We are fighting the war in Iraq in the area where some the world's earliest civilizations began. Now archeologists have discovered the remains of a sophisticated city on the border between Syria and Iraq that is over 5,000 years old, much older than any similar metropolis in any other part of the world.
James Janega writes in the Chicago Tribune that this city shows signs of having been destroyed in a huge battle many years ago, although there is no historical record of this. One reason for this could have been that the war sent the left so few survivors that the population was, in effect, propelled technologically backwards many hundreds of years.
Other places excavated in the area are much smaller, but it's now thought they probably got their technology from the newly-discovered city of Hamoukar. Before, it was assumed that everyone in this part of what is now the Middle East received their knowledge from Mesopotamia, which is hundreds of miles away. Hamoukar appears to have been a big city in 4,500 BC and may have first been settled 8,000 years ago.
Syrian archeologist Abdal-Razzaq Moaz says, "This is the root of all the civilizations. It's not only Syrian heritage. This is also yours. It's heritage belonging to all humanity."
Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk
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