Dating culture in syria

Amid the bloody conflict in Syria, evidence of ancient Greek culture in the war-torn Middle Eastern country has recently been unearthed.

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BEIRUT -- The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) destruction of the ancient city of Nimrud in northern Iraq is part of a systematic campaign to destroy archaeological sites it says promote apostasy.

Some of the world's most precious cultural treasures, including ancient sites in the cradle of civilization, are in areas controlled by the group and at the mercy of extremists bent on wiping out all non-Islamic culture and history.

Recovered by Syrian troops, they had been badly disfigured with what appeared to be hammer blows and are perhaps the only such artefacts to leave the desert site without being stolen.

Modern technology aided their saving, which is also being seen as a tribute to Khaled al-Assad, the former head of antiquities at Palmyra, murdered by Isis fighters in 2015, at the age of 82.

Known to Syrians as the "Pearl of the Desert", Palmyra boasted temples, colonnaded alleys and elaborately decorated tombs that were among the best preserved classical monuments in the Middle East, before their wanton destruction.

Hundreds of important heritage sites have been sacked or destroyed during the five-year conflict, including the first-century temples of Bel and Baalshamin in Palmyra.

They also destroyed Nirgal Gate, one of several gates to Ninevah, the onetime capital of the Assyrian Empire.___MOSUL LIBRARIES: In January, ISIS militants ransacked the Central Library of Mosul, smashing the locks and taking around 2,000 books - leaving only Islamic texts.

Days later, militants broke into the University of Mosul's library.

The government said militants destroyed the site this week using heavy military vehicles, but has not elaborated on the extent of the damage.___MOSUL MUSEUM: On Feb.

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