Unearthing the Past at Ancient Harran and the Wells of Paddan-Aram

Posted in: Ancient Near East Today, ASOR
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00000 By: Minna Silver Many know Harran from the biblical story of Abraham and his family’s wanderings. Today the huge tell of Harran, the mound of the ancient city, measures over one kilometre across and is surrounded by ancient walls. Harran lies in southeastern Turkey, near the city of Urfa, in the midst of large green fields irrigated by waters diverted from the Euphrates River, which flows to the west. The Syrian border is just 16 km away. Satellite image showing the location of Harran. The ruins of a church can still be traced on the tell, along with the remains of the Umayyad Great Mosque, one of the largest in Anatolia, which rise up from the dust of the ancient city. Outside the walls are the busy streets of modern Harran, crowded by Bedouins selling their goods, the Arabic speaking population is mixed with Turkish speakers. The Great Mosque. All photos courtesy of Minna Silver and date to 2015 unless otherwise noted. The Great Mosque. Harran was a famous centre of caravans in antiquity, also identified in its name Harranu or uru KASKAL-ki, meaning a road. In the Roman times the site was known as Carrhae. Wars between different powers and conquests have taken place here through millennia, forming the layers of destruction debris in the tell. Now a

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