Imar ... an ancient Syrian kingdom from the third millennium BC

On the right bank of the Euphrates River, about 85 km west of the city of Raqqa, the remains of columns, walls, houses and halls are scattered in the area signaling an ancient civilization that once arose in this place - called the Imar Kingdom.

Before archaeologists discovered this kingdom, they recognized it through the texts of Ebla, Mary and Ugarit. They shed light on the extremely important role played by the kingdom in the political and economic relations between Syria and Mesopotamia and Anatolia, specifying its supposed place in a site now known as Maskana.

The kingdom was discovered in 1972 by the mission of the French Institute for Arab Studies in Damascus. The kingdom  dates back to the third millennium BC and lasted until the end of the modern bronze age, according to the archaeological researcher Dr. Bassam Jamous.  Imar was mentioned in the cuneiform texts of ancient Syria due to its importance and geographical location, which made it a commercial and economic center in the intermediate and modern bronze periods and prepared it to be a commercial port on the one hand and a natural defense position on the other hand, Dr. Jamous noted.

As for the religion that prevailed in Imar, Dr. Jamus pointed out that it was what many ancient Syrians of Canaanites, Arameans, and Phoenicians worshiped,  the worship of God Baal and his wife Goddess Astarte, , was prevalent as two temples were devoted to these two gods.

Regarding  the developed heritage of the city of Imar, Dr. Jamous noted that eight literary texts bearing special significance were found, including two books containing prose from the Epic of Gilgamesh, in addition to a narrative text entitled "The Integrity of Heroes in Past Time".

During a half-century of excavation at the Imar site,  Dr. Jamous pointed out that an important texts relating to Palmyra at the beginning of the second millennium BC were discovered, confirming that it was a basic liaison point between the Euphrates and the city of Qatana, including a document that represented a commercial contract in the presence of witnesses.

On the arts level, the Kingdom of Imar was distinguished, according to Jamous, by some engravings on the stone, such as sculptures of statues and utensils that various shapes representing women, birds and geometric figures were engraved on them, in addition to making clay sculptures. 

Regarding the blueprint of the city of Imar and its residences, Jamous said that  the archaeological excavations of the entire city were interrupted by the war on Syria, which prevented the completion of the comprehensive design for it. But it is noteworthy that Imar stretched out over a rectangular shape, and the royal palace occupied a prominent position in the northwestern corner of the site as a watchtower overlooking the city.

Inas Abdulkareem