PLACES IN THE ANCIENT WORLD: Mari (Northern Mesopotamia/Eastern Syria):
MARI was a city-state located near the west bank of the Euphrates River in Northern Mesopotamia (now eastern Syria) during the Early Bronze Age and the Middle Bronze Age. One of the earliest known planned cities, Mari is believed to have been founded as a trade hub, and copper and bronze-smelting centre, between Babylonia in Southern Mesopotamia and the resource-rich Taurus Mountains of modern Turkey.
For 1,200 years, Mari served as a major centre of Northern Mesopotamia until it was destroyed by Hammurabi of Babylon between 1760 BCE and 1757 BCE and gradually eroded away from memory and quite literally - today only one-third of the city survives with the rest washed away by the Euphrates.
The ruins of Mari are located at modern-day Tell Hariri in eastern Syria. In the Bronze Age, the Euphrates was around 4-6 km from the city but has since moved farther east. The city is believed to have been constructed along with a 10 km long man-made “linking canal” that once cut through the city and provided water essential for the city’s existence as the city itself was too far from the Euphrates for daily water retrieval on foot and the ground water is too salty for wells. As a result of the destruction of Mari by Hammurabi, Mari’s linkage canal expanded outside of its intended boundaries and eventually eroded away two-thirds of the city, including most of the housing from the third and last phase of the city.
Article by Henry Curtis Pelgrift on AHE