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9,000-year-old staff with carved faces found in Syria

A staff featuring two carved human faces has been found at Tell Qarassa in southern Syria. The roughly 9,000-year-old artifact was discovered near a graveyard where about 30 people were buried without their heads — which were found in a nearby living space. "The find is very unusual. It's unique," said study

Armed men plunder Leiden University archaeological finds

A collection of artifacts gathered over the past 25 years by researchers from Leiden University has been plundered by a group of armed men in Syria. None of the researchers know what the damage is, because they are unable to personally go to the site where the depots are located due

Syrian archaeological sites in danger from looters

Business Week has posted an interesting article about the problem of looters in Syria. According to UNESCO, there are more endangered archaeological sites in Syria than anywhere else in the world. “We feel bitter and sad -- many sites have been destroyed before our eyes,” Mamoun Abdul-Karim, head of Syria’s Directorate-General

1,000-year-old minaret destroyed in Syria

A 1,000-year-old minaret, part of one of the 11th century Great Mosque in Aleppo, Syria, has been destroyed due to fighting between the Free Syrian Army and government troops. The state news agency Sana accused rebels of blowing up the 11th-Century minaret of the Umayyad Mosque. However, activists say the minaret was

Authorities empty Syria’s museums of treasures

Syrian museums are being emptied to prevent the treasures inside from being looted due to increasing tensions in the country. "We emptied Syria's museums. They are in effect empty halls, with the exception of large pieces that are difficult to move," Abdulkarim told Reuters during a visit to neighbouring Jordan. Tens of

Study reveals obsidian trade routes

A new study performed by an archaeologist from the University of Sheffield has revealed the ancient routes used to trade obsidian in Syria 4,200 years ago. Most of the obsidian at Tell Mozan (and surrounding archaeological sites) originated from volcanoes 200km away in what is now eastern Turkey, as expected from

Insurgents damage ancient citadel in Syria

Clashes between government forces and rebels in Syria have damaged one of the stone footbridges that leads into the ancient Citadel of Aleppo, a UN World Heritage site. The Syrian National Council, which is the main opposition platform within Syria and abroad, today accused government forces of damaging an unspecified section