Ancient Muslim graves discovered in Syria

(ORDO NEWS) — Paleogenetics discovered in the vicinity of the Tell-Karassa mound in southern Syria an ancient Muslim burial with the remains of representatives of the Arabian Peninsula from the time of the Damascus Caliphate. This was announced on Friday by the press service of the Swedish Research Council (SRC).

Syria and other regions of the Middle East became part of the Arab Caliphate during the reign of the first caliphs – companions of the Prophet Muhammad.

In the middle of the 7th century they became the center of the Damascus Caliphate, the first major Muslim state in the history of mankind.

Its appearance is associated with the formation of the foundations of Islamic culture, lawmaking, finance and other key elements of civilization.

Researchers accidentally discovered the burials while studying the remains of ancient people found in the vicinity of the Tell-Karass barrow in southern Syria.

As archaeologists explain, on the territory of this cultural monument there is one of the most ancient sites related to the Natufian culture (XIII-X millennium BC).

It attracts the attention of scientists by the fact that its representatives have not yet completely switched to agriculture, but at the same time they led a sedentary lifestyle and were able to process and cultivate cereals.

Approximately ten years ago, researchers discovered a mass grave on one of the slopes of the Tell-Karass mound. The bodies of 14 adult men and women were buried there.

To study the origin of this people, paleogeneticists extracted DNA fragments from the bones of all the ancient inhabitants of Syria and measured their age using radiocarbon analysis.

As a result, it turned out that the bones from the Tell-Karass mound were much younger than scientists had assumed.

They were buried at the end of the 7th or at the beginning of the 8th century, during the formation of the Damascus Caliphate.

Moreover, the analysis of the genomes of two individuals, whose DNA was quite well preserved, indicated that they were not local residents and representatives of the Natufian culture, but came from the Arabian Peninsula.

“Initially, we thought we were studying the remains of the first farmers of the Middle East. When we extracted and studied DNA from the bones of two deceased ancient people, we unexpectedly discovered that these graves belonged to a much later historical era – the reign of the first caliphs from the Umayyad dynasty,” – said a researcher at the University of Burgos (Spain) Christina Valdiosera, whose words are quoted by the press service of the SRC.

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