Apart from large dumps of debris the evidence consisted of pottery and glass workshops containing the remains of pottery kilns and glass furnaces.

Approximately 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) west of Raqqa lay the unfinished victory monument called Heraqla from the period of Harun al-Rashid.

It is said to commemorate the conquest of the Byzantine city of Herakleia in Asia Minor in 806.

Other theories connect it with cosmological events.

In Roman times, it was part of the Roman province of Osrhoene, but had declined by the 4th century. 457–474 AD) in 466, it was named Leontopolis (Λεοντόπολις or "city of Leon") after him, but the name Kallinikos prevailed.

The city played an important role in the Byzantine Empire's relation with Sassanid Persia and the wars fought between the two states.

It is located 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of the Tabqa Dam, Syria's largest dam.

The Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine city and bishopric Callinicum (formerly a Latin—and now a Maronite Catholic titular see) was the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate between 796 and 809, under the reign of Harun al-Rashid.With a population of 220,488 based on the 2004 official census, Raqqa was the sixth largest city in Syria.As a result, the city was hit by airstrikes from the Syrian government, Russia, the United States, and several other countries.Most non-Sunni religious structures in the city were destroyed by ISIL, most notably the Shi'ite Uwais al-Qarni Mosque, while others have been forcefully converted into mosques.On 17 October 2017, following a lengthy battle that saw massive destruction to the city, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared the liberation of Raqqa from ISIL to be complete.One of the founding fathers of the Hanafi school of law, Muḥammad ash-Shaibānī, was chief qadi (judge) in Raqqa.