Bible and archaeology news
According to residents of the Syrian town of Palmyra, the site of one of the largest trade emporiums of the ancient world,* the Syrian army has occupied the town’s ancient citadel and is firing into the ruins where they believe government dissidents are hiding. Many of the town’s 60,000 residents have fled to neighboring towns or countries, and some are reporting that the army is destroying the many gardens and orchards that surround the site. “The gardens in the ruins were hit the hardest,” reported one resident. “People will have to plant again and wait for 10 years before they see a good season again.” Until Syria’s recent unrest, Palymra was one of the country’s top tourist destinations. Inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980, the site’s well-preserved ruins provide a unique collection of Greco-Roman art and architecture fused with ancient Syrian and Near Eastern traditions.
Read more about the attacks on Palmyra.
* See Expeditions, Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1997, and Destinations, “The Valley of the Tombs, Palmyra, Syria,” Archaeology Odyssey, July/August 1999.
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[…] unhappy P.S. in step with a new record, a outpost of Apamea was once bombed, and complicated weapons have been commissioned within a church of Baal in Palmyra. […]
[…] Sad P.S. According to a new report, a bulwark of Apamea was bombed, and complicated weapons were commissioned in a church of Baal in Palmyra. […]
There is debate over the provenance and history of the Alawites, the tribe of the Assad family. Some claim it to be nothing but a Shiya offshoot that began a couple hundred years ago. Others trace the tribe to the Luwites who populated much of Anatolia in the days of the Hittites. The fact that they have their own religion described as quite flexible, indicates resiliance and perhaps ancient roots. I call on BAR to publish an article on this topic, without bias, but with as much data as possible.