ISIS In Palmyra Update 2015: After Arch Of Triumph Destruction, Syrian Archaeologists Risk Lives For Preservation, Protect Antiquities From Black Market
By Jess McHugh | Mon, 2015-10-05 13:10
The ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, was once the crossroads of several of the most important ancient civilizations in human history. Sitting near a lush oasis along a trade route, the city known as Venice of the Sands became a thriving hub where people from the ancient Greek, Roman and Persian empires met and traded goods. After the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, destroyed the 2,000 year-old Arch of Triumph Sunday, in the latest act of violence against the UNESCO world heritage site, archeologists and historians renewed the call for international agencies to intervene in preventing future losses, fearing that continued looting and black market sale of relics would drain the ancient site until it all but disappeared.
ISIS took control of Palmyra in May and immediately destroyed several hundred priceless antiquities along with several of the oldest and most cherished ancient temples in the region. Losses since may include the Elahbel Tomb, Baal Shamin Temple, Temple of Bel, the Valley of the Tombs, as well as numerous statues and artifacts, most of which date from the first or second century AD.