Ebla

In Akkadian, Egyptian, hittite documents, scientists occasionally met the name a certain city Ebla. In the cuneiform tablets of the royal archive found among the ruins of Mari, Ebla is mentioned as a powerful rival of Mari. But where was this city? Most experts agreed that this is an Anatolian city and, therefore, it must be sought in the territory of present-day Turkey. Therefore, when in 1964 Italian archaeologists led by Paolo Mattei started excavating the hill of Tell Mardih (Northern Syria), they least of all assumed what they were to face.

In Akkadian, Egyptian, hittite documents, scientists occasionally met the name a certain city Ebla

It was that same mysterious and semi-legendary Ebla, the capital of a powerful, previously completely unknown empire. That's the way - "Ebla - newly-discovered empire" - was titled Paolo Mattia's book, published in 1977 in Rome.

The culture of the state of Ebla was remarkable for its striking originality. The Eblaites reached great heights in town planning, architecture, and art. But the main sensation was now the famous clay tablets from the city of Ebla, the texts of which forced scientists to take a fresh look at the history of the Ancient World.

The first tablets with cuneiform texts were found in Ebla in 1974. The language of these texts was defined by some experts as ancient Canaanite. At the same time, scribes easily transferred from Eblaitic to Sumerian, and in general the vast majority of words in Ebla's texts were Sumerian.

This sensation broke out in 1975, when in the ruins of the royal palace in the town of Ebla, destroyed in the 23rd century BC. Matthew discovered the largest of the so far known royal archives of the 3 millennium BC. He numbered about 16 thousand cuneiform clay tablets.

Here, diplomatic treaties, annals, reports of ambassadors were found; state regulations, tsarist decrees, military reports, judgments of courts, descriptions of rituals and rituals, texts relating to agriculture.

Documents found during the excavation of the city of Ebla, indicate that in the city, lived 260 thousand people. Obviously, most of this population lived in the suburbs, within the same city walls lived about 30 thousand people. The emergence of the state of Ebla dates back to the 4th millennium BC. The heyday of the city falls on the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. The basis of the Ebla economy was the income from trade with Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran. Another four and a half thousand years ago a state monopoly on the sale of precious metals, timber, textile and pottery products was introduced in the city. Almost for the first time in the world, a system of state control over the quality of goods was created in Ebla. It is also curious that Ebla was a kind of monarchy-republic: the tsarist power was not life-long, and the tsar was elected for a seven-year term.

Since the 23rd century BC the Eblaite state begins to experience the growing pressure of the powerful Akkad power, which united under its authority all of Mesopotamia. The main area where the interests of both countries collided was the Euphrates River - the kings of the Ebla state wanted to put under their control the major trade routes passing here. According to them, metals from Anatolia and timber from the Mediterranean coast passed into Mesopotamia. The ensuing struggle reached its climax in the reign of Saran of Akkad. The final blow was struck by the state of Ebla Naramsuen, the grandson of Sargon of Akkad, who took the city by storm about 2250 BC and subjected him to devastation.

Nevertheless, Ebla rose from the ruins. The period of its new heyday lasted about 200 years. After that, the city died finally.

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