Art & Architecture + [Syria]

Near East: Syria regime bombs UNESCO Heritage Site
The Syrian regime has bombed an ancient city complex in the Daraa province listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, in the latest damage to hit the country’s beleaguered archaeological sites during the course of the civil war.

Syria regime bombs UNESCO Heritage Site
Damage at the Bosra al-Sham Citadel 
[Credit: Souriat.com]

“Parts of an ancient citadel in southern Syria, including its uniquely preserved 2nd century Roman theater, were damaged on Tuesday, when Syrian regime helicopters bombed the archaeological site,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

“Bosra al-Sham’s archaeological citadel has seen destruction, material damage and cracking in the western actors’ resting place and the wastewater disposal network,” the monitoring NGO added.

The SOHR also said that the ancient structure had suffered “material damage and cracking in the area between two of its towers.”

UNESCO lists Bosra al-Sham, once the capital of the Roman Empire’s Arabia Province, as a World Heritage Site for its archaeological treasures, including the amphitheater and surrounding medieval fort as well as a number of Mosques and ancient Christian ruins.

The second century amphitheater, which was probably constructed during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan, was incorporated in to the surrounding Bosra citadel by subsequent medieval rulers.

Syria regime bombs UNESCO Heritage Site
Damage purportedly caused by Syrian regime bombardment 
at Bosra al-Sham [Credit: Souriat.com]

A number of pro-opposition outlets reported on the bombing. In a particularly detailed account, Souriat described the effects of the shelling and included pictures showing some of the destruction at the citadel.

“The bombing of the [site] led to the collapse of the western tower in the historic Bosra al-Sham citadel,” the outlet reported.

The report said Syrian regime barrel bombs had caused “the collapse of the pillars surrounding the courtyard that looks out onto the archaeological Roman theatre from the West as well as the destruction of the entrance to the courtyard from the South, which connects the first and second levels.”

“A deep crater was made in the floor of the courtyard… the barrel bomb also breached the second level of the passageways surrounding the theatre causing a collapse… that blocked [several of the] passageways with large stones.”

“Additionally, there are big and dangerous cracks that could lead to collapses in the walls of the western tower and the roof of the celestial courtyard.”

Author: Albin Szakola/Ullin Hope | Source: Now [December 23, 2015]