This website is a visual introduction to the writer’s two books on the history and archaeology of Syria.
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.
Those familiar with the extraordinary variety of Syria’s remains are invited to leave their own tips and requests in the Suggestion Box. The task of maintaining an updated store of information on recent research is an unending challenge given the hundreds of sites of historical interest and the continuing research of Syrian and foreign teams. Suggestions will be taken into account in future editions of the works already published or posted to guide other visitors. The Suggestion Box also provides an opportunity for Syrians and others with a passion for the country’s past to post photos or sketches.
The Monuments of Syria — A Guide
‘Monuments of Syria — An Historical and Archaeological Guide‘ first issued 1992 by I B Tauris, London and State University of New York Press; published in a French edition in Damascus and Paris in 1998; second English edition 1999; third edition (‘The Monuments of Syria — A Guide’, I B Tauris, London 2009)
‘Damascus — A History’ was published in 2005 by Routledge, London and New York, and available in a paperback edition since February 2007.