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Ancient Syria /
Other spellings: Atshanah; Alalah

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Alalakh, Turkey

Alalakh, Turkey

Statue of Idrimi, king of Alalakh
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Statue of Idrimi, king of Alalakh.

Ancient city, thriving ca. 2000 BCE until 12th century, about 900 years. Its location in the Orontes valley corresponds to southern modern Turkey, but in ancient terms it is classified as part of Syria.
Alalakh was founded by the Amorites, and although being a city of great wealth and importance, it never formed its own kingdom, never rising above the position of provincial capital.
Excavations here have unearthed a range of great buildings, the 18th century BCE palace of King Yarim-Lim being among the foremost.

Around 2000 BCE: Alalakh emerges as one of the strongest cities in the Levant.
Around 1800: Alalakh is the main city of a region known as Mukish.
Ca. 1780 Alalakh is incorporated into the kingdom of Yamkhad.
16th century: Alalakh is destroyed by the Hittites, but settlement here continues, and after passing to Mitanni, Alalakh is slowly rebuilt.
Ca. 1370: Alalakh is incorporated into the Hittite Empire.
Around 1180: Destroyed by the Sea people together with other important cities of the region, like Ugarit. This marks the end of Alalakh.
1939 CE: Excavations begin, unearthing over the next 13 years several impressive buildings.

By Tore Kjeilen