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Ancient Syrian sites extensively looted, pulverized amid clashes

Press TV [1]
Thursday, August 9, 2012

Archeological sites and museums of Syria have been extensively looted and destroyed as clashes continue between the Syrian army and anti-government insurgents.

According to a report published by The Independent, monuments and museums of the capital Damascus and the flashpoint city of Aleppo have been largely spared.

Syrian archeologists say an Assyrian temple has been destroyed at Tell Sheikh Hamad and the wall and towers of al-Madiq castle, one of the most forward Crusader fortresses in the Levant, have been ravaged.

Thieves have also stolen Roman mosaics of Apamea, ripping up the Roman floors and transporting them with bulldozers.

Similar incidents have been reported in the “Dead Cities”, a group of 700 abandoned settlements in northwest Syria between Aleppo and Idlib.

Around 40 villages grouped in eight archaeological parks situated in north-western Syria provide reflect the rural life in Late Antiquity and during the Byzantine period, featuring architectural remains of dwellings, pagan temples, churches, cisterns and bathhouses.

“The situation of Syria’s heritage today is catastrophic,” said Lebanese archaeologist Joanne Farchakh, who also investigated the looting and destruction of Iraqi treasures following the US-led attack on the country in 2003.

Full story here. [1]