Monday, December 23, 2013

Early history of Damascus

Carbon-14 dating at Tell Ramad, on the outskirts of Damascus, suggests that the site may have been occupied since the second half of the seventh millennium BC, possibly around 6300 BC.

First century historian Joseph ben Matityahu or Josephus attributed the founding of Damascus to Uz, one of the sons of Aram, son of Shem, son of Noah.

The first reference to the town name as ‘ta-ms-qu’ is on a wall of the Karnak Temple in Luxor in an inscription of Thutmose II. The same spelling occurs in a list of Amenophis II from the fourteenth century. 

‘Dimaski’ or ‘Dimasqa’ appears tree times later in the Tell al-Amarna tablets. The Damascus region, as well as the rest of Syria, became a battleground circa 1260 BC, between the Hittites from the north and the Egyptians from the south.

During the time of Alexander the Great, Damascus was the most important city of Syria and it alone by singular good fortune, almost escaped the ravages of war.

It became a major city of a series of kingdoms during the second and first millennia BC.

Damascus itself was conquered by the fierce chief of Muslim-Arab general Khalid ibn al-Walid in 635 AD. 

Twenty seven years after the capture of the city, Muawiyah the first khalifah of the Umayyad made it the seat of his government and capital of the Arab-Muslim Empire from 661 to 750.
Early history of Damascus
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