The Kingdom of Ibla
This hill is 40 km south of Aleppo. It is the site of important and recent archaeological discoveries. Excavations in the Tel (hill in Arabic) have revealed a very old civilization considered to be the oldest in Syria, that of Ebla, which flourished in the 3rd and 2nd millenniums BC.
In 1955 the discovery of a basalt altar, now on show in the Aleppo Museum, revealed the importance of Ebla. Subsequent archaeological expeditions uncovered a city surrounded by a circular inner wall with four great gates and outer fortifications containing towers.
The main streets extended from the city walls to converge at the royal palace of King Aghrish. Clay tablets found in the palace have led archaeologists to conclude that Ebla was the name of this great kingdom. Ebla’s real treasure is the library of the Royal Archives, containing more than 17,000 clay tablets, which was uncovered in the palace. These tablets, recording an important period in Syria’s history are the earliest written documents in Syria. Among these was the world’s earliest bilingual dictionary. In the palace of this great kingdom, Ebla’s real treasure was the library of the Royal Archives containing more than 17,000 clay tablets, dating back to around 2250 BC . These tablets, recording an important period in Syria’s history, are the earliest written documents in Syria.
Ibla is in grave danger at the present because of the neglect which has led to the deterioration of the site and because of the antiquities traffickers who have been very active on the site, pillaging, vandalizing and digging in order to excavate valuable artifacts, thus endangering the very fabric of the place which was exposed to structural damage. Moreover the fighting and continuous bombardment of adjacent Idlib, Aleppo and the villages nearby constitute in themselves grave danger to Ibla.