World

Archaeologists dig at site of ancient city near Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria

  • Nicolo Marchetti, right, a professor of archaeology and art history of the Ancient Near East at the University of Bologna, right, walks at an archaeologic site outside Karkemish, Turkey, meters away from the Turkey-Syria border and the Syrian city of Jarablous, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 Archaeology and war don't usually mix, yet that's been the case for years at Karkemish, an ancient city along the Turkey-Syria border where an excavation team announced its newest finds Saturday just meters from Islamic State group-controlled territory. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Nicolo Marchetti, right, a professor of archaeology and art history of the Ancient Near East at the University of Bologna, right, walks at an archaeologic site outside Karkemish, Turkey, meters away from the Turkey-Syria border and the Syrian city of Jarablous, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 Archaeology and war don't usually mix, yet that's been the case for years at Karkemish, an ancient city along the Turkey-Syria border where an excavation team announced its newest finds Saturday just meters from Islamic State group-controlled territory. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • Archaeologists stand at a site outside Karkemish, Turkey, meters away from the Turkey-Syria border and the Syrian city of Jarablous, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 Archaeology and war don't usually mix, yet that's been the case for years at Karkemish, an ancient city along the Turkey-Syria border where an excavation team announced its newest finds Saturday just meters from Islamic State group-controlled territory. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Archaeologists stand at a site outside Karkemish, Turkey, meters away from the Turkey-Syria border and the Syrian city of Jarablous, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 Archaeology and war don't usually mix, yet that's been the case for years at Karkemish, an ancient city along the Turkey-Syria border where an excavation team announced its newest finds Saturday just meters from Islamic State group-controlled territory. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • Birds fly backdropped by an building with the Islamic State group flag on top, in the Syrian city of Jarablous, seen from an archaeologic site outside Karkemish, Turkey, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. Archaeology and war don't usually mix, yet that's been the case for years at Karkemish, an ancient city along the Turkey-Syria border where an excavation team announced its newest finds Saturday just meters from Islamic State group-controlled territory. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Birds fly backdropped by an building with the Islamic State group flag on top, in the Syrian city of Jarablous, seen from an archaeologic site outside Karkemish, Turkey, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. Archaeology and war don't usually mix, yet that's been the case for years at Karkemish, an ancient city along the Turkey-Syria border where an excavation team announced its newest finds Saturday just meters from Islamic State group-controlled territory. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

Archaeology and war don't usually mix, yet that's been the case for years at Karkemish, an ancient city on the Turkey-Syria border where an excavation team is boasting of its latest treasures found just meters (yards) from Islamic State-controlled territory.

Karkemish, dating back more than 5,000 years, is close to the Syrian city of Jarablous, which now flies the black banner of the Islamic extremist group fighting in the Syrian conflict.

Nicolo Marchetti, a University of Bologna professor and team leader, says the site is secured by Turkish soldiers and tanks.

The importance of Karkemish has been long known to scholars because of references in ancient texts.

Excavation work was halted by World War I and again by hostilities between Turkish nationalists and French colonizers from Syria.