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Middle East Kingdoms

Ancient Syria



Initially founded as a Hittite city, Yadiya was located in the far north of ancient Syria, near the modern town of Zincirli Hyk (in the Nur (Amanos) Mountains of southern Turkey). The 40 ha (100 acre) site was excavated between 1888-1902, uncovering a teardrop-shaped citadel surrounded by a town which was not to be properly examined until 2006. A long-term excavation project is now in place. Thanks to its location on the border of Anatolian and Syrian spheres of influence, the city combined western Semitic and Luwian cultural traditions.

c.1725 - 1200 BC

The city is founded as a Hittite colony, and is maintained as such until the collapse of the empire.

c.1200 BC

The state emerges as a post-Hittite principality, probably controlled from Carchemish.

Sam'al / Yadi / Zincirli / Bit-Gabbari

The Aramaeans moved into ancient Syria once Assyrian influence faded in the twelfth to tenth centuries BC, and took over many cities. The historical record is very sketchy until the ninth century, so little is known of how they took over in Yadiya (or Y'dy), removing it from under the control of Carchemish, and forming the minor independent state of Yadiya-Sam'al. Most inscriptions were written in Phoenician, Aramaic, and the local dialect, Sam'alian.

c.940 BC

An Aramaean kingdom is founded at Sam'al, with Que bordering it to the west, Gurgum to the north and east, and Pattin to the south. The later inscription of Kilammuwa records that the first king, Gabbar, 'did nothing', and Bamah is just the same - propaganda to label the earlier rulers as ineffective before Kilammuwa himself establishes the dynasty.

fl c.875 BC



Probably of a different house to Gabbar.

fl c.850s BC

Khayan / Khaianu / Hayya

Probably of a different house to Bamah.

c.857? BC

Shalmaneser III of Assyria exacts tribute from Hayya. Assyrian inscriptions also attest his reign in 858, 857, and 853.

Sheil / Saul

Son. Dethroned by Kilammuwa.

c.840 - 830/825 BC

Kilammuwa / Kilamuwa

Brother. Won the throne in a family struggle.

c.840 BC

Kilammuwa acknowledges his subservience to the Assyrian king, and is pictured looking exactly the same as his more powerful master. Also, by paying tribute, he is guaranteed Assyrian protection against any enemies.

Qural / Qaral


mid-700s BC

Panammu I / Panamuwa


? - c.740? BC


Vassal of Assyria. Killed.

c.740? - 737 BC

As recorded on a fragmentary text written by his grandson, the region faces a rebellion of some magnitude. Bar-Sur, nearby Hamath, and many others, are attacked by Azriyau of Yaudi, possibly with support from Urartu (Yaudi, or Yadi, being the very heartland of Sam'al, although there is a suggestion that Yaudi could be Judah, and Azriyau is an exile from the south). Bar-Sur is killed, as are many of his family, although his son escapes. Azriyau's coalition is defeated in battle by Tiglath-Pileser III. Some scholars disbelieve this entire episode.

? - 737 BC

Azriyau of Yaudi


late 700s BC

Panammu II / Panamuwa

Son of Bar-Sur.

late 700s BC

Bar-Rekkab / Bar-Rakib / Barrakub

Son. Vassal of Assyria.

c.680 - 609 BC

Esarhaddon ends local rule, drawing the state under direct Assyrian control.