yarmouk camp

yarmouk camp
Yarmouk Refugee Camp

Friday, September 26, 2014

Syria. Destruction Of Antiquities Capured In Recent Images. By Bruce McLaren

Since the conflict in Syria broke out in March 2011 it didn't take long for stolen, looted, robbed, dug up ransacked antiquities to appear at the Jordanian Border. The antiquities were to be smuggled into the western market, public and private collections and what have you. If it came from a museum collection then the thief is a fool and will get caught for these collections are invariably documented. But an undocumented Roman jar yanked out of an unknown tomb? That is fair game for collectors lacking scruples.

Anyway, this isn't so much a blog as an observation of the level of destruction  being inflicted upon sites of antiquity. Even the "Dead Cities" which give their name to my book, which are one of six World Heritage listed site in Syria, have been hit hard, because that is where refugees from Aleppo were heading. And you can bet your bottom dollar that with ISIS in contol of the Euphrates River Valley ancient sites discussed in the book, such as Mari, are most likely massive excavation sites as ISIS men dig for pagan loot.

Perhaps the most saddening of these photos is that of the Old Mosque in Aleppo, with it's destroyed Minaret, almost 1000 years old. This minaret what a fantastic piece of work, incorporating the eccentricities of many periods of Islamic History going all the way back to the arrival of the Seljuk Turks, and that is a fair way back - time of Charlemagne! This side of any war like will inevitably cut deep into the hearts of those who place some onus on the value of history.

The Aleppo Minaret. Before and After

Click on these links to observe six before and after photos of ancient Syrian sites. Thanks Dave Thomas for finding these...

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