Tell Halaf is an archaeological site in the Al Hasakah governorate of northeastern Syria, near the Turkish border, just opposite Ceylanpınar. It was the first find of a Neolithic culture, subsequently dubbed the Halaf culture, characterized by glazed pottery painted with geometric and animal designs. The site dates to the 6th millennium BCE which was a Hittite ruling city at first and was the location of the Aramaean city-state of Guzana or Gozan in the 10th century BCE. By the end of 9th century BCE the city and its area was incorporated into the Assyrian Empire. During the Syrian Civil War, Peoples Protection Units took control of the area, the site is located near the city of Ras al-Ayn in the fertile valley of the Khabur River, close to the modern border with Turkey. The name Tell Halaf is a local Aramaic placename, tell meaning hill, on 19 November, he discovered Tell Halaf, following up on tales told to him by local villagers of stone idols buried beneath the sand. Within three days, several significant pieces of statuary were uncovered, including the so-called Sitting Goddess, a test pit uncovered the entrance to the Western Palace.
Since he had no permit to excavate, Oppenheim had the statues he found reburied and moved on. According to noted archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld, he had urged Oppenheim in 1907 to excavate Tell Halaf, in August 1910, Herzfeld wrote a letter calling on Oppenheim to explore the site and had it circulated to several leading archaeologists like Theodor Noldeke or Ignaz Goldziher to sign. Armed with this letter, Max von Oppenheim was now able to ask for his dismissal from the service while being able to call on financing from his father for the excavation. With a team of five archaeologists, Oppenheim planned a campaign that began on 5 August 1911. Substantial amounts of equipment were imported from Germany, including a steam train. The costs totaled around 750,000 Mark and were covered by von Oppenheims father, on arrival, the archaeologists discovered that since 1899 locals had uncovered some of the findings and heavily damaged them - in part out of superstition, in part to gain valuable building material.
During the excavations Oppenheim found the ruins of the town of Guzana, significant finds included the large statues and reliefs of the so-called Western Palace built by King Kapara, as well as a cult room and tombs. Some of the statuary was found reused in buildings from the Hellenistic period, in addition, they discovered Neolithic pottery of a type which became known as Halaf culture after the site where it was first found. At the time, this was the oldest painted pottery ever found, in 1913, Oppenheim decided to return temporarily to Germany. The finds of Tell Halaf were left at the building he, most of them were securely packaged and stored. The outbreak of World War I prevented Oppenheim from returning, however, in 1926, Germany joined the League of Nations and it thus became possible for German nationals to conduct excavations in what was now the French Mandate of Syria
Mitanni, called Hanigalbat in Assyrian or Naharin in Egyptian texts, was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia from ca.1500 BC–1300 BC. Mitanni came to be a regional power after the Hittite destruction of Amorite Babylon, at the beginning of its history, Mitannis major rival was Egypt under the Thutmosids. However, with the ascent of the Hittite empire, the Mitanni dynasty ruled over the northern Euphrates-Tigris region between c.1475 and c.1275 BC. Eventually, Mitanni succumbed to Hittite and Assyrian attacks, and was reduced to the status of a province of the Middle Assyrian Empire. While the Mitanni kings were Indo-Iranians, they used the language of the people which was at that time a non Indo-Iranian language. Their sphere of influence is shown in Hurrian place names, personal names and the spread through Syria, the Mitanni controlled trade routes down the Khabur to Mari and up the Euphrates from there to Charchamesh. For a time controlled the Assyrian territories of the upper Tigris and its headwaters at Nineveh, Assur.
To the east, they had relations with the Kassites. The land of Mitanni in northern Syria extended from the Taurus mountains to its west and as far east as Nuzi, in the south, it extended from Aleppo across to Mari on the Euphrates in the east. Its centre was in the Khabur River valley, with two capitals and Washshukanni called Taidu and Ushshukana respectively in Assyrian sources, the whole area allows agriculture without artificial irrigation, cattle and goats were raised. It is very similar to Assyria in climate, and was settled by both indigenous Hurrian and Amoritic-speaking populations, the Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the kingdom and were used interchangeably. Hittite annals mention a people called Hurri, located in northeastern Syria, a Hittite fragment, probably from the time of Mursili I, mentions a King of the Hurri. The Assyro-Akkadian version of the text renders Hurri as Hanigalbat, who styles himself king of Mitanni in his Akkadian Amarna letters, refers to his kingdom as Hanigalbat.
Egyptian sources call Mitanni nhrn, which is pronounced as Naharin/Naharina from the Assyro-Akkadian word for river. The name Mitanni is first found in the memoirs of the Syrian wars of the astronomer and clockmaker Amenemhet. The ethnicity of the people of Mitanni is difficult to ascertain, a treatise on the training of chariot horses by Kikkuli contains a number of Indo-Aryan glosses. Kammenhuber suggested that this vocabulary was derived from the still undivided Indo-Iranian language, the common peoples language, the Hurrian language, is neither Indo-European nor Semitic
In geography and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. A settlement can range in size from a number of dwellings grouped together to the largest of cities with surrounding urbanized areas. Settlements may include hamlets, villages and cities, a settlement may have known historical properties such as the date or era in which it was first settled, or first settled by a particular people. In the field of geospatial predictive modeling, settlements are a city, village ghost or other agglomeration of buildings where people live and work. The oldest remains that have found of constructed dwellings are remains of huts that were made of mud. The Natufians built houses, in the Levant, around 10,000 BC, remains of settlements such as villages become much more common after the invention of agriculture. Landscape history studies the form of settlements – for example whether they are dispersed or nucleated, urban morphology can thus be considered a special type of cultural-historical landscape studies.
Settlements can be ordered by size, centrality or other factors to define a settlement hierarchy, geoscience Australia defines a populated place as a named settlement with a population of 200 or more persons. The Committee for Geographical Names in Australasia used the term localities for rural areas, the Bulgarian Government publishes a National Register of Populated Places. The Canadian government uses the term populated place in the Atlas of Canada, Statistics Canada uses the term localities for historical named locations. The Croatian Bureau of Statistics records population in units called settlements, the Census Commission of India has a special definition of census towns. The Central Statistics Office of the Republic of Ireland has a definition of census towns. There are various types of inhabited localities in Russia, Statistics Sweden uses the term localities for various densely populated places. The common English-language translation is urban areas, the UK Department for Communities and Local Government uses the term urban settlement to denote an urban area when analysing census information.
The Registrar General for Scotland defines settlements as groups of one or more contiguous localities, the Scottish settlements are used as one of several factors defining urban areas. A populated place is not incorporated and by definition has no legal boundaries. However, a place may have a corresponding civil record. Census − a statistical area delineated locally specifically for the tabulation of Census Bureau data, civil − a political division formed for administrative purposes
Ras al-Ayn, spelled Ras al-Ain, is a city in al-Hasakah Governorate in northeastern Syria, on the border with Turkey. One of the oldest civilizations in Upper Mesopotamia, the area of Ras al-Ayn has been inhabited since at least the Neolithic age, with the 1921 Treaty of Ankara Ras al-Ayn became a divided city when its northern part, todays Ceylanpınar, were ceded to Turkey. With a population of 29,347, it is the third largest city in al-Hasakah Governorate, the city is inhabited predominantly by Arabs and Kurds, with a significant number of Syriacs/Assyrians and a smaller number of Armenians and Chechens. During the Syrian Civil War of the 2010s, it part of Jazira Canton in the de facto autonomous region of Rojava. The first mention of the town is in Akkadian Rēš ina during the reign of the Assyrian king Adad-nirari II, the Arabic name Ras al-Ayn derives from the Akkadian and has the same meaning, head of the spring. Or, Hill of the spring - indicating a prominent mountain close to a well.
The ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy names the town Raisena, the town was called in the Roman empire as Ressaina/Resaina. Another name was Theodosiopolis after emperor Theodosius I who enlarged the town in 380, in addition to Ras al-Ayn medieval Arabic Muslim sources refer to the town sometimes as Ain Werda. Nineteenth century English sources refer to the town as Ras Ain or Ain Verdeh or Ras el Ain, the Kurdish name Serê Kaniyê means head of the spring or head of the Fountain. It means water source areas in Kurdish and this name is probably a modern literal translation of the ancient Semitic name. Ras al-Ayn is located in the Upper Khabur basin in the northern Syrian region of Jazira, the Khabur River, largest tributary of the Euphrates, crosses the border from Turkey near the town of Tell Halaf, just about 4 kilometres to the southwest of the city. While more than 80% of the Upper Khaburs water originates from Turkey, so rather than the overground streams, its the giant karstic springs of the Ras al-Ayn area that is considered the rivers main perennial source.
Ras al-Ayn has more than 100 natural springs, the most famous spring is Naba al-Kebreet, a hot spring with a very high mineral content, containing everything from simple calcium to lithium, and even radium. The area of Ras al-Ayn is one of the oldest civilizations in Upper Mesopotamia, it became known as the ancient Aramean city of Sikkan, the Roman city of Rhesaina, and the Byzantine city of Theodosiopolis. The city fell to the Arabs in 640, was several times destroyed and rebuild and it still remained an important site of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, until Tamerlane sacked the city at the end of the 14th century. During the Armenian Genocide, the Ottomans killed 80.000 Armenians in the infamous Ras al-Ayn camps, divided by the 1921 Treaty of Ankara, it was stripped off its northern neighborhoods, todays Ceylanpınar, Turkey. In the Syrian Civil War, Ras al-Ayn was engulfed by the long Battle of Ras al-Ayn, until in July 2013 the Kurdish YPG forces took over control, today the city with its predominantly Kurdish population is part of Jazira Canton in the de facto autonomous region of Rojava.
The area of Ras al-Ayn was inhabited at least since the Neolithic age
University of Chicago Oriental Institute
The Oriental Institute, established in 1919, is the University of Chicagos interdisciplinary research center for ancient Near Eastern studies, and archaeology museum. It was founded for the university by professor James Henry Breasted with funds donated by John D. Rockefeller and it conducts research on ancient civilizations throughout the Near East, including at its facility, Chicago House, in Luxor, Egypt. The Institute publicly exhibits a collection of artifacts related to ancient civilizations at its on campus building in the Hyde Park. James Henry Breasted built up the collection of the universitys Haskell Oriental Museum, which he oversaw along with his field work, as World War I wound down, he sensed an opportunity to use his influence in the new political climate. He wrote to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and proposed the foundation of what would become the Oriental Institute. Fundamental to the implementation of his plan was a trip through the Middle East. Breasted received a reply from Rockefeller pledging $50,000 over five years for the Oriental Institute, Rockefeller assured University of Chicago President Harry Pratt Judson that he would pledge another $50,000 to the cause.
The University of Chicago contributed additional support, and in May 1919 the Oriental Institute was founded, the Institute is housed in an unusual Art-Deco/Gothic building at the corner of 58th Street and University Avenue, which was designed by the architectural firm Mayers Murray & Phillip. Construction was completed in 1930, and the building was dedicated in 1931, in the 1990s, Tony Wilkinson, founded the Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscapes based at the institute. Its role is to investigate the Middle East through landscape archaeology, the Museum of the Oriental Institute has artifacts from digs in Egypt, Syria, Turkey and Iran. The museum has free admission, although visitors are encouraged to donate US $10.00 for adults, the Oriental Institute is a center of active research on the ancient Near East. The buildings upper floors contain classrooms and faculty offices, and its gift shop, in addition to carrying out many digs in the Fertile Crescent, OI scholars have made contributions to the understanding of the origins of human civilization.
The term Fertile Crescent was coined by J. H. Breasted, the OI founder, in 2011, among other projects OI scholars completed publication of the 21-volume Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, a basic cultural reference work. The effort was begun in 1921 by J. H. Breasted, Dr. Erica Reiner as editor-in-charge led the research teams for 44 years. She was succeeded by Dr. Martha T. Roth, dean of humanities at the university, similar dictionaries are under way, including the Chicago Hittite Dictionary and one for Demotic. The Institute oversees the work of Chicago House in Luxor, the Egyptian facility, established in 1924, performs the Epigraphic Survey, which documents and researches the historical sites in Luxor. It manages conservation at various sites, a collection comparable to the Institutes treasures could not be assembled today, since Middle Eastern governments no longer allow foreign archeologists to take home half of what they find. This had been the typical arrangement in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when most of the holdings were excavated, until the 1930s, when new antiquities laws were instituted
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition, although the Iron Age generally followed the Bronze Age, in some areas, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic. Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing, according to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed the earliest viable writing systems.
The overall period is characterized by use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques, tin must be mined and smelted separately, added to molten copper to make bronze alloy. The Bronze Age was a time of use of metals. The dating of the foil has been disputed, the Bronze Age in the ancient Near East began with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BC. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and mathematics, the usual tripartite division into an Early and Late Bronze Age is not used. Instead, a division based on art-historical and historical characteristics is more common. The cities of the Ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands of people, ur in the Middle Bronze Age and Babylon in the Late Bronze Age similarly had large populations. The earliest mention of Babylonia appears on a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 23rd century BC, the Amorite dynasty established the city-state of Babylon in the 19th century BC.
Over 100 years later, it took over the other city-states. Babylonia adopted the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, by that time, the Sumerian language was no longer spoken, but was still in religious use. Elam was an ancient civilization located to the east of Mesopotamia, in the Old Elamite period, Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a role in the Gutian Empire and especially during the Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded it
Syrias capital and largest city is Damascus. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Mandeans, Salafis, Sunni Arabs make up the largest religious group in Syria. Its capital Damascus and largest city Aleppo 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 post-independence period was tumultuous, and a number of military coups. In 1958, Syria entered a union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic. Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens, Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, who was in office from 1970 to 2000. Mainstream modern academic opinion strongly favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria, in the past, others believed that it was derived from Siryon, the name that the Sidonians gave to Mount Hermon.
However, the discovery of the inscription in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria derives from Assyria. The area designated by the word has changed over time, since approximately 10,000 BC, Syria was one of centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone, finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during the late Neolithic, archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth, perhaps preceded by only those of Mesopotamia. The earliest recorded indigenous civilisation in the region was the Kingdom of Ebla near present-day Idlib, gifts from Pharaohs, found during excavations, confirm Eblas contact with Egypt. One of the earliest written texts from Syria is an agreement between Vizier Ibrium of Ebla and an ambiguous kingdom called Abarsal c.2300 BC.
The Northwest Semitic language of the Amorites is the earliest attested of the Canaanite languages, Mari reemerged during this period, and saw renewed prosperity until conquered by Hammurabi of Babylon. Ugarit arose during this time, circa 1800 BC, close to modern Latakia, Ugaritic was a Semitic language loosely related to the Canaanite languages, and developed the Ugaritic alphabet. The Ugarites kingdom survived until its destruction at the hands of the marauding Indo-European Sea Peoples in the 12th century BC, Yamhad was described in the tablets of Mari as the mightiest state in the near east and as having more vassals than Hammurabi of Babylon. Yamhad imposed its authority over Alalakh, the Hurrians states, the army of Yamhad campaigned as far away as Dēr on the border of Elam
Assyria was a major Mesopotamian East Semitic-speaking kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East and the Levant. Centered on the Tigris in Upper Mesopotamia, the Assyrians came to rule powerful empires at several times. Assyria is named after its capital, the ancient city of Aššur. In the 25th and 24th centuries BC, Assyrian kings were pastoral leaders, Assyria can refer to the geographic region or heartland where Assyria, its empires and the Assyrian people were centered. The indigenous modern Eastern Aramaic-speaking Assyrian Christian ethnic minority in northern Iraq, north east Syria, southeast Turkey, in prehistoric times, the region that was to become known as Assyria was home to a Neanderthal culture such as has been found at the Shanidar Cave. The earliest Neolithic sites in Assyria were the Jarmo culture c.7100 BC and Tell Hassuna, during the 3rd millennium BC, a very intimate cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians and the Akkadians throughout Mesopotamia, which included widespread bilingualism.
The influence of Sumerian on Akkadian, and vice versa, is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a scale, to syntactic, morphological. This has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the third millennium BC as a sprachbund and it is highly likely that the city was named in honour of its patron Assyrian god with the same name. The city of Aššur, together with a number of other Assyrian cities, however it is likely that they were initially Sumerian-dominated administrative centres. In the late 26th century BC, Eannatum of Lagash, the dominant Sumerian ruler in Mesopotamia, similarly, in c. the early 25th century BC, Lugal-Anne-Mundu the king of the Sumerian state of Adab lists Subartu as paying tribute to him. Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria, little is known, in the Assyrian King List, the earliest king recorded was Tudiya. According to Georges Roux he would have lived in the mid 25th century BC, Tudiya was succeeded on the list by Adamu, the first known reference to the Semitic name Adam and a further thirteen rulers.
The earliest kings, such as Tudiya, who are recorded as kings who lived in tents, were independent semi-nomadic pastoralist rulers and these kings at some point became fully urbanised and founded the city state of Ashur in the mid 21st century BC. During the Akkadian Empire, the Assyrians, like all the Mesopotamian Semites, became subject to the dynasty of the city state of Akkad, the Akkadian Empire founded by Sargon the Great claimed to encompass the surrounding four quarters. Assyrian rulers were subject to Sargon and his successors, and the city of Ashur became an administrative center of the Empire. On those tablets, Assyrian traders in Burushanda implored the help of their ruler, Sargon the Great, the name Hatti itself even appears in accounts of his grandson, Naram-Sin, campaigning in Anatolia. Assyrian and Akkadian traders spread the use of writing in the form of the Mesopotamian cuneiform script to Asia Minor, the Akkadian Empire was destroyed by economic decline and internal civil war, followed by attacks from barbarian Gutian people in 2154 BC.
The rulers of Assyria during the period between c.2154 BC and 2112 BC once again fully independent, as the Gutians are only known to have administered southern Mesopotamia
Free University of Berlin
The Freie Universität Berlin is a research university located in Berlin and one of the most prominent universities in Germany. It is internationally known for its research in the humanities and social sciences, as well as in the field of natural, founded in West Berlin during the early Cold War period, its name refers to citys status as part of the free western world. Freie Universität Berlin is one of eleven German elite universities in the German Universities Excellence Initiative, winning a distinction for five doctoral programs, three interdisciplinary research clusters and its overall institutional strategy as an International Network University. Freie Universität Berlin was established by students and scholars on 4 December 1948, the foundation is strongly connected to the beginning of the Cold War period. The University of Berlin was located in the former Soviet sector of Berlin and was granted permission to continue teaching by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany in January 1946, the universities were increasingly influenced by communism as they were ground for the political disputes of the postwar period.
This led to protests by students critical of the prevailing system, between 1945 and 1948, more than 18 students were arrested or persecuted, some even executed by the soviet secret police. At the end of 1947, first students demanded a university free from political influence, the climax of the protests was reached on 23 April 1948, after three students were expelled from the university without a trial, about 2,000 students protested at the Hotel Esplanade. By the end of April, the governor of the United States Army Lucius D. Clay gave the order to check for the formation of a new university in the western sectors. On 19 June 1948 the preparatory committee for establishing a university consisting of politicians, administrative staff members and students. With a manifesto titled Request for establishing a university in Berlin the committee appealed to the public for support. The municipal authorities of Berlin granted the foundation of a free university, the council-manager government accepted the by-law on 4 November 1948.
This form was unique in Germany at that time, as the students had more influence on the system than before. On 15 November 1948, the first lectures were held in the buildings of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science. The actual foundation took place on 4 December 1948 in the Titania palace, attendants of the event were not only scientists and students, but representatives of American universities, among them Stanford University and Yale University. The first elected president of the FU Berlin was the historian Friedrich Meinecke, in 1949, Freie Universität already registered 4,946 students. Until the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, many came from the soviet sector. On 26 June 1963, the day he held his famous Ich bin ein Berliner speech at Rathaus Schöneberg. Amongst the attendant crowd are the Governing Mayor of Berlin Willy Brandt and his brother, Robert F. Kennedy visited Freie Universität in 1962 for the first time and in June 1964 for receiving his honorary degree from the Department of Philosophy
Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg
The Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, referred to as MLU, is a public, research-oriented university in the cities of Halle and Wittenberg within Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. MLU offers German and international courses leading to academic degrees such as B. A. B. Sc, the university was created in 1817 through the merger of the University of Wittenberg and the University of Halle. The university is named after the Protestant reformer Martin Luther, who was a professor in Wittenberg, the university itself is located in Halle, while the Leucorea Foundation in Wittenberg serves as MLU’s convention centre for seminars as well as for academic and political conferences. Both Halle and Wittenberg are about one hour from Berlin via the Berlin–Halle railway, the University of Wittenberg was founded in 1502 by Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony. Notable attendees include George Müller, Georg Joachim Rheticus and – in fiction – William Shakespeares Prince Hamlet and Horatio, the University of Halle was founded in 1694 by Frederick III, Elector of Brandenburg, who became Frederick I, King in Prussia, in 1701.
In the late 17th century and early 18th century, Halle became a centre for Pietism within Prussia, in the 17th and 18th centuries the universities were centers of the German Enlightenment. Christian Wolff was an important proponent of rationalism and he influenced many German scholars, such as Immanuel Kant. Christian Thomasius was at the time the first philosopher in Germany to hold his lectures not in Latin. He contributed to a programme in philosophy but tried to establish a more common-sense point of view. The University of Wittenberg was closed in 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars, the town of Wittenberg was granted to Prussia in the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and the university was merged with the Prussian University of Halle in 1817. It took its present name on 10 November 1933, more than a dozen professors were expelled. MLUs historical observatory, built in 1788 by Carl Gotthard Langhans, members are mostly gifted students of all faculties, but academic staff and alumni. The university choir regularly performs at the international Handel Festival in George Frideric Handel’s birthplace, C. D.
Wyneken, Z, Paul Zarifopol, Caspar Ziegler, Karl Ziegler, Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf, Max Zorn, Leopold Zunz. List of early modern universities in Europe The New Encyclopædia Britannica, Official website Official website Download MLU Yearbook 2007 /
A stele is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected in ancient Western culture as a monument. Grave steles were often used for funerary or commemorative purposes, Stelae as slabs of stone would be used as ancient Greek and Roman government notices or as boundary markers to mark borders or property lines. The surface of the stele usually has text, ornamentation, or both, the ornamentation may be inscribed, carved in relief, or painted. Traditional Western gravestones may technically be considered the equivalent of ancient stelae. The most famous example of an inscribed stela leading to increased understanding is the Rosetta Stone, an informative stele of Tiglath-Pileser III is preserved in the British Museum. Two steles built into the walls of a church are major documents relating to the Etruscan language, unfinished standing stones, set up without inscriptions from Libya in North Africa to Scotland were monuments of pre-literate Megalithic cultures in the Late Stone Age.
The Pictish stones of Scotland, often carved, date from between the 6th and 9th centuries. An obelisk is a kind of stele. The Insular high crosses of Ireland and Britain are specialized steles, totem poles of North and South America that are made out of stone may be considered a specialized type of stele. Gravestones, typically with inscribed name and often with inscribed epitaph, are among the most common types of stele seen in Western culture. Most recently, in the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, the memorial is meant to be read not only as the field, but as an erasure of data that refer to memory of the Holocaust. Steles have been the medium of stone inscription in China since the Tang dynasty. Chinese steles are generally rectangular stone tablets upon which Chinese characters are carved intaglio with a funerary and they can commemorate talented writers and officials, inscribe poems, portraits, or maps, and frequently contain the calligraphy of famous historical figures.
During the Han dynasty, tomb inscriptions containing biographical information on deceased people began to be written on stone tablets rather than wooden ones, erecting steles at tombs or temples eventually became a widespread social and religious phenomenon. Emperors found it necessary to promulgate laws, regulating the use of funerary steles by the population, Steles are found at nearly every significant mountain and historical site in China. The First Emperor made five tours of his domain in the 3rd century BC and had Li Si make seven stone inscriptions commemorating and praising his work, of which fragments of two survive. One of the most famous mountain steles is the 13 m high stele at Mount Tai with the calligraphy of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang commemorating his imperial sacrifices there in 725. A number of stone monuments have preserved the origin and history of Chinas minority religious communities
The Arameans, or Aramaeans, were an ancient Northwest Semitic Aramaic-speaking tribal confederacy who emerged from Syria in the Late Bronze Age the region known as Aram from the 11th-8th centuries BC. They established a patchwork of independent Aramaic kingdoms in the Levant, in the New Babylonian, or Chaldean, Chaldeans, Aramaeans and indigenous Babylonians became largely indistinguishable. This empire stretched from Cyprus and the East Mediterranean in the west to Persia and Elam in the east, and from Armenia, the Achaemenid Empire greatly spread Imperial Aramaic, north to the Coast of the Black Sea and westward to the Indus Valley. This Akkadian and Old Persian influenced version of Aramaic developed into the Syriac dialect of Edessa, one of the annals of Naram-Sin of Akkad mentions that he captured Dubul, the ensí of A-ra-me, in the course of a campaign against Simurrum in the northern mountains. Other early references to a place or people of Aram have appeared at the archives of Mari, urban settlements in The Levant diminished in size, until eventually fully nomadic pastoralist lifestyles came to dominate much of the region.
These highly mobile, competitive tribesmen with their sudden raids continually threatened long-distance trade and interfered with the collection of taxes, they seem to have been displaced or wholly absorbed by the appearance of a people called the Ahlamu by the 13th century BC, disappearing from history. The presence of the Ahlamû is attested during the Middle Assyrian Empire, Shalmaneser I is recorded as having defeated Shattuara, King of the Mitanni and his Hittite and Ahlamû mercenaries. The Arameans would appear to be one part of the larger generic Ahlamû group rather than synonymous with the Ahlamu, the first certain reference to the Arameans appears in an inscription of Tiglath-Pileser I, which refers to subjugating the Ahlamû-Aramaeans. Shortly after, the Ahlamû rapidly disappear from Assyrian annals, to be replaced by the Aramaeans and this indicates that the Arameans had risen to dominance amongst the nomads, however, it is possible that the two peoples had nothing in common, but operated in the same area.
By the late 12th century BC, the Arameans were firmly established in Syria, they were conquered by the Middle Assyrian Empire, as had been the Amorites and it is from this point that the region was called Aramea. Further north, the Arameans gained possession of Neo-Hittite Hamath on the Orontes and were soon to become strong enough to dissociate with the Indo-European speaking Neo-Hittite states. North of Samal was the Aramean state of Bit-Gabari, which was sandwiched between the Syro-Hittite states of Carchemish, Khattina and the Georgian state of Tabal. At the same time, Arameans moved to the east of the Euphrates, where settled in such numbers that, for a time. Eastern Aramaean tribes spread into Babylonia and an Aramaean usurper was crowned king of Babylon under the name of Adad-apal-iddin, one of their earliest semi-independent kingdoms in southern Mesopotamia was Bît-Bahiâni (Tell Halaf. Assyrian annals from the end of the Middle Assyrian Empire c.1050 BC, the Assyrians would launch repeated raids into Aramea, Ancient Iran, Asia Minor, and even as far as the Mediterranean, in order to keep its trade routes open.
This process was continued by Ashurnasirpal II, and his son Shalmaneser III, in 732 BC Aram-Damascus fell and was conquered by the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III. The Assyrians named their Aramean colonies Eber Nari, whilst still using the term Aramean to describe many of its peoples, the Assyrians conducted forced deportations of hundreds of thousands Arameans into both Assyria and Babylonia. These Arameans were absorbed into the indigenous populations of Assyria and Babylonia, the Neo Assyrian Empire descended into a bitter series of brutal internal civil wars from 626 BC, weakening it greatly