Can Palmyra Be Repaired in Five Years?

WORLD

The damage ISIS inflicted on some of Palmyra’s most revered treasures could take about five years to repair, Syria’s antiquities chief has said. (Wall Street Journal)

Why would ISIS target humanity’s shared history? Use our resources to find out.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit, including today’s MapMaker Interactive map of Palmyra’s archaeological sites.

This spectacular 2008 photo of Palmyra, Syria, shows the extent of the city’s ancient infrastructure. The huge Temple of Bel complex, which dominates the upper part of the image, has been largely destroyed by ISIS. The Roman amphitheater, gleaming in the middle of the image, is largely intact. Many columns in the gorgeous colonnade are intact, while many have been destroyed by explosives. Photograph by James Gordon, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.0

This spectacular 2008 photo of Palmyra, Syria, shows the extent of the city’s ancient infrastructure. The huge Temple of Bel complex, which dominates the upper part of the image, has been largely destroyed by ISIS. The Roman amphitheater, gleaming in the middle of the image, is largely intact. Many columns in the gorgeous colonnade are intact, while many have been destroyed by explosives and other ordnance.
Photograph by James Gordon, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.0

Discussion Ideas

  • Damage to the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra may be repaired in as few as five years. Most damage is associated with the year-long occupation by ISIS. What is ISIS? Read through this blog post for some help.
    • ISIS stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The group is also known as Daesh and ISIL, Islamic State in the Levant.
    • ISIS is a militant terrorist organization seeking to overthrow local governments and establish a caliphate (Islamic state) in the region.

 

 

palmyra

  • Why is Palmyra such a valuable target? Take a look at today’s MapMaker Interactive map and read through this Nat Geo News article for some help.
    • Palmyra sits at a crucial crossroads for both the ancient and modern worlds. It was part of a trade route linking three continents and its citizens were influenced by the culture, spirituality, and rich trade goods of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
      • For example, according to Nat Geo News:
        • dedications to gods were bilingual, written in both Greek and a dialect of Aramaic.
        • architectural styles mixed Roman and Near Eastern styles.
        • temples honored Greek, Roman, Phoenician, Canaanite, and Babylonian gods.

 

 

 

 

TEACHERS’ TOOLKIT

Wall Street Journal: Syria’s Palmyra Can Be Repaired in ‘Five Years’

Nat Geo: Why Palmyra, Recently Liberated, Is a Historical Treasure

New York Times: Scenes From Palmyra Indicate ISIS Slowed Assault on Treasures

New York Times: If All Else Fails, 3D Models and Robots Might Rebuild Sites

Wikimedia: Palmyra’s Landmarks (great map)

Nat Geo: Where is Palmyra? map

Nat Geo: ISIS Targets Humanity’s Shared History

UNESCO World Heritage: Palmyra

Wikipedia Featured Article: Palmyra

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