Middle East

Feb 21, 2014

Syria’s rich history and antiquities the latest casualty of war

Many of Syria's important archaeological sites have fallen into the hands of rebel fighters, says freelance correspondent Chris Ray. Is there any hope to save a millennia-old culture?

The buried Bronze Age city of Mari on the Euphrates River in eastern Syria has been giving up its secrets to French and Syrian archaeologists since its discovery in 1933. But the Syrian civil war threatens the precious artifacts therein.

Forty-two excavation campaigns over almost 80 years have unearthed a 300-room palace, brilliantly coloured frescoes and more than 25,000 clay tablets written in cuneiform script, one of the earliest writing systems.

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2 thoughts on “Syria’s rich history and antiquities the latest casualty of war

  1. AR

    Something poignantly ironic (or ironically poignant) about artifacts surviving for millennia only to be obliterated by 21stC fanatics. I’ll never forget Bamyian.

  2. Limited News

    NATO’s sponsorship of cannibals and fruitloops aka “Syrian rebels” is unforgiveable, for many reasons. Like any aggressor, NATO invents ad-hoc and seemingly independent justifications for each intervention but it is a pattern of sequential wars in and around the Middle East.

    Where is the Vatican on this, hopefully not cosying up to the Reich this time.

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