In The News:
May 20 2016 - Looting rife, heritage sites destroyed: The state of Syria's history; Lizzie Porter; Middle East Eye
May 18 2016 - Director-General of UNESCO deplores severe damage at Church of Saint Simeon, World Heritage Site in Syria; Malaysia Sun
Located in a vast limestone massif, some 40 villages grouped in eight parks situated in north-western Syria provide a remarkably coherent and exceptionally broad insight into rural and village lifestyle in late Antiquity and during the Byzantine period.
Abandoned in the 8th to 10th centuries, the Ancient Villages of Northern Syria, which date from the 1st to 7th centuries, feature a remarkably well preserved landscape and the architectural remains of original monuments and buildings, in a remarkable state of preservation: dwellings, pagan temples, churches and Christian sanctuaries, cisterns, funerary monuments, bathhouses, public buildings, buildings with economic or artisanal purposes, etc.
The relict cultural landscape of the villages and palace of worship also constitutes an important illustration of the transition from the ancient pagan world of the Roman Empire to Byzantine Christianity.
The ensemble forms a series of unique and exceptional relict cultural landscapes, providing exceptional illustration of the development of Christianity in the East, in village communities.
The village and their relict landscapes provide exceptional testimony to the lifestyles and cultural traditions of the rural civilisations that developed in the Middle East, in the context of a Mediterranean climate in mid-altitude limestone mountains.
It also provide exceptional testimony to the architecture of the rural house and civilian and religious community buildings.
It also provide an eminent example of a sustainable rural settlement, based on the careful use of the soil, water and limestone, and the mastery of production of valuable agricultural crops.
The economic functionality of the habitat, vestiges illustrating hydraulic techniques and engineering, low protective walls and the Roman agricultural plot plan offer testimony to the inhabitants' mastery of agricultural production.
Aleppo (pop. 2,132,000) is the largest city in Syria [read more].
Latakia (pop. 384,000) is a major port in Syria [read more].
Homs (pop. 653,000) is the third largest city in Syria [read more].
Mar 15 2016 - 6 out of 6: ALL of Syria's UNESCO Heritage Sites damaged or destroyed during civil war; RT
Dec 16 2013 - Syria Civil War: Unesco Warns of Illegal Excavations to Loot Artefacts; Sanskrity Sinha; IB TimesOct 04 2013 - What Does Art Have To Do With The Syrian War?; Kimberly Jones; NewsBlaze
Sep 04 2013 - Syria: UNESCO’s Six World Heritage Sites Damaged in War; Sanskrity Sinha; IB Times
Sep 04 2013 - Syria's cultural casualties; Elizabeth Grenier; Deutsche Welle
Mar 05 2013 - Syria Civil War Threatens Cradle of World Cultures; David Arnold; VoA
Jan 12 2013 - Destruction of heritage sites in Syria raises questions about cost of democracy; Dava Castillo; All Voices
Jan 09 2013 - Another casualty of Syria’s war: Its cultural heritage; Tracey Shelton; Global Post
Sep 03 2012 - Fears for Syria's lost heritage; ABC