Main article: Name of Syria
The name Syria is derived from the ancient Greek name for Syrians: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, which the Greeks applied without distinction to theAssyrians. A number of modern scholars argued that the Greek word related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria, ultimately derived from the AkkadianAššur. Others believed that it was derived from Siryon, the name that the Sidonians gave to Mount Hermon. However, the discovery of the Çineköy inscription in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria derives from Assyria.
The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, and having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene, Sophene, and Adiabene.
By Pliny's time, however, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire (but politically independent from each other):Judaea, later renamed Palaestina in AD 135 (the region corresponding to modern day Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Jordan) in the extreme southwest,Phoenicia corresponding to Lebanon, with Damascena to the inland side of Phoenicia, Coele-Syria (or "Hollow Syria") south of the Eleutheris river, and Iraq.
Main article: History of Syria
Female figurine, Syria, 5000 BC. Ancient Orient Museum.
Since approximately 10,000 BC, Syria was one of centers of Neolithic culture (known as Pre-Pottery Neolithic A) where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period (PPNB) is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of... [continues]
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