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EIGHT years of sustained excavations has located the lost city of Urkesh in what is now northeastern Syria near the Turkish border, The find was reported recently by Giorgio Buccellati, director of the Urkesh excavations. Urkesh was the capital of the Hurrian civilisation which existed more than 4,000 years ago. It finds a mention in the Old Testament and on a clay tablet belonging to Pharaoh Amenemhet IV, king of Egypt in 2000 B.C.

Estimates put the population of the Hurrians between 10,000 to 20,000 people. So far, ruins of an ancient temple and a large room with many artifacts have been uncovered from the nearly 122 ha site. It appears that Hurrian women were influential and also owned property. Many seals recovered from the site bear the inscription of the queen of Urkesh named as Uqnitum. The find is expected to contribute to a better understanding of the Hurrian history and also reveal more about other ancient Syrian societies.

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