The Department of Antiquities of Syria and the University of Chicago have announced findings of archeological evidence that a battle was fought in upper Mesopotamia in 3500 B.C., leading to the destruction of a city. Clemens Reichel, a Research Associate asserts that the entire area where the excavation was conducted was a war zone. Artifacts from daily life have been recovered by the archeologists. Hamoukar is in Syria at the Iraqi border.
The findings prove that organized warfare on a large scale were fought during those early days. The 10 foot high protective wall of the settlement displayed signs of extensive damage due to sling bullets and a raging fire. Over 1,200 small oval-shaped bullets and about 120 bigger clay balls were recovered from the site which clearly proved this place was the scene of a full-scale battle.
The excavations that were conducted at Hamoukar redefines the understanding as to how civilizations developed in the early years. It was earlier believed that cities were first established in Southern Mesopotamia, and this is reported to have spread towards the north as people went in search of metals and raw materials. The civilization at Hamoukar is reported to have had no connection with the southern civilization, and both the civilizations fought a war at the site.
The presence of Uruk pottery at the site proves that they had taken over the city after its destruction. Most of what has been buried in the destroyed building is being retrieved by the archeologists, which are also helping them to identify buildings meant for religious and administrative use, and also units that are used for domestic purposes. Two large buildings in the urban settlement have already been excavated, which are very similar to what has been discovered at other sites in Iraq and Syria.
The building has a baking oven which is far too large to meet the needs of a family, along with several large grinding stones. This could have been a storage and redistribution point as clay sealings and stamp seals were also found at the site. The second building excavated also contained similar artifacts. The site also displayed evidence of technological specialization, which existed several hundred years before it was destroyed.
Though production debris has been discovered at the site, very little evidence of architecture has been discovered. Clay 'eye idols' which are proof of cultic activities has also been discovered at the site. There are some similarities between the settlement and those that have already been discovered in southwestern Iran and southern Mesopotamia, in spite of no similarity being found in the pottery. This means that some kind of a trade or connection must have existed between the two civilizations.