The ancient city of Palmyra the most beautiful city of the world heritage

تدمر السورية أجمل مدن التراث العالمي

بقلم المؤرخ الدكتور محمود السيد-المديرية العامة للآثار والمتاحف والإعلامي محمد عماد الدغلي

Written by historian Dr. Mahmoud Al-Sayed – General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums of Syria and media person Muhammad Imad al-Daghli

Syria is a land rich in antiquities. boasts six World Heritage cultural sites and all are on UNESCO’s, with many more archeological locations still unexcavated, but Palmyra is its jewel. The ancient city  stands out as one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the world. Palmyre is immense history in the Syrian desert, home to the monumental ruins of an ancient city that was one of the most important cultural centers. was not a desert, but rather an arid steppe, with underground grass roots that keep rain from sinking into the soil. Rainwater collects in intermittent creeks and rivers called wadi by the Arabs. And its importance derives not only from the beauty and majesty of its ruins, but from its incredible literary pedigree.

 Palmyra is one of the most romantic sites to have come down to us from the ancient world. Its lofty colonnades remind visitors of the heavy Greco-Roman influences, while its temples devoted to an amalgam of different gods speak to its spiritual metamorphosis. It is the quintessence of a caravan city. The sheer beauty of the ruins, the monumental scale of the site and the buildings, the richness and sumptuousness of detail, all leave an indelible mark upon the mind. At the height of its glory, Palmyra was a symbol of a pluralistic civilisation, a commercial hub on the Silk Road that was a cultural crossroads. Its architecture was a blend of influences from ancient Rome and Greece, Persia and Central Asia. And Palmyran funerary sculpture is the most extensive corpus of portrait sculpture in the Roman world outside Rome.  In recognition of its historical importance and universal cultural value, Palmyra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980.

The city of Palmyra lies 215 km northeast of the Syrian capital, Damascus, is located in an oasis surrounded by palms. Two mountain ranges overlook the city: the northern Palmyrene mountain belt from the north and the southern Palmyrene mountains from the southwest.

 Palmyra was built on an oasis lying approximately halfway between the Mediterranean Sea west and the Euphrates River east, and it helped connect the Roman world with Mesopotamia and the East.Commerce made Palmyra and its merchants among the wealthiest in the region. It grew steadily in importance as a city on the trade route linking Persia, India and China with the Roman Empire, marking the crossroads of several civilisations in the ancient world.  From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences. Although Palmyra’s rise to prominence in the ancient world was gradual, its demise was especially quick.

Archaeological finds date back to the stone Ageand. The site, located near the Efqa spring on the southern bank of Wadi al-Qubur, was occupied by at least the neolithic. The documents first mention the city in the early second millennium BC. The scarce artifacts found in the city dating to the Bronze Age reveal that, culturally, Palmyra was most affiliated with western Syria. Archaeological sounding in the tell beneath the Temple of Bel uncovered a mud-brick structure built around 2500 BC, followed by structures built during the Middle Bronze Age and Iron Age.

The city entered the historical record during the Bronze Age around 1900 BC, when Puzur-Ishtar the Tadmorean agreed to a contract at an Assyrian trading colony in Kultepe. When it was a trading city in the extensive trade network that linked Mesopotamia and northern Syria.  It was mentioned next in the Mari tablets as a stop for trade caravans and nomadic tribes, such as the Suteans, and was conquered along with its region by Yahdun-Lim of Mari. King Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria passed through the area on his way to the Mediterranean at the beginning of the 18th century BC; by then, Palmyra was the easternmost point of the kingdom of Qatna, and it was attacked by the Suteans who paralyzed the traffic along the trade routes. Palmyra was mentioned in a 13th-century BC tablet discovered at Emar, which recorded the names of two “Tadmorean” witnesses. At the beginning of the 11th century BC, King Tiglath-Pileser I of Assyria recorded his defeat of the “Arameans” of “Tadmar”; according to the king, Palmyra was part of the land of Amurru.The city became the eastern border of Aram-Damascus which was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 732 BC. Earlier, Syria had been conquered by Alexander the Great (332 BCE). Thereafter ruled by the Seleucid line of kings, it had become subject to Hellenizing influences, although the Greek influence was felt more on the Mediterranean coastal area than it was east of the mountains.

Remains of the Assyrian city are found beneath the Hellanistic settlement. During the Hellenistic period under the Seleucids (between 312 and 64 BC), Palmyra became a prosperous settlement owing allegiance to the Seleucid king. In 217 BC, a Palmyrene force led by Zabdibel joined the army of King Antiochus III in the Battle of Raphia which ended in a Seleucid defeat by Ptolemaic Egypt. By the late second century BC, the tower tombs in the Palmyrene Valley of Tombs and the city temples most notably, the temples of Baalshamin, Al-lāt and the Hellenistic temple began to be built. During the Hellenistic period under the Seleucids (between 312 and 64 BC), Nabataean merchants began to settle in Palmyra, and it became a prosperous settlement owing allegiance to the Seleucid king. The Hellenistic settlement of Palmyra had its residences expanding to the wadi’s northern bank during the first century.  Classical Palmyra had a distinctive culture, based on a local tradition, and influenced by Greece and Rome. During the Hellenistic period, Palmyra remained as an independent city and continued to prosper, thanks to its allegiance to the Seleucid Empire, the regional superpower at that time. In 64 BC the Roman conquered the Seleucid kingdom, and the Roman general Pompey established the province of Syria. Although the Roman province of Syria was created in 64 B.C., the inhabitants of Tadmor, primarily Aramaeans and Arabs, remained semi-independent for over half a century. Palmyra was left independent, trading with Rome and Parthia but belonging to neither. Palmyra was still a minor sheikhdom, offering water to caravans which occasionally took the desert route on which it was located. However,  Palmyra was wealthy enough for Mark Antony to send a force to conquer it in 41 BC but failed. By the end of the first century BC, the city had a mixed economy based on agriculture, pastoralism, taxation, and, most importantly, the caravan trade. Since Palmyra was not on the main trading route which followed the Euphrates, the Palmyrenes secured the desert route passing their city. They connected it to the Euphrates valley, providing water and shelter. The Palmyrene route connected the Silk Road with the Mediterranean, and was used almost exclusively by the city’s merchants, who maintained a presence in many cities, including Dura-Europos in 33 BC, Babylon by AD 19, Seleucia by AD 24, Dendera, Coptos, Bahrain, the Indus River Delta, Merv and Rome.

Palmyra changed hands on a number of occasions between different empires before becoming a subject of the Roman Empire in the first century AD. The oldest inscription in Palmyra that refers to trade caravans has been dated to AD 10/11,  but they more than likely began sometime before that date. Palmyra was strategically located on two of the most important trade routes in the ancient world: one extended from the Far East and India to the head of the Persian Gulf, and the other—the Silk Road—stretched across the Eurasian continent to China. Although autonomous for much of its history, Palmyra came under Roman control and paid tribute early in the reign of Tiberius, around 14 AD. The Romans included Palmyra in the province of Syria, and defined the region’s boundaries; a boundary marker established by Roman governor Silanus was found 75 kilometers to the northwest of Palmyra at Khirbet el-Bilaas. Another marker that defined Palmyra’s southwestern borders was found at Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi, while the borders in the east extended to the Euphrates valley. It steadily grew in importance as a trade route linking Persia, India, China, and the Roman empire.  The earliest Palmyrene text attesting a Roman presence in the city dates to 18 AD, when the Roman general Germanicus tried to develop a friendly relationship with Parthia. Meanwhile, Palmyra’s eastern border extended to the Euphrates valley. This region included numerous villages subordinate to the center, including large settlements such as al-Qaryatayn. And a road connecting Palmyra and Sura was built in AD 75. The Roman imperial period brought great prosperity to the city, which enjoyed a privileged status under the empire—retaining much of its internal autonomy, being ruled by a council, and incorporating many Greek city-state (polis) institutions into its government. After the Roman annexation of Nabataea in 106 A.D., Palmyra replaced Petra as the leading Arab city in the Near East and its most important trading center.

The Emperor Trajan (reigned AD 98-117) had a paved road built that connected Palmyra to the Euphrates River.  Another road was built that ran from Palmyra to city of Petra and river and sea routes were established that brought Palmyrene merchants down the Euphrates River to the Persian Gulf and east to Asia. Trajan’s ill-fated attempt to conquer Parthia in 117 CE created much difficulty for Palmyra, whose prosperity depended upon peaceful relations between the two powers. A breakdown of the delicate balance between the Roman Empire and its eastern neighbors, the Parthians and then the Sasanids, would threaten Palmyra’s affluence.

In 129 Palmyra was visited by Hadrian, who named it “Hadriane Palmyra” and made it a free city. Hadrian promoted Hellenism throughout the empire, and Palmyra’s urban expansion was modeled on that of Greece. It was later granted by the emperor Caracalla the title of colonia, with exemption from taxes, but withal retained its own forms of government. Roman garrisons are first attested in Palmyra in 167, when the cavalry Ala I Thracum Herculiana was moved to the city.

In the 190, Palmyra was assigned to the province of Phoenice, newly created by the Severan dynasty. Toward the end of the second century, Palmyra began a steady transition from a traditional Greek city-state to a monarchy. And due to the increasing militarization of the city and the deteriorating economic situation; the Severan ascension to the imperial throne in Rome played a major role in Palmyra’s transition

The Severan-led Roman–Parthian War, from 194 to 217, influenced regional security and affected the city’s trade. Bandits began attacking caravans, leading Palmyra to strengthen its military presence. When the Sāsānians supplanted the Parthians in Persia and southern Mesopotamia (227), occupied the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates the road to the Persian Gulf was soon closed to Palmyrene trade. These difficulties led the Romans to set up the personal rule of the family of Septimius Odaenathus at Palmyra. The emperor Severus Alexander (from 222 to 235), visited Palmyra in 229.

The rise of the Sasanids created new difficulties for the Romans, who were beset on all sides and weakened internally by pretenders to the throne. The expulsion of the Romans from Mesopotamia began with Ardashir in the 230 CE. His successor Shapur I routed a Roman army in 244. In 255, Septimus Odaenathus was appointed governor of Syria Phoenice, based in Palmyra. Five years later, he was made Governor of all the East. Dura-Europos fell in 256, and Palmyra would appear to have been next. Shapur’s triumph was complete when he captured the Roman emperor Valerian in 260. This crisis saw the rise of Septimius Odaenathus, commonly regarded as the founder of the Palmyrene Kingdom. Palmyra became a prosperous metropolis, with a strong army capable of defeating the Sassanid Empire. During the conflict between the Roman and Sassanian Empires, Odaenathus remained loyal to Rome, and was even able to inflict a serious defeat on the Sassanians as they were about to cross the Euphrates. In 262 Odaenathus launched a new campaign against Shapur, reclaiming the rest of Roman Mesopotamia (Nisibis and Carrhae), sacking the  city of Nehardea, and besieging the Persian capital Ctesiphon. Following his victory, the Palmyrene monarch assumed the title King of Kings. Later, Odaenathus crowned his son Hairan I as co-King of Kings near Antioch in 263. Although he did not take the Persian capital, Odaenathus drove the Persians out of all Roman lands conquered since the beginning of Shapur’s wars in 252. In a second campaign that took place in 266, the Palmyrene king reached Ctesiphon again; however, he had to leave the siege and move north, accompanied by Hairan I, to repel Gothic attacks on Asia Minor.

In 267 Odaenathus and his eldest son were assassinated.  Odaenathus’ wife, Zenobia, became the effective ruler. The queen was careful not to provoke Rome, claiming for herself and her son the titles held by her husband while guaranteeing the safety of the borders with Persia and pacifying the Tanukhids in Hauran. To protect the borders with Persia, Zenobia fortified different settlements on the Euphrates including the citadels of Halabiye and Zalabiye. As the Roman Empire faced internal political instability in the third century, Palmyra took the opportunity to declare its independence. By 270, Zenobia had conquered all of Syria and parts of Egypt, and had arrived at Asia Minor’s doorstep. Zenobia had her sights set on Antioch and the pinnacle of its expansion. Her rule was short-lived, however; in 272 A.D., Emperor Aurelian reconquered Palmyra and captured Zenobia, and destroyed it in 273 after a failed second rebellion ( Palmyra rebelled under the leadership of Septimius Apsaios, declaring Antiochus a relative of Zenobia as Augustus).

After Roman emperor Aurelian destroyed the city, was later restored by Diocletian at a reduced size, fortified and expanded for military purposes. Palmyra became a minor center under the Byzantines. In the 6th century, Palmyra’s defences are rebuilt by emperor Justinian and a few Byzantine churches were built (In late 527, Justinian I ordered the restoration of Palmyra’s churches and public buildings to protect the empire against raids by Lakhmid king Al-Mundhir III ibn al-Nu’man). The city remained the chief station on the strata Diocletiana, a paved road that linked Damascus to the Euphrates, but in 634 it was taken by Khālid ibn al-Walīd in the name of the first Muslim caliph, Abū Bakr. after which the Palmyrene and Greek languages were replaced by Arabic. After that, its importance as a trading centre gradually declined. The caravan routes moved to the north, through Asia Minor and on to Constantinople, and Syria itself was no longer part of the Silk Road.

During the Umayyad Caliphate, Palmyra was mainly inhabited by the Banu Kalb. Palmyra benefited from the Umayyad rule since its role as a frontier city ended and the East-West trade route was restored,with a large souq (market), leading to the re-emergence of a merchant class. Palmyra’s loyalty to the Umayyads led to an aggressive military retaliation from their successors, the Abbassids, and the city diminished in size, losing its merchant class.

After being defeated by Marwan II during a civil war in the caliphate, Umayyad contender Sulayman ibn Hisham fled to the Banu Kalb in Palmyra, but eventually pledged allegiance to Marwan in 744; Palmyra continued to oppose Marwan until the surrender of the Banu Kalb leader al-Abrash al-Kalbi in 745.That year, Marwan ordered the city’s walls demolished. In 750 a revolt, led by Majza’a ibn al-Kawthar and Umayyad pretender Abu Muhammad al-Sufyani, against the new Abbasid Caliphate swept across Syria; the tribes in Palmyra supported the rebels. After his defeat Abu Muhammad took refuge in the city, which withstood an Abbasid assault long enough to allow him to escape. The population of the city started to decrease in the ninth century and the process continued in the tenth century.  Abbasid power dwindled during the 10th century, when the empire disintegrated and was divided among a number of vassals. Most of the new rulers acknowledged the caliph as their nominal sovereign (a situation which continued until the Mongol destruction of the Abbasid Caliphate in 1258). In 955 Sayf al-Dawla, the Hamdanid prince of Aleppo, defeated the nomads near the city, and built a kasbah (fortress) in response to campaigns by the Byzantine emperors Nikephoros II Phokas and John I Tzimiskes. After the early-11th-century Hamdanid collapse, the region of Homs was controlled by the successor Mirdasid dynasty. Earthquakes devastated Palmyra in 1068 and 1089. In the 1070 Syria was conquered by the Seljuk Empire, and in 1082, the district of Homs came under the control of the Arab lord Khalaf ibn Mula’ib. The latter was a brigand and was removed and imprisoned in 1090 by the Seljuq sultan Malik-Shah I. Khalaf’s lands were given to Malik-Shah’s brother, Tutush I, who gained his independence after his brother’s 1092 death and established a cadet branch of the Seljuk dynasty in Syria. By the twelfth century, the population moved into the courtyard of the Temple of Bel which was fortified; Palmyra was then ruled by Toghtekin, the Burid atabeg of Damascus, who appointed his nephew governor. Toghtekin’s nephew was killed by rebels, and the atabeg retook the city in 1126. Palmyra was given to Toghtekin’s grandson, Shihab-ud-din Mahmud, who was replaced by governor Yusuf ibn Firuz when Shihab-ud-din Mahmud returned to Damascus after his father Taj al-Muluk Buri succeeded Toghtekin. The Burids transformed the Temple of Bel into a citadel in 1132, fortifying the city, and transferring it to the Bin Qaraja family three years later in exchange for Homs.

During the mid-twelfth century, Palmyra was ruled by the Zengid king Nur ad-Din Mahmud. It became part of the district of Homs, which was given as a fiefdom to the Ayyubid general Shirkuh in 1168 and confiscated after his death in 1169.

In 1172, Benjamin de Tudèle visited Palmyra and found there a colony which he estimated at four thousand souls. Homs region was conquered by the Ayyubid sultanate in 1174; the following year, Saladin gave Homs, including Palmyra to his cousin Nasir al-Din Muhammad as a fiefdom.

After Saladin’s death, the Ayyubid realm was divided and Palmyra was given to Nasir al-Din Muhammad’s son Al-Mujahid Shirkuh II who built the castle of Palmyra (known as Fakhr-al-Din al-Maani Castle) around 1230.

Palmyra was used as a refuge by Shirkuh II’s grandson, al-Ashraf Musa, who allied himself with the Mongol king Hulagu Khan and fled after the Mongol defeat in the 1260 Battle of Ain Jalut against the Mamluks. Al-Ashraf Musa asked the Mamluk sultan Qutuz for pardon and was accepted as a vassal. Al-Ashraf Musa died in 1263 without an heir, bringing the Homs district under direct Mamluk rule.

The Al Fadl clan (a branch of the Tayy tribe) were loyal to the Mamluks, and in 1281, Prince Issa bin Muhanna of the Al Fadl was appointed lord of Palmyra by sultan Qalawun. Issa was succeeded in 1284 by his son Muhanna bin Issa who was imprisoned by sultan al-Ashraf Khalil in 1293, and restored two years later by sultan al-Adil Kitbugha. Muhanna declared his loyalty to Öljaitü of the Ilkhanate in 1312 and was dismissed and replaced with his brother Fadl by sultan an-Nasir Muhammad. Although Muhanna was forgiven by an-Nasir and restored in 1317, he and his tribe were expelled in 1320 for his continued relations with the Ilkhanate, and he was replaced by tribal chief Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. Muhanna was forgiven and restored by an-Nasir in 1330; he remained loyal to the sultan until his death in 1335, when he was succeeded by his son. The Al Fadl clan protected the trade routes and villages from Bedouin raids, raiding other cities and fighting among themselves. The Mamluks intervened militarily several times, dismissing, imprisoning or expelling its leaders. Palmyra declined after its destruction by Timur in 1400/1401. The Fadl prince Nu’air escaped the battle and later fought Jakam, the sultan of Aleppo. Nu’air was captured, taken to Aleppo and executed in 1406.

Syria became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1516, and Palmyra was a center of an administrative district (sanjak). After 1568 the Ottomans appointed the Lebanese prince Ali bin Musa Harfush as governor of Palmyra’s sanjak, dismissing him in 1584 for treason.Europeans rediscovered Palmyra, the city. Recognition of the splendor of the Palmyra ruins by travelers in the 17th and 18th centuries contributed greatly to the subsequent revival of classical architectural styles and urban design in the West. In 1630 Palmyra came under the authority of another Lebanese prince, Fakhr-al-Din II, who renovated Shirkuh II’s castle ( Fakhr-al-Din al-Maani Castle). In 1678, Palmyra was “rediscovered” by two English merchants living in Aleppo. Palmyra’s first scholarly description appeared in a 1696 book by Abednego Seller. In 1751, an expedition led by Robert Wood and James Dawkins studied Palmyra’s architecture. French artist and architect Louis-François Cassas conducted an extensive survey of the city’s monuments in 1785, publishing over a hundred drawings of Palmyra’s civic buildings and tombs. Palmrya was photographed for the first time in 1864 by Louis Vignes.

The Ottoman governor of Syria, Mehmed Rashid Pasha, established a garrison in the village to control the Bedouin in 1867.

In 1882, the “Palmyrene Tariff”, an inscribed stone slab from AD 137 in Greek and Palmyrene detailing import and export taxation, was discovered by prince Semyon Semyonovich Abamelik-Lazarev in the Tariff Court. In 1901, the slab was gifted by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II to the Russian Tsar and is now in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.

Palmyra’s first excavations were conducted in 1902 by Otto Puchstein and in 1917 by Theodor Wiegand.

In 1918, as World War I was ending, the Royal Air Force built an airfield, and in November the Ottomans retreated from Zor Sanjak without a fight. In 1919, as the British and French argued over the borders of the planned mandates, the British permanent military representative to the Supreme War Council Henry Wilson suggested adding Palmyra to the British mandate. However, the British general Edmund Allenby persuaded his government to abandon this plan. Syria including Palmyra became part of the French Mandate after Syria’s defeat in the Battle of Maysalun on 24 July 1920.

In 1929, Henri Seyrig, began excavating the ruins and convinced the villagers to move to a new, French-built village next to the site. The relocation was completed in 1932; ancient Palmyra was ready for excavation as its villagers settled into the new village of Tadmur. and between 1939 and 1940 he excavated the Agora. Daniel Schlumberger conducted excavations in the Palmyrene northwest countryside in 1934 and 1935 where he studied different local sanctuaries in the Palmyrene villages. During World War II, the Mandate came under the authority of Vichy France, who gave permission to Nazi Germany to use the airfield at Palmyra; forces of Free France, backed by British forces, invaded Syria in June 1941, and on 3 July 1941, the British took control over the city in the aftermath of a battle.

From 1954 to 1956, a Swiss expedition organized by UNESCO excavated the Temple of Baalshamin.

Since 1958, the site has been excavated by the Syrian Directorate-General of Antiquities, and Polish expeditions of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology University of Warsaw, led by many archaeologists including Kazimierz Michałowski (until 1980) and Michael Gawlikowski (until 2009). The stratigraphic sounding beneath the Temple of Bel was conducted in 1967 by Robert du Mesnil du Buisson, who also discovered the Temple of Baal-hamon in the 1970s. In 1980, the historic site including the necropolis outside the walls was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

The Polish expedition concentrated its work on the Camp of Diocletian while the Syrian Directorate-General of Antiquities excavated the Temple of Nabu. Most of the hypogea were excavated jointly by the Polish expedition and the Syrian Directorate, while the area of Efqa was excavated by Jean Starcky and Jafar al-Hassani. The Palmyrene irrigation system was discovered in 2008 by Jorgen Christian Meyer. Most of Palmyra still remains unexplored especially the residential quarters in the north and south while the necropolis has been thoroughly excavated by the Directorate and the Polish expedition. The site was designated a national monument and is now protected by the National Antiquities law 222 as amended in 1999. In May 2005, a Polish team excavating at the Lat temple discovered a highly-detailed stone statue of the winged goddess of victory. A buffer zone was established in 2007 but has not yet been submitted to the World Heritage Committee. in 2008 archaeologists in working have unearthed the remnants of a 1,200-year-old church believed to be the largest ever discovered in Syria, at an excavation site in the ancient town of Palmyra. This church is the fourth to be discovered in Palmyra. Its base measuring an impressive 47 meters by 27 meters. The church columns were estimated to be 6 meters tall, with the height of the wooden ceiling more than 15 meters. A small amphitheater was found in the church’s courtyard where the experts believe some Christian rituals were practiced. In November 2010 Austrian media manager Helmut Thoma admitted to looting a Palmyrian grave.

Excavation expeditions left Palmyra in 2011 due to the War. In 2013, following war and the rise of ISIS, palmyra was added to the list of endangered world heritage sites.

The earliest documented reference to the city by its name Tadmor, Tadmur or Tudmur which means “the town that repels” in Amorite and “the indomitable town” in Aramaic, is recorded in Babylonian tablets found in Mari. Records of the name “Tadmor” date from the early second millennium BC; eighteenth century BC tablets from Mari written in cuneiform record the name as “Ta-ad-mi-ir”, while Assyrian inscriptions of the eleventh century BC record it as “Ta-ad-mar”. Palmyra is the Greek translation of the Aramaic name “Tadmor” that means, “palm tree”. Palmyra is the Latin name given by the Romans to the palm tree rich area they annexed onto their Eastern Empire in the first century. The city’s social structure was tribal, Ethnically, Palmyra’s population was a mixture of the different peoples inhabiting the city, the Palmyrenes combined elements of Amorites, Arameans, and Arabs. The language of Palmyra was Aramaic; its two systems of writing—a monumental script and a Mesopotamian cursive—reflect the city’s position between East and West. Until the late third century AD, Palmyrenes spoke Palmyrene Aramaic and used the Palmyrene alphabet. The use of Latin was minimal, but Greek was used by wealthier members of society for commercial and diplomatic purposes, and it became the dominant language during the Byzantine era. Was the only publicly bilingual city in the Roman Near East. Inscriptions on the busts are in Greek and Aramaic, rather than Latin. Both of the languages were replaced by Arabic following the Arab conquest in 634.

If the Laghman II inscription in Afghanistan is referring to Palmyra, then the city’s role in Central Asian overland trade was prominent as early as the third century BC. The earliest known inscription in Palmyrene is dated to around 44 BC. And the earliest Palmyrene text attesting a Roman presence in the city dates to 18 AD, when the Roman general Germanicus tried to develop a friendly relationship with Parthia. To appear better integrated into the Roman Empire, some Palmyrenes adopted Greco-Roman names, either alone or in addition to a second native name. Taxation was an important source of revenue for the Palmyrene government. Caravaneers paid taxes in the building known as the Tariff Court, where a tax law dating to AD 137 was exhibited. The law regulated the tariffs paid by the merchants for goods sold at the internal market or exported from the city.

The early settlement of Palmyra began around the Efqa spring on the northern side of the Al-Qubur wadi, and that’s where many of the site’s significant ruins remain. Like its art, Palmyra’s architecture was influenced by the Greco-Roman style, while preserving local elements. The Hellenistic settlement of Palmyra had its residences expanding to the wadi’s northern bank during the first century. Palmyra saw intensive construction during the first century, including the city’s first walled fortifications. The Walls of Palmyra started in the first century as a protective wall containing gaps where the surrounding mountains formed natural barriers. Although the city’s walls originally enclosed an extensive area on both banks of the wadi, the walls rebuilt during Aurelian’s reign surrounded only the northern-bank section. Segments of the city walls, which date to the Diocletian period. Most of the city’s monumental projects were built on the wadi’s northern bank, among them is the Temple of Bel. However, excavation supports the theory that the tell was originally located on the southern bank, and the wadi was diverted south of the tell to incorporate the temple into Palmyra’s late first and early second century urban organization on the north bank. Also north of the wadi was the Great Colonnade, Palmyra’s 1.1-kilometre-long main street (length forms the monumental axis of the city, which together with secondary colonnaded cross streets links the major public monuments including the Temple of Ba’al, Diocletian’s Camp, the Agora, Theatre, other temples and urban quarters.), which extended from the Temple of Bel in the east, to the Funerary Temple no.86 in the city’s western part. It had a monumental arch in its eastern section, and a tetrapylon stands in the center. Most of the columns date to the second century AD, and consisted of of some 1,500 Corinthian columns, and each is 9.50 metres high. The grand colonnade constitutes a characteristic example of a type of structure which represents a major artistic development. The grand monumental colonnaded street, open in the centre with covered side passages, and subsidiary cross streets of similar design together with the major public buildings, form an outstanding illustration of architecture and urban layout at the peak of Rome’s expansion in and engagement with the East.

The Baths of Diocletian were on the left side of the colonnade.The complex’s entrance is marked by four massive Egyptian granite columns each 1.3 metres in diameter, 12.5 metres high and weigh 20 tonnes. Inside, the outline of a bathing pool surrounded by a colonnade of Corinthian columns is still visible in addition to an octagonal room that served as a dressing room containing a drain in its center. Sossianus Hierocles, a governor under Emperor Diocletian, claimed to have built the baths, but the building was probably erected in the late second century and Sossianus Hierocles renovated it.

Nearby were residences, the Temple of Baalshamin, and the Byzantine churches, which include “Basilica IV”, Palmyra’s largest church. The church is dated to the Justinian age, its columns are estimated to be 7 metres high, and its base measured 27.5 by 47.5 metres.

The Temple of Nabu and the Roman theater were built on the colonnade’s southern side. Behind the theater were a small senate building (It is a small building that consists of a peristyle courtyard and a chamber that has an apse at one end and rows of seats around it). And the large agora (Palmyra’s agora resembled an Eastern caravanserai more than a hub of public life). The Agora of Palmyra is part of a complex that also includes the tariff court and the triclinium, built in the second half of the first century AD. The agora is a massive 71-by-84-metre (233 by 276 ft) structure with 11 entrances. Inside the agora, 200 columnar bases that used to hold statues of prominent citizens were found. The inscriptions on the bases allowed an understanding of the order by which the statues were grouped; the eastern side was reserved for senators, the northern side for Palmyrene officials, the western side for soldiers and the southern side for caravan chiefs. The Tariff Court is a large rectangular enclosure south of the agora and sharing its northern wall with it. Originally, the entrance of the court was a massive vestibule in its southwestern wall. However, the entrance was blocked by the construction of a defensive wall and the court was entered through three doors from the Agora. The court gained its name by containing a 5-metre stone slab that had the Palmyrene tax law inscribed on it. The Triclinium of the Agora is at the northwestern corner of the Agora and can host up to 40 people. It is a small 12-by-15-metre hall decorated with Greek key motifs that run in a continuous line halfway up the wall.

A cross street at the western end of the colonnade leads to the Camp of Diocletian. Shortly before 303 the Camp of Diocletian, a castrum in the western part of the city, was built. The 4-hectare camp was a base for the Legio I Illyricorum, which guarded the trade routes around the city.

The Tetrapylon was erected during the renovations of Diocletian at the end of the third century following the layout typical of Roman theaters. It is a square platform and each corner contains a grouping of four columns. Each column group supports a 150-ton cornice and contains a pedestal in its center that originally carried a statue. Out of sixteen columns, only one is original while the rest are from reconstruction work by the Syrian Directorate-General of Antiquities in 1963, using concrete. The original columns were brought from Egypt and carved out of pink granite.

To the west of the Temple of Nabu lies a large, semicircular Theater. The Theater, built in the early second century, is one of the best-preserved buildings of its kind. It may originally have had 30 rows of seats in three stories, probably with a pillared loggia at the top. Facing the seats was the stage whose backdrop was a wall with doorways, pillars and panels of sculpture, a standard design in the late Hellenistic-Roman world. There was not much room backstage, as it bordered directly on the Grand Colonnade.

Palmyra’s gods were primarily part of the northwestern Semitic pantheon, with the addition of gods from the Mesopotamian and Arab pantheons. The city’s chief pre-Hellenistic deity was called Bol, an abbreviation of Baal (The principal deity of the Aramaeans of Palmyra. Bol soon became known as Bel by assimilation to the Babylonian god Bel-MardukBoth gods presided over the movements of the stars. The Palmyrenes associated Bel with the sun and moon gods, Yarhibol and Aglibol, respectively). The Babylonian cult of Bel-Marduk influenced the Palmyrene religion and by 217 BC the chief deity’s name was changed to Bel. The priests of Palmyra were selected from the city’s leading families, and are recognized in busts through their headdresses which have the shape of a polos adorned with laurel wreath or other tree made of bronze among other elements. The high priest of Bel’s temple was the highest religious authority and headed the clergy of priests who were organized into collegia each headed by a higher priest. The personnel of Efqa spring’s sanctuary dedicated to Yarhibol belonged to a special class of priests as they were oracles.

Palmyra’s architecture was influenced by the Greco-Roman style, while preserving local elements and best seen in the Temple of Bel and is the most impressive relic that remains. This was Palmyra’s largest and most important temple. In the southeastern part of the walled city stands the massive Temple. a walled compound that was built in a series of stages from the Hellenistic period through the late 2nd century CE, And that was later fortified during the 12th century CE.

The Temple of Bel was dedicated in AD 32; Enclosed by a massive wall flanked, it consisted of a large precinct lined by porticos; with traditional Roman columns. it had a rectangular shape and was oriented north-south. The exterior wall was 205-metre long with a propylaea, and the cella stood on a podium in the middle of the enclosure. The sanctuary consisted of a large courtyard with the deity’s main shrine off-center against its entrance. Entrance to the inner court of the temple was through a propylaeum, a powerful gate 35 meters wide, with a monumental staircase leading into it. Nothing remains of the furniture, statues or cultic objects, but an inscription dated 51 CE mentions libation vases, a golden censer, and libation bowls, no doubt to be used in the ceremonies. There may have been processions carrying the image of Bel about the city.

The great temple of Ba’al is considered one of the most important religious buildings of the 1st century AD in the East and of unique design. The carved sculptural treatment of the monumental archway through which the city is approached from the great temple is an outstanding example of Palmyrene art. Although the Temple of Bel looked like a typical Eastern temple, it also incorporated columns like those found in Roman temples. The Temple is a good example of how Classical Roman architecture—the Ionic and Corinthian capitals, Classical cornices and pediments, the rectangular stone structure—was “tweaked” by local designs and building customs. Hidden behind the pediments, the triangular merlons are stepped behind the pediments to create rooftop terraces, said to be a Persian touch.

Baalshamin was the ancient god of the Canaanite and Phoenician coast. His name means Lord of Heaven, and he was the lord of the Heavens, the supreme weather god, a patron of farmers and shepherds. In Palmyra he was especially associated with the Bene Maazin tribe. Baal was an ancient Semitic term used to refer to several different deities, worshipped by a number of historically separated peoples in the Near East.The Temple of Baal-Shamin is located some distance to the northwest;  dates to the late 2nd century BC in its earliest phasesthis relatively small temple, dedicated to the god of rain, was flanked to the north and south by colonnaded courtyards and was built in a series of phases from the 1st century CE through the mid-2nd century CE.; the structure was built in 17AD. its altar was built in AD 115, and expanded by the Roman Emperor Hadrian a little over and it was substantially rebuilt in AD 130/131. It consisted of a central cella and two colonnaded courtyards north and south of the central structure. A vestibule consisting of six columns preceded the cella which had its side walls decorated with pilasters in Corinthian order. In the 5th century AD, it was converted into a Christian church.

The sanctuary of the goddess Allat has been found in the area of the temple of Baal Shamin, in the Arab quarter, where it must have been the cultic center of those tribes. She became the female companion of Bel and had the epithet blty “My Lady.” In the cosmopolitan environment of Palmyra Allat became assimilated to the Syro-Phoenician Astarte, and the Greek Aphrodite. She was also called Ishtar, an Assyrian deity who gave victory in battle. As Ishtar she was the goddess par excellence, with a variety of cults worshipping her as the “Arab Venus” of the Bedouin. By the second century, following a vogue in iconography, her traits had become those of the armed Athena, with the Medusa-head breastplate of scale armor, spear and shield. The Temple of Al-Lat is largely ruined with only a podium, a few columns and the door frame remaining. Inside the compound, a giant lion relief (Lion of Al-lāt) was excavated and in its original form, was a relief protruding from the temple compound’s wall.

The ruined Temple of Baal-hamon was located on the top of Jabal al-Muntar hill which oversees the spring of Efqa. Constructed in AD 89, it consisted of a cella and a vestibule with two columns. The temple had a defensive tower attached to it; a mosaic depicting the sanctuary was excavated and it revealed that both the cella and the vestibule were decorated with merlons.

The Temple of Nabu was Eastern in its plan; the outer enclosure’s propylaea led to a 20-by-9-metre podium through a portico of which the bases of the columns survives. The peristyle cella opened onto an outdoor altar. Similar to the Temple of Bel but smaller, was built in the later part of the 1st century CE and was dedicated to Nabu, Mesopotamian god of wisdom.

The Funerary Temple no. 86, also known as the House Tomb, is located at the western end of the Great Colonnade. It was built in the third century AD and has a portico of six columns and vine patterns carvings. Inside the chamber, steps leads down to a vault crypt. The shrine might have been connected to the royal family as it is the only tomb inside the city’s walls.

Palmyra had unique deities, such as the god of justice and Efqa’s guardian Yarhibol, the sun god Malakbel, and the moon god Aglibol. Palmyrenes worshiped regional deities, including the greater Levantine gods Astarte, Baal-hamon and Atargatis; the Babylonian god Nergal, and Reshef, a Canaanite deity, and the Arab Azizos, Arsu, Šams, Al-lāt and Manawat Arabian goddess, Herta and Nanai, Babylonian godesses. There were hundreds of altars at Palmyra, attesting to the worship of many other deities, not all of which have left traces.

Palmyra became a Christian city in the decades following its destruction by Aurelian. Palmyra’s paganism was replaced with Christianity as the religion spread across the Roman Empire, and a bishop was reported in the city by 325, and a number of significant ancient Christian churches have also been uncovered.  Although most temples became churches, the Temple of Al-lāt was destroyed in 385 at the order of Maternus Cynegius. After the Muslim conquest in 634 Islam gradually replaced Christianity, and the last known bishop of Palmyra was consecrated after 818. Archaeologists in working have unearthed the remnants of a 1,200-year-old church believed to be the largest ever discovered in Syria, at an excavation site in the ancient town of Palmyra. This church is the fourth to be discovered in Palmyra.  its base measuring an impressive 47 meters by 27 meters. The church columns were estimated to be 6 meters tall, with the height of the wooden ceiling more than 15 meters. A small amphitheater was found in the church’s courtyard. Muslims lived at Palmyra for 13 centuries, establishing mosques in structures that earlier functioned as Byzantine churches and pagan temples.

Outside the city’s walls are remains of a Roman aqueduct and immense necropolises. The affluent residents of ancient Palmyra built elaborate tombs outside the city walls, adorned with portraits of citizens. The large scale funerary monuments outside the city walls in the area known as the Valley of the Tombs display distinctive decoration and construction methods. The Palmyrenes buried their dead in elaborate family mausoleums, most with interior walls forming rows of burial chambers in which the dead, lying at full length, were placed. A relief of the person interred formed part of the wall’s decoration, acting as a headstone.Sarcophagi appeared in the late second century and were used in some of the tombs. Many burial monuments contained mummies embalmed in a method similar to that used in Ancient Egypt.

West of the ancient walls, the Palmyrenes built a number of large-scale funerary monuments which now form the Valley of Tombs,a one-kilometre-long  necropolis. The types of graves at Palmyra changed over time and reflected the status of the deceased. Simple burials were marked by a pile of stones. More elaborate ones contained sarcophagi of terracotta or plaster and were marked by a gravestone which could feature a full-length human figure. By the first century CE, in a wadi to the west of the city called the Valley of Tombs, appears the sepulchre, with a doorway, a corridor, and a number of burial compartments and graves, and containing grave goods of lamps, pottery, alabaster vases, jewelry, and coins. Increasing prosperity coincided with the building of soaring, rectangular stone towers, generally lining a road running through the wadi. These became increasingly elaborate with adjoining sepulchres or underground cemeteries, called hypogeum, and with ever more sophisticated architecture. While by the second century the towers ceased to be built, the sepulchres in a sense took off. Known as bt `lm, “houses of eternity,” the elaborately decorated chambers might have a group of three richly sculpted sarcophagi around three walls, to form a banquet scene, and individual portraits of the dead marking the niches into which their remains were laid. These were the wealthy Palmyrenes: priests, municipal officials, military commanders, caravan owners, etc. Palmyran funerary sculpture is the most extensive corpus of portrait sculpture in the Roman world outside Rome. The busts combine Roman sculptural elements and local stylistic elements. Some of these portraits were accompanied by inscriptions in the Palmyrene dialect of Aramaic.

The more than 50 monuments were primarily tower-shaped and up to four stories high. Towers were replaced by funerary temples in the first half of the second century AD, as the most recent tower is dated to AD 128. The city had other cemeteries in the north, southwest and southeast, where the tombs are primarily hypogea.

Extensive illegal excavations and theft have also been reported in the Valley of the Tombs, the Southwest Necropolis, the Southeast Necropolis, a large number of funerary sculptures were stolen in 2014 from the following tombs: Tomb n5 (Artaban Tomb), Tomb H (Taibul Tomb), Tomb n7 (Bolha Tomb), and Tomb n9.

Also within the archaeological zone of Palmyra stands the Fakhr-al-Din al-Ma’ani Castle. And the castle built during the Ayyubid period (approximately 1230 CE) and then later reoccupied by the Lebanese Emir Fakhr al-Din during the early 17th century CE. Surrounded by a moat, the castle was accessible only through a drawbridge.

The archaeologists gathered evidence that residents of ancient Palmyra and the nearby villages collected the rainwater using dams and cisterns. This gave the surrounding villages water for crops and enabled them to provide the city with food; the collection system ensured a stable supply of agricultural products and averted catastrophe during droughts.

The Palmyra Archaeological Museum is located to the north of the ancient site at the entrance to the modern town of Tadmor. It features finds from the site and citadel, as well as traditional Bedouin costumes, jewelry, and other ethnographic objects. The museum is best known for its collection of religious and funerary art, as well as a series of mosaics, all exemplifying the unique artistic style that flourished in this cosmopolitan city, where the forms of Greco-Roman art are originally combined with indigenous elements and Persian influences. One of the most significant aspects of Palmyra is its unique blend of Eastern and Western traditions.

The city remained relatively untouched throughout the Islamic period and significant attempts to restore the ruins began in the 1960.The Unesco site was one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Middle East. As a result of the War in Syria, Palmyra experienced widespread looting and damage. The zealots of isis have wrecked and looted countless sites of archeological wonder. They’ve behaved very callously towards cultural heritage. The Daesh/ISIS terrorist group occupied Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on two separate occasions between 2015 and 2017, destroying many of its historic treasures and began methodically dismantling the ruins with explosives. On 5 October 2015,  ISIL was destroying buildings with no religious meaning, including the monumental arch. The terror movement demolished Palmyra’s ancient Lion of Al-lat statue (The Lion of al-Lat, a 15-ton stone likeness of a wide-eyed lion that stood more than 9 feet tall shielding a horned gazelle between its massive paws, he statue, which was unearthed in the 1970 in a Polish archaeological dig, for years graced the entrance to the Palmyra museum, the lion was a symbol of protection associated with Al-Lat, a pre-Islamic female deity. On its left paw, written in the Palmyrean dialect, is an inscription: “May Al-Lat bless whoever does not shed blood in this sanctuary”) as well as several other majestic statues, and other priceless artifacts. The 2,000-year-old Bel Shamim Temple was the first one that Isis exploded. The ground has been cleared of rubble and only empty arches remain.  During ISIL’s occupation of the site, Palmyra theatre was used as a place of public executions of their opponents and captives.The group destroyed such ancient wonders as the Temple of Bel, and columns in the Valley of the Tombs.  Unfortunately, the treasures of Palmyra were not the only casualties of the ISIS occupation. On 18 August, Palmyra’s retired antiquities chief Khaled al-Asaad was beheaded by ISIL after being tortured for a month to extract information about the city and its treasures; They beheaded him and hung his mutilated body on a column in the city’s main square, and put his head between his feet, with his glasses poised on his nose. A Syrian archaeologist who oversaw excavations at the site for decades, retired as Palmyra’s head of antiquities in 2003 but stayed on as an expert much in demand. Fluent in ancient Palmyrene, a dialect of Aramaic, he translated inscriptions, wrote books and advised foreign archaeological missions.

ISIL militants destroyed unique examples of funerary sculpture and tombs. In 2015 the radical group ISIL destroyed many of these ancient tombs, including Elahbel Tower (The Elahbel Tower from the year 103 is a good example of the locally influenced architecture. The slender design, several stories high, is ornamented inside and out. Constructed of sandstone block, the Elahbel Tower even had a balcony for the spirits of the dead. These tombs were commonly called “houses of eternity” built by and for the wealthy elite.), seven tombs, including three of the best preserved, were destroyed in the heritage city. The terrorist group smashed large-scale artworks from the Museum of Palmyra that workers were unable to remove for safekeeping ahead of the occupation. The ancient site also witnessed extensive looting and many Palmyrene artifacts appeared on the antiquities market

On 20 January 2017, the militants set off explosions at the awe-inspiring Tetrapylon, four pillars on a raised platform that embodied the grandeur during the celebrated reign of Queen Zenobia. They also inflicted serious but possibly not irreparable damage to the Roman theater.

The group ISIL has destroyed several ancient monuments in the Unesco World Heritage Site, while looting other treasures to sell for profit. Palmyra was just one of the irretrievable losses inflicted on Syria’s heritage during a war that did not spare a single of the country’s regions.The terrible damage that they have inflicted on the site is just incalculable. five of the six World Heritage sites exhibit significant damage; damage was observed at every site except for the Ancient City of Damascus. it has damaged beyond repair some of its fabled past.But although there has been massive damage to Palmyra’s historic sites, some of which can never be rebuilt, some of the major structures remain, , including the amphitheater. Nearly Destroyed by ISIS, the Ancient City of Palmyra Will Reopen After Extensive Renovations.

Since the city was retaken, UNESCO has been leading the charge for its restoration and recovery, with a $150,000 “Emergency Safeguarding” project for the Portico of the Temple of Bel. Restoration work has already begun, and notable antiquities, such as the Lion of Al-lāt, have already been repaired. The National Museum of Damascus successfully completed restoration work on the 2,000-year old limestone Lion of Al-lāt statue, a 15-ton piece sculpture that had been broken into pieces by ISIS.

Priceless stone sculptures that were smashed with hammers by Islamic State extremists in the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra have been meticulously restored by Italian experts with the help of laser scans and 3D printers. Syrian archaeologists, in partnership with Russian experts, began the process of restoring ancient artefacts damaged by ISIS’s occupation of Palmyra.

Russia and Syria will team up to create a masterplan to restore the National Museum of Palmyra as a basis for reviving the ancient city in Syria. However, at the end of 2019, the State Hermitage Museum and Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences signed agreements in Damascus with Syria’s Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) to train Syrian conservators, rebuild the National Museum of Palmyra and in a later stage restore Palmyra.

In short, we can say that Syria is an archaeologist’s paradise, a world heritage home to some of the oldest and best-preserved jewels of ancient civilisations. Palmyra (is known as the Pearl of the Desert) are one of the most tourist destinations in Syria and is a wonderful site where nature and human activity are mixed. Palmyra is a site of significant cultural and historical importance. It really is a site of all of humanity. A place that flourished on tolerance and diversity, a place where Greek, Roman, Persian, Arab, Phoenician and local traditions combined and prospered. The joining of many cultures creates new forms and styles over time. These are globally significant remains.

Since prehistory there has been human settlement in this area, from the Palaeolithic and Neolithic eras. The site of Palmyra provided evidence for a Neolithic settlement near Efqa, with stone tools discovered and dated to 7500 BC. The use of archaeoacoustics in the Tell beneath the Temple of Bel revealed traces of a cultic activity dated to 2300 BC. People lived in the area as early as the 19th century B.C. Palmyra’s population was a mixture of the different peoples inhabiting the city. The earliest known inhabitants were the Amorites in the early second millennium BC, and by the end of the millennium Arameans were mentioned as inhabiting the area.  King Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria passed the area on his way to the Mediterranean, at the beginning of the 18th century BC. By then, Palmyra was the kingdom of Qatna’s most eastern point. Conquered alternatively by the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. Arabs arrived in the city in the late first millennium BC.  During the Hellenistic period under the Seleucids, Palmyra became a prosperous settlement, that owed allegiance to the Seleucid monarch. Palmyra’s economy before and at the beginning of the Roman period was based on agriculture, pastoralism, and trade; the city served as a rest station for the caravans which sporadically crossed the desert.Commerce made Palmyra and its merchants among the wealthiest in the region. When the Romans officially incorporated Palmyra into their empire, it was the wealthiest of all ancient cities.

 Palmyra is a fertile oasis located close to a mountainous passage, in the heart of the Syrian desert. It developed into a staging post between Al-Shaam and Iraq, the Arab Gulf and Persia and the Mediterranean. It was the conduit for all trade routes that connected the Roman Empire in the west with the Parthian Empire in the east. The Ancient Site of Palmyra gained its position of prominence through its location as the main stop for caravan trade from approximately 44 BC to 272 AD. In 64 BC, the Roman Republic annexed the Seleucid kingdom, and the Roman general Pompey established the province of Syria, but Palmyra was left independent, trading with both Rome and Parthia but belonging to neither. Palmyra became part of the Roman Empire when it paid tribute in the early years of emperor Tiberius’ reign c. 14 AD. The Roman imperial period brought great prosperity to Palmyra, which enjoyed a privileged status under the empire and retained much of its internal autonomy. Tiberius dedicated Roman resources toward protecting the caravans and Trajan used imperial funds to build roads to and from Palmyra, and Palmyrenes, who developed a merchant culture that was quite unique in the ancient world.

The province became increasingly important as a bulwark against threats first from Parthia and then the Sasanids to the east and was a base for military campaigns against them. There was some sort of tacit understanding between the two powers, which enabled Palmyra, a neutral, semi-independent town, to become the middleman in this trade with its enormous profits.After the Roman annexation of Nabataea in 106 A.D., Palmyra replaced Petra as the leading Arab city in the Near East and its most important trading center. About 129 A.D., during the reign of Hadrian, Palmyra rose to the rank of a free city, and in 212 A.D. to that of a Roman colony. It was Palmyra’s economic endeavors that made it one of the most important cities in the ancient world; but several factors contributed to make the city the premier economic center of its time. During the first two centuries, Palmyra rivaled Rome in importance and was arguably more economically powerful. The Palmyrenes became renowned as merchants who established colonies along the Silk Road and operated throughout the Roman Empire. During the 3rd century AD, with the accession of the Sassanid dynasty to the Parthian throne and the resulting resumption of hostilities against the Romans, Palmyra also assumed an important strategic and military role, the nobleman Septimius Odaenathus obtained support and recognition from Rome, as an ally in their struggle against the Sassanids. The city-state reached its peak in the late 3rd century, when it was ruled by Queen Zenobia and briefly rebelled against Rome. As the Roman Empire faced internal political instability in the third century, Palmyra took the opportunity to declare its independence. Zenobia established Palmyra as the capital of an independent and far-reaching Roman-style empire, expanding its borders beyond Syria to Egypt and much of Asia Minor. Her rule was short-lived, Zenobia failed, and Palmyra was re-conquered and destroyed by Roman armies in A.D. 273. Following its destruction, Palmyra became a minor center under the Byzantines and later empires. Its destruction by the Timurids in 1400/1401 reduced it to a small village.

A meeting point for traders arriving from far-flung regions, Palmyra was a thoroughly cosmopolitan city, and it was inhabited by a multiethnic population of Aramaeans, Arabs, Greeks, and Persians who spoke primarily Greek and Palmyrene and who practiced a variety of different religions, including Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and a cult dedicated to the Semitic god Bel. Palmyra oasis enjoys a cultural heritage and a society rich in native custom and tradition with social significance. Women seem to have been active in Palmyra’s social and public life. The early socio-political organization of the city was based on four tribes, each settled in a different part of the city.  Each had its own cult temple, but that of the god Bel represented all of Palmyra. Was the only publicly bilingual city in the Roman Near East, the two languages being Greek and Palmyrene Aramaic. On the crossroads of international trade, cosmopolitan Palmyra developed an unorthodox and pluralist culture reflected in its surviving art and architecture. Although Palmyrene art was related to that of Greece, it had a distinctive style unique to the middle-Euphrates region. The reliefs emphasized clothing, jewelry and a frontal representation of the person depicted, characteristics which can be seen as a forerunner of Byzantine, art Palmyra’s art was influenced by Parthian art. The culture of Persia influenced Palmyrene military tactics, dress and court ceremonies.One of the most significant aspects of Palmyra is its unique blend of Eastern and Western traditions. The fusion of East and West can also be seen in the art and architecture of Palmyra.

The art and architecture of the city is a perfect portrait with its amazing blend of cultures and traditions. Because Palmyra, throughout its history, fell under the control of multiple empires and cultures, its architecture combines many elements of Greek, Roman, Aramean and Arab styles. In architecture the Corinthian order marks almost all the monuments, but the influence of Mesopotamia and Iran is also clearly evident.  Some of Palmyra’s major structures are considered to be among the best-preserved examples of Roman antiquity. Palmyra’s wealth enabled the construction of monumental projects, such as the Great Colonnade, the Temple of Bel, and the distinctive tower tombs. Palmyra’s richest residents had constructed and sumptuously decorated these monuments to the dead, some of which have been recently looted. Palmyran funerary sculpture is the most extensive corpus of portrait sculpture in the Roman world outside Rome.

Architectural ornament including unique examples of funerary sculpture unites the forms of Greco-roman art with indigenous elements and Persian influences in a strongly original style. Recognition of the splendour of the ruins of Palmyra by travellers in the 17th and 18th centuries contributed greatly to the subsequent revival of classical architectural styles and urban design in the West. This heritage has survived millennia, it fosters unity and identity for the Syrian people.

The site had been targeted for deliberate destruction by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and much of the city and nearby historic religious buildings were damaged. The protection of the archaeological site of Palmyra is both a major cultural issue and an imperative for security, peace and the recovery of a whole country.

the authorities now have a project to repair all the damage caused to Palmyra’s Old City and the reclaimed city is undergoing significant restoration works. Plans under way to rebuild Palmyra temples destroyed by Isis. There is an on-going need for a conservation and restoration plan to be developed that addresses fully the complex issues associated with this extensive multiple site and  will allow for coordinated management, clear priorities and a cultural tourism strategy and address the issues of expansion of the nearby town. Restoration projects that rekindle our relationship with history could pave the way for greater understanding of heritage – not only as a past to celebrate, but also a past from which to learn.

Syria’s heritage faces threats from well-organized gangs of thieves who seized on the war as an opening to launch a methodical pillaging of treasures. Palmyra is masterpiece of human ingenuity and one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world. Despite the destruction of several iconic edifices, the archaeological site of Palmyra retains a large part of its integrity and authenticity. Syria’s heritage is part of humanity’s heritage and we call for international solidarity in a campaign to restore Palmyra. The international community should do whatever it can to save Palmyra. We hope for more international help because Palmyra belongs to the world, not just to Syria.

French summary

La cité de Palmyre abrite un site archéologique inestimable, revêt une valeur universelle exceptionnelle. Palmyre était une oasis caravanière établie lorsqu’elle entra sous contrôle romain dans la première moitié du Ier siècle et fut rattachée à la province romaine de Syrie. Sur le plan économique, l’entrée de Palmyre dans l’Empire romain, lui a permis d’accroître son rayonnement. Elle devint peu à peu une cité prospère sur la route commerçante reliant la Perse, l’Inde et la Chine à l’Empire romain, au carrefour de plusieurs civilisations du monde antique. Palmyre s’éleva, à la faveur de sa situation de carrefour stratégique, au rang de puissance commerciale de premier ordre, exerçant le monopole sur les routes caravanières entre l’Inde et l’Occident. Aussi Palmyre constituait un point de passage obligatoire sur l’une des routes qui reliaient l’Euphrate à la Méditerranée. Cela marque le début d’une grande prospérité qui dura trois siècles à la faveur d’une position unique à la frontière entre le monde méditerranéen et le monde asiatique. Partenaire à la fois de Rome à l’ouest et des Parthes à l’est, Palmyre devient une grande puissance commerciale. Jamais pourtant ce peuple aux origines mêlées ne se soumit totalement. Palmyre commence à jouer un rôle politique important lorsque l’installation des Perses à Charax menace de ruiner son commerce. La prospérité de la ville culmina au IIIe siècle, à l’époque de la reine Zénobie, qui défia l’empire romain. elle prend possession de la Syrie en 270, envahit l’Egypte et lance ses troupes jusqu’au Bosphore, avant d’être renversée en 272 par l’empereur Aurélien.

l’art et l’architecture de Palmyre unirent aux Ier et IIe siècles les techniques gréco-romaines aux traditions locales et aux influences de la Perse. Au croisement des routes, la ville a été un centre de création extraordinaire qui a généré un style artistique unique. L’ornementation architecturale, qui présente notamment des exemples uniques de sculpture funéraire, associe les formes de l’art gréco-romain à des éléments autochtones et à des influences perses dans un style profondément original. L’une des caractéristiques de Palmyre, ce sont de grandes tours funéraires à étages dans lesquelles les sarcophages étaient superposés.et sa nécropole est la plus grande nécropole romaine du Proche-Orient.

Palmyre avait une identité propre, en particulier à cause de l’origine ethnique de ses habitants. c’ést pour cela, la civilisation de Palmyre est marquée par le mélange entre un modèle gréco-romain prégnant et des traditions locales fort vivaces.  En effet les familles et les grandes traditions familiales sont une des bases de l’organisation sociale. La situation de Palmyre au carrefour de la culture araméenne et de la culture gréco-romaine a fait que certains habitants de l’oasis ont porté des noms doubles. Les textes decouverts a Palmyre renforcent l’idée qu’on se fait du sanctuaire de Bel comme du centre religieux de la cité, monument emblématique du site de Palmyre. La richesse accumulée explique l’importance des monuments élevés ou achevés au IIe et IIIe siècle après J.-C. Le sanctuaire de Bel, était beaucoup plus que les autres lieux de culte, était fréquenté par les membres de nombreuses tribus. la grande colonnade constitue l’axe monumental de la ville qui, avec d’autres rues secondaires perpendiculaires également bordées de colonnes, relie les principaux monuments publics dont le temple de Bel, le Camp de Dioclétien, l’Agora, le Théâtre, d’autres temples et des quartiers d’habitations. La grande colonnade constitue un exemple caractéristique d’un type de structure qui représente une évolution artistique majeure.

Des dommages irréparables ont été causés à un chef-d’œuvre du génie humain et à l’un des centres culturels les plus importants du monde antique. La destruction des ruines de Palmyre est trés tragique. Elle est préjudiciable tant pour l’histoire, la culture et la mémoire de la région que pour le patrimoine mondial. un être humain sans passé est un être humain sans présent ni avenir.

Et palmyre fait partie de l’histoire mondiale et n’appartient pas seulement à la Syrie. il faut sensibiliser l’opinion publique à la fragilité du site et à la protection du patrimoine culturel, particulièrement en temps de conflit. Il faut éveiller les consciences de tous sur les cultures et les patrimoines du Proche-Orient ancien. Bien qu’une grande partie du site antique conserve encore son intégrité et son authenticité, les Syriens se montrant impatients de redonner sa splendeur au site et de lui faire retrouver ses touristes. On a une grande espoire que les trésors exceptionnels de la cité mêlant culture gréco-romaine, art perse et islamique, pourront de nouveau attirer les visiteurs. nous avons le devoir moral de préserver le site archeologique de Palmyre. Le plan d’action stratégique régional actuellement en préparation devrait fournir des orientations permettant d’étendre et de redéfinir le site en tant que paysage culturel, en tenant compte des zones de transition autour du site archéologique, de l’oasis et de la ville. Il importe maintenant d’établir un plan de conservation et de restauration qui traite totalement les problèmes complexes que pose ce vaste site aux multiples aspects. Cela permettrait une gestion coordonnée, l’établissement de priorités claires et d’une stratégie de tourisme culturel, et la résolution des problèmes liés à l’expansion de la ville voisine.

Palmyre est l’un des plus importants foyers culturels du monde antique, un lieu de convergence des cultures à travers les siècles, et un site exceptionnel au carrefour entre les diverses civilisations. Cela confirme que tout patchwork culturel, avec sa diversité, ouvre la voie à l’inventivité.

Summary in Spanish

La antigua ciudad de Palmyra la ciudad más hermosa del patrimonio mundial y un sitio de valor universal excepcional. un centro multiétnico de la cultura y el comercio, y fuente de orgullo y dignidad para todos los sirios y fue uno de los más importantes focos culturales del mundo antiguo famoso por sus ruinas greco-romanas monumentales.  Era considerado un prodigio arquitectónico y urbanístico romano y una pieza maestra de la arquitectura y del urbanismo romano. Bajo la influencia del imperio helenístico, primero, y romano, después, la urbe siria se convirtió en un enclave próspero. Palmira, un antiguo oasis, se levantó en una encrucijada entre Occidente y Oriente, entre el mundo mediterráneo regido por Roma y los grandes imperios asiáticos, y una etapa en la ruta de la seda. en una época fue un centro urbano, cultural y comercial que servía de puente entre Persia, India y China con el Imperio romano y con las civilizaciones del Mediterráneo. La conquista romana, a partir del siglo I antes de Jesucristo, y durante cuatro siglos, dio un impulso formidable a Palmira. Comenzó a cobrar importancia a comienzos del Imperio, y se convirtió con gran rapidez en una de las ciudades más ricas, lujosas y elegantes de Siria, gracias al comercio. Mantenía estrechas relaciones con Petra; las caravanas de Partía iban a Petra y a Egipto a través de Palmira, y las de Petra, con mercancías de la Arabia meridional destinadas a los puertos fenicios, llegaban a través de Palmira también, que era un importante centro financiero. y tenían agentes en Vologesia, Spasinu Charax y Babilonia. También comerciaban con Damasco, y llegaban hasta el Danubio, Hispania, Galia, Egipto y Roma. Fue palmireños poseían sus propios templos.

La ciudad era la gran mediadora entre Partia y Roma. Conservó gran autonomía, como lo indica que las tasas de las aduanas no las recogía un procurador romano, sino el consejo de la ciudad. En tiempos de Trajano y Adriano a Palmira ya se le puede considerar una ciudad greco-parta, al menos en cuanto a su aspecto.

En 129, el emperador romano Adriano hizo de ella una ciudad libre y le dio el nombre de Adriana Palmira. Durante los años de Adriano y de los Emperadores inmediatamente posteriores, alcanzó gran prosperidad económica.

La decadencia del Imperio Romano fue aprovechada por los sasánidas para expandirse por los ríos Tigris y Éufrates. llegó palmira a salvar al imperio romano del Este del ataque del imperio sasánida y, en plena expansión imperial. La reina Zenobia de Palmira, se propuso convertir a Palmira en la capital de un reino independiente. tanto influyó en Roma y terminó desafiando el poder imperial. Su expansión provocó el enfrentamiento directo con Roma y en el año 272 los ejércitos del emperador Aureliano recuperaron Anatolia. Un año más tarde, borraron Palmira del mapa. Diocleciano reconstruyó Palmira aunque la nueva ciudad era más pequeña y estableció un campamento en sus cercanías como defensa contra los sasánidas. Aunque la ciudad fue reconstruida más tarde, ya no volvió a ser la misma.

En el siglo I y II d.C.  el arte y la arquitectura de Palmira alcanzaron su máximo esplendor. Sometidas a la influencia de diversas civilizaciones, la arquitectura y las artes de Palmira fusionaron las técnicas grecorromanas con las tradiciones artísticas autóctonas y persas. A la monumentalidad arquitectónica se le suma el valor de los objetos ornamentales en una clara unión de formas greco romanas e influencias persas, como en las ejemplos únicos de escultura funeraria. Los ricos palmirenses habían construido una serie de monumentos funerarios decorados suntuosamente, algunos saqueados recientemente.

El patrimonio un factor de unión y una identidad colectiva para todos los sirios. Y la salvaguardia del patrimonio cultural, implica valores e identidades para toda la humanidad. Palmira representa la memoria del pueblo sirio y los valores de la diversidad cultural, la tolerancia y la apertura que hicieron de esta región la cuna de la civilización. Palmira, la auténtica joya de la arqueología Siria, unas de las ruinas más espectaculares de Oriente Medio,un símbolo venerado por todos los amantes del arte. El estilo de arquitectura y arte mezcla técnicas del estilo grecorromano con las árabes. Más allá de los límites de la ciudad hay restos de un acueducto romano.

Antes de la crisis, Siria recibía muchas misiones arqueológicas multinacionales que buscaban claves nuevas de acontecimientos históricos en el desarrollo de las civilizaciones. Militantes de Estado Islámico (EI) dañaron severamente uno de los mayores monumentos romanos de la antigua ciudad de Palmira. Mientras que algunos monumentos preciados fueron destruidos, gran parte del sitio histórico fue dejado intacto. Antes de la llegada de Estado Islámico, los principales peligros a los que hacían frente estos monumentos eran los pequeños terremotos que afectan la zona. Las evidencias del saqueo y destrucción en Palmira ponen de manifiesto la necesidad de prevenir el tráfico ilícito de bienes culturales en todo el mundo.

Atrimonio de la unesco y antigua ciudad romana en Siria, fue destruida por los yihadistas y espera su reconstrucción. La creatividad humana prevalecerá, los edificios y sitios serán rehabilitados y algunos reconstruidos y preservar estos. Para la restauración de esta ciudad es seguir las normas internacionales bajo la supervisión de la Unesco, Consejo Internacional de Monumentos y Sitios y las autoridades nacionales sirias respetando la identidad de esta ciudad, su originalidad y su adecuada restauración.

La gran cultura de Palmira nunca se borrará de la memoria del mundo. El futuro de la antigua ciudad de Palmira, una de las joyas arqueológicas de Oriente Próximo, responsabilidad de todos.

 

German language summary

Palmyra bietet eine der größten und interessantesten Ausgrabungsstätten des Vorderen Orients.

 Durch ihre Lage an einer der wichtigsten Handelsrouten zwischen dem Römischen Reich, Persien, Indien und China gewann Palmyra in den ersten Jahrzehnten nach Christus stetig an Bedeutung.  war ls eine der schönsten Städte der Welt und ein wichtiger Akteur in der geopolitischen Landschaft des späten römischen Reiches. Hätte dieser Palmyra nicht das zerfallende römische Imperium vor den persischen Invasoren verteidigt, wäre Roms Einfluss im Orient schon früh verloren gewesen.

Das antike Palmyra war ein Schmelztiegel der Kulturen und Religionen, als Symbol der Vielfalt und Toleranz geriet. Die antiken Ruinen Palmyras sind Zeugnis einer goldenen Zeit. Die Oasenstadt in der zentralsyrischen Wüste war im Altertum eines der herausragenden Zentren der Region. Die ehemalige Handelsmetropole gilt als einer der bedeutendsten Komplexe antiker Bauten im Nahen Osten.  und beherbergt Bauten, die ein wichtigstes Handel- und Kulturzentrum.

Kunst und Architektur von Palmyra entstanden an der Kreuzung mehrerer Zivilisationen: Sie verbanden griechisch-römische Techniken mit lokalen Traditionen und persischen Einflüssen, architektonisch abzeichneten. Entstanden war die einzigartige Kombination griechisch-römischer Architektur mit arabischen Einflüssen – einzigartig auf der Welt. Die Verortungder Stadt inmitten der Einöde der Wüste ermöglichte Palmyra eine gewis-se Autonomie vom römischen Imperium, was anhand der Architekturnachvollziehbar wird. Die Lingua Franca Aramäisch, Griechisch, Arabisch sowie Lateinisch.

Nach der Niederlage der Nabatäer wurden die Karawanenwege nach Palmyra verlegt, und der wirtschaftliche Aufschwung Palmyras setzte ein. Das antike Palmyra verdanke seinen Reichtum seiner einzigartigen Lage am östlichsten Rand des römischen Imperiums. Und ihren Reichtum begründeten die Bewohner Palmyras vor allem auf regen Fernhandel mit China und Indien auf Routen entlang des Persischen Golfes, wie jüngste Funde palmyrenischer Schiffswracks beweisen.

Im dritten Jahrhundert war die Stadt eine wohlhabende Metropole und zu einem regionalen Zentrum des Nahen Ostens aufgestiegen. Der wirtschaftliche Erfolg brachte Palmyra auch politische Macht, und glänzte unter der legendären Königin Zenobia, die das Reich bis Ägypten und Anatolien ausweitete.  Nach ihrer Blütezeit wurde die Stadt im Jahre 272 von den Römern zerstört.

Zeno-bia gilt als eine der schillerndsten und einflussreichsten Frauenfiguren derAntike, die ihre Stadt zu einem bedrohlichen Gegner des römischen Rei-ches heranwachsen ließ.

In den Blick der Weltöffentlichkeit des 21. Jahrhun-derts rückte Palmyra spätestens seit seiner Einnahme durch die IS-Truppen im Mai2015. 

ese antike Oasenstadt Palmyra, gelegen in Syrien, hat traurige Geschichte geschrieben. Denn die Terrororganisation “Islamischer Staat” zerstörte dort einzigartige Kunst und Architektur. Dabei geht es nicht nur um das antike Erbe Syriens, sondern auch um die kulturelle Identität eines ganzen Landes.

Und doch der Mythos, der zwischen den großen Ruinen im Wüstensand geblieben ist, ist auch heute noch lebendig. Die malerische syrische Oasenstadt, seine architektonischen Schätze, seine Geschichte und seine sagenumwobene Herrscherin Zenobia noch immer beeindruckt. Dass Palmyra mit seiner jahrtausendealten interkulturellen Geschichte nicht wirklich untergeht oder in Vergessenheit gerät. weil sich im kulturellen Gedächtnis der Menschheit eingeschrieben hat, ist aber unzerstörbar.

Tadmor ist der Name jenes Palmyras, aus dem nach Sonnenuntergang das Leben nicht verschwindet.

Summary in Italian

I resti archeologici di Palmira rappresentano il sito siriano dell’UNESCO più famoso al mondo, Palmyra un luogo unico che fu crocevia di culture tra Occidente e Oriente, la cui storia è ancora oggi leggibile nelle colonne, negli archi monumentali, in ogni singola pietra dei suoi templi. Palmira era uno dei maggiori centri culturali del mondo antico. fu un importante nodo commerciale già sotto gli Assiri, ma la sua importanza aumentò molto quando la Siria passò sotto il controllo della dinastia Seleucide nel 323 a.C. Dopo il controllo dell’impero romano, nel 64 a.c., mantenne una certa indipendenza e l’ importanza commerciale.  e fu annessa all’impero solo nel 19 d.C. Gli alterni rapporti nell’età dell’alto Impero tra la Partia e Roma permisero a Palmira di divenire praticamente una città neutrale in cui si potevano scambiare le mercanzie delle due potenze ufficialmente ostili. La sua posizione l’aveva favorita anche nei rapporti con l’Impero romano, permettendole di conservare una certa autonomia. Palmyra raggiunse il suo massimo splendore nei giorni in cui fece parte dell’Impero romano ma i suoi abitanti non si sentirono mai appartenenti all’impero.

È stato per lungo tempo un importante centro carovaniero, per collegare l’Occidente (Roma e le principali città dell’impero) con l’Oriente (la Mesopotamia, la Persia, fino all’India e alla Cina), ed ebbe un notevole sviluppo tra il I ed III sec. d.c. tanto da essere soprannominata la Sposa del deserto. È particolarmente nota per essere stata la capitale del Regno indipendente di Palmira, sotto il governo della regina Zenobia. Il regno di Palmira fu uno dei territori periferici dell’Impero romano, e uno dei più indipendenti, e Zenobia fu l’unico vero personaggio femminile rilevante in una posizione di potere vera nella storia dell’Impero romano, conquistò l’Egitto e osò sfidare Roma. Sotto il suo regno Palmira divenne un luogo di tolleranza, in cui religioni molto diverse tra loro convivevano in pace; un luogo di cultura, dove le arti venivano esercitate liberamente e ai massimi livelli; e un luogo di commerci. Gli edifici più importanti di Palmira furono costruiti quasi interamente dai romani e dai loro alleati tra il primo e il terzo secolo d.C., sin dall’antichità è famosa per i suoi templi religiosi e altre strutture grandiose. E lo stato di conservazione della città romana ha, da sempre, impressionato i viaggiatori. Ancora ai giorni nostri Palmira, inserita dal 1980 nella lista redatta dall’UNESCO dei siti “Patrimonio dell’Umanità”, non cessa di affascinare i molti turisti.Palmira, prima della guerra in Siria, era uno dei siti archeologici più straordinari al mondo.I lavori per far rinascere l’antica città greco-romana di Palmira, in Siria, danneggiata dallo Stato islamico da ripetuti bombardamenti, sono in corso. E tante statue secolari e sculture distrutte dai jihadisti stanno lentamente rivedendo la luce, accuratamente restaurate dagli archeologi. E antiche rovine, testimonianza di un passato glorioso.Palmyra, come la fenice, risorgerà dalle sue ceneri e sarà riaperta ai visitatori.

palmyra si tratta della storia del mondo e non appartiene soltanto alla Siria. Difendere la cultura  vuol dire difendere la pace. e la guerra e l’odio nascono dall’ignoranza.

È molto importante attirare l’attenzione dell’opinione pubblica internazionale sull’importanza di prendersi cura del patrimonio artistico e culturale dell’umanità. La ricostruzione è possibile con le moderne tecnologie perché in alcuni casi si tratta di restauri difficili e delicati, in altri casi si tratta di integrare restauri con materiali che possono essere ottenuti grazie alle più avanzate tecnologie. 

 dovrà avvenire ricostruzione sulla base il rispetto della sovranità della Repubblica Araba Siriana sulla progettazione e realizzazione dei restauri e delle ricostruzioni; il controllo e la ratifica dell’Unesco su questi progetti perché siano approvati dalla comunità scientifica internazionale; un’ampia collaborazione internazionale, perché si tratterà di uno sforzo molto rilevante anche finanziariamente e la collaborazione dovrà avvenire da parte di tutti i Paesi con competenze scientifiche, capacità tecniche e volontà politica e culturale di fornire un aiuto finanziario per la ricostruzione.

l’azione e l’appoggio dell’Unesco allo sforzo della direzione generale Antichità e Musei di Damasco è estremamente apprezzabile per aiutare siriani sia nel salvataggio delle opere, sia in prospettiva nella ricostruzione di quello che si sta perdendo.

L’Unesco è ora responsabile del restauro e del recupero del sito, ma quella del recupero del sito è una missione che vede collaborare un gruppo internazionale.  La Sposa del deserto rinascerà dalle sue ceneri. Non possiamo rimanere soli. Chiediamo alla comunità internazionale di aiutarci a preservare il nostro patrimonio, innanzitutto chiudendo le frontiere e contrastando il mercato nero. sono necessari sforzi nazionali e internazionali per salvare il salvabile. Palmira è uno dei maggiori tesori archeologici della Siria e di tutto il Vicino Oriente.

 

Summary in Swedish

Palmyra är Syrien och hela mänsklighetens pärla. Palmyra i centrala Syrien en världsomspännande spänning för klassisk arkitektur.Den här oasen ligger mitt emellan Medelhavet och Eufrat och bevattnas av underjordiska källor som har sitt ursprung i bergen i norr. Namnet Palmyra, som betyder ”stad palm trees” förlänades staden med dess romerska härskarna (Palmyra är det latinska namnet som romarna gav till det palmerika område de bifogade sitt östra imperium under det första århundradet). I gamla tider kallade lokalbefolkningen  “Tadmor”. Detta ord översätts till “att vara underbart, vackert.” Palmyra   är en av de rikaste städerna i antiken. beboddes staden av assyrier, amoriter och nabatéer. Karavanhandeln gav staden dess betydelse och förblev källan till dess välstånd. Man tycks också ha försökt odla jorden med tillhjälp av vattenledningar.På kort tid förvandlades från en by i öknen Palmyra till ett kungarike. Sin största betydelse fick Palmyra sedan Petra 106 e.Kr. erövrats av Rom. Det blev framträdande under 300- talet fvt , när en väg genom den blev en av huvudvägarna för öst-väst-handeln.Palmyra-språket var arameiskt ; dess två skrivsystem – ett monumentalt manus och en mesopotamisk kursiv – återspeglar stadens position mellan öst och väst. Den stora tvåspråkiga inskriptionen som kallas Tariffen för Palmyra och inskriptionerna huggen under statyerna av de stora husvagnsledarna avslöjar information om Palmyras handel och organisation. Ancient Palmyra var en mångfacetterad stad, flerspråkig och, multikonfessionell. Varje etnisk grupp tog med sig tro på sina gudar och hade byggt många tempel för att dyrka dem. I den meningen var stadens befolkning ett exempel på religiös tolerans och mänsklig.  Palmyra positionen mellan öst och väst återspeglas i blandningen av kulturer. Till exempel, klädnader på skulpturerna i Palmyra öst, och deras ögon, beskrivs i enlighet med assyriska traditioner. Samtidigt motsvarar dekorativa element på traditionerna i den grekiska och romerska prydnaden.ftersom romarna kunde använda Palmyra som buffertzon i den östra utkanten av riket, införlivades staden med den romerska provinsen Syrien. Kejsaren Hadrian, som besökte Palmyra, gav staden en viss självständighet. Under Caracalla (cirka 212 e.Kr.) förklarades Palmyra till en romersk koloni med fördelar juris italici   (det vill säga med rättigheter lika med rättigheterna för de kolonier som ligger direkt i Italien själv). I slutändan underkastades dock Palmyra fortfarande av Rom, gick in i det romerska imperiet och kämpade till och med på imperiets sida med perserna. Linjalen i Palmyra Odenat besegrade själv den persiska kungens trupper, och han själv blev alltmer inflytelserik i Mellanöstern. Odenathus blev med romarnas enhälliga gillande och den nye kejsaren Gallienus medgivande tilldelad titeln augustus och han anförtroddes också formellt makten i Orienten. Efter en segerrik kampanj mot perserna, innan Ktesiphon på Tigris, dödades Odenat av hans brorson, Meonius (267), och hans hustru, Zenobia, gick in i Palmyra-tronen, som avsevärt utökade gränserna för hennes stat och till och med drömde om att underkasta sig själva Rom. Under henne nådde Palmyra höjdpunkten i hennes välfärd, som dock varade bara en kort tid. Eftersom staden var mycket långt från de centrala romerska länderna fanns det ofta uppror mot huvudstaden. På ett eller annat sätt har Palmyra alltid förblivit en relativt oberoende provins. Sedan, utan att tveka, förklarade Zenobia Palmyra oberoende från det romerska imperiet, samlade en allvarlig armé och fångade inte bara Syrien, utan också många angränsande territorier, inklusive till och med Egypten och Mindre Asien (Armén som övergick till hennes sida tog snart besittning av Syrien, Palestina, Egypten och i norr nådde Bosphorus och Dardanelles. Emellertid). Zenobias militära segrar skrämde Rom. reagerade Aurelian, den romerska kejsaren, tillräckligt snabbt och åkte med armén till avlägsna gränser.  Kejsaren Aurelian bestämde sig för att bryta upproret för den stolta drottningen och tvingade Palmyra att överge sig. sköt de romerska trupperna ned statyn av Zenobia, Sedan dess börjar nedgången i en av de vackraste städerna i antiken.

Efter att Zenobia styrts, förblev staden fortfarande under granskning av de romerska kejsarna. Några av dem försökte bygga om och återställa det ursprungliga utseendet på Palmyra. Men deras försök lyckades inte. Under ISIS-kämparens fångst av Palmyra (2015-2016) förstördes vissa strukturer medvetet, andra stulna till salu. började vandalerna med dubbel frenesi att förstöra de arkitektoniska monumenten från världens historiska arv. Unika skulpturer förstördes, inklusive “Allat Lion”.

Palmyra är en unik stad med många kulturminnen från olika folk som bodde i detta territorium vid olika tidpunkter. För detta klassificerades det som en UNESCO: s världsarvslista.Arkitekturen i Palmyra exemplifierade det “östliga” inflytandet på “västerländsk” konst och arkitektur. Palmyra är en av de mest imponerande och intressanta, är Palmyra en ovärderlig skatt, den innehåller en av ruinerna av en av världens viktigaste kulturcentrum, och vackra mästerverk av forntida arkitekturdet är verkligen en plats för hela mänskligheten. De verk som utförts av forskare vid Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences, med avseende på skala, vetenskaplig räckvidd och noggrannhet är oöverträffade under hela studien av den syriska Palmyra.

 och Palmyra kommer oundvikligen att återställas, för detta är nödvändigt inte bara för Syrien utan också för alla FN. kommer preservationists och arkeologer diskutera vilka strukturer som ska byggas om och hur man bäst bevarar arvet hos en av världens mest spektakulära arkeologiska platser.

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