Close to the Syria-Turkey border town of Jarablous controlled by Isis, archaeologists working at a site are unveiling the secrets of a 5,000-year-old city. In the picture above, the black flag belonging to the Islamic State is seen near the Syrian town of Kobani, as pictured from the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province. REUTERS

An ancient city dating back to 5,000 years is revealing its secrets not far from Islamic State- controlled territory in Syria.

As US aircraft flew overhead, Nicolo Marchetti, a professor of archaeology and art history of the Ancient Near East at the University of Bologna, has been busy peeling the layers off the Turkish border city of Karkemish in the fourth season of excavations across a century, reports AP.

The region occupied by the Turkish military is just metres away from Syrian city of Jarablous, now occupied by the Isis.

The work which has been halted and renewed many times over in a century had attracted the famous Lawrence of Arabia.

In fact, the latest expedition also explored the remains of Lawrence's house when he worked between 1911 and 1914 at Karkemish.

The discovery this time reveals sculptures from the palace of King Katuwa, who ruled the area around 900 BC.

There were five large orthostats (stone or slab forming part of the structure) in limestone and basalt, a dark grey to black rock, that portray a row of individuals bearing gifts of gazelle.

Also exposed was a mosaic floor in the palace of Sargon II, who reigned around 700 BC over Assyria, an ancient empire mostly located in Mesopotamia. A recent study has shown that it was probably overpopulation and drought that led to the collapse of the Assyrian civilisation.

Karkemish, which flourished along the Euphrates dates back to more than 5,000 years and refers to the god Kamis in its name.