Culture heritage in Syria in conflict, general brief up-dating – University of Copenhagen

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26 September 2013

Culture heritage in Syria in conflict, general brief up-dating

(September 2013) 

  • In the region of Deir ez Zor in northeastern Syria, illegal excavation and plundering activities are taking place in large scale. The most affected are the already vandalized sites of Mari and Dura Europos. Efforts to stop the destruction were unfortunately not successful (official sources DGAM-The Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums).
  • In the region of Daraa in the south, several archaeological sites are believed to be in threat, (official sources).
  • In the region of Aleppo the archaeological sites in Khanaser is being subjected to extensive violations resulting from illegal excavation and a mosaic panel from the nearby church is reported stolen (official sources).
  • In the region of Idlib in the northwestern region, illicit diggings at the archaeological site of Ebla are remarkably decreasing (following official sources). With respect to the sites of Gebel az-Zawyia, area inscribed on the World Heritage List such as al-Bara, Serjilla and others, some extent of stability and protection seems to exist (according to official sources). However, the exact extent of damage due to vandalism and fight is still unknown.
  • At the archaeological site of Palmyra, an updating from DGAM published on September 17 2013, mentioned that several illicit diggings were located in the southeastern cemeteries area on the site. Moreover, the southern and eastern walls of the Temple suffered serious damages. The report mentions also that several columns of the southern portico of the Temple were hit due to fighting, and two of them collapsed. In addition, traces of burning and bullets and shells were found inside the temple area in several places.