|Alternative name||Tell Meskene (Arabic: تل مسكنة)|
|Location||Near Maskanah, Aleppo Governorate, Syria|
|Region||Lake Assad shoreline|
|Coordinates||35°59′12.63″N38°6′40.95″E / 35.9868417°N 38.1113750°E|
|Satellite of||Ebla, Yamhad, Carchemish|
Emar (modern Tell Meskene) is an archaeological site in Aleppo Governorate, northern Syria. It sits in the great bend of the mid-Euphrates, now on the shoreline of the man-made Lake Assad near the town of Maskanah. It has been the source of many cuneiform tablets, making it rank with Ugarit, Mari and Ebla among the most important archaeological sites of Syria. In these texts, dating from the 14th century BC to the fall of Emar in 1187 BC,  and in excavations in several campaigns since the 1970s, Emar emerges as an important Bronze Age trade center, occupying a liminal position between the power centers of Upper Mesopotamia and Anatolia-Syria. Unlike other cities, the tablets preserved at Emar, most of them in Akkadian and of the thirteenth century BC, are not royal or official, but record private transactions, judicial records, dealings in real estate, marriages, last wills, formal adoptions. In the house of a priest, a library contained literary and lexical texts in the Mesopotamian tradition, and ritual texts for local cults.
Emar was strategically sited as a trans-shipping point where trade on the Euphrates was reloaded for shipping by overland route. In the middle of the third millennium BC Emar came under the influence of the rulers of Ebla; the city is mentioned in archives at Ebla. In Mari texts of the eighteenth century BC, (Middle Bronze Age), Emar was under the influence of the neighboring Amorite state of Yamhad. There was no local tradition of kingship at Emar.  For the thirteenth and the early twelfth centuries BC (Late Bronze Age), there is written documentation from Emar itself, mostly in the Akkadian language, and also references in contemporaneous texts from Hattusa, Ugarit, and in Assyrian archives; at the time Emar was within the Hittite sphere of influence, subject to the king of Carchemish, a Hittite client-king. It was the chief city of a Hittite border province known as the Land of Astata (Ashtata) which included Tell Fray. Correlating the kings of Emar with the known king-list of Carchemish provides some absolute dating. 
Archaeological and written documentation come to an end in the late twelfth century BC as a result of the Bronze Age collapse. The actual date of destruction has been placed at 1187 BC in the 2nd regnal year of king Meli-Shipak II of Babylon 
The site remained desolate at the unstable eastern borders of the Roman Empire, resettled nearby as Barbalissos. In 253, it was the site of the Battle of Barbalissos between the Sassanid Persians under Shapur I and Roman troops. Its Byzantine history can be followed at Barbalissos.
The initial salvage excavations in advance of the rising waters of the Syrian Tabqa Dam project impounding Lake El Assad were undertaken by two French teams, in 1972-76, under the direction of Jean-Claude Margueron. 
Excavations revealed a temple area comprising the sanctuaries of the weather god Ba’al and possibly of his consort Astarte of the Late Bronze Age (thirteenth and early twelfth century BC).
After the conclusion of the French excavations the site was left unguarded and was systematically looted, bringing many cuneiform tablets onto the antiquities gray market stripped of their context. In 1992, the Syrian Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums took charge of the site, and a fresh series of campaigns revealed earlier strata, of the Middle and Early Bronze Ages (second half of the third millennium and the first half of the second millennium BC) the Imar that was mentioned in the archives of Mari and elsewhere. Beginning in 1996, the Syrian effort was joined by a team from the University of Tübingen Germany.  
So far, around 1100 tablets in Akkadian have been recovered from the site, 800 from the excavation and around 300 emerging on the antiquities market. In addition 100 tablets in Hurrian and 1 in Hittite have also been found. All but one of the tablets are from the Late Bronze Age.
The Hittites were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom, and next an empire centered on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia. This empire reached its height during the mid-14th century BC under Šuppiluliuma I, when it encompassed an area that included most of Anatolia as well as parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia.
The Hurrians were a people of the Bronze Age Near East. They spoke a Hurrian language and lived in Anatolia, Syria and Northern Mesopotamia. The largest and most influential Hurrian nation was the kingdom of Mitanni, its ruling class perhaps being Indo-Iranian speakers. The population of the Hittite Empire in Anatolia included a large population of Hurrians, and there is significant Hurrian influence in Hittite mythology. By the Early Iron Age, the Hurrians had been assimilated with other peoples. The state of Urartu later covered some of the same area.
Mitanni, c. 1550–1260 BC, earlier called Ḫabigalbat in old Babylonian texts, c. 1600 BC; Hanigalbat or Hani-Rabbat in Assyrian records, or Naharin in Egyptian texts, was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia. Since no histories or royal annals/chronicles have yet been found in its excavated sites, knowledge about Mitanni is sparse compared to the other powers in the area, and dependent on what its neighbours commented in their texts.
Ugarit was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident in 1928 together with the Ugaritic texts. Its ruins are often called Ras Shamra after the headland where they lie.
Yamhad was an ancient Semitic kingdom centered on Ḥalab (Aleppo), Syria. The kingdom emerged at the end of the 19th century BC, and was ruled by the Yamhadite dynasty kings, who counted on both military and diplomacy to expand their realm. From the beginning of its establishment, the kingdom withstood the aggressions of its neighbors Mari, Qatna and Assyria, and was turned into the most powerful Syrian kingdom of its era through the actions of its king Yarim-Lim I. By the middle of the 18th century BC, most of Syria minus the south came under the authority of Yamhad, either as a direct possession or through vassalage, and for nearly a century and a half, Yamhad dominated northern, northwestern and eastern Syria, and had influence over small kingdoms in Mesopotamia at the borders of Elam. The kingdom was eventually destroyed by the Hittites, then annexed by Mitanni in the 16th century BC.
Ebla was one of the earliest kingdoms in Syria. Its remains constitute a tell located about 55 km (34 mi) southwest of Aleppo near the village of Mardikh. Ebla was an important center throughout the 3rd millennium BC and in the first half of the 2nd millennium BC. Its discovery proved the Levant was a center of ancient, centralized civilization equal to Egypt and Mesopotamia and ruled out the view that the latter two were the only important centers in the Near East during the Early Bronze Age. The first Eblaite kingdom has been described as the first recorded world power.
Carchemish, also spelled Karkemish was an important ancient capital in the northern part of the region of Syria. At times during its history the city was independent, but it was also part of the Mitanni, Hittite and Neo-Assyrian Empires. Today it is on the frontier between Turkey and Syria.
Assyriology is the archaeological, anthropological, and linguistic study of Assyria and the rest of ancient Mesopotamia and of the related cultures that used cuneiform writing. The field covers Sumer, the early Sumero-Akkadian city-states, the Akkadian Empire, Ebla, the Akkadian and Imperial Aramaic speaking states of Assyria, Babylonia and the Sealand Dynasty, the migrant foreign dynasties of southern Mesopotamia, including the Gutians, Amorites, Kassites, Arameans, Suteans and Chaldeans.
Nuzi was an ancient Mesopotamian city southwest of the city of Arrapha, located near the Tigris river. The site consists of one medium-sized multiperiod tell and two small single period mounds.
Alalakh is an ancient archaeological site approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) northeast of Antakya in what is now Turkey's Hatay Province. It flourished, as an urban settlement, in the Middle and Late Bronze Age, c. 2000-1200 BC. The city contained palaces, temples, private houses and fortifications. The remains of Alalakh have formed an extensive mound covering around 22 hectares. In Late Bronze Age, Alalakh was the capital of the local kingdom of Mukiš.
Mari was an ancient Semitic city-state in modern-day Syria. Its remains form a tell 11 kilometers north-west of Abu Kamal on the Euphrates River western bank, some 120 kilometers southeast of Deir ez-Zor. It flourished as a trade center and hegemonic state between 2900 BC and 1759 BC. The city was purposely built in the middle of the Euphrates trade routes between Sumer in the south and the Eblaite kingdom and the Levant in the west.
Eblaite, or Palaeo-Syrian, is an extinct East Semitic language used during the 3rd millennium BC by the populations of Northern Syria. It was named after the ancient city of Ebla, in modern western Syria. Variants of the language were also spoken in Mari and Nagar. According to Cyrus H. Gordon, although scribes might have spoken it sometimes, Eblaite was probably not spoken much, being rather a written lingua franca with East and West Semitic features.
Ishara (Išḫara) was the tutelary goddess of the ancient Syrian city of Ebla. The origin of her name is unknown. Both Hurrian and West Semitic etymologies have been proposed, but they found no broad support and today it is often assumed that her name belongs to an unknown linguistic substrate.
Sapinuwa was a Bronze Age Hittite city at the location of modern Ortaköy in the province Çorum in Turkey. It was one of the major Hittite religious and administrative centres, a military base and an occasional residence of several Hittite kings. The palace at Sapinuwa is discussed in several texts from Hattusa.
Nuhašše, also Nuhašša, was a region in northwestern Syria that flourished in the 2nd millennium BC. It was a federacy ruled by different kings who collaborated and probably had a high king. Nuhašše changed hands between different powers in the region such as Egypt, Mitanni and the Hittites. It rebelled against the latter which led Šuppiluliuma I to attack and annex the region.
Tell Fray is a tell, or settlement mound, on the east bank of the Euphrates in Raqqa Governorate, northern Syria. The archaeological site takes its name from an ancient irrigation canal, hence 'Fray' or 'Little Euphrates'.
Hassum was a Hurrian city-state, located in southern Turkey most probably on the Euphrates river north of Carchemish.
The Ugaritic texts are a corpus of ancient cuneiform texts discovered since 1928 in Ugarit and Ras Ibn Hani in Syria, and written in Ugaritic, an otherwise unknown Northwest Semitic language. Approximately 1,500 texts and fragments have been found to date. The texts were written in the 13th and 12th centuries BCE.
Saggar was a god worshiped in ancient Syria, especially in the proximity of Ebla and Emar, later incorporated into the Hurrian and Hittite pantheons. His name was also the ancient name of the Sinjar Mountains. It is assumed that he was at least in part a lunar deity.
Tell Hadidi, ancient Azu, is an ancient Near East archaeological site in Syria about 30 kilometers north of Emar and 5 kilometers north of Ekalte. It lies on the west bank of the Euphrates River on the opposite bank from Tell es-Sweyhat. It is thought to be a paired city with Tell es-Sweyhat controling a Euphrates river crossing. There are prominent hollow ways between the site and Tell es-Sweyhat, Tell Othman, and Tell Jouweif. The site was occupied from the Early Bronze Age period to the Late Bronze Age and again to a lesser extent in Roman times. It was one of several rescue excavations sparked by the construction of the Tabqa Dam and the resulting Lake Assad. The town's primary god was Dagan.