Take a good hard look because all this is about to be destroyed!
Known as the ‘Venice of the Sands’, the ancient city of Palmyra dates back to at least the second millennium BCE, it’s even mentioned in the Bible & the Talmud.
It was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1980.
Between the first & third century CE the city became very wealthy & prosperous as a leading trading centre after caravan traders from across Syria & the Roman & Persian empires used it as a station for their caravans. It was an important stop on the Silk Road.
Thanks to the prosperous economy the Palmyrenes were able to construct major projects including Hadrian’s Gate (first picture, it was visited by the Roman emperor Hadrian in 129 CE), the Roman theatre (third picture), the temple of Ba’al (fifth picture), & other important temples & monuments.
At its peak the city had over 200,000 inhabitants making it one of the largest cities of its time. The majority of its inhabitants were Arameans, Arabs, & Amorites with Greek, Roman, & Jewish minorities. The main languages spoken were Aramaic & Greek in the Palmyrene alphabet.
Palmyra was at one point one of the greatest civilizations in the world. It’s an immensely important cultural & historical site not just for Syrians but for humanity as a whole.
“Palmyra is an archaeological global city & the international community has a responsibility to keep its artefacts in Palmyra where it belongs & defend it against ISIS” - Maamnoun Abdulkarim, director-general of the Syrian directorate of antiquities & museums
The city was seized by ISIS on May 20th 2015, they have pledged to destroy the city & all its historical sites & heritage. Unless the city is quickly retaken from ISIS it will be destroyed just like the Assyrian/Mesopotamian/Babylonian artefacts & ancient sites in Iraq!
“Damage to the heritage of a country is damage to the soul of its people and its identity” - Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO