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, city (1995 est. pop. 280,000), capital of Hama governorate, W central Syria, on the Orontes River. It is the market center for an irrigated farm region where cotton, wheat, barley, millet, and corn are grown.
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(now known as Hama), a city and state in central Syria, where a settlement existed from the Neolithic (fourth millennium B.C.). The Aramaean state of Hamath existed from the late second millennium to the late eighth century B.C. and had its center in the city of Hamath. The state is mentioned in the Bible. In the early tenth century B.C., Hamath was under the rule of King David of Israel.
Beginning in the early ninth century, the kings of Hamath waged war against Assyria. Hamath, along with Damascus, flourished as a center of an Aramaen kingdom in the late ninth century B.C. In the eighth century B.C., Hamath was conquered by Assyria, and it became an Assyrian province circa 720 B.C. During the Hellenistic age the city was known as Epiphania. Destroyed during the Arab conquests, it was rebuilt in the reign of the Umayyads and again renamed Hamath. Between 1931 and 1938, a Danish expedition excavated a large Iron Age cemetery with cremations.