Bearing witness: list of damage to archaeological sites, monuments and heritage in Syria

Mosaics of Apamea

Mosaics of Apamea

Damage inflicted by shelling

Concern has also been raised about sites likely to be affected by shelling including the World Heritage Sites at the centres of Damascus and Aleppo and the tentative World Heritage Site of Norias of Hama.

Looting and damage caused by looting

There are twenty five cultural heritage museums dispersed around Syria, many with artifacts stored outside. It has been reported that Homs museum has been looted and that only the museums and monuments of the capital, Damascus are safe from looting and destruction from the escalating warfare between government militias and armed rebels. Hama museum was also reported to have been looted on 14 July 2011 and a goldenAramaic statue dating to the 8th century BC was stolen. The doors were not damaged in the incident, possibly indicating staff responsibility for the looting.

 –The Museum of Raqqa, known as the Qala’at Jabar Museum was also looted on 1 May 2012. Stolen items included three figurines of the goddess Ishtar and pottery dating to the third millennium BC.

Security at the Museum of Idlib has also been raised as a concern by Syrian archaeological heritage under threat. The lack of documentation of antiquities in the country has created a severe problem protecting the collections. Looting carries a fifteen-year prison sentence in Syria.

Latest reports indicate a growing black market in the region where antiquities are being traded for weapons

Damage inflicted by army occupation

Damage to ancient sites can be caused due to army occupation by encampments, entrenchment of military vehicles and weapons. It can also be caused during movement of materials for construction, souvenirs or even target practice.

  • Palmyra (World Heritage Site), tank occupation, statues and reliefs damaged.[2]
  • Apamea (Tentative World Heritage Site), bulldozers digging into the citadel mound.
  • Bosra (World Heritage Site), damaged by tanks.
  • Tell Rifa’i, damaged by soldiers using it as a camp.
  • The Chateau de Chmemis in Salamyeh, shelters for tanks excavated at the base of the citadel.
  • Khan Sheikhoun, shelters for tanks on the slopes of the tell.
  • Tell Afis, damaged by encampments.
  • Tell A’zaz, damaged by installation of heavy weaponry.
  • Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi monastery, possibly damaged during army search.
  • Kafr Nubbel rock shelters, damaged during searches for deserters.
  • Qal Markab, damaged by installation of heavy weaponry.
  • Tell Nebi Mend, damaged by installation of heavy weaponry.
  • Homs Qal, tanks and heavy weaponry installation.
  • Qal Hama, tanks and heavy weaponry installation.

Source:  Wikipedia

About alisariram

I am an artist, a writer and a researcher. I know Arabic and English . I am interested in music and art of every description. I like to describe myself as the embodiment of a harmonious marriage between two cultures which I value and treasure.
This entry was posted in Archaeology, Destruction of cities and habitats, Syria, Syrian Archaeology and antiquities, Syrian Heritage, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bearing witness: list of damage to archaeological sites, monuments and heritage in Syria

  1. levantine says:

    It’s heartbreaking to see our civilization that is more than 6000 years old being destroyed this way in just 2 years.

    • alisariram says:

      Nothing will console me. It is 10000 years old and we stand to lose most of what this civilization has left us if things just go on like this.

    • alisariram says:

      Actually, it is 10000 years of civilization. I cannot begin to console myself for our tragic losses. That is why I am documenting the irreplaceable heart breaking losses. Thanks Levantine.

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