Other Archaeological Sites / The Neolithic of the Levant (500 Page Book Online)
Winner of the 1993 Best Scholarly Book in Archaeology
The Great Kingdoms of the Levant
Excerpts and Definitions and Addendums:
...... In Palestine and Syria too by the mid-nineteenth century Amorite communities were in the ascendancy. Yamkhad, centered upon Aleppo in North Syria, was for its contemporaries the most powerful of all the Amorite kingdoms, deferred to by both Zimri-Lim of Mari and the famous Hammurabi of Babylon. One of its kings, Yamri-Lim, possessed a fleet of five hundred merchant vessels, which plied the Euphrates and intervened effectively in Mesopotamian politics. Located athwart the major trade routes, Yamkhad could tap commerce coming from as far west as Cyprus and the Aegean and as far east as Iran. Qatanum, enjoying an optimum location on the upper Orontes in central Syria with access to the Mediterranean through the Eleutheros Valley, was the major power on Yamkhad's southern flank. Geography made it a close partner with Mari on the middle Euphrates: joint military operations were undertaken from time to time, trade flourished, and Mari citizens even had rights to sheep pasturing in Qatanum. Hazor dominated southern Syria and northern Palestine from its optimum position in the upper Jordan valley. Messengers passed to Mari, Babylon, and Ugarit, and its trade extended in the west to the Aegean. It may well be that the statement in Joshua 11:10 that Hazor formerly was head of all those kingdoms stems from a dim memory of the Middle Bronze Age place.
The picture painted by the textual sources from Mari, Alalakh, Babylon, and other similar archive-bearing sites is born out by the archaeological record, which is extensive and impressive ......