Monday, June 06, 2011

Qanawat in Syria

Qanawat Archeological Area Narrates Stories of Successive Civilizations

Jun 05, 2011

SWEIDA, (SANA) - Qanawat archeological area in Sweida Province is distinguished by its Roman, Greek, Nabataean and Islamic monuments and its important tourist location as it is considered one of the Decapolis which were situated to the West of Jordan River.

The archeological surveys discovered that the ancient man lived in Qanawat since the Middle and New Stone Ages during the period between 1,200 to 4,000 BC, and people coming from the Arabian Peninsula started to inhabit the area since the 3rd millennium BC while the Arab Islamic invasions reached it in 653 AD.

The Decapolis cities are also mentioned in Mark 5:20 and parallels.

I appreciate the effort being made by SANA to publicize these sites, but the releases seem to be translated hurriedly and carelessly from another language (Arabic?). Aside from the atrocious English, there are one or two obvious errors in this one (e.g., Athena was not a "sea goddess" plus see below).

The following is interesting:
[The Director of the Sweida Antiquities Department, Wasim ] Al-Sha'arani indicated that the inscription which was unearthed near the French city of Lyon represents important evidence on the role the city played as the citizens of Qanawat (Qanatha) were part of the Syrian merchants who were well known in France as the discovered inscription mentions the name of a merchant called Taim bin Sa'ad.
I didn't know there was an inscription excavated in France that talked about Syrian merchants (assuming this paragraph was understood and translated correctly). The name looks Arabic, so perhaps the inscription is from the Islamic period.
An inscription written in the Greek and Aramaic languages dating back to the 2nd millennium BC was also unearthed in the town.
This, however, is definitely wrong. There were no Aramaic/Greek bilingual inscriptions in the second millennium BCE. Perhaps the original read "second century."