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Is the Phoenix Rising From the Ashes in Syria?

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In nearly every community across Syria that is not under the control of armed militia, there are several reports of local community defense of archeological sites initiatives. In Khan Attena an historic building was robbed by armed men more than once and as a result citizens got involved and secured and guarded the building deploying rotating guard teams during the night. In the village of An Nabek on strategic highway 5 leading from Damascus to northern Syria, which was returned to government control on 12/9/13, this observer was shown the building which armed gangs attempted to occupy and turn it into the headquarters of a claimed Sharia court. But the local community blocked them from entering the premises and built a guarded wall around the building entrance. In Brhlia village in the countryside of Damascus, the local community worked with DGAM to retrieve one of Syria's most important mosaics and brought its hundreds if not thousands of pieces to the Damascus citadel for restoration by craftsmen and students of restoration. Citizens in the same area have also recently recovered from thieves approximately 95 pieces of pottery and glass dating back to the second and third centuries AD.

What local communities are doing today in Syria to protect and preserve our shared cultural heritage is not going to solve their and our archeological crisis. But rarely, one imagines in the midst of war have citizens undertaken such Phoenix like preservation and restoration work for the benefit of mankind.

The people of Syria are doing their part to secure our heritage for those who follow us. It's up to us to join them.

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Since 2013, Professor Franklin P. Lamb has traveled extensively throughout Syria. His primary focus has been to document, photograph, research and hopefully help preserve the vast and irreplaceable archaeological sites and artifacts in (more...)
 

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