The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          



Archaeological Sites


Located in Syria, Mureybet, along with Abu Hureyra, are the earliest known agricultural based villages. In the last 20 years they have been identified as one of the earliest Neolithic Revolution villages. Both villages, which date from 7600 B.C. to 6000 B.C., provide much evidence of the horticultural presence during this time. Einkorn wheat has been found at Mureybet. Along with wheat, the Mureybetiens also grew peas and barley. They lived in round houses made of limestone bricks, held together by clay.

In 1971, Jacques Cauvin excavated Mureybet. The site was comprised of four main archeological levels, including Late Natufian, Khiamian, Mureybetian, and Old and Middle PPNB. Cauvin discovered that the people of Mureybet gradually changed their style of house construction round houses to building square houses. According to the stratigraphic sequence, the Mureybet village has run a parallel resemblance to the cultural processes that took place during the 11th and 9th millennium B.C. in the Southern Levant and Middle Euphrates. Also, according to the archaeobotanical analysis of plants in Mureybet, the village evolved from the exploitation of wild plants to the cultivation of cereals. This happened during the Mureybetian archeological level.

In 1993, Danielle Stordeur took over the excavations. Many artifacts have been found, including furniture. The National Museum of Antiquities of Damas currently holds the artifacts recovered from the site. Some of the most important artifacts that have been found are ancient tokens. These tokens were found in the Mureybetian archeological level, along with many other archeological sites. Denise Schmandt-Besserat said, "The token system was, in fact, the first code -- the earliest system of signs used for transmitting information." Some people believe this system even predates speech. Evidence of this is found because the token system was already in use before the proto-Sumerians developed simple consonant-vowel words.

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