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Arpad, Syria

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Title: Arpad, Syria  
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Subject: Arameans, Syro-Hittite states, Arpad, Paddan Aram, List of rulers of Aleppo
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Arpad, Syria

Arpad (probably modern Tell Rifaat, Syria) was an ancient Aramaean Syro-Hittite city located in north-western Syria, north of Aleppo. It became the capital of the Aramaean state of Bit Agusi established by Gusi of Yakhan in the 9th century BC.[1] Bit Agusi stretched from the A'zaz area in the north to Hamath in the south.[2]

Arpad later became a major vassal city of the Kingdom of Urartu. In 743 BC, during the Urartu-Assyria War, the Neo-Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III laid siege to Arpad following the defeat of the Urartuan army of Sarduri II at Samsat. But the city of Arpad did not surrender easily. It took Tiglath-Pileser three years of siege to conquer Arpad, whereupon he massacred its inhabitants and destroyed the city.[3] Afterward Arpad served as a provincial capital.[4]Tell Rifaat, which is probably the remains of Arpad, has walls still preserved to a height of eight meters.[5]

The city is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible several times:


  • Archaeology 1
  • Notes 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


Tel Rifaat is an oval 250 by 233 meters. Within this, the main citadel is 142 by 142 meters with a maximum height of 30 meters. The defensive wall surrounding the site is about two miles long.

The site has been worked by a team from the Institute of Archaeology or the University of London. After a preliminary examination in 1956, Tell Rifa'at was excavated for two seasons in 1961 and 1964. The team was led by M. V. Seton Williams.[6][7]

In 1977, an archaeological survey was conducted of the area around Tell Rifa'at, also by the Institute of Archaeology.[8]


  1. ^ Lipinsky, Edward (2000). The Aramaeans: Their Ancient History, Culture, Religion (Peeters) p. 195.
  2. ^ Lipinsky, 2000, p. 99.
  3. ^ Healy, Mark (1992). The Ancient Assyrians (Osprey) p. 25.
  4. ^ Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2000). Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology. p. 626.
  5. ^ Lipinsky, 2000, p. 529.
  6. ^ M. V. Seton Williams, Preliminary Report on the Excavations at Tell Rifa'at, Iraq, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 68-87, 1961
  7. ^ M. V. Seton Williams, The Excavations at Tell Rifa'at: 1964 Preliminary Report on, Iraq, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 16-33, 1967
  8. ^ John Matthers, Tell Rifa'at 1977: Preliminary Report of an Archaeological Survey, Iraq, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 119-162, 1978

See also


  • P. A. Clayton, The Coins from Tell Rifa'at, Iraq, vol. 29, pp. 143–154, 1967
  • Alan R. Millard, Adad-Nirari III, Aram, and Arpad, Palestine Exploration Quarterly, vol. 105, pp. 161–164, 1973

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