Casana, a professor at the University of Arkansas, was director of an expedition at Tell Qarqur, an artificial mound in northwest Syria built up through 10,000 years’ worth of debris left by human occupation. He had to cancel his 2011 field season, and because of the ongoing war in Syria, he hasn’t returned since. Violence has besieged the Christian village of Gassanieh, where his team stayed, and he has barely been able to contact his friends and colleagues in the country, let alone get a handle on how Tell Qarqur is faring.
Images from Google Earth, however, show pretty clearly what’s been going on: By July 2011, tanks were sitting inside bunkers carved into the top of the mound. Apparently, the prominent surfaces of ancient mounds built over several millennia can also serve as strategic grounds for military installations overlooking the flat surroundings.
Story: Andina | Photo: Google Earth