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Exploring Syria's Ancient Past

Most of us have followed with horror the devastating civil war that erupted in Syria in 2011 and continues seven yearslater. It has killed between 350,000 and 500,000 civilians and combatants and has brought about the destruction of much of the country’s ancient past.

As with my lecture on Libya in March, we’ll look at the remarkable accomplishments of the area before and during Greek and Roman antiquity: Damascus and Aleppo, rival claimants to the title of the world’s longest continuously-inhabited city; Christian churches where congregants pray in ancient Aramaic; a remote Roman fort on the Euphrates River; and the famous (and beautiful) caravan city of Palmyra.

But the war has not been kind to these ancient marvels: many have been partially or completed destroyed during the war and will probably never be rebuilt. So here is a “trigger warning:” we’ll also briefly look at the current condition of some of these monuments.

Presenter: John Humphrey

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