Karkamesh Ancient City

Karkamesh Ancient City that is one of the most important archaeological settlements of Near East Archaeology, is located on Turkish-Syrian border line alongside west of Euphrates River. The most important part (55 hectares) of the ancient city is in Turkish territories whereas a great amount (35 hectares) of the external city is in Syrian territories.

From the archives of Ebla Palace (B.C. 24th century), it was recorded for the first time that the city Karkamesh was a part of the Kingdom of Ebla. The letters and administrational documents that were found in Mari City in the second half of 2000 B.C. give information about three kings of Karkamesh

Karkamesh was affected by Hittites which conquered large amount of Aleppo and Syria in the second half of 170 B.C. After the collapse of Hittite Empire in 1195 B.C., Karkamesh became one of the most powerful independent kingdoms of the region. The city was destroyed by Assyrian Sargon II in 717 B.C. People continued to settle in the city during Hellenistic and Roman periods, then the city lost its significance.

In addition to the prehistoric ruins in Karkamesh, two main settlements were revealed from Earlier and Late Hittite periods. Structures with administrational and religious functions constitute the core of the city in Karkamesh that has a rectangular plan and that is composed of three sections as external city, internal city and castle. The structures are adorned with black basalt and white limestone orthostats with Hittite and Assyrian embossments. Most of these embossments belong to Late Hittite period.

These embossments, depicting Goddess Kubaba and the ceremonies in which the soldiers, priests, people carrying different animals, princes with long and straight swords, war vehicles, different creatures, protector animals take place, provide an insight to the lifestyle, clothes and culture of these people in the beginning of 1st millennium B.C. Most of Karkamesh embossments are today exhibited in the Museum of Anatolian Civilization in Ankara.

Excavation works were initiated in 2011 after cleaning the mines the region whose borders were identified in 1956. Several new hieroglyph Luvi inscription, clay tablets, elegant, walking lion, winged bull and winged goat-bull relief-orthostats and mosaic grounds from 1000 B.C. were revealed in new excavations.

Karkamesh Ancient City will be opened to visitors as "Archeopark."