Tell Ashtara

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Tell Ashtara
تل عشترة
Tell Ashtara is located in Syria
Tell Ashtara
Shown within Syria
Alternate name Aštartu, Ashteroth
Location 4 km (2.5 mi) from Al-Shaykh Saad, Syria
Region Bashan (modern Hauran)
Coordinates 32°49′N 36°01′E / 32.81°N 36.02°E / 32.81; 36.02
Type Settlement
Area 7 ha (17 acres)
Site notes
Excavation dates 1966-1967
Archaeologists Ali Abu Assaf
Condition Ruins
Management Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums
Public access Yes

Tell Ashtara (Arabic: تل عشترة‎) also Aštartu, was a site south of Damascus mentioned in the Amarna letters correspondence of 1350 BC. In the Amarna letters the city is named Aštartu, and is usually identified with the Biblical 'Ashteroth Karnaim'.

Aštartu is only referenced in two letters of the 382 letter corpus, in letters EA 256, and EA 197: (titled: "Biryawaza's plight"), -(EA is for 'el Amarna'). Biryawaza was the mayor of Damascus-called Dimasqu.

EA 256 is a story concerning Mutbaal, the son of Labaya, and the Habiru, and concerns the whereabouts of Ayyab, who may be in Pihilu, modern day Pella, Jordan, and is a letter of intrigue, titled: "Oaths and denials", and lists 7 cities located in the Golan area. Ayyab is the king of Aštartu and does author one letter to the Egyptian pharaoh, letter EA 364.

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