In the second millennium, the Egyptians were a superpower, having existed for over a thousand years. But in the shadows of the pyramids, an ancient city has been lost in time, disappearing from historical record. Whatever happened to the ancient empire of Qatna?
Qatna was once a major city located directly at Egypt’s northern border. It thrived, increasing in both size and power, during the period of Egyptian history when there was no strong centralized government
At the height of its empire, Qatna was a wealthy city. Some experts believe that Qatna was a cosmopolitan place, well-known for trade. Unique, foreign objects (such as amber) were found in its markets. During this period of history that included the Babylonians, Assyrians, Mitanni and Hittites, it appears that Qatna and Egypt were rivals of sorts.
So what caused the downfall of Qatna? Did Egypt view the competing city of Qatna as an enemy?
Archaeologists recently found an exciting discovery while excavating in Syria – statues guarding a section of the palace. When studied further, it appears these statues may have been placed to guard a royal grave. So the expedition team continued their journey into this opening in the earth – and were shocked by what they found inside.
Follow 3,000 year-old clues – such as a mysterious letter from the past and strange animal bones – to unravel the mystery of this forgotten ancient kingdom.
Tune into Egypt’s Lost Rival on Tuesday, April 5th at 10 PM et/pt on the National Geographic Channel!