Less damage by ISIS to archaeological structures in Hatra than thought

Initial assessment of archaeological relics’ destruction by ISIS terrorists in the recaptured ancient city of Hatra, Iraq, shows that the damage by the terrorists was lesser than feared.

Parts of ancient columns and sculptures damaged by ISIS (by EPA)

Hatra was a religious and trading centre of the Parthian Empire that flourished between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. It is located nearly 300 kilometres north-west of Baghdad and 110 kilometres south-west of Mosul. The terrorists of the Islamic State captured the UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014. During the occupation they produced films showing them smashing statues with picks, sledgehammers and assault rifles. This has raised concerns that they might have wreaked destruction on the scale seen in Nimrud and Palmyra. Assessment at the site showed that most buildings at the site were intact.

Ancient sculpture found at the archaeological site (by EPA)

Before being seized by the terrorist state it was considered one of the best-preserved of Iraq’s archaeological sites. The full extent of the damage done was not known until Hatra was recaptured by the paramilitary Popular Mobilisation three weeks ago. Many statues found at the site are reported to have been destroyed, buildings have been set on fire. Charred bodies of several militants, and mortars stored in courtyards were also found. But the experts state that the state of the ancient city does not compare with what happened at other archaeological sites in Iraq.

Mortar bombs left by ISIS in Hatra (by EPA)

(after BBC News & EPA)

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