one to translate identically. Philo of Alexandria, who relied extensively on the Septuagint, says that the number of scholars was chosen by selecting six scholars from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. According to rabbinic tradition, the Septuagint was handed in to Ptolemy on the date of an annual fast and mourning for the Jewish people; the date of the 3rd century BCE is supported by a number of factors, including the Greek being representative of early Koine, citations beginning as early as the 2nd century BCE, early manuscripts datable to the 2nd century.
After the Torah, other books were translated over the next two to three centuries. It is not altogether clear, translated when, or where; the quality and style of the different translators varied from book to book, from the literal to paraphrasing to interpretative. The translation process of the Septuagint itself and from the Septuagint into other versions can be broken down into several distinct stages, during which the social milieu of the translators shifted from Hellenistic Judaism to Early Christianity; the translation of the Septuagint itself began in the 3rd century BCE and was completed by 132 BCE in Alexandria, but in time elsewhere as well. The Septuagint is the basis for the Old Latin, Syriac, Old Armenian, Old Georgian and Coptic versions of the Christian Old Testament; the Septuagint is written in Koine Greek. Some sections of the Septuagint may show Semiticisms, or idioms and phrases based on Semitic languages like Hebrew and Aramaic. Other books, such as Daniel and Proverbs, show Greek influence more strongly.
The Septuagint may elucidate pronunciation of pre-Masoretic Hebrew: many proper nouns are spelled out with Greek vowels in the translation, while contemporary Hebrew texts lacked vowel pointing. However, it is unlikely; as the work of translation progressed, the canon of the Greek Bible expanded. The Hebrew bible called Tanakh, has three divisions: the Torah, the Neviʾim, the Ketuvim; the Septuagint has four: law, history and prophets, with the books of the Apocrypha inserted where appropriate. The Torah has held pre-eminence as the basis of the canon.
Canaan was a Semitic-speaking region in the Ancient Near East during the late 2nd millennium BC. The name Canaan appears throughout the Bible, where it corresponds to the Levant, in particular to the areas of the Southern Levant that provide the main setting of the narrative of the Bible: Phoenicia, Philistia and other nations; the word Canaanites serves as an ethnic catch-all term covering various indigenous populations—both settled and nomadic-pastoral groups—throughout the regions of the southern Levant or Canaan. It is by far the most used ethnic term in the Bible. In the Book of Joshua, Canaanites are included in a list of nations to exterminate, described as a group which the Israelites had annihilated. Biblical scholar Mark Smith notes that archaeological data suggests "that the Israelite culture overlapped with and derived from Canaanite culture... In short, Israelite culture was Canaanite in nature; the name "Canaanites" is attested, many centuries as the endonym of the people known to the Ancient Greeks from c. 500 BC as Phoenicians, following the emigration of Canaanite-speakers to Carthage, was used as a self-designation by the Punics of North Africa during Late Antiquity.
Canaan had significant geopolitical importance in the Late Bronze Age Amarna period as the area where the spheres of interest of the Egyptian, Hittite and Assyrian Empires converged. Much of modern knowledge about Canaan stems from archaeological excavation in this area at sites such as Tel Hazor, Tel Megiddo, Gezer; the English term Canaan comes via Greek Χαναάν Khanaan and Latin Canaan. It appears as in the Amarna letters, knʿn is found on coins from Phoenicia in the last half of the 1st millennium, it first occurs in Greek in the writings of Hecataeus as Khna. Scholars connect the name Canaan with knʿn, Kana'an, the general Northwest Semitic name for this region; the etymology is uncertain. An early explanation derives the term from the Semitic root knʿ "to be low, subjugated"; some scholars have suggested that this implies an original meaning of "lowlands", in contrast with Aram, which would mean "highlands", whereas others have suggested it meant "the subjugated" as the name of Egypt's province in the Levant, evolved into the proper name in a similar fashion to Provincia Nostra.
An alternative suggestion put forward by Ephraim Avigdor Speiser in 1936 derives the term from Hurrian Kinahhu, purportedly referring to the colour purple, so that Canaan and Phoenicia would be synonyms. Tablets found in the Hurrian city of Nuzi in the early 20th century appear to use the term Kinahnu as a synonym for red or purple dye, laboriously produced by the Kassite rulers of Babylon from murex shells as early as 1600 BC, on the Mediterranean coast by the Phoenicians from a byproduct of glassmaking. Purple cloth became a renowned Canaanite export commodity, mentioned in Exodus; the dyes may have been named after their place of origin. The name'Phoenicia' is connected with the Greek word for "purple" referring to the same product, but it is difficult to state with certainty whether the Greek word came from the name, or vice versa; the purple cloth of Tyre in Phoenicia was well known far and wide and was associated by the Romans with nobility and royalty. However, according to Robert Drews, Speiser's proposal has been abandoned.
Canaanite culture developed in situ from the earlier Ghassulian chalcolithic culture, which pioneered the Mediterranean agricultural system typical of the Canaanite region, which comprised intensive subsistence horticulture, extensive grain growing, commercial wine and olive cultivation and transhumance pastoralism. Ghassulian itself developed from the Circum-Arabian Nomadic Pastoral Complex, which in turn developed from a fusion of their ancestral Natufian and Harifian cultures with Pre-Pottery Neolithic B farming cultures, practicing animal domestication, during the 6200 BC climatic crisis which led to the Agricultural Revolution/Neolithic Revolution in the Levant; the Late Bronze Age state of Ugarit is considered quintessentially Canaanite archaeologically though its Ugaritic language does not belong to the Canaanite language group proper. A disputed reference to Lord of ga-na-na in the Semitic Ebla tablets from the archive of Tell Mardikh has been interpreted by some scholars to mention the deity Dagon by the title "Lord of Canaan" If correct, this would suggest that Eblaites were conscious of Canaan as an entity by 2500 BC.
Jonathan Tubb states that the term ga-na-na "may provide a third-millennium reference to Canaanite", while at the same time stating that the first certain reference is in the 18th century BC. See Ebla-Biblical controversy for further details. A letter from Mut-bisir to Shamshi-Adad I of the Old Assyrian Empire has been translated: "It is in Rahisum that the brigands and the Canaanites are situated", it was found in 1973 in the ruins of an Assyrian outpost at that time in Syria. Additional unpublished references to Kinahnum in the Mari letters refer to the same episode. Whether the term Kinahnum refers to people from a specific region or rather people of "foreign origin" has been disputed, such that Robert Drews states that the "first certain cuneiform reference" to Canaan is found on the Alalakh statue of King Idrim
Syria the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Isma'ilis, Shiites, Salafis and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria. Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism, it is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. In English, the name "Syria" was synonymous with the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Aleppo and the capital city Damascus are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The modern Syrian state was established in mid-20th century after centuries of Ottoman and a brief period French mandate, represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the Ottoman-ruled Syrian provinces, it gained de-jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946. The post-independence period was tumultuous, a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71. In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état; the republic was renamed into the Arab Republic of Syria in late 1961 after December 1 constitutional referendum, was unstable until the 1963 Ba'athist coup d'état, since which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power.
Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011 suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, in office from 1971 to 2000. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise; as a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war, although life continues for most of its citizens as of December 2017; the war caused more than 470,000 deaths, 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years. Several sources indicate that the name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which derived from Aššūrāyu in northern Mesopotamia.
However, from the Seleucid Empire, this term was applied to The Levant, from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria derived from the Akkadian Aššur; the Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr "Assur", ʾšrym "Assyrians", recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene and Adiabene. By Pliny's time, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire: Judaea renamed Palaestina in AD 135 in the extreme southwest.
Since 10,000 BC, Syria was one of the centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone and burnt lime. Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during Bronze Age. Archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth preceded by only those of Mesopotamia; the earliest recorded in
The Promised Land is the land which, according to the Tanakh, was promised and subsequently given by God to Abraham and his descendants, in modern contexts an image and idea related both to the restored Homeland for the Jewish people and to salvation and liberation is more understood. The promise was first made to Abraham confirmed to his son Isaac, to Isaac's son Jacob, Abraham's grandson; the Promised Land was described in terms of the territory from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates river. A smaller area of former Canaanite land and land east of the Jordan River was conquered and occupied by their descendants, the Israelites, after Moses led the Exodus out of Egypt, this occupation was interpreted as God's fulfilment of the promise. Moses anticipated that God might subsequently give the Israelites land reflecting the boundaries of God's original promise, if they were obedient to the covenant; the concept of the Promised Land is the central tenet of Zionism, whose discourse suggests that modern Jews descend from the Israelites and Maccabees through whom they inherit the right to re-establish their "national homeland".
Palestinians claim partial descent from the Israelites and Maccabees, as well as all the other peoples who have lived in the region. The imagery of the "Promised Land" was invoked in African-American spirituals as heaven or paradise and as an escape from slavery, which can only be reached by death; the imagery and term have been used in popular culture, sermons and in speeches, such as the "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech by Martin Luther King Jr.: "I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain, and I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." The promise, the basis of the term is contained in several verses of Genesis in the Torah. In Genesis 12:1 it is said: The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you."and in Genesis 12:7: The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land."Commentators have noted several problems with this promise and related ones: It is to Abram's descendants that the land will be given, not to Abram directly nor there and then.
However, in Genesis 15:7 it is said: He said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it." However, how this verse relates to the promises is a matter of controversy. There is nothing in the promise to indicate God intended it be applied to Abraham’s physical descendants unconditionally exhaustively or in perpetuity. Jewish commentators drawing on Rashi's comments to the first verse in the Bible, assert that no human collective has any a priori claim to any piece of land on the planet, that only God decides which group inhabits which land in any point in time; this interpretation has no contradictions since the idea that the Jewish people have a claim to ownership rights on the physical land is based on the idea of God deciding to give the land to the Jewish people and commanding them to occupy it as referred to in Biblical texts mentioned. In Genesis 15:18-21 the boundary of the Promised Land is clarified in terms of the territory of various ancient peoples, as follows: On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates - the land of the Kenites, Kadmonites, Perizzites, Amorites, Canaanites and Jebusites."The verse is said to describe what are known as "borders of the Land".
In Jewish tradition, these borders define the maximum extent of the land promised to the descendants of Abraham through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob. The promise was confirmed to Jacob at Genesis 28:13, though the borders are still vague and is in terms of "the land on which you are lying". Other geographical borders are given in Exodus 23:31 which describes borders as marked by the Red Sea, the "Sea of the Philistines" i.e. the Mediterranean, the "River,". The promise is fulfilled at the end of the Exodus from Egypt. Deuteronomy 1:8 says: See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham and Jacob—and to their descendants after them, it took a long time. The furthest extent of the Land of Israel was achieved during the time of the united Kingdom of Israel under David; the actual land controlled by the Israelites has fluctuated over time, at times the land has been under the control of various empires. However, under Jewish tradition when it is not in Jewish occupation, the land has not lost its status as the Promised Land.
Traditional Jewish interpretation, that of most Christian commentators, define Abraham's descendants as Abraham's seed only through his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob, to the exclusion of Ishmael and Esau. This may however reflect an eisegesis or reconstruction of primary verses based on the late
The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable; the works of William Shakespeare and Beethoven, most early silent films, are in the public domain either by virtue of their having been created before copyright existed, or by their copyright term having expired. Some works are not covered by copyright, are therefore in the public domain—among them the formulae of Newtonian physics, cooking recipes, all computer software created prior to 1974. Other works are dedicated by their authors to the public domain; the term public domain is not applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission". As rights vary by country and jurisdiction, a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another; some rights depend on registrations on a country-by-country basis, the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, gives rise to public-domain status for a work in that country.
The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". Although the term "domain" did not come into use until the mid-18th century, the concept "can be traced back to the ancient Roman Law, as a preset system included in the property right system." The Romans had a large proprietary rights system where they defined "many things that cannot be owned" as res nullius, res communes, res publicae and res universitatis. The term res nullius was defined as things not yet appropriated; the term res communes was defined as "things that could be enjoyed by mankind, such as air and ocean." The term res publicae referred to things that were shared by all citizens, the term res universitatis meant things that were owned by the municipalities of Rome. When looking at it from a historical perspective, one could say the construction of the idea of "public domain" sprouted from the concepts of res communes, res publicae, res universitatis in early Roman law.
When the first early copyright law was first established in Britain with the Statute of Anne in 1710, public domain did not appear. However, similar concepts were developed by French jurists in the 18th century. Instead of "public domain", they used terms such as publici juris or propriété publique to describe works that were not covered by copyright law; the phrase "fall in the public domain" can be traced to mid-19th century France to describe the end of copyright term. The French poet Alfred de Vigny equated the expiration of copyright with a work falling "into the sink hole of public domain" and if the public domain receives any attention from intellectual property lawyers it is still treated as little more than that, left when intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trademarks, expire or are abandoned. In this historical context Paul Torremans describes copyright as a, "little coral reef of private right jutting up from the ocean of the public domain." Copyright law differs by country, the American legal scholar Pamela Samuelson has described the public domain as being "different sizes at different times in different countries".
Definitions of the boundaries of the public domain in relation to copyright, or intellectual property more regard the public domain as a negative space. According to James Boyle this definition underlines common usage of the term public domain and equates the public domain to public property and works in copyright to private property. However, the usage of the term public domain can be more granular, including for example uses of works in copyright permitted by copyright exceptions; such a definition regards work in copyright as private property subject to fair-use rights and limitation on ownership. A conceptual definition comes from Lange, who focused on what the public domain should be: "it should be a place of sanctuary for individual creative expression, a sanctuary conferring affirmative protection against the forces of private appropriation that threatened such expression". Patterson and Lindberg described the public domain not as a "territory", but rather as a concept: "here are certain materials – the air we breathe, rain, life, thoughts, ideas, numbers – not subject to private ownership.
The materials that compose our cultural heritage must be free for all living to use no less than matter necessary for biological survival." The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". A public-domain book is a book with no copyright, a book, created without a license, or a book where its copyrights expired or have been forfeited. In most countries the term of protection of copyright lasts until January first, 70 years after the death of the latest living author; the longest copyright term is in Mexico, which has life plus 100 years for all deaths since July 1928. A notable exception is the United States, where every book and tale published prior to 1924 is in the public domain.
Baalbek, properly Baʿalbek and known as Balbec, Baalbec or Baalbeck, is a city between the Eastern Mountain Ranges of Lebanon and the Western Mountain ranges of Lebanon. Located East of the Litani River in Lebanon's Beqaa Valley, about 85 km northeast of Beirut; the capital of Baalbek-Hermel Governorate, Baalbek has a population of 82,608 Shia Muslims, followed by Sunni Muslims and Christians. It is home to the annual Baalbeck International Festival. A few miles from the swamp from which the Litani and the Asi flow, Baalbek may be the same as the MANBAA AL NAHREIN, the abode of El in the Ugaritic Baal Cycle discovered in the 1920s and a separate serpent incantation. Baalbek was called Heliopolis during the Roman Empire, a latinisation of the Greek Hēlioúpolis used during the Hellenistic Period, meaning "Sun City" in reference to the solar cult there; the name is attested under the Ptolemies. However, Ammianus Marcellinus notes that earlier "Assyrian" names of Levantine towns continued to be used alongside the official Greek ones imposed by the Diadochi, who were successors of Alexander the Great.
In Greek religion, Helios was both its personification as a god. The local Semitic god Baʿal Haddu was more equated with Zeus or Jupiter or called the "Great God of Heliopolis", but the name may refer to the Egyptians' association of Baʿal with their great god Ra, it was sometimes described as Heliopolis in Syria or Coelesyria to distinguish it from its namesake in Egypt. In Catholicism, its titular see is distinguished as Heliopolis in Phoenicia, from its former Roman province Phoenice; the importance of the solar cult is attested in the name Biḳāʿ al-ʿAzīz borne by the plateau surrounding Baalbek, as it references an earlier solar deity and not men, named Aziz. In Greek and Roman antiquity, it was known as Heliopolis, it still possesses some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Lebanon, including one of the largest temples of the empire. The gods that were worshipped there were equivalents of the Canaanite deities Hadad, Atargatis. Local influences are seen in the planning and layout of the temples, as they vary from the classic Roman design.
The name BʿLBK is first attested in the Mishnah, a second-century rabbinic text, as a geographic epithet for a kind of garlic, shum ba'albeki. Two early 5th-century Syriac manuscripts, a c. 411 translation of Eusebius's Theophania and a c. 435 life of Rabbula, bishop of Edessa. It was pronounced as Baʿlabakku in Classical Arabic. In Modern Standard Arabic, its vowels are marked as Baʿlabak or Baʿlabekk or Bʿalbik, the latter of, pronounced in Lebanese Arabic; the etymology of Baalbek has been debated indecisively since the 18th century. Cook took it to mean "Baʿal of the Beka" and Donne as "City of the Sun". Lendering asserts that it is a contraction of Baʿal Nebeq. Steiner proposes a Semitic adaption of "Lord Bacchus", from the classical temple complex. On the basis of its similar name, several 19th-century Biblical archaeologists attempted to connect Baalbek to the "Baalgad" mentioned in the Hebrew Scripture's Book of Joshua, the Baalath listed among Solomon's cities in the First Book of Kings, the Baal-hamon where he had a vineyard, the "Plain of Aven" in Amos.
The hilltop of Tell Baalbek, part of a valley to the east of the northern Beqaa Valley, shows signs of continual habitation over the last 8–9000 years. It was well-watered both from a stream running from the Rās-el-ʿAin spring SE of the citadel and, during the spring, from numerous rills formed by meltwater from the Anti-Lebanons. Macrobius credited the site's foundation to a colony of Egyptian or Assyrian priests; the settlement's religious and strategic importance was minor enough, that it is never mentioned in any known Assyrian or Egyptian record, unless under another name. Its enviable position in a fertile valley, major watershed, along the route from Tyre to Palmyra should have made it a wealthy and splendid site from an early age. During the Canaanite period, the local temples were devoted to the Heliopolitan Triad: a male god, his consort, their son; the site of the present Temple of Jupiter was the focus of earlier worship, as its altar was located at the hill's precise summit and the rest of the sanctuary raised to its level.
In Islamic mythology, the temple complex was said to have been a palace of Solomon's, put together by djinn and given as a wedding gift to the Queen of Sheba. Following Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia in the 330s BC, Baalbek formed part of the Diadochi kingdoms of Egypt & Syria, it was annexed by the Romans during their eastern wars. The settlers of the Roman colony Colonia Julia Augusta Felix Heliopolitana may have arrived as early as the time of Caesar but were more the veterans of the 5th and 8th Legions under Augustus, during which time it hosted a Roman garrison. From 15 BC to AD 193, it formed part of the territory of Berytus, it is mentioned in Josephus, Pliny and Ptolemy and on coins of nearly every emperor from Nerva to Gallienus. The 1st-century Pliny did not number it among the Decapolis, the "Ten Cities" of Coelesyria, while the 2nd-century Ptolemy did; the population varie
Carchemish spelled Karkemish, was an important ancient capital in the northern part of the region of Syria. At times during its history the city was independent, but it was part of the Mitanni and Neo-Assyrian Empires. Today it is on the frontier between Syria, it was the location of an important battle, about 605 BC, between the Babylonians and Egyptians, mentioned in the Bible. Modern neighbouring cities are Karkamış in Jarabulus in Syria. Carchemish is now an extensive set of ruins, located on the West bank of Euphrates River, about 60 kilometres southeast of Gaziantep, 100 kilometres northeast of Aleppo, Syria; the site is crossed by the Baghdad Railway. A Turkish military base has been built on the Carchemish acropolis and Inner Town, access to that part of the site is presently restricted. Most of the Outer Town lies in Syrian territory. Carchemish has always been well known to scholars because of several references to it in the Bible and in Egyptian and Assyrian texts. However, its location was identified only in 1876 by George Smith.
Carchemish had been identified, with the Classical city of Circesium, at the confluence of the Khabur River and the Euphrates. The site was excavated by the British Museum, between 1878 and 1881 through Consul Patrick Henderson and between 1911 and 1914 under the direction of D. G. Hogarth. In 1911 on the field there were D. G. Hogarth himself, R. C. Thompson, T. E. Lawrence, from 1912 to 1914 C. L. Woolley and T. E. Lawrence, while a last campaign took place in 1920 with C. L. Woolley and Philip Langstaffe Ord Guy. Excavations were interrupted in 1914 by World War I and ended in 1920 with the Turkish War of Independence; these expeditions uncovered substantial remains of the Assyrian and Neo-Hittite periods, including defensive structures, temples and numerous basalt statues and reliefs with Luwian hieroglyphic inscriptions. With the completion of mine clearing operations on the Turkish portion of the site, archaeological work was resumed in September 2011. Excavations in the Inner and Outer Towns were carried out by a joint Turco-Italian team from the Universities of Bologna and University of Istanbul under the direction of Prof. Dr. Nicolò Marchetti.
The second season, from August to November 2012, brought several new art findings and archaeological discoveries, the most remarkable of, Katuwa's Palace to the east of the Processional Entry. The third season, from May to October 2013, extended the exposure of Katuwa's palace, retrieving a cuneiform tablet with an exorcism in the name of the god Marduk, as well as the ruins of Lawrence's excavation house in the Inner Town, from which hundreds of fragments of sculptures and hieroglyphic inscriptions have been retrieved; the fourth season started in May 2014 and continued through October 2014: in Katuwa's palace several orthostats exquisitely carved with a procession of gazelle-bearers have been found, some of them in situ, next to a courtyard paved with squared slabs. In the Neo Assyrian period that courtyard was covered by a mosaic floor made of river pebbles forming squares alternating in black and white color. Lawrence's excavation house was excavated. During the fifth season, April to October 2015, more significant discoveries have been made in the palace area, both for Late Hittite sculptures, Neo Assyrian refurbishments, with tens of items—including two fragments of clay prysmatical cylinders inscribed with a unique cuneiform text by Sargon, intended for display, telling how he captured and reorganized the city of Karkemish—retrieved in a 14-m-deep well, sealed in 605 BC at the time of the Late Babyonian takeover.
The sixth season, May to July 2016, saw a number of excavation areas opened near the border, due to the added security represented by the construction of the wall. Thus, in 2016 a complete stratigraphic record was obtained for peripheral areas adding to our understanding of urban development between LB II and the Achaemenid period. In the seventh season, from 7 May to 18 July 2017, the major breakthroughs were the beginning of the excavations on the north-western end of the acropolis and the discovery in the eastern Lower Palace area of a monumental building dating from the LB II. Among the finds, in addition to new sculpted complete artworks from the Iron Age, fragments of Imperial Hittite clay cuneiform tablets and c. 250 inscribed bullae should be mentioned. Conservation and presentation works have now been completed in view of the opening on 12 May 2018 of an archaeological park at the site, thanks to the support of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality. Financial support has been received by the three Universities mentioned above, by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
And the Sanko Holding, with the technical support of Şahinbey Municipality and Inta A.Ş. Archaeological investigations on the Syrian side have been conducted as part of the Land of Carchemish project: investigations of the Outer Town of Carchemish were undertaken in conjunction with the DGAM in Damascus and with the funding and sponsorship of the Council for British Research in the Levant and of the British Academy, under