This website was initiated in mid-2011, shortly after Syria entered into one of the most tragic and agonising series of events in its long history. I wanted to find some way of keeping alive the memory of Syria’s extraordinarily diverse past while it remained largely closed to visitors due to the violence that has prevailed in much of the country. It remains to be seen what will emerge from these events but I hope that the memories outsiders have of its extraordinary people and their respect for and appreciation of their past, will strengthen as a result of this terrible experience.

Few countries can match Syria in the richness of its historical remains. In the zone west of Aleppo, for example, over 600 Byzantine-era villages survive, often with multiple churches with walls up to their rooflines. There is practically no era not represented in Syria. Palmyra, the great caravan city at the westernmost point of the Silk Road, still slumbers in the desert, its beautifully carved limestone as crisp and dramatic as 2000 years ago. Magnificent reminders of the folly of past confrontations, including the Crusades, survive in the great fortifications that are scattered across the country — the Krak des Chevaliers; the great Islamic citadel that crowns Aleppo; the refuges of the ‘Assassins’ hidden away in the coastal mountains; or the Damascus Citadel that sustained the long Muslim resistance to the Crusades. Not to be overlooked are the many mosques and madrasas, often tucked away quietly in backstreets or buried within the busy suqs (markets) of the major centres.

opcje binarne giełda The Arabic translation throughout this website has been prepared by Ibrahim Omeri (formerly with the Department of Antiquities and Museums, Damascus) with initial editorial supervision by France Meyer (Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, Australian National University, Canberra).

Arabic place names

Some of the Arabic place names in the third edition of ‘The Monuments of Syria’ contain errors of transliteration and typography. A corrected list can be printed off this website by opening the ‘Full List’ option under the PLACES tab.

You are invited to leave your comments and requests at the site email address—info@monumentsofsyria.com.

There are several other websites which give comprehensive coverage to the archaeology of Syria through different perspectives. I would recommend —

The Manar al-Athar open-access photo-archive http://www.manar-al-athar.ox.ac.uk (based at the University of Oxford) aims to provide high resolution, searchable images, freely-downloadable for teaching, research, heritage projects, and publication. It covers buildings and art in the areas of the former Roman empire which later came under Islamic rule (e.g. Syro-Palestine/the Levant, Arabia, Egypt, and North Africa), from ca. 300 BC to the present, but especially Roman, late antique, and early Islamic art, architecture, and sacred sites. 

 

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