Although not indicated on most maps, the asphalt road continues north beyond Deir Seman, the village below Qalaat Seman. The sparse cultivation of the karstic uplands, as poor in arable land as they are in water, is soon succeeded by a fertile zone watered by the river Afrin. It flows brimming between its banks at the bottom of a wide valley whose slopes have recently been planted with fruit-trees. Some distance away there is a cone-shaped hill dotted with the white houses of the village of Ain Dara. The Ain Dara archaeological site lies in the Afrin valley about 67 km from Aleppo. It is named after the spring situated 700 meters to the west. The valley has remained a source of life. As early as the eighth century B.C., civilization flourished on these banks.
The vast tell with a citadel towering approximately 30 meters above the plain and the 24 hectares of the lower part of a town remained undiscovered until 1955 when an enormous basalt lion was uncovered during excavation works. It was then that the importance of this center to Aramean civilization began to be suspected. More and more excavations were carried out and to the north-east of where the lion was found, the monumental ruins of a temple were uncovered.
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