Rescue of Palmyra’s antiquities continues

Polish archaeologists continue work in Palmyra, the ancient city in Syria that was recently freed from ISIS forces’ occupation. A short visit of the experts from Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of University of Warsaw focused on securing artefacts for transport and gathering pieces of shattered sculptures and wall decorations. The specialists also created a report about the state of preservation of the art that was found in the destroyed museum.

Moving parts of the lion sculpture
Moving parts of the lion sculpture (by CAŚ UW)

Palmyra, which figures on the UNESCO World Heritage list, was the place of warfare between Syrian army and the ISIS troops. The short islamic fanatics’ occupation resulted in intentional destruction of many of the ancient art and buildings, including various temples. In the antiquity the city was an important mark on the trade route between the Roman Empire and the Far East, and became one of the largest Mediterranean metropoles in the period between 1st-2nd cent. AD.

Moving parts of the lions sculpture (by CAŚ UW)
Moving parts of the lions sculpture (by CAŚ UW)

The work of the Polish experts, coordinated by Bartosz Markowski and Robert Żukowski resulted in securing over 80 crates of artwork for transportation, as the current museum building was so damaged during fights that it might collapse. Also, work focused on the Athena-Allat sculpture, which face and arms were severely damaged. Further work will take place after moving the crates to museums in Homs and Damascus.

(after Nauka w Polsce & CAŚ UW)

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