Falling Prey to War: Archaeological Heritage in Syria, part 2

Aleppo’s historic medieval market hitted the headlines, as well as news on looting of antiquities that are being traded for guns. The destruction of heritage in Syria is continuing with the ongoing civil war. This is a Storify of the news of September and first half of October 2012.


  1. Aleppo

  2. The historic medieval market, one of the best-preserved old souks in the Middle East, has become collateral damage in the civil war. Most of the other sites recognized as heritage sites by UNESCO are also believed to have suffered damage during the 18-month battle to oust Assad, says Kishore Rao, director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Center, according to the Washington Post.

  3. حلب حريق محلات سوق المدينة الاثري Alep destruction Souk Al Madina
  4. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova comments on the damage to the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo:
  5. Guns and fire in the Umayyad Mosque, 10 resp. 13 October 2012:
  6. حلب اشتباكات الجامع الاموي Alep Combat à la mosquée Omayad
  7. حلب احتراق الجامع الاموي الكبير Alep Mosquée Omayad en feu 13.10.2012
  8. BBC:These photographs, taken by tourists, show Aleppo’s Old City in more peaceful times.
  9. In this 6 minute interview archaeologist Michael Danti talks about the damage to the souk of Aleppo:
  10. Documenting destruction

  11. Emma Cunliffe (Durham University/Global Heritage Fund) documented all known damage to archaeological sites and museums  in Syria. Although published in May 2012 the document is not outdated but a key source.
  12. Ongoing and detailed documentation with many pictures and videos is done on this Facebook page:
  13. Looting Syria’s Past

  14. Julien Anfruns, director general of ICOM: "Right now we are pretty much in the worst-case scenario in Syria" for looting and the destruction of archaeolgical sites.

  15. "When the war is finally over, Syria will have lost most of the physical evidence of thousand of years of rich history. The children of Syria are now bereft of the opportunity to visit and see up close their cultural identity; they have been robbed. If you don’t have knowledge of your history, how can you know where you are going!"