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Mound on the Amuq plain of northern Syria, identified as the ancient city of Alalakh. Excavations by Woolley in the early part of the century revealed occupation levels running from the 4th to the late 2nd millennium bc. In level VII, dated to the 18th and 17th centuries bc, the palace of Yaram-Lim II demonstrates an early form of architecture which was characteristic of Syria, in which stone, timber and mud-brick were all used, as well as basalt for orthostats. Another palace was excavated in level IV, of the late 15th and early 14th centuries, belonging to Niqmepa; this consisted of a number of rooms around a central court. In the official quarters a large quantity of tablets were found. These were written in Akkadian cuneiform and demonstrate intense trading with other cities, including Ugarit and the Hittite capital Hattusas, involving food products such as wheat, wine and olive oil. Later in the 14th century the city fell to the Hittites and became a provincial capital of the Hittite empire. It was eventually abandoned after destruction cl200 bc, perhaps at the hands of the Peoples of the Sea.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied