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(kär`kĭmĭsh, kärkē`mĭsh), ancient city, Turkey, on the Euphrates River, at the Syrian border, c.35 mi (56 km) SE of Gaziantep. It was an important Neo-Hittite city and was prosperous in the 9th cent. B.C. before it was destroyed by the Assyrians. Even then it continued as an important trade center. There, in 605 B.C., NebuchadnezzarNebuchadnezzar
, d. 562 B.C., king of Babylonia (c.605–562 B.C.), son and successor of Nabopolassar. In his father's reign he was sent to oppose the Egyptians, who were occupying W Syria and Palestine. At Carchemish he met and defeated (605 B.C.
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 defeated NechoNecho
, 609–593 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, 2d ruler of the XXVI dynasty, the son and successor of Psamtik and grandson of Necho, lord of Saïs. Necho took advantage of the confusion that followed the fall of Nineveh (612) to invade Palestine and Syria, both of which
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. Among the excavated remains are sculptured Neo-Hittite reliefs with hieroglyphic Hittite inscriptions.


See British Museum, Carchemish (3 vol. in 2, 1914–52).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an important ancient artisan and trade city on the right bank of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, near modern Jarablus. The city was founded about 3000 b.c. and existed until Roman times. The first written mention of the city dates from the 18th century b.c., when Carchemish was under the cultural influence of Mesopotamia. For a short time in the 15th century b.c., Carchemish was a vassalage of Egypt, and later, up to the 12th century b.c., of the Hittite empire. From the 12th to the eighth centuries b.c., Carchemish was the center of an independent kingdom. Sargon II conquered the city in 717 b.c. In 605 b.c., a battle took place there in which the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar II defeated the Egyptian pharaon Necho II and the Assyrian emperor Ashur-uballit II; this led to the ruin of the Assyrian state. Excavations conducted in 1876, 1878–1881, and 1908–19 have revealed fortifications; foundations and architectural details of palaces, temples, and other buildings; various sculptures; and cuneiform and hieroglyphic inscriptions.


Klengel, H. Geschichte Syriens im 2. Jahrtausend vor unserer Zeit. Part1: Nordsyrien. Berlin. 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.