Qatna, located at Mishrifeh in Western Syria, was the capital of Syria during the 2nd Millennium BCE and became integral as a city on the trade routes between the states of the Near East and the rest of the Mediterranean. During this time the royal palace was built at the site, lasting several hundred years until it was destroyed when the Hittites invaded in 1340 BCE.

In 2004, a project to restore the royal palace at Qatna was undertaken by a collaboration of archaeological teams from three universities: the German University of Tubingen, the Italian University of Udine and the Syrian of Damascus. This is a long term project: the opening of the well-house to the public is the first stage of a wider plan which involves opening the entire restored palace to tourists in the near future.

At the opening of this well-house a new license was signed which will enable exacavtions to take place at Qatna for a further five years: these excavations will focus on the lower town and an as yet unexplored area near the western gate of the town.

Heritage Key (19.10.2010)

Further Information: The Qatna Project
Qatna Conservation