[Daily article] December 29: Qatna

Qatna is an ancient city in Syria whose remains are about 18 km
(11 mi) northeast of Homs near the village of al-Mishrifeh. It was an
important center in the second millennium BC and in the first half of
the first millennium BC, with one of the largest royal palaces of Bronze
Age Syria. An intact royal tomb has provided data on the funerary habits
of that period. First inhabited in the second half of the fourth
millennium BC, it was repopulated around 2800 BC and continued to grow.
Around 2000 BC, it became the capital of a regional kingdom that spread
its authority over the central and southern Levant. By the 15th century
BC, Qatna had lost its hegemony and was under the authority of Mitanni.
It was conquered and sacked by the Hittites in the late 14th century BC
and abandoned by the 13th century BC. It was re-inhabited in the 10th
century BC, becoming a center of the kingdoms of Palistin and Hamath
until it was destroyed by the Assyrians in 720 BC, eventually
disappearing in the 6th century BC. The site has been excavated since
the 1920s. As a result of the Syrian Civil War, excavations stopped in

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


The Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States,
becoming the 28th state admitted into the union.


To counter the French Navy’s Gloire, the world’s first ironclad
warship, the British Royal Navy launched the world’s first iron-hulled
armoured battleship, HMS Warrior.


Sun Yat-sen was elected in Nanjing as the Provisional President
of the Republic of China.


A bomb set by unknown perpetrators at LaGuardia Airport in New
York City exploded, killing 11 people and seriously injuring 74 others.


In order to prevent the spread of the H5N1 flu virus, the Hong
Kong government began the slaughter of 1.3 million chickens.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

Ensete ventricosum, a species of flowering plant in the banana family
Musaceae, the root of which is used for food and other purposes.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  We praise thee, O God, for thy glory displayed in all the
creatures of the earth, In the snow, in the rain, in the wind, in the
storm, in all of thy creatures, both the hunters and the hunted, For all
things exist as seen by thee, only as known by thee, all things exist
Only in thy light, and thy glory is declared even in that which denies
thee; the darkness declares the glory of light. Those who deny thee
could not deny, if thou didst not exist; and their denial is never
complete, for if it were so, they would not exist.  
–T. S. Eliot

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