Should we really RESURRECT PALMYRA?

The United Nations wants to paint Palmyra as nothing but the finest of all the world has to offer.  Like it was some kind of majestic oasis of unity and luxury.  They tell you it is too valuable of a historic culture to be lost.  They tell you by resurrecting Palmyra you are fighting terrorism and declaring that freedom reigns.  That is all promotional propaganda designed to get you to open your wallets, but more importantly to open your hearts, minds and spirits to the entities they serve.

This post started out just as a collection of updates on the events that have occurred in Palmyra in recent times.  It turned into a spiritual study as well, demonstrating the truths behind the push to resurrect the “glory” of Palmyra.

I pray that as you view the following God will lead you to a deeper understanding of truth related to that topic and so much more.

Check out my other posts on this topic:




In classical sources it is called Palmyra, a direct translation of its Semitic name Tadmor, which is obviously connected with the word tamar, “palm tree.” Josephus calls it Ταδάμορα (Ant. 8:154). Its modern name is Tadmura.

Weidner, in bibl.). From this inscription it can be learned that Tadmor belonged to Amurru, which here means not simply the “West” but is connected in some way to the (by then dissolved) state of Amurru, founded by the dynasty of Abdasrita in the 14 th century (see *El-Amarna Tablets and *Amorites ). This territory was inherited by the Arameans.

In Egypt, the Amorites were called “Amar” and were represented on monuments with fair skin, light hair, blue eyes, curved noses, and pointed beards. They were supposedly men of great stature. One of their kings, Og, was described by Moses (Deuteronomy 3:11) as the last “of the remnant of the giants,” and whose bed was 13.5 feet (4 meters) long.
Amorites [N] highlanders, or hillmen, the name given to the descendants of one of the sons of Canaan ( Genesis 14:7 ), called Amurra or Amurri in the Assyrian and Egyptian inscriptions. On the early Babylonian monuments all Syria, including Palestine, is known as “the land of the Amorites.”
The idea that the Amorites were giants is supported by the report of the spies whom Moses sent through the land of Canaan. The Amorites were one of the people groups they saw (Numbers 13:29), and they claimed that “all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature” (Numbers 13:32).
Etymology 1 [ edit] From Hebrew תָּמָר ‎ (tamár, “Tamar“, literally “date palm, date“) . Pronunciation  IPA ( key): /ˈteɪmə (ɹ)/, /ˈtɑːmɑ (ɹ)/ Proper noun Tamar A daughter-in-law of Judah. A daughter of David. A daughter of Absalom. A female given name from Hebrew of biblical origin. Translations daughter-in-law of Judah
The Greek name Παλμύρα (Latinized Palmyra) was first recorded by Pliny the Elder in the 1st century AD. [9] It was used throughout the Greco-Roman world. [7] It is generally believed that “Palmyra” derives from “Tadmor” and linguists have presented two possibilities; one view holds that Palmyra was an alteration of Tadmo r. [7]
Ethnically, the Palmyrenes combined elements of Amorites, Arameans, and Arabs. The city’s social structure was tribal, and its inhabitants spoke Palmyrene Aramaic, a variety of Western Middle Aramaic, while using Koine Greek for commercial and diplomatic purposes.
The history of Palmyra is closely linked to the development of the Silk Road in this region and to the city’s strategic placement between the major powers of the early Middle Ages. A settlement called Tadmor is mentioned as early as the eighteenth century BC, and by the first century AD, Palmyra had become a base for traders crossing the desert.


History: Palmyra and the Silk Road

  • Last Updated: Nov 1, 2022 10:07 AM

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We know that for quite some time now, the elite have been rabidly searching out everything they can uncover about the ancients, their monuments, their empires, their structures, their gods.  In this next article you will see they have been studying Palmyra and the areas around it using all their latest technologies.

Why the vibrant city of Palmyra was located in the middle of what is now the Syrian Desert

Date: June 20, 2012

Source: The Research Council of Norway
Summary: Norwegian archaeologists have solved one of the great puzzles of the Roman Empire: Why was the vibrant city of Palmyra located in the middle of the Syrian Desert?
In ancient Roman times A.D., Palmyra was the most important point along the trade route linking the east and west, reaching a population of 100 000 inhabitants. But its history has always been shrouded in mystery: What was a city that size doing in the middle of the desert? How could so many people live in such an inhospitable place nearly 2 000 years ago? Where did their food come from? And why would such an important trade route pass directly through the desert?

Norwegian researchers collaborated with Syrian colleagues for four years to find answers.

“These findings provide a wealth of new insight into Palmyra’s history,” says project manager Jørgen Christian Meyer, a professor at the University of Bergen.

New research using modern archaeological methods

The Bergen-based archaeologists approached the problem from a novel angle — instead of examining the city itself, they studied an enormous expanse of land just to the north. Along with their Syrian colleagues from the Palmyra Museum and aided by satellite photos, they catalogued a large number of ancient remains visible on Earth’s surface.

“In this way,” explains Professor Meyer, “we were able to form a more complete picture of what occurred within the larger area.

The team detected a number of forgotten villages from ancient Roman times. But what finally solved the riddle of Palmyra was the discovery of the water reservoirs these villages had utilised.

Not a desert

Professor Meyer and his colleagues came to realise that what they were studying was not a desert, but rather an arid steppe, with underground grass roots that keep rain from sinking into the soil. Rainwater collects in intermittent creeks and rivers called wadi by the Arabs.

The archaeologists gathered evidence that residents of ancient Palmyra and the nearby villages collected the rainwater using dams and cisterns. This gave the surrounding villages water for crops and enabled them to provide the city with food; the collection system ensured a stable supply of agricultural products and averted catastrophe during droughts.

Local farmers also cooperated with Bedouin tribes, who drove their flocks of sheep and goats into the area to graze during the hot season, fertilising the farmers’ fields in the process.

Safe trade route

Palmyra’s location also had a political foundation. Important east-west trade routes, including along the Euphrates River to the north, were not under the control of the Romans to the west or the Persians to the east. Local lords and chieftains demanded high fees for passage.

This practice of extortion translated into a tremendous opportunity for the Palmyrians; they joined forces with the Bedouins to provide security, beasts of burden and guides through the desert.

Tradesmen from Palmyra made the most of the city’s unique location to build up a comprehensive trade network,” says the professor. “This explains much of the city’s prosperity.”

Arable land in this time of need

The solution to the mystery of Palmyra can also teach us something today. As the world seeks arable land to feed its billions, we can learn from the Palmyrians’ experience. If they were able to cultivate the desert soil almost 2 000 years ago, surely we can do the same with all the available modern aids and methods.  (Ya, and using extortion those who control the access can get rich off the backs of the rest of us.)

“Occasionally an enormous amount of rain falls in the desert,” says Professor Meyer. “Anyone can see how green the desert becomes after the rain. The Palmyrians must have realised the potential of this type of land, which covers large areas of our planet.”

The project has received funding of over NOK 9 million from the Research Council of Norway’s comprehensive funding scheme for independent basic research projects (FRIPRO).

Pay close attention to this next article.  It clearly shows that the troops from the Islamic State had no intention of destroying the monuments, only the statues/pagan idols.  Usually they only deface the statues, knock off their noses or something similar.  

Why have IS militants spared ancient Palmyra? – France 24

Issued on: Modified: 

Ho, Welayat Homs, AFP | Screen grab from an IS group propaganda video showing its flag flying over Palmyra’s monuments

The international community has expressed alarm over the fate of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, which was seized by the Islamic State group on May 20. But almost two weeks later, Palmyra’s monuments are apparently still standing.

The news has come as a surprise to many, since the Islamic State (IS) group has drawn international condemnation for destroying irreplaceable ancient treasures in the Iraqi cities of Mossul, Nimrod and Hatra.

The jihadist movement has shared videos of a member destroying an Assyrian winged bull at a museum in Mosulwith a jackhammer. It has boasted of turning bulldozers on the biblical city of Nimrudand smashing 2,000-year-old artifacts with sledgehammers in the northern city of Hatra.

But according to several media outlets, it has nevertheless spared the cherished Syrian heritage site in Palmyra at least for now.

Instead of demolishing the city’s archaeological treasures, the IS group announced that it had destroyed the prison in Palmyra, known in Arabic as Tadmur. The prison, a longtime symbol of the Syrian regime’s repression, was blown apart with explosives on May 30.

Tadmur (known as Palmyra in English) in the deserts of eastern Syria approximately 200 kilometers northeast of Damascus

Self-proclaimed IS members have gone so far as to declare that ancient Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is not in danger.

“Concerning the historical city, we will preserve it and it will not be damaged, God willing, but what we will do is destroy the statues that the infidels used to pray to,” a man alleging to be Abu Leith, an IS group commander, told a Syrian opposition radio station.

As for the historical monuments, we will not touch them with our bulldozers as some tend to believe,” the man was quoted as saying by the International Business Times.

PR campaign

According to some analysts, the IS group is not attempting to win sympathy among locals or foreigners by sparing Palmyra’s monuments. The announcement is, in fact, consistent with its brand.

“There is no change in strategy,” said Wassim Nasr, a FRANCE 24 journalist who specialises in jihadist movements. “From the beginning, the group has been clear that it is only out to destroy statues.”

The jihadists are nevertheless waging a PR battle in Palmyra, as elsewhere in Syria and Iraq.

The IS group’s target in Palmyra wasalways the jail. By destroying it they position themselves as liberators of those oppressed by [President Bashar al-] Assad’s regime. And that is consistent with their strategy,” Nasr said.

Indeed, Palmyra’s prison is notorious as the site of a 1980 massacre in which as many as 800 inmates may have been killed, many of them Islamist opponents of then president Hafez al-Assad, Bashar’s father and predecessor.

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Political prisoners from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, and from different religious groups, have been tortured and locked up in Palmyra’s prison over the years.

Assad officially closed the prison in 2001 as he sought to improve Syria’s image internationally. The prison only reopened in 2011, officially to lock up the militants who rose up to fight Assad as the Arab Spring spread throughout the region. But some observers wonder if the prison was ever closed, and if it didn’t instead continue to house “disappeared” Syrian dissidents.

Since it took over Palmyra, the IS group has shared never-before-seen images from inside the prison, including those of jail cells almost devoid of light.

The Syrian regime transferred all of Palmyra’s prisoners before the jihadists took over the town a move that Nasr said robbed the IS group of a priceless PR moment.

This article was translated from its original in French.

The elite have been bombarding the world with promotional ads, events, and online social media, websites and videos about “why Palmyra is so important and valuable” and making people believe that it is virtuous and vital for us to support the rebuilding of the sites.

palmyra-overview_jpg_600x564_q85“It would be folly to believe that the survival of archaeological reports and photographs could in any way compensate for the destruction or looting of the ancient remains. The preservation of buildings and objects that managed to survive for two thousand years of Palmyra’s history has to be a priority wherever civilization is cherished.”

Beauty of Palmyra: Look at Ancient City’s Heritage Sites (PHOTOS)

© REUTERS / SANA/Handout  (Still intact)
After the long-awaited liberation of Palmyra by the Syrian Army on Sunday, to the world’s greatest joy it was revealed that some of the ancient city’s key heritage sites remained untouched. Sputnik takes a closer look at the ancient Syrian city and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Syria’s top archeologist and the director of antiquities, Maamoun Abdelkarim, told Sputnik that some of the ruined cultural sites in the city could be restored.

“Today is our happiest day because the city has been liberated from terrorists and its historical monuments will be restored,” he said, adding that hundreds of precious items from Palmyra’s museum had earlier been moved to safety.

Fortunately, Daesh militants left a theater, the city’s main street, walls and four ancient gates untouched. But that’s really is a drop in the ocean of sorrow, as since the jihadists took control of Palmyra last May they destroyed a lot of the city’s ancient heritage sites.

Below are just some of the historic sites from Palmyra:


Fakhr-al-Din al-Maani Castle
The remains of an ancient theater in Palmyra

Inside Tadmur: The worst prison in the world?


When Islamic State seized Palmyra in Syria last month, one of the first things it did was blow up the Tadmur prisonthe country’s most notorious jail, where for decades, political dissidents were detained and tortured. The BBC’s Soumer Daghastani looks back at its history.

Westerners know Palmyra for its ancient Greco-Roman ruins, but the Arabic term for the place, Tadmur, gives most Syrians goose-bumps.

It’s synonymous with death, torture, horror, and madness.

The prison was built by the French in the 1930s, in heart of the desert, about 200km northeast of Damascus. But it was during Hafez al-Assad 30-year rule between 1971 and 2000 that it gained its current reputation. Thousands of political dissidents were reported to have been humiliated, tortured, and summarily executed there.

It’s utterly unfair to call it a prison. In a prison you have basic rights, but in Tadmur you have nothing. You’re only left with fear and horror,” says Palestinian writer Salameh Kaileh, who spent two years there, from 1998 to 2000, accused of opposing the goals of the revolution that brought Assad’s Baath Party to power.


The arbitrary detention and brutal treatment of political prisoners at Tadmur began in the 1970s, when an opposition movement started gaining momentum.

Led by the Muslim Brotherhood and several secular parties, activists demanded political representation and the rule of law. The Muslim Brotherhood grew in popularity and its armed wing carried out acts of political violence against the army and the Assad regime.

But in the late 70s and early 80s thousands of supporters of leftist and Islamist groups were arrested.

Many were executed or died under torture. The lucky ones spent three or four years in prison. Some were there for 20.


Tadmur, beyond surrealism
By Syrian poet Faraj Bayrakdar, who was in Tadmur from 1988 to 1992

High walls of cold cement

Control towers

Mine fields

Check points

Barricades and special military forces

Finally… A space of pure patriotic fear

If the whole of Syria falls

This prison will never ever fall

The bloody massacre that took place within Tadmur’s walls in 1980 is ingrained in Syria’s consciousness. A day after a failed assassination attempt on Hafez al-Assad, members of the infamous Defence Brigades, headed at the time by Assad’s brother, Rifaat, flew from Damascus to Tadmur by helicopter. Soldiers went from cell to cell, shooting prisoners with machine guns.

No-one knows exactly how many were killed but a 2001 Amnesty International report estimates that 500 to 1,000 people were murdered in just a few minutes – most of them were members or suspected supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It’s said their bodies were dumped in a mass grave outside the prison.

The prison was constructed in the style of a panopticon, a circular building where prisoners in their cells could be constantly watched by guards. The term comes from Panoptes, a mythological Greek giant who had 100 eyes.

Former prisoners told Amnesty that the prison had seven courtyards, 40 to 50 dormitories and 39 smaller cells. There were also 19 disciplinary underground cells that were used for solitary confinement.


All dormitories had windows covered with barbed wire in the ceiling, allowing guards to keep inmates under constant surveillance,” says Kaileh.

“We did not know if the guards were up there watching us or not. But no-one would dare to move from his spot or even raise his head as the consequences would have been dire.”

Inmates were not allowed to raise their heads, look up or look at each other.

“I have not seen the eyes of any of my inmates and none of them saw my eyes until after we left the prison. Eye contact was absolutely forbidden,” said Syrian writer Yassin Haj Saleh in his article, The Road to Tadmur – he was there from 1995 to 1996.

We used to distinguish guards from the colour of their boots as we never saw their faces,” says another Syrian writer, poet Faraj Bayrakdar. “The guard with black boots is nice but the one with green boots is merciless.”

After their release, it was years before some prisoners were able to make eye contact with anyone.

Torture was a daily ritual – a lengthy journey of pain and slow death.

“When death is a daily occurrence, lurking in torture, random beatings, eye-gouging, broken limbs and crushed fingers… wouldn’t you welcome the merciful release of a bullet?” wrote one former prisoner in a memoir smuggled out of Syria in 1999.

IMAGE SOURCE,AFP/ HO/ WELAYAT HOMS Image caption, The entrance to Tadmur prison – the IS flag has been placed in the statue of Hafez al-Assad

Former inmates often talk about their first hours at Tadmur and the so-called “reception party” – an initial session of torture that prisoners endured upon arrival.

“The warders pulled us off the bus whipping us mercilessly and brutally until we were all out… the military police searched our clothes and one by one we were put into the tyre [forced to get inside a car tyre] and each person was beaten between 200 and 400 times on his feet,” a former detainee told Amnesty.

“Everyone was in a bad condition, their legs bleeding and covered with wounds, as well as other parts of their bodies. Some of the prisoners died during the reception party,” he said.

Detainees talk about being humiliated, whipped, and beaten throughout their time there.

Jailers were given an open licence to do anything, even to kill. Your life was simply worth nothing,” says Kaileh.

Military officers were innovative in finding new methods to humiliate prisoners. Kaileh says they resorted to strange and sick forms of torture, sometimes just out of boredom. One night the guard, looking from the ceiling window, ordered him to move all the slippers in the dormitory, about a hundred pairs of them. He told him he could only use his mouth. He had to keep moving the slippers in this way all night.

IMAGE SOURCE,AFP/ HO/ WELAYAT HOMS Image caption, A dormitory at Tadmur – the writing on the right reads “To preserve the dignity of citizens”

Others talk about an incident when two prisoners were forced to hold an inmate by the hands and feet, rock him high in the air, and then fling him away to fall on the ground. One prisoner who refused to do so was beaten around the head and died a month later.

Inmates would cry out for medical help for dying prisoners. The guards’ answer was always the same: “Only call us to collect bodies.”

Tadmur is a kingdom of death and madness. The fact that such place existed is a shame, not only on Syrians, but on all humanity,” says Bayrakdar.

When IS captured the building, it released pictures of the inside. Apart from the guards and detainees who lived to tell the tale, no-one had seen inside its walls before.

IMAGE SOURCE,AP Image caption, Ali Aboudehn points to a portrait of a fellow inmate who is now missing

But the destruction of the building came as a shock for many who wanted it to stand as a witness to years of brutality.

“IS demolished a historic symbol that should have stayed, because in every room there were people who were killed,” Ali Aboudehn, a Lebanese man who spent four years there, told AP.

Yassin Haj Saleh said he felt as if his home was destroyed. “I dreamt that I would visit it someday… This visit would redeem me… it would be a closure… The destruction of a prison that was the symbol of our slavery is the destruction of our freedom,” he posted on Facebook. He considers the act of blowing it up “a huge service to Assad’s regime of slavery”.

IMAGE SOURCE,AP FROM MILITANT WEBSITE Image caption, The remains of Tadmur

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Palmyra caught between two histories

The Assad regime gets away with heinous crimes as the world turns to Twitter to save Palmyra’s centuries-old ruins.

Smoke rises behind archaeological ruins in Palmyra, Syria [AP]
Smoke rises behind archaeological ruins in Palmyra, Syria [AP]

For decades, humanity has kept quiet over the evils happening in Palmyra. For while the city is known throughout the world for its ancient ruins, less well known is the similarly decrepit hellhole of a prison in the city – home to tens of thousands of desperate souls left to rot in the desert.

Their agonies failed to move human rights activists. But even having met the prisoners of Palmyra’s dark jail, words fail me in trying to illustrate the psychological terror I witnessed behind those walls.

The Assads defined crime as per their convenience. The finest minds, the gutsiest soldiers and the sharpest critics were incarcerated for their God-given talents. The world has for centuries admired the doomed architects of what now lays in ruins, but remained apathetic about the living beings decaying in the modern-day prison.

Fears mount over fate of Syria’s ancient Palmyra ruins

We know the priorities of this corrupt world. It sounds so politically incorrect to mention the plight of Assad’s prisoners, while a top UNESCO heritage site faces likely destruction. Why should we care about the desperation of dissidents when there are rocks and rubble that need saving?

Regime bigger threat

It’s nothing but a myth that there was no threat to the ruins before the ISIL takeover. A survey of Syrians conducted by the opposition’s Orient media house concluded that both the regime and ISIL pose similar threats to the heritage site – at least in the minds of many Syrians. Some 38 percent even responded that the Damascus regime was a bigger threat than ISIL, while 12 percent thought the opposite.

Today’s civilised and cyberised world prefers to overlook the discomforting images of living beings at the hands of a totalitarian regime.

Al-Quqaha, by far the best novel-cum-autobiography by a Syrian, depicts the years of the writer’s youth spent behind the impenetrable walls of Palmyra. Scores of Arab inmates spent no fewer than 15 years here. It is estimated that no fewer than 30,000 inmates have died since 1980.

In the words of UNESCO, Palmyra sits “at the crossroads of several civilisations” – but the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has forgotten to tell the world of the notoriously inhumane torture cells and incarcerations there.

The world has for centuries admired the doomed architects of what now lays in ruins, but remained apathetic about the living beings decaying in the modern-day prison.

Only after ISIL took over Palmyra, as Assad’s men tactically retreated, would the world wake up to the danger to this ancient heritage. In the shadow of the majestic relics, many people disappeared and died without a trace. Even if a family knew for certain its loved ones were being held in Palmyra, the sadistic authorities never made a meeting possible.

Everyday killings

While every Syrian is eager preserve and protect the remnants of the caravan city, they are stunned at the lack of international commotion over everyday killings – from chlorine attacks to barrel bombings. Media reports suggest that the Assad regime used chlorine gas against Syrians 35 times within two months. US President Barack Obama, however, has still failed to confirm or condemn even one such massacre.

Thousands of Syrians have been consumed by the ocean waves while fleeing for dear life. There has been no one-minute silence to commemorate their sacrifice. After at least 300,000 deaths, and while more than half the nation has been forced from their homes and live as refugees or Internally Displaced Persons, it is the fear of an Alawite massacre that is making the headlines, as Jaish al-Fateh advances.

Assad’s loyal troops and militias did not retreat from Palmyra in haste. They took thousands of prisoners from the country’s most notorious jail along with them.

Baathist crimes

This was not done merely to deny ISIL access to the enormous manpower, but also to hide the crimes of Baathist rule. The Syrian junta knew the world wouldn’t talk about the nameless and countless inmates of the jail. They were right.

The Assad regime got away with its heinous crimes as the world turned to Twitter to save the centuries-old ruins.

ISIL may not exercise restraint here. Palmyra is likely to be annihilated, like much of the heritage in areas of Iraq the group controls. The loss of this sacred heritage has not been occurring overnight – a daily holocaust in Syria over the past five years has not been enough to shake the world’s conscience from its slumber.

With memories of Bosnia and Kosovo still fresh in our minds, world leaders prefer silence. UNESCO and its donors may still, miraculously, save Palmyra – but it will do so while letting a proud nation drown in its own blood and romanticism.

Ahmad Zaidan is Al Jazeera’s Islamabad bureau chief. He is a Syrian journalist who has covered the war in Syria since 2011.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.


Recapturing the ancient city it would be an epic symbol of new ambitions

Robert Fisk

" For Obama and Cameron, a Russian-assisted recapture of Palmyra would be a humiliating lesson" Photograph: A still from the Isis-released video in Palmyra
” For Obama and Cameron, a Russian-assisted recapture of Palmyra would be a humiliating lesson” Photograph: A still from the Isis-released video in Palmyra

He wants a victory. Syria’s army, the only institution upon which the regime – indeed, the entire state apparatus – depends is being re-armed and trained for a serious military offensive against Isis, one which is meant to have enormous symbolic value both in the Middle East and in the world. Military plans always get delayed. And the moment the first artillery piece sends off a shell, the plans always go wrong. In Syria, operational details change every day and every night. But I’ll wager a well-informed guess right now – and we’ll keep calling this a guess, if only for form’s sake – that the Syrian army is being primed to recapture the ancient Roman city of Palmyra from the Islamists.


Palmyra temple destroyed

New Russian fighter-bombers, new anti-armour missiles, perhaps even the new T-90 Russian tanks are being prepared for the desert terrain. One of Syria’s most modern air force bases lies scarcely 50 miles from Palmyra – on the main road east to Homs – and the Syrian army has for months planned for an attack around the city. Only weeks ago, they postponed an offensive for fear that Isis would destroy the rest of the Roman city. But such concerns have now diminished. Isis has shown itself quite willing to destroy the Roman temples without a military assault on its forces.

Now a reminder. At this moment, I’m keeping to the “informed guess” that I mentioned above. The regime has to hold onto Aleppo lest it collapses into Isis hands and is immediately declared the Caliphate’s Syrian capital. The Syrian army has to keep open the road to Lebanon and the heights of Qalamoun along the Lebanese border. It cannot risk any more towns falling into Isis hands. But Palmyra is top of the list for the doubtful privilege of “liberation” from Isis.

The date would be within the next three weeks, but – since all Middle East battles slide off the time chart – we could probably run up to early November, before the rains begin sweeping across the sands from Iraq. Palmyra is a pearl to be recaptured because the world – with utter insensitivity, far more concerned about the fate of its imperial Roman ruins than its peoplehas registered the city’s loss to Isis last May as a major success for the “Caliphate”.

But for Putin, an offensive would – or will – be an epic symbol of Russia’s new projection into the Middle East. For Obama and Cameron and the rest of our Western leaders, who have fumbled around Syria for four years, neither dethroning Assad nor defeating Isis, a Russian-assisted recapture of Palmyra would be a humiliating lesson. Trusting in Moscow – and remember that Egyptian President al-Sissi was taking Putin to the Cairo opera only a few months ago – may look like a better bet for any Middle East leader than relying on Western support.

Politically, of course, a post-victory Palmyra will leave Assad much more secure in his half of Syria. Already the Americans and British are waffling about his “transitional” role in a future Syrian government – a “transition” which we all know could last for years. Putin is not pouring Russian treasure into the Syrian death pit to allow his man in Damascus to be overthrown. His Ukrainian president ran away. But Assad did not scarper off to Russia over these past four years. Nor has he remained in Damascus only to be pensioned off as a “transitional” president.

But what comes after Palmyra? The recapture of much of Aleppo a far more risky project – or a return to Idlib city or even an attempt to seize the Isis “capital” of Raqqa? Relief, certainly, for the surrounded regime garrison in the desert city of Deir Ezzour. But a dark genie moves around the Syrian desert, awarding no prizes to the brave or the foolhardy. If Russia and Syria have made their plans, be sure that Isis have other operations up their sleeve; a strike into central Damascus, for example, as the rebels tried three years ago.

Nor will Russia be able to shake off the ghosts of Afghanistan in Syria. You cannot “capture” deserts. Nor can a new Russian air fleet defeat Isis on its own. At the very least, it must not tangle with Syria’s neighbours, which is almost certainly why Benjamin Netanyahu has just met Putin – to ensure that Israel does not misconstrue the meaning of Russian high altitude planes north-east of Golan. And the restoration of regime control – even over Palmyra – will lead to no broad sunlit uplands. Putin and Assad are not planning for any parliamentary democracies on the road to Damascus. But if Isis – along with its Putin-hating Chechen fighters – gets its wings clipped, then the US – and Nato – will have to negotiate with Moscow over the future of Syria. All of which, of course, will read like a curse to the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees bleeding away from their country on their great trek north through the Balkans.



Drawing by Dmitry Divin

A top Islamic scholar voices deep sorrow for country’s cultural losses.

St Petersburg, the city where I was born and live, has a special and poetic nickname: since the reign of Catherine the Great in the second half of the 18th century, it has been referred to as the “Northern Palmyra”.

Indeed, the story of Zenobia, the powerful, determined and enlightened queen of the Parlmyrene Empire, was compared to Catherine’s own magnificent reign, and ancient Palmyra, which prided itself on its immense wealth and numerous architectural monuments, thus became a venerable sister of Russia’s imperial capital.

Russian scientists played a major role in studying Syria’s cultural and historical heritage.

Writer, explorer and princess, Lydia Pashkova, was one of the first people to describe Palmyra in her works. In 1882, Prince Semyon Abambek-Lazarev, another Russian traveler and Orientalist who took part in the excavations in Palmyra, discovered a marble slab dating back to 137 AD, inscribed with texts recording customs tariffs in two languages: Greek and Aramaic. The slab later played a major role in deciphering Aramaic and is currently part of the collection of St Petersburg’s State Hermitage museum.

In 1884, Abambek-Lazarev published his exquisitely executed book Palmyra on the results of the excavations, and a century later St Petersburg-based researcher and my senior colleague, Ilya Schifman released a study of the slab – also known as a stele – that included a translation of the inscription in Russian. Famous Russian art historian and archaeologist Boris Farmakovsky also made significant contributions to the exploration of Palmyra.

In 2001, I had the privilege to participate in organizing a major exhibition Moi, Zénobie, reine de Palmyre (I, Zenobia, queen of Palmyra), held in Paris. At a reception to mark its opening, I had a very interesting conversation with an elderly Syrian man, who impressed me with his extensive knowledge. It was not until later that I realized that he was none other than Doctor Khaled al-Asaad, director of the Palmyra museum complex. In August 2015, the eminent 81 year-old archaeologist was beheaded by members of Islamic extremist movement ISIS.

Now the terrorists have blown up Palmyra’s Arch of Triumph, its majestic temple of Bel (founded in 32 AD), the eclectic Greco-Roman-cum-Middle-Eastern style Temple of Baalshamin (131 AD) and three of the tower tombs in the Palmyrene Valley of Tombs, dating from 44 to 103 AD. They have also destroyed the ancient catholic monastery of Mar Elian, located between Palmyra and the town of Qaryatain, killing all the monks living there. The site of Dura Europos, an old border city built in 300 BC and inhabited until the 3rd century AD, was destroyed, as was Alamea, dating to the beginning of the 3rd century BC. The Citadel of Aleppo and the giant amphitheater of Bosra were completely demolished and Krak des Chevaliers, a stunning crusader castle, significantly damaged.

This next item is related to the 20Ft 3D Printed replicas of the Arch of Palmyra which toured the major cities of the Earth in 2016.  They originally planned to place a 50Ft replica in 1,000 Cities.  But, they had to rethink due to the outrage that occured when their announcement was made.  But, they had already stated they had the 50Ft replicas prepared so where did they go?

U.N. to Install 1000 Temples to Baal in U.S., China, Great …

NEXT month, the Temple of Baal will come to Times Square. Reproductions of the 50-foot arch that formed the temple’s entrance are to be installed in New York and in London, a tribute to the 2,000-year-old structure that the Islamic State destroyed last year in the Syrian town of Palmyra.

Palmyra in ‘Better Shape’ Than Feared


© Sana Sana / Reuters


Russia’s military on Thursday said it has completely demined the ancient site of Palmyra in Syria.

Moscow, Russia: Russia’s military on Thursday said it had completely demined the ancient site of Palmyra in Syria after it was recaptured by government forces from ISIS fighters last month.

As of today the tasks to demine the ancient architectural part of Palmyra have been completed in their entirety,” Yury Stavitsky, the commander of Russia’s military engineers, told President Vladimir Putin in a televised video link-up from Syria.


Russian army sappers work at the historic part of Palmyra, Syria, in this photo released by Russian Ministry of Defence on April 9, 2016 - Sputnik International

Russian Forces in Syria’s Palmyra de Facto Serve as Peacekeepers

Mitrofanova also said that the UNESCO would not finance the reconstruction works.

“Of course, it will be the international community: either a fund, or each country on bilateral basis will finance [the works],” she said, adding that there are some countries that have already expressed their willingness to take part in the reconstruction of Palmyra – for example, Poland, Bahrain, Austria, Greece, Russia, Italy as well as the European Union.

Daesh, outlawed in Russia, seized Palmyra in May 2015 and destroyed part of its historic ruins, which are a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. On March 27, forces loyal to Damascus and backed by the Russian Aerospace Forces, liberated the city.

Reconstruction of Palmyra Monuments to Take Up to Seven Years

Ancient Palmyra - Sputnik International
The reconstruction of monuments in Palmyra may take up to seven years, Russia’s permanent delegate to UNESCO said.

PALMYRA (Sputnik) – It will take from five to seven years to reconstruct monuments of the ancient Palmyra in Syria destroyed by Daesh terrorists, Russia’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO Eleonora Mitrofanova told journalists Thursday.

As for the time [needed for reconstruction of Palmyra], experts say it may take five-seven years,” Mitrofanova said.

She also said that start of reconstructing Palmyra is now discussed by experts.

“In principle, these issues are now discussed in depth. In particular, a special conference on the world heritage of Syria will take place in Berlin on June 2-3. But everything will depend on the conclusions drawn by the experts. Only after a detailed study it will be clear what to do with these objects: whether to renovate, to reconstruct [them] and so on,” Mitrofanova said.


Russia Stages Classical Concert in Recaptured Palmyra Amphitheater

Russian symphony, Famed Mariinsky orchestra, plays a surprise concert in Syria’s ruins of Palmyra, on the site where ISIS killed 25 people in 2015.

May 5, 2016, 2:37 PM
MOSCOW— — An orchestra from one of Russia’s most famous theaters today played a concert in a Roman amphitheater in the ancient city of Palmyra to triumph its recapture by Syrian government forces.

Syrian troops retook Palmyra from ISIS militants in late-March under the cover of Russian airstrikes and artillery.

Today, St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater Orchestra performed on Palmyra’s 2,000-year-old Roman stage in a surreal scene among the desert ruins, which ISIS had used as an execution site. The orchestra played Bach and a symphony by Sergei Prokofiev to a crowd of Russian and Syrian soldiers and civilians, beneath a facade where the Roman Emperor Nero had once ordered a statue of himself placed.

NERO Perhaps the most infamous of Rome’s emperors, Nero Claudius Caesar (37-68 A.D.) ruled Rome from 54 A.D. until his death by suicide 14 years later. He is best known for his debaucheries, political murders, persecution of Christians and a passion for music that led to the probably apocryphal rumor that Nero “fiddled” while Rome burned during the great fire of 64 A.D. Several classical sources place Nero on the roof of his palace during the fire, dressed in stage garb and singing from the Greek epic “The Sack of Ilium.” Rumors quickly circulated that the emperor had started the fire. Whatever responsibility he actually bore for the disaster, Nero deflected attention by blaming members of the fledgling Christian religion for the fire. He ordered all manner of creative and brutal persecutions: Some were condemned to be dressed in animal skins and torn apart by dogs, while others were burned to death in nighttime pyres that provided light for the emperor’s garden parties.

His most lasting artistic legacy, though, was his re-creation of Rome following the fire that destroyed most of the city. Nero exhausted the Roman treasury rebuilding the city (out of the ashes after the fire,  Rome rose like a Phoenix) around his 100-acre Domus Aurea (“Golden House”) palace complex. At its center he commissioned a 100-foot-tall bronze statue of himself, the Colossus Neronis.

The face of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin appeared on a screen inside the amphitheater by video-link to address them. “Thank you for this surprising humanitarian action,” Putin told the crowd.

The concert, titled “A Prayer for Palmyra,” was broadcast live by Russian state television. The concert’s conductor, Valery Gergiev, told the audience the concert was protesting “against barbarians who have destroyed monuments of world culture.”

Palmyra is a UNESCO World Heritage site, the sprawling well-preserved remains of an ancient city that was once Syria’s most popular tourist attraction. ISIS forces seized the city last May and began dynamiting some of its architectural sites that the terror group believes were idolatrous, causing extensive damage.

After Palmyra was retaken, the Russian military de-mined the ruins, removing thousands of ISIS booby traps, according to the country’s defense ministry.

Moscow and the Syrian government have trumpeted Palmyra’s recapture as a symbol of how their campaign is rescuing civilization in Syria after five years of savage warfare. Today’s concert seemed intended to underscore that idea.

Putin said the concert was meant as as sign of hope “for the deliverance of modern civilization from this terrible plague, from international terrorism.”

But even as the Russian orchestra played, fighting continued across Syria, with reports that an airstrike had struck a refugee camp, killing dozens. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pledged that his forces would eventually achieve victory over rebels in Aleppo, despite a 48-hour truce brokered by the United States there Wednesday. The comments suggested Assad had little intention of engaging seriously in peace negotiations with rebels that had all but collapsed last month.

Monitoring groups estimate over 400,000 people have been killed in Syria since 2011, the great majority by forces loyal to Assad, many through indiscriminate barrel bombing and airstrikes. Leaked documents acquired by international rights groups have shown tens of thousands have been brutally tortured by Assad’s security services, beaten, suffocated, electrocuted, some with limbs drilled, their eyes gouged out.

Russia has been supporting Assad’s government with a ferocious air campaign targeting rebels, as well as with advisers on the ground. Russian aircraft in Syria have been accused by rights groups of indiscriminately bombing hospitals in rebel areas and causing hundreds of civilian casualties. Rebel groups last week blamed Russia for airstrikes on a hospital in Aleppo that killed at least 27 people.

Although Aleppo was quieter today, rebels reported shelling in villages near the city, according to The Associated Press. ISIS fighters, meanwhile, seized gas fields in the desert near Palmyra, the first advances by the group there since the city was retaken, Reuters reported.

Staging musical concerts on the sites of its military successes is becoming a signature move for the Kremlin. Valery Gergiev, the conductor at Palmyra known for his outspoken support of Putin, also led the orchestra when it played in the breakaway republic of South Ossetia after Russian troops routed Georgian troops in a 2008 war there.

Popular Russian singers have also held concerts in Crimea and eastern Ukraine after pro-Russian rule was established there.spacer


Russia sees the desert city as a symbol of its strength and influence in new Middle East

Syrians take a selfie ahead of a music concert in the ancient theatre of ravaged Palmyra on May 6, 2016.Image Credit: AFP

Beirut: Two months after Syrian regime forces ousted Daesh from the ancient city of Palmyra in the Syrian desert, several countries have offered to help rebuild the world heritage site destroyed at the hands of the terrorists.

The list includes Peru, Bahrain, Austria, Greece, Italy, and Russia, whose army played a crucial role in the liberation of the city last March.

A French company specialised in digitisation of vulnerable archaeological sites has already visited the city to assess the damage. There is no final figure as to how much rebuilding Palmyra would cost or how long it would take, with estimations ranging anywhere between three-ten years.

Moscow will probably be awarded the honour of rebuilding the Arch of Triumph, a magnificent monument dynamited by Daesh last October, once linking the main street of the Colonnade and the Roman Temple of Bel.

It was to the people of Syria what its namesake was to the people of Paris; a tourist attraction and source of pride.

Russia, which staged a major concert in Palmyra on May 6, sees the desert city as a symbol of its strength and influence in the new Middle East.

Other destroyed parts of Palmyra will probably be handled by Russia’s allies.

Two Polish experts from the University of Warsaw have already arrived in Palmyra, having first visited the city back in 2005 to restore its famous 15-tonne lion statue, called Lion of Al Lat, located at the city museum’s main entrance. The statue of a pre-Islamic Palmyra goddess, dates back to the 1st century and was destroyed by Daesh last June.

The Polish archaeologists returned to Palmyra, at the invitation of the state-run Directorate of Antiquities, to find the statue smashed into pieces, scattered all over the city.

They were collected in tiny pieces and large stone slabs, inventoried, boxed, and shipped to Damascus for restoration. They wrote that the statue could be restored to its previous shape, but the most difficult parts to piece back would be around its nostrils.  (That is probably why those who want to deface idols break off their noses.  Isn’t that interesting as the nose is where one breathes and breath is life. Very symbolic.)

Five major sites were destroyed in Palmyra by Daesh during their 10-month rule of the ancient Syrian city.

They are the temples of Bel and Baalshamin, the Arch of triumph, the Valley of Tombs, and the Palmyra Museum.

According to the Directorate of Antiquities, the two temples are “not beyond repair” as most of their fragments are still scattered around the war-torn city; they can still be found and pieced together.

It would take anywhere between three to five years to restore them, he added.

The same cannot be said of the city’s museum, which was destroyed by mortars, smashed, and looted by Daesh.

It currently lies beneath a pile of garbage and debris. Most of the 200 objects on display at the museum’s ground floor have been completely destroyed, apparently with hard tools and sledge hammers.

Many of the statues were decapitated and their hands were chopped off. Major damage was also found at the Fakhr Al Din Al Maani Castle, a Mamluk-era fortress located on a hill overlooking the city. The castle, labelled a World Heritage Site by Unesco, was used by Daesh fighters, thanks to its fortification and high walls, to fight off government troops last March, and it was heavily damaged by the fighting. The staircase leading to its entrance has collapsed, and so has its eastern tower. Ironically only the famous Roman amphitheatre remained untouched by Daesh. At the orders of its self-proclaimed “caliph” Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, Daesh executed no less than 280 civilians — mainly residents of Palmyra who refused to leaveat the very same theatre and filmed the grotesque scenes to send shivers down the spine of Palmyra. Leaflets and papers with the black & white logo of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (Daesh) could still be found in between the ruins and in the now abandoned government agencies of Palmyra.

Despite the horror of what happened to Palmyra, only 20 per cent of the city’s archaeological architecture was destroyed by Daesh, according to the Syrian Directorate of Antiquities.

Before the full restoration starts, however, the Syrian Government has to demine the city and restore water and electricity. Russian experts are already working round the clock removing explosives scattered by Daesh in the residential parts of Palmyra, while government troops are protecting the city’s outskirts, fearing a surprise attack by Daesh, which still controls the fields in Palmyra’s countryside and the nearby town of Al Sukhneh.

On May 5, the St Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra performed at the Palmyra Theatre, led by world-acclaimed conductor Valery Gergiev. President Vladimir Putin took centre stage via satellite, addressing the crowd from Kremlin and thanking his troops for helping liberate Palmyra.

On the next day marking Syria’s 100th Martyr’s Day Anniversary, an assortment of musicians and singers took the stage in Palmyra, performing a live concert attended by Syrian and Russian officials.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Site is near Islamic State (ISIS), ancient-archeologocial site

In this Thursday, April 14, 2016 photo, Russian soldiers stand guard in the ancient city of Palmyra in the central Homs province, Syria. An American heritage organization says the Russian military is constructing a new army base in the central Syrian town of Palmyra, within the protected zone that holds the archaeological site listed by UNESCO as world heritage. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
In this Thursday, April 14, 2016 photo, Russian soldiers stand guard in the ancient city of Palmyra in the central Homs province, Syria. An American heritage organization says the Russian military is constructing a new army base in the central … more >

The American School of Oriental Research’s Cultural Heritage Initiative posted pictures from the satellite imagery and analytics company DigitalGlobe that show the construction on the edge of the ancient site, reports the Associated Press.

Maamoun Abdulkarim, head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Damascus said his organization was not asked for permission but added that ISIS is close to the town and the presence of Russian and Syrian troops is important to ensure that the site remains in government hands. “We refuse to give permission even if it was for a small room to be built inside the site whether it is for the Syrian army, Russian army or anyone else,” Abudlkarim said by telephone from Damascus. “We will never give such permission because this will be in violation of the archaeology law. During the time of war, sometimes archaeological authorities don’t have a say but security decisions dictate the orders,” AbdulKarim said.Once the situation improves and peace is reached, then we will openly call for removing” the barracks.

Russia has stated that it is withdrawing forces from the Syrian theater and returning them to Russia. However, in reality, the Russian armed force have simply rotated different kinds of equipment between Syria and the Russian homeland for a different type of fight against the Islamic State. A new facility in Palmyra is proof that the Russian military is staying put and the new axis of Russia, Iran, and Syria in the Middle East is alive and well.


Bach in Palmyra: Russia’s Surprise Concert in the Ancient Syrian City


The surprise concert by Russia’s greatest orchestra from the Mariinsky Theater of St. Petersburg that took place two weeks ago in the Roman amphitheater in Palmyra, Syria was staged as a grand gesture proclaiming an important symbolic victory of civilization over what the ensemble’s conductor Valery Gergiev called “the barbarians.” Rather than blowing the stunning venue to smithereens as they had other antiquities in the ancient city, ISIL had also used the amphitheater for its own symbolic purposes—the ghastly mass executions of captured Syrian soldiers.

But as musicians should know better than anyone, symbols are difficult, even impossible things to keep under control. They have a way of revolting against their would-be masters. Nowhere is this more apparent than in art and performance. There is nothing more uplifting than music—or more destabilizing. Even the notes and signs on the page have a way of breaking free and making their own meanings, ones often unintended by the composer.

The niches, pediments and columns of the sumptuous backdrop from the second century were meant by the Russians to project a vision of ordered beauty and “Western” values yet could just as easily have summoned images of Romans feeding Christians to the lions back in the Coliseum.

Likewise, the musicians’ black uniforms presented an austere, almost malevolent sight, conjuring thoughts of the darkly clad ISIL fanatics who had until recently run the show in Palmyra. Such is the power of tradition: a symphony orchestra wears black unless its members don their white jackets for pop concerts. The “Prayer for Palmyra” was not a pop concert. The Mariinsky musicians looked like special forces sent for a commando cultural strike in the Syrian desert, wielding their instruments as weapons, Gergiev marked as there commander by the white baseball cap that was a vital shield from the scorching sun.

Only a detail from the full Mariinsky corps was dispatched to Palmyra for this action. It was a contingent just large enough to conclude the concert with Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, a piece chosen, as Gergiev also pointedly noted, to demonstrate a respect for history that differentiates the anti-terrorists from the terrorists. Thus the classical architecture mirrored the Russian composer’s classical homage. In fact, both place and piece are neo-classical: the amphitheater is largely reconstructed from the ruins, just as the Prokofiev symphony, one of his most popular pieces, is itself a kind of historical reconstruction enlivened by fantasy. Many of the musicians of this elite corps of the orchestra looked understandably beleaguered by the heat and also nervous about playing in a war zone. They were hardly braced by the sprightly humor evanescing from Prokofiev’s flirty retrospect.

Seen in the historical terms Gergiev so frequently invoked, these comparisons between orchestral forces and military units are not merely figurative. The rise of the orchestra as a central European institution in the seventeenth century coincided, indeed was inextricably linked to, the formation of autocratic regimes across the continent. For the first time since the Roman Empire, states gathered massive standing armies while simultaneously establishing orchestras: the machinery of a music and military were both vital weapons in a ruler’s arsenal. Louis XIV’s band—the king’s twenty-four violins (Les Vingt-quatre Violons du Roi)was famed for its discipline. The German rulers he and his successors formed alliances with and fought against emulated the Sun King in dress, language, manners and cultural refinements. Monarchs such as August the Strong in Dresden and Frederick the Great in Berlin built their own world-class armies and orchestras on parallel structures of command and obedience.

When the English traveler Charles Burney, himself a sometime orchestral musician who had fought under the stern musical command of Thomas Arne (composer of “Rule Britannia”) and Handel (an unparalleled master of musical saber-rattling and author of one of the greatest hits of the British Army, the March in Scipio) arrived in Mannheim in the summer of 1772 while on his tour of the German states, he remarked to his published diary: “The first thing I heard was military music.” When he attended a performance by the music- and military-loving Elector Palatine’s orchestra a few days later at his residence in Schwetzingen, Burney famously described the ensemble as “an army of generals, equally fit to plan a battle, as to fight it.”

It is no coincidence that the age of the orchestra that continues to do this day has been a period both of symphonic masterpieces and nearly uninterrupted warone of cataclysm not concord. In spite of Gergiev’s assertion that the Mariinsky concert should encourage “peace and unity,” the institution of the orchestra has over its three-and-half-centuries of existence been as much a force for division and hostility as it has been for brotherly—and more recently, sisterly—love. However much his rhetoric appeals to transcendent values, Gergiev himself is a musico-military asset; in 2014 he joined other cultural figures in signing an open letter in support of Russian annexation of the Ukraine. Leading the Palmyra cultural campaign similarly demonstrates support for Russian airstrikes in Syria.

It was necessary to the rituals of triumph that Vladimir Putin be beamed in from Moscow onto a screen stage-left behind the orchestra. He wore a dark suit and tie, the modern dress of statecraft, but I was sorry he missed the opportunity for something more theatrical like the purple mantle of a Roman Emperor and a laurel crown. The Russian President spoke of a “common” victory and of the larger project of “our entire civilization to ride itself from this terrible evil of international terrorism.” But there was no mistaking that while the speeches embraced humanity, the music struck a mighty blow for Mother Russia. The musicians, the repertoire, and the military advisers flanking the orchestra were all Russian.

The exception to this hegemony was the opening number: J. S. Bach’s Chaconne from the Partita no. 2 in D minor for solo violin, a work Gergiev said “symbolizes the greatness of the human spirit.” Bach is often drafted into service as the composer whose music transcends all difference. His works are quite literally universal: pieces by Bach make up three of the twenty-five tracks transcribed on the Voyager spacecraft’s Golden LP launched from Cape Canaveral in 1977 and since 2012 hurtling through interstellar space.

Bach even gets the disc’s opening tune—the first movement of the second Brandenburg Concerto. Yet this work, too, pulls us inexorably back towards the black hole of European militarism. The dedicatee, the Margrave of Brandenburg, was a leading Prussian general. Not surprisingly the swashbuckling trumpet of Bach’s concerto recalls the prince’s two greatest loves: battle and the hunt. As for Bach himself, he could hardly have been ecumenically minded, and was in any case an ardent monarchist. He also led the choristers in his charge in musical performances at Leipzig’s ghastly public executions, as was pointed out and reflected on by Bach scholar Peter Williams, memorialized in this space two weeks ago. Performing Bach’s music in Palmyra can bring with it unwanted associations for the  of civilization.

tub-thumper – noun
  1. A violent or gesticulating preacher; one who employs violent action to give the effect or appearance of earnestness to his sermons.
  2. a noisy and vigorous or ranting public speaker

Still, the solo violin might well be seen to embody an independence and freedom opposed to the martial order imposed by the orchestra. Yet even Bach’s profound Chaconne can, especially when heard in the glorious amphitheater recently reclaimed from the infidels, become a work of aggression: for all its striving, its brilliance, its ingenuity, and its pathos, the piece can be treated as heroic stuff, even as a kind of battle. Accordingly, one of the masterminds of the musical intervention, culture minister Vladimir Medinsky, proclaimed “it is the destiny of the Russian soldier at all times to save culture from fascist destruction.” For a valiant violin recruit, the Chaconne becomes a test of bravery in sound.

It’s an especially a harrowing mission to attempt in a desert climate before the world’s cameras. Also seeking solar protection under a baseball cap like Gergiev’s (the good guys may wear black shirts, but they do have white hats), thirty-three-year old Pavel Milyukov took center of the stage. Milyukov won third prize at last year’s Tchaikovsky International Competition—in Moscow of course. He proceeded to pound the Chaconne into submission, never relaxing the beat of his assault, his massive sound and strangling vibrato ringing out over the colonnades, captured in stirring panoramic shots for the television audience. No mercy was shown to the solo violin masterpiece just as none will be shown to the forces of Islamic evil.

From Bach to Prokofiev it was a signal victory for Russia’s rapidly deployed military-musical prowess. You can be sure this audacious action has jolted the Pentagon’s cultural colonels from their shameful complacency. Here’s betting blueprints for the covert operation Copland in the Caves of Kandahar are now being drawn up. If only the U. S. military had been ready to intervene with Appalachian Spring when the Arab Spring broke out, then maybe the Joint Chiefs would not have had to endure the recent humiliation of the Russians taking Palmyra by musical storm.  (Ya, in full support of the reigning tyrant who is merciless, violent and rules by fear and torture.)

If that were to happen, many historians would view the monuments as mere replicas, shorn of the ancient heritage of the original structures.

Experts from Russia’s Culture Ministry have assessed the damage in Palmyra after the UNESCO world heritage site was recaptured from Islamic State in March.

One of the symbols of Palmyra, the Greco-Roman Temple of Bel, founded in the first century, “can be hardly restored”, the Russian experts said in a report presented on Thursday.

A recreation of the monument can only be made by its reconstruction using designs and photographs after preliminary clearing of the building’s ground,” the report said.

This will require at least 3-4 years and “significant financing”, the experts added, estimating that the rebuilding of another key monument, the Arch of Triumph, would be possible within 9-12 months.

After the re-creation of the monument it will 60-70 percent consist of new materials,” the report said about the arch, whose vaults it said were “fully destroyed” by an explosion.

Some original fragments of the nearly 2,000-year-old Temple of Baalshamin could be restored in 2-3 months, they said.

A decision on which works will be rebuilt has not been made yet, Russian Deputy Culture Minister Vladimir Aristarkhov told a news conference also attended by the Syrian ambassador to Moscow.

Aristarkhov called on other countries, including ones in the West opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, to take part in discussions on the restoring the ruins in Palmyra, including how such work would be funded.
Hmmm, I don’t know about you, but I have the distinct feeling that all this was staged so that UNESCO could recruit the financial aid of all nations to rebuild the City of Palmyra and the Pagan worship for which it is known.

Editing by Alexander Winning and Robin Pomeroy

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


ISIS Recaptures Ancient Syrian City of Palmyra

Syria government troops in Palmyra
Syrian government forces march at the ancient historical site of Palmyra ahead of a music concert following its recapture by regime forces from ISIS fighters, May 6. ISIS has recaptured the ancient Syrian city, according to a Syrian official and a monitoring group.LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) has recaptured the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in the face of Russian air raids that had appeared to force its fighters into retreat, according to officials and a monitoring group.

The extremist group had fought its way back into the city Saturday before the Russian bombardment Sunday.

Talal Barazi, the governor of the Syrian city of Homs, confirmed the ISIS capture of Palmyra, saying that Syrian government forces are on the outskirts of the city in preparation of a new offensive to liberate the city, the BBC reported.

He said “the army is using all means to prevent the terrorists from staying.”

The U.K.-based, opposition-leaning Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group that uses a network of Syrian sources on the ground, also confirmed ISIS’s recapture of Palmyra late Sunday.

The group seized the ancient city in May 2015 from the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian army recaptured the city in March with the support of the Russian air force.

ISIS’s recapture of the city raises questions about the Syrian military’s ability to hold the territory that it is clawing back from rebel and extremist groups with the help of Iran and Russia.

After it seized Palmyra in 2015, ISIS proceeded to blow up ancient temples and desecrate thousands of years of history at the UNESCO World Heritage site, sparking international condemnation.

Images released to Newsweek earlier this year by the Directorate of Syrian Antiquities showed the destruction of several of Palmyra’s famous Roman structures, such as the Temple of Bel, the Baalshamin Temple and the Arch of Triumph, but also that some of the city’s most important archaeological structures had remained untouched. ISIS’s recapture of the city will again raise fears that the surviving archaeological wonders in Palmyra could be destroyed by the group that views any structures that pre-date the Islamic faith as idolatrous


Journalists walk near the remains of the Monumental Arch in the historical city of Palmyra, in Homs Governorate, Syria, April 1. A controversial Russian calendar featuring Syrian women making flirty remarks to Russian soldiers has been criticised.REUTERS
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that the U.S.-led coalition’s refusal to cooperate with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is to blame for the loss of Palmyra to militants.

The ancient city of Palmyra was held by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) until the spring of this year when Assad’s military, supported by Russian forces, took control of the city. Although hailed as a major success at the time, because of the city’s historic status, Russian and Syrian government forces lost control of central Palmyra on Sunday.

ISIS online outlets have circulated a video purporting to be the capture of an abandoned Russian base in Palmyra, though it has not been officially verified.

Speaking to journalists during his visit to Japan, Putin claimed the lack of coordination between the West and the Assad regime was to blame for the loss of Palmyra, according to Russian state news agency Itar-Tass. U.S.-allied leaders have refused to support Russia and Assad’s operations in Syria, saying they cannot support Assad’s brutal crackdown on rebels and civilians. So far, the Syrian civil war has claimed more than 450,000 lives.  (That is as it should be.  We should never support TYRANTS!)

“Everything that is happening in Palmyra is the result of the uncoordinated actions between the so-called international coalition with the Syrian authorities and Russia,” he said. “I have said many times that in order for the fight with terrorism to be effective we must unite our efforts.”  (The problem is both sides of this war are terrorist!) 

Putin did not elaborate on his statement but it echoed the claims made on Tuesday by Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. He accused the West of stopping military activity against ISIS near Raqqa, thereby allowing the advance on Palmyra.

Although Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the loss of Palmyra was a “loss for the entire civilized world” earlier this week, Putin said on Friday that control of the city was “purely symbolic.”

When it comes to military and political significance, in this sense Aleppo is a much more important topic,” Putin said, referring to the recent triumph for Assad’s forces in the city. Putin also said that he had recently spoken to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and invited him to begin peace talks with the Syrian government and opposition in Kazakhstan.


Two famous ancient structures in the city of Palmyra have been destroyed by ISIS forces, Syria’s antiquities chief says.

The Tetrapylon and the facade of the city’s Roman theater have both been almost completely demolished, the official says, according to NPR’s Alison Meuse.

“Activist Khaled al-Homsi, who is from Palmyra, shared satellite imagery to Twitter, which appears to confirm the scale of the damage,” Alison reports. “The face of the Roman theater is a pile of rubble and only four of the Tetrapylon’s 16 columns appear to be standing.”

Alison notes that this is the second time over the course of Syria’s six-year civil war that the Islamic State has seized control of Palmyra. ISIS first captured the ancient desert city in 2015. The extremist group held it for more than a year before the Syrian government seized it back — and then lost it again last month.

The first time ISIS claimed Palmyra, they reportedly slaughtered men, women and children in the streets. They beheaded the 81-year-old scholar who was the director of antiquities in the city. And they devastated the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s antiquities and monuments, unleashing what NPR’s Frank Langfitt called, “an orgy of demolition.”

“Using dynamite, fire, bulldozers and pickaxes, the wrecking crew targeted 2,000-year-old Greco-Roman temples, monuments and stone statues,” Frank wrote last year.

ISIS often claims it destroys ancient sites because it considers the pre-Islamic art works heretical. But the group reportedly loots antiquities for profit, and as Washington Post reporter Liz Sly told Morning Edition in 2015, ISIS gets “masses of publicity every time they blow up or destroy something that is valued by the world.

When government troops recaptured Palmyra in 2016, they discovered the extent of the damage. The famed Temple of Bel was blown to pieces. The Temple of Baalshamin was destroyed. Artifacts in the museum were smashed. The iconic Arch of Triumph was in ruins.

After the last ISIS occupation of Palmyra, NPR’s Kevin Beesley noted that while the damage to the city’s historical sites was massive, “some of the major structures remain.”

For instance, he said, the ancient Roman theater was still standingbut now that, too, has been destroyed.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Tetrapylon A tetrapylon (Greek: τετράπυλον, “four gates”), plural tetrapyla, known in Latin as a quadrifrons (literally “four fronts”) is a type of ancient Roman monument of cubic shape, with a gate on each of the four sides, generally built on a crossroads. How to pronounce tetrapylon? David  Wikipedia

You had better believe that this is a very powerful spiritual symbol.  I don’t fully understand it yet.  But, I am studying it and will write more on it later.  But the PILLARS have huge spiritual significance and the FOUR GATES most certainly do.  THE NORTH, THE SOUTH, THE EAST AND THE WEST… much more powerful than we understand.  The pillars on which the EARTH STANDS is a much more important truth than we realize.  Crossroads are another very significant spiritual truth.  By the way, have you ever pondered how there can be an east and  a west on a spinning ball??  You can tell by all the following articles that there is real significance to the Four Gates.  In every spiritual discipline.  

The Zohar explains: You are a city. You are the master of four gates that enter your city: the Gate of Vision, the Gate of Listening, the Gate of Imagining and the Gate of Speaking. The husband is the Infinite G‑d, and although He is infinite, He can be known to each of us if we will only clear the gateways for Him to enter.
Before you do, I think Sid would recommend you reflect on the various aspects that the historical Buddha laid out in terms of using your speech as a helpful tool — a tool of mindfulness and compassion. These are commonly known as the Four Gates of Speech: 1. Is what you are saying true? This is more than just not lying to your ex.
The four gates are four questions we can ask ourselves before we speak, or post something on social media, or respond to an email. You may have heard them before as the three gates, or the three sieves. As a parent of two teenagers, I know they’re used often to help teens think through the way they interact with each other.
The Four Gates, derived from a spontaneous talk given by Dr. Vogel at the Nataraja Yoga Ashram in 1986, includes detailed points of knowledge that guide you on the path to fulfillment by living according to your true identity and thereby freeing yourself from the self-imposed limitations that curtail human lives. Read more Print length 330 pages
The Four Principal Gates of Hell by St. Alphonsus Liguori “Defixae sunt in terra portae ejus. ” “Her gates are sunk into the ground.”-Lam. ii. 9. B road is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat (Matth. VII. 13)? Hell has then different gates, but these gates stand on our earth. Her gates are sunk into the ground.
Here is a favorite of mine: The 4 gates are comprise of two acupuncture points needled bilaterally: one on the hand and one on the foot. This is a very common combination of points, believed to redistribute energy and help recirculate stagnant flow.
It is the belief that human beings are tied to all things in nature. It is this belief which assigned virtues to the four cardinal directions; EastSouthWest and North. Blessing to the Four Directions 1 In times past it was believed that the human soul shared characteristics with all things divine.
The four winds are a group of mythical figures in Mesopotamian mythology whose names and functions correspond to four cardinal directions of wind.
Isaiah 43:6 King James Version 6 I will say to the northGive upand to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Read full chapter Isaiah 43:6 in all English translations Isaiah 42 Isaiah 44 King James Version (KJV) Public Domain PLUS Do you have questions about the passage you are reading?
A tetrapylon (Greek: Τετράπυλον, “four gates”) or “quadrifrons” (Latin …



tetrakionion (τετρακιόνιον), plural tetrakionia, is a type of tetrapylon in which the central crossing is not roofed, and the four corner-markers exist as four separate structures (i.e.: unconnected overhead).

Perhaps the most striking construction at Palmyra in Syria, the Tetrapylon marked the second pivot in the route of the colonnaded street. It consisted of a square platform bearing at each corner a tight grouping of four columns. Each of the four groups of pillars supported 150,000kg of solid cornice. It was badly vandalized in 2017.

The Great Tetrapylon linking the west and central sections of the colonnade.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Palmyra, Syria - 2.jpg

The Great Colonnade at Palmyra was the main colonnaded avenue in the ancient city of Palmyra in the Syrian Desert. The colonnade was built in several stages during the second and third century CE and stretched for more than a kilometer (approximately .75 miles). It linked the Temple of Bel, in the southeastern end of the city, to the West Gate and the Funerary Temple in the northwestern part.

The colonnade was damaged during the Syrian Civil War, especially when Palmyra was occupied by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant from May 2015 to March 2016. However, large parts of it are still intact


The colonnade consists of three sections that were built separately over the course of the second and third century CE. The western stretch of the colonnade is the oldest and started at the West Gate near the Funerary Temple.[1] The eastern section stretched from the Monumental Arch in the center of the town to the entrance of the Temple of Bel.[2] The middle section was built last to connect the two separate colonnades. It met the western stretch at the Great Tetrapylon, and the eastern stretch at the Monumental Arch.[3]

Western section

The western colonnade was the first section to be built. Inscriptions found on some columns confirm that works started before 158 CE.[1] The straight avenue ran in northwest-southeast direction and stretched for 500 metres (1,600 ft), the longest of the three sectors.[4] The main avenue’s width was 11.7 metres (38 ft) while the side streets were 7 metres (23 ft) in width.[5] The colonnade’s western terminus, the West Gate, was built in the late second-century CE. The avenue also connected in a right angle to the Transverse Colonnade[3] which stretched to the Damascus Gate in the south.[6]

Eastern section

The eastern sector of the Great Colonnade started at the Monumental Arch and stretched in a northwest-southeast direction towards the propylaea of the Temple of Bel. Work on the colonnade started after the completion of the propylaea in 175 CE and continued through the beginning of the third-century CE.[2] This section is the widest of the Great Colonnade with a uniform width of 22.7 metres (74 ft) for the main street and 6.7 metres (22 ft) for the sidewalks.[5] A corner of the temenos of the Temple of Nebu was demolished to allow the colonnade an uninterrupted line of sight towards the Monumental Arch from the west and a wider access to the section leading to the Temple of Bel. A nymphaeum was later added to the eastern colonnade between the Bel and Nebu temples.[2]

Middle section

The Great Colonnade and the Monumental Arch.

The middle colonnade, stretching from east to west, was constructed to connect the two earlier colonnades. (serving as a BRIDGE) Work on the central avenue began from the Monumental Arch, where it met the eastern colonnade, sometime in the early third-century CE. The section stretched until the Great Tetrapylon where it met the western colonnade in an oval plaza. The central colonnade also incorporated the portico of the baths. The central section of the Great Colonnade became the most important with several civic buildings clustered around it, including the caesareum, the theatre, the baths and the Temple of Nebu.[3] The width of the main street varies from 14 metres (46 ft) at its widest near the tetrapylon, to 10 metres (33 ft) when it reaches the Monumental Arch. The sidewalks also vary in width between 6.3–7 metres (21–23 ft) for the northern sidewalk and 6.8–8.95 metres (22.3–29.4 ft) for the southern one.[5]

Architecture and significance

A bracket fixed on one of the columns of the colonnade

The colonnade’s early columns, especially in the western stretch, were built using the classical opus emplectum building technique. The columns consisted of six to eight short sections.[1] This technique was gradually replaced, from the 220s, by what historian Marek Barański termed opus Palmyrenum.[5] The newer technique, seen in the middle and eastern stretches of the colonnade, utilized three long segments instead of the short drums.[1] The technique allowed for significantly faster construction at the time.[5]

The Corinthian columns were fitted with decorated brackets that bore dedicatory inscriptions.[7] The brackets were used to hold bronze statues of important figures.[4] Dedicatory inscriptions to Zenobia and Odaenathus dating to between 257 and 267 were discovered on columns set up in front of the theatre.[3]

Shelley Hazen

ISIS is closing in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, whose destruction would be a “human catastrophe” if the terrorists are not kept at bay.

Just as critical, ISIS’ advancement toward the UNESCO World Heritage Site threatens the lives of 100,000 people in and around Palmyra, including 35,000 Syrians displaced by the ongoing violence in their embattled country, AFP reported.

The Syrian government is trying to drive back ISIS fighters from the site, BBC News reported, but are reportedly less than a mile from the city. Syrian warplanes and troops are targeting them along the city’s eastern side.

Soldiers and pro-government militiaman have already been killed in the fighting since the offensive began Tuesday; the tally now stands at 73 soldiers. In villages near Palmyra, which have already been captured, 26 civilians have been executed for collaborating with the government –– 10 of them beheaded, AFP added.

The people who live there are fleeing from the neighborhoods in the north, an antiques shop owner there named Mohammed told the New York Times.

“People are scared, staying home, we’re hearing loud noises outside but we don’t know what’s happening.”

But why is ISIS targeting Palmyra in the first place?

Capturing it would give the Islamic State a strategic advantage — Palmyra lies between Syria’s capital Damascus and a highly-contested city on Deir al-Zour in the east. It’s also close to gas fields and has a major air base, BBC News explained.

But ISIS’ hatred for ancient sites goes beyond the practical into the dogmatic and extremist. Syria’s antiquities chief, Maamoun Abdulkarim, called it a battle between civilization and barbarism,” the Independent reported.

“It will be a human catastrophe. If (they) enter the city it will mean destroying the temples, ruins and tombs.”


The loss will be great. Palmyra, which emerges from the desert amid an oasis, was an important cultural center and along a caravan route back in the 1st and 2nd centuries. It’s known for its Roman architecture and has touches of Greco-Roman and Persian influences.

Destroying ancient cities is par for the course with the terror group. They’ve already destroyed Nimrud, an ancient Assyrian site in Iraq, and flattened ruins in Hatra.

For one thing, they like to loot the precious artifacts and sell them to fund their operation. For another, ISIS is trying to rid Iraq and Syria of all sites that pre-date its Islamic caliphate. They also consider the statues, figures, and monuments in sites like Palmyra to be idolatrous and un-Islamic.

[Photos Courtesy YouTube Screengrab, Hulton Achive/Getty Images]


The arch is a reproduction of a Roman victory arch built in Palmyra, Syria in the second century CE for a temple where pagans prayed to the Mesopotamian god, Bel, also known as Ba’al, in a form of idol worship that figures prominently in the Bible. The original arch was destroyed by the Islamic State in 2015, but last year, the Institute for Digital Archaeology used proprietary 3-D printing technology to reproduce the arch out of marble.

Unlike other pieces of its kind displayed in museums, the reincarnation of the Arch of Palmyra has been appearing in the most peculiar places while attracting more attention than the original arch in Syria. During its month long visit scheduled to accompany the G7 Summit of world leaders, millions of tourists came to Arona, Sicily to view the replica.

The Triumphal Arch of Palmyra reproduction in Arona, Italy.

Rabbi Daniel Asore, a member of the nascent Sanhedrin, described what he believes is the significant role this replica of the Arch of Palmyra will play in the New World Order.

This arch is the first step in that process, awakening an interest in people to paganism and as a focal point for world leaders to gather around,” the rabbi said. Intense public interest has indeed followed the arch on its globe-hopping journey, as two million Italians can attest.

World leaders seem especially drawn to the arch. In fact, it was assembled as the centerpiece for the World Government Summit, an international meeting of global leaders in Dubai last February. The Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) has joined in the project with Oxford University’s Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) and Harvard University.

In February, the arch was assembled again as the centerpiece for the World Government Summit in Dubai, an international meeting of global leaders to discuss policy. “Dubai is working towards establishing a world government, as seen by their hosting the summit” the rabbi claimed. “But the nature of their intentions is obvious just from looking at the city. Unlike any other city in the world, all the buildings in Dubai are triangular, patterned after the pyramids in Egypt.”

Their ultimate goal is to usurp the Bible and create the Third Temple in Jerusalem, but for the worship of darkness, and not the worship of light,” the rabbi explained. “The New World Order worships science and technology, so it is fitting they should use this 3-D printing to create their Temple.”

He also pointed to the UN efforts to erase the connection between Israel and the Temple Mount.

“[The New World Order is] using the UN, an aspect of the world government effort, to clear the way for their Temple of Darkness,” Rabbi Asore said. “Part of that is to create a conflict out of thin air, to set the Arabs against the Jews, so that we will cancel each other out, leaving anarchy and destruction behind.”

The French Ministry of Defense has underwritten over $1 million towards the proprietary 3-D technology used to create the replica. The ministry released a statement explaining that the technology “can be used by troops on the ground and scholars via their laptops anywhere to assess the condition of monuments and sites at risk”.

The model in Dubai for the World Government Summit.

Rabbi Asore suspected more sinister motives behind the French investment, giving a rather startling speculation on its origins.

After the Templars, the first Masons, left Jerusalem in the Medieval period, they fled to France. It may be that some influence remains in the power structure in France, via the New World Order and the Masons,” he suggested.

The first appearance of the arch was in April last year at London’s Trafalgar Square for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Week. The unveiling coincided with the most important pagan holiday of the year, Beltane, ushering is a 13-day period known in the occult as “the Blood Sacrifice to the Beast”, which was traditionally celebrated with child sacrifice and bisexual orgies.

Surely the snake head layout of Palmyra does not escape your observation.




Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.

But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

–Proverbs 8:31-36

So easy to see on this map that the neck of the snake is the most vulnerable. See the Temple of Bel right in the narrow of the Neck? Where death comes easiest for living things. The weakest point, that separate the head from the body. This is why ancients cut off the heads of those they conquered.

neck (n.)

that part of an animal body between the head and the trunk and which connects those parts,” Middle English nekke, from Old English hnecca “neck, nape, back of the neck” (a fairly rare word) from Proto-Germanic *hnekk- “the nape of the neck” (source also of Old Frisian hnekka, Middle Dutch necke, Dutch nek, Old Norse hnakkr, Old High German hnach, German Nacken “neck”)

*nek- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning “death.” It forms all or part of: innocentinnocuousinternecinenecro-necropolisnecrosisnecromancynectarnectarinenociceptivenocuousnoxiousnuisanceobnoxiouspernicious (I submit it is the etymology for the word NECK)It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit nasyati “disappears, perishes,” Avestan nasyeiti “disappears,” nasu- “corpse,” Old Persian vi-nathayatiy “he injures;” Greek nekros “corpse;” Latin nex, genitive necis “violent death, murder” (as opposed to mors), nocere “to harm, hurt,” noxius “harmful;” Greek nekus “dead” (adj.), nekros “dead body, corpse;” Old Irish ec, Breton ankou, Welsh angeu “death.”
I find it very interesting that the TEMPLE of BAAL which is where they offered their babies in the fire, is located at the NECK of the snake layout of the agora of Palmyra.


A necropolis is literally a city of the dead, when it is translated from the Greek.

noun, plural ne·crop·o·lis·es. from nekros “corpse” (from PIE root *nek- (1) “death”) + polis “city” (see polis ); a cemetery, especially one of large size and usually of an ancient city. a historic or prehistoric burial ground. Question Origin of necropolis First recorded in 1810-20, necropolis is from the Greek word nekrópolis burial place (literally, city of the dead). See necro-, -polis OTHER WORDS FROM necropolis

Could it be the giants are buried beneath the earth in the Necropoli around the world?  Especially Palmyra.  As we are in the end times, the giants are prophesied to be returning.  The elite have been hinting that they are coming up out of the earth.  Are the elite rebuilding Palmyra as they are Babylon and Cairo in preparation for their return?

Valley of the Tombs – Palmyra Necropolis 2,000 yr old Tomb Towers- Palmyra

Funerary Sculpture

Memorials to the dead

Palmyra’s vast cemeteries with multistoried tower tombs and expansive house tombs, holding as many as 400 bodies each, bear witness to the importance that the Palmyrenes—a people of Aramaic descent with strong Arab ties—attached to commemorating the family in the afterlife. Richly decorated with sculptures of the deceased, the massive tombs are the source for some 3,000 bust portraits held today by museums worldwide. Modeling Greco-Roman naturalistic traditions of portraiture, but often draped in native Parthian garments with eyebrows more stylized and incised, as in the Assyrian tradition, these ancient sculptures stare proudly back at us as witnesses of their illustrious history—a history that includes a core, elite group of merchants and traders who along with their indigenous identity enjoyed the ability to use the attributes of other cultures to display their wealth and cosmopolitan status. Removed from their place of origin, the busts bear testimony to the wealth of a vibrant multicultural society, the ravages of time and politics, and the enduring resonance of art.

Tomb of Julius Aurelius Marona (outside the walls); (inset) relief found in the tomb This tomb was built in 236; a relief on a sarcophagus found in this tomb portrays a merchant between a camel (only the legs are visible) and a sea-going ship in a sort of summary of the maritime and overland aspects of trade in which the deceased had been involved.
On the outskirts of a ruined city, visitors encounter a suburb of the dead. A lush, palm tree-lined oasis in the middle of the Syrian desert, the city of Palmyra has been attracting visitors for almost three millennia. From 1900 B.C. to 100 B.C., Palmyra served as a stopover for caravans making their way from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.
Read more buildings and temples, the tomb monuments at Palmyra represent private intentions and reflect varying levels of wealth and class. Tombs contained multiple burials, usually associated with one family or clan. The deceased were placed in loculi (rectangular burial spaces), sealed stone slabs bearing the “portrait” of the deceased.

Near by are numerous subterranean tombswhose arched roofs rise just enough above the surface of the ground to reveal their existence. A few are open, but the majority are buried beneath the débris of ages, and in all probability still undisturbed, with all their treasures of statuary and memorial tablets.

Palmyrene culture was Polytheistic.  They welcomed and worshiped all gods, demigods and spirits.  There was no single God of all things.
Polytheism is the belief in multiple deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religious sects and rituals. Polytheism is a type of theism. Within theism, it contrasts with monotheism, the belief in a singular God who is, in most cases, transcendent.


The Palmyrene pantheon sheds light on the many different forces at play in the oasis.

Local gods

The supreme god was Bel, probably originally named Bol. Topical god of the oasis, he was surrounded by acolytes such as Yarhibol, the sun god of the Efqa spring, and Aglibol, the moon god, and Malakbel (“the angel of Bel”), and Bolastor. Other local gods continued to be worshipped, such as Arsu, a military god identified with the Greek god Ares.

Malakbel and the Roman Sol Invictus

In 274, following his victory over Palmyra, Aurelian dedicated a large temple of Sol Invictus in Rome;[427] most scholars consider Aurelian’s Sol Invictus to be of Syrian origin,[428] either a continuation of emperor Elagabalus cult of Sol Invictus Elagabalus, or Malakbel of Palmyra.[429] The Palmyrene deity was commonly identified with the Roman god Sol and he had a temple dedicated for him on the right bank of the Tiber since the second century.[430] Also, he bore the epithet Invictus and was known with the name Sol “Sanctissimus”, the latter was an epithet Aurelian bore on an inscription from Capena.[430]

The position of the Palmyrene deity as Aurelian’s Sol Invictus is inferred from a passage by Zosimus reading: “and the magnificent temple of the sun he (i.e. Aurelian) embellished with votive gifts from Palmyra, setting up statues of Helios and Bel“.[431] Three deities from Palmyra exemplified solar features: Malakbel, Yarhibol and Šams, hence the identification of the Palmyrene Helios appearing in Zosimus’ work with Malakbel.[431] Some scholars criticize the notion of Malakbel’s identification with Sol Invictus; according to Gaston Halsberghe, the cult of Malakbel was too local for it to become an imperial Roman god and Aurelian’s restoration of Bel’s temple and sacrifices dedicated to Malakbel were a sign of his attachment to the sun god in general and his respect to the many ways in which the deity was worshiped.[432] Richard Stoneman suggested another approach in which Aurelian simply borrowed the imagery of Malakbel to enhance his own solar deity.[433] The relation between Malakbel and Sol Invictus can not be confirmed and will probably remain unresolved.[430]

Divinities with diverse origins

The Palmyreans also adopted deities from neighbouring countries. Some came from Mesopotamia like Nabu, the divine scribe, Shamash, the sun god, and Nergal. Sedentary Syria lent the city its major gods, including Baalshamin, the “sky god”, who brought rain and fertility, and Atargatis, great goddess of northern Syria, mistress of the animals. They also worshipped Arab gods, the gods of the nomads, such as Allat, the warrior goddess, and Shai al-Qaum, the god “who does not drink wine”.

Other gods arrived from further afield, such as the Phoenician Shadrafa, the Egyptian Baal Hammon, and the occasional Greek god adopted as they were, like Heracles, Nemesis, and Tyche. Assimilation is reflected both in their names – Bel and Baalshamin were called Zeus in Greek textsand in their iconography, such as the statue of Athena in the sanctuary of Allat.

Religious cults

The most important sanctuaries housed not only the supreme god, but also a host of secondary deities who did not necessarily have their own temple. The rites remain obscure but involved processions and principally banquets. The discovery of thousands of clay or metal tokens – or tesserae – showing the image of the god or their symbols, suggests entry was by invitation.

Umm el Belqis

Umm el Belqis is in Syria. Umm el Belqis is situated nearby to Grabturm des Iamliku and Palmyra.

Oct 10, 2022Umm, no, I’ll go with them. Origin In 1672, the English Oxford Dictionary recorded the historical usage of the phrase “um.” It’s likely a shortened version of the word “umbrage,” which means “shade” or “shadow.” “umbrage” comes from the Latin umbra, which means “shadow.” “umm” as a filler word was first attested in the early 20th century.

Belquis: Name Meaning, Origin, Soul Urge, Expression and Popularity …

The meaning of the name Belquis is An ancient queen of Sheba.
Sep 6, 2022And the mother of Bathsheba was the Pharaoh’s daughter who married King David. Bath Sheba means Daughter of Sheba, the daughter of King David. But King David eventually took Bath Sheba as his wife, so Bath Sheba became Malkah Sheba, or the Daughter of Sheba became the Queen of Sheba (the Queen of King David). And they had a son – Solomon.
The Queen of Sheba (Hebrew: מַלְכַּת שְׁבָא‎, romanized: Malkaṯ Šəḇāʾ; Arabic: ملكة سبأ, romanized: Malikat Sabaʾ; Ge’ez: ንግሥተ ሳባ, romanized: Nəgśətä Saba) is a figure first mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. In the original story, she brings a caravan of gift to King Solomon.

Some Muslim commentators such as Al-TabariAl-Zamakhshari and Al-Baydawi supplement the story. Here they claim that the Queen’s name is Bilqīs (Arabicبِلْقِيْس), probably derived from Greekπαλλακίςromanizedpallakis or the Hebraised pilegesh (“concubine”). The Quran does not name the Queen, referring to her as “a woman ruling them”
The Temple of Awwam or “Mahram Bilqis” (“Sanctuary of the Queen of Sheba“) is a Sabaean temple dedicated to the principal deity of Saba,  near Ma’rib in what is now Yemen a muslim country.

(Left) Illustration in a Hafez frontispiece depicting Queen Sheba, Walters manuscript W.631, around 1539

I found [there] a woman ruling them, and she has been given of all things, and she has a great throne. I found that she and her people bow to the sun instead of God. Satan has made their deeds seem right to them and has turned them away from the right path, so they cannot find their way.

Diocletian, nicknamed Iovius, was Roman emperor from 284 until his abdication in 305. Born to a family of low status in the Roman Province of Dalmatia, and originally named Diocles, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military early in his career, eventually becoming a cavalry commander for the army of Emperor Carus.Wikipedia
Research, however, has shown that the walls were actually built in the third century during the time of Diocletian and are now referred to as the Diocletian Walls. The walls were part of a defence building program to protect major cities of the Roman empire against raids from hostile tribes.
Statue of the goddess of Allat Athena from the temple.

The Temple of Al-Lat (Arabicمعبد اللات), was an ancient temple located in PalmyraSyria dedicated to the goddess Al-Lat.

Al-Lat ( Arabic: اللات, romanized : Al-Lāt, pronounced [alːaːt] ), also spelled Allat, Allatu and Alilat, is a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess worshipped under various associations throughout the entire Arabian Peninsula, including Mecca where she was worshipped alongside Manat and al-‘Uzza as one of the daughters of Allah.

Astral and tutelary goddess. Pre-Islamic northern and central Arabian. One of the three daughters of Allah. At Palmyra she was regularly invoked as a domestic guardian either as Allat or Astarte with whom she is closely linked. At Ta’if she was symbolized in the form of a white granite stone. In Hellenic times she became syncretized with Athena or, according to Herodotus who called her Alilat, with Aphrodite.

Al-Lat was called upon to show mercy and grant ease, prosperity and well-being to the worshipper. She was also invoked for protection against enemies, vengeance against aggressors, and for favourable weather. She was venerated as the goddess of vegetation, agriculture, and fertile soil, and the divine provider of trade, wealth, and power. After onyx stones were found on her shrine at Ta’if, it was considered sacred to her. Among her sacred animals, the first is the lion, followed by the gazelle and camel.

The temple was dedicated by the citizen Taimarsu of Palmyra in c. 123–164 A.D.[1] The cult statue was made with an appearance similar to statues of the Greek goddess Athena in Athens. [1] This would be in line with the fact that the Arabian goddess Al-Lat, in the interpretatio graeca customary at the time, was identified with the Hellenistic goddess Athena.[1]

The temple was closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire in a campaign made by Maternus CynegiusPraetorian prefect of the East, between 25 May 385 to 19 March 388, when the altar of the temple was destroyed and the cult statue of Allat-Athena was decapitated and had the center of its face crushed.[1] Votive gifts of Roman Bronze coins from c. 364–375 and 376–386 illustrate that the sanctuary was still in use at the time of its destruction. [1] In contrast to other temples in Palmyra, the temple of Al-Lat was not converted to a church, but left to decay.[1]

Only a podium, a few columns, and the door frame remain. Inside the compound, a giant lion relief –(Lion of Al-lāt) was excavated and, in its original form, was a relief protruding from the temple compound’s wall.[2][3]

The Lion of al-Lat was a protective spirit, the consort of a Mesopotamian goddess. The lion was often a symbol of vanity and masculine power. It was the badge of self-aggrandising kings and presidents.

Athena[b] or Athene,[c] often given the epithet Pallas,[d] is an ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, warfare, and handicraft[1]  who was later syncretized with the Roman goddess Minerva.[4] Athena was regarded as the patron and protectress of various cities across Greece, particularly the city of Athens, from which she most likely received her name.[5] The Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens is dedicated to her. Her major symbols include owlsolive trees, snakes, and the Gorgoneion. In art, she is generally depicted wearing a helmet and holding a spear.

From her origin as an Aegean palace goddess, Athena was closely associated with the city. She was known as Polias and Poliouchos (both derived from polis, meaning “city-state”), and her temples were usually located atop the fortified acropolis in the central part of the city. (Do you recognize her image in New York harbor?)

politic (adj.)

early 15c., politike, “pertaining to public affairs, concerning the governance of a country or people,” from Old French  politique  “political” (14c.) and directly from Latin politicus “of citizens or the state, civil, civic,” from Greek politikos “of citizens, pertaining to the state and its administration; pertaining to public life,” from polites “citizen,” from polis “city” (see polis).

It has been replaced in most of the earliest senses by political. From mid-15c. as “prudent, judicious,” originally of rulers: “characterized by policy.” Body politic “a political entity, a country” (with French word order) is from late 15c.   (So, she is the spirit of politics, politicians and policies.)

The Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis is dedicated to her, along with numerous other temples and monuments. As the patron of craft and weaving, Athena was known as Ergane.  Athena was said to have competed against the mortal Arachne in a weaving competition, afterward transforming Arachne into the first spider.  (“Weaving spiders come not here.” Posted on the Bohemian

“Bohemian” “newspaper writers, politicians, kings & Queens, artists and musicians” Built into the Building where the Bohemian Club meets.
Wow!  Really study this Nation Press Club Logo.  The National Press started the Bohemian Club in New York in the 1850s.  Now, I want you to think about the fact that the MEDIA, (which at that time was the press) does more to shape public opinion and thereby policy than any other group. Now look at the logo.  We see the Capitol building with rays of light shooting up and out.  In the foreground we see the writer’s quill, on either side some kind of flowering, berry producing plant.  I would wager a poisonous plant (Pharmacea)  In the center we see a book (written knowledge) an owl (spiritual knowledge), an oil lamp (Illumination) and a SNAKE (Satanic).  Behind those three items we see somekind of shadowy figures which appear to have horns (demonic). All of these are symbolic of man’s search for wisdom without God.

She was also a warrior goddess, and was believed to lead soldiers into battle as Athena Promachos. Her main festival in Athens was the Panathenaia, which was celebrated during the month of Hekatombaion in midsummer and was the most important festival on the Athenian calendar.

Panathenaea, in Greek religion, an annual Athenian festival of great antiquity and importance. It was eventually celebrated every fourth year with great splendour, probably in deliberate rivalry to the Olympic Games. The festival consisted solely of the sacrifices and rites proper to the season (mid-August) in the cult of Athena, the city protectress. At the Great Panathenaea, representatives of all the dependencies of Athens were present, bringing sacrificial animals. After the presentation of a new embroidered robe to Athena, the sacrifice of several animals was offered. The great procession, which included the heroes of Marathon, is the subject of the frieze of the Parthenon. Musical contests were held, and portions of epic poems were recited, a long-standing accompaniment of the festival. The contests took place in the odeum, originally built for the purpose by Pericles himself.  In addition to major athletic contests, many of which were not included at Olympia, several minor contests also were held between the Athenian tribes.

In Greek mythology, Athena was believed to have been born from the forehead of her father Zeus. In some versions of the story, Athena has no mother and is born from Zeus’ forehead by parthenogenesis. In others, such as Hesiod‘s Theogony, Zeus swallows his consort Metis, who was pregnant with Athena; in this version, Athena is first born within Zeus and then escapes from his body through his forehead. In the founding myth of Athens, Athena bested Poseidon in a competition over patronage of the city by creating the first olive tree. She was known as Athena Parthenos “Athena the Virgin,” but in one archaic Attic myth, the god Hephaestus tried and failed to rape her, resulting in Gaia giving birth to Erichthonius, an important Athenian founding hero. Athena was the patron goddess of heroic endeavor; she was believed to have aided the heroes PerseusHeraclesBellerophon, and Jason. Along with Aphrodite and Hera, Athena was one of the three goddesses whose feud resulted in the beginning of the Trojan War.

She plays an active role in the Iliad, in which she assists the Achaeans and, in the Odyssey, she is the divine counselor to Odysseus. In the later writings of the Roman poet Ovid,  Ovid also describes how she transformed Medusa into a Gorgon after witnessing her being raped by Poseidon in her temple. Since the Renaissance, Athena has become an international symbol of wisdom, the arts, and classical learning. Western artists and allegorists have often used Athena as a symbol of freedom and democracy.


The owl of Athena, surrounded by an olive wreath. Reverse of an Athenian silver tetradrachmc. 175 BC

In Homer‘s epic works, Athena’s most common epithet is Glaukopis (γλαυκῶπις), which usually is translated as, “bright-eyed” or “with gleaming eyes”.[75] The word is a combination of glaukós (γλαυκός, meaning “gleaming, silvery”, and later, “bluish-green” or “gray”)[76] and ṓps (ὤψ, “eye, face”).[77]

The word glaúx (γλαύξ,[78] “little owl”)[79] is from the same root, presumably according to some, because of the bird’s own distinctive eyes. Athena was associated with the owl from very early on;[80] in archaic images, she is frequently depicted with an owl perched on her hand.[80] Through its association with Athena, the owl evolved into the national mascot of the Athenians and eventually became a symbol of wisdom.[4]

Bellerophon (aka Bellerophontes) is the Corinthian hero of Greek mythology who famously battled and killed the fantastical Chimera monster, a fearsome fire-breathing mix of lion, goat, and snake.
Other adventures include famous fights and victories over the warlike Solymoi, the Amazons, and Carian pirates – all tasks set him by Iobates, the king of Lycia. The king Iobates gave him half of his kingdom. He also gave his daughter, Philonoe, in marriage. (Lycanthropy is named from Lycia. Lycanthropy is Shape Shifting.)
Bellerophon was the son of Poseidon , however, (Bellerophon’s mother) Eurynome’s  husband, Glaucus, raised him as he believed him to be his own son by blood.  The god of the sea also gave his son a magnificent gift, Pegasus, the winged horse which had been born fr om the severed head of the Gorgon Medusa (You know the one with all the snakes on her head) when she was killed by the hero Perseus. Taming the horse with the help of the goddess Athena, who offered him a magical, golden bridle,  Bellerophon was able to ride and fly Pegasus. The hero then pushed his luck too far, and, riding Pegasus high in the sky in a vain and foolish attempt to join the gods on Mount Olympus, Bellerophon fell to the ground and was killed.  Though prophecies and divine intervention abound in this man’s life, he still meets a tragic end due to his careless arrogance. His story serves as a lesson for humankind as it tells how pride can erase one’s success and instead serve as one’s legacy. While Bellerophon was once honored by the gods and was able to conquer the world with their help, he grew selfish and conceited, which eventually led to his downfall
Symbols associated with Bellerphone:  Pegasus, Chimera, Magic Spear, and Water.  Source Source



Byzantine Basilica – Palmyra reviews4

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Zenobia Baths -baths of Zanobia — Palmyra
Temple of Bel — Palmyra,

The origin and development of the basilica

Definition of the basilica
The basilica is the oldest model as a place of worship for Christians and a place of worship, and the basilica is a Greek word BAΣIΛIKH (1) The architectural forms of churches until today are BASILIKA and BASILIKA. So they were familiar with the royal meeting hall, as it was called on the throne of the throne, a remnant in Memasis and the Ptolemaic cells in Egypt and the most important or murl in the Latin language in the second century BC to see (2) the large public machine consisting of a covered building covered with Inspired bollards
Butler believes that the cathedral’s basilica was built with a rectangular atrium built into the walls.
The eastern side is surrounded by two porticoes (Akkad Al-Sharqiya), and the surrounding hall was surrounded by two porticoes later on, and a third extension took place, including the extension of the church, and then the matter developed after the destruction of Bouyad. We are different from the basilicas of El Aghirl and El Kabiarl ) 3) the conglomerate of Habib al-Malamoun and the well-built valley.
In the early stages, the longitudinal, single-pointed church (4) and the canopy of the basilica were the architectural style of the churches until they grew in the tenth century A.D., and they maintained their position in the west until the age of the nobles, i.e. the fourth century AD until the eleventh century AD, when it was destroyed. The basilica style has not changed, Many of its distinctive shape
(5) are models of basilicas, and who presented such a basilica according to the city of Fano, Italy, dating back to the year 22 BC.

04 February 2018 23:25
Palmyra was a very wealthy city thanks to its location, which was located at the intersection of several trade routes in the ancient world. The Palmyrenes were famous for the many cities they established on the Silk Road, which is one of the most important ancient trade routes (which extended from China in the west to Europe in the east), and their trade relations with the Roman Empire also helped them. The profits of their trade enabled them to build huge buildings in the city of Palmyra, such as the Great Palmyra Colonnade, the Temple of Bel, and tombs in the form of towers. The Palmyrene were, in terms of ethnicity, a mixture of Amorites, Arameans, and Arabs, and they spoke – according to what the researchers believe – the Aramaic Palmyrene dialect (which is one of the dialects of the Aramaic language), and they also used the Greek language in their commercial and political deliberations. They embraced several pagan religions, including Semitic religions, Mesopotamian religions, and ancient Arab religions.

With the advent of the third century AD, Palmyra turned into a regional center that reached its zenith in the year 260 AD, when its king, Udhayna, defeated the Sasanian Emperor Shapur I. After his death, Queen Zenobia succeeded him in power, who did not want Palmyra to remain under Roman rule, so she revolted against them and expelled them from the city and established the independent Kingdom of Palmyra. However, this angered the Roman Emperor Aurelian, so he mobilized an army and destroyed the city in 273 AD. Emperor Diocletian rebuilt Palmyra, but it did not return to its former era and prosperity. The regional changes in the region led to the conversion of the city’s population to Christianity in the fourth century AD, and then to Islam in the seventh century, as the Islamic conquests led to the replacement of the Roman and Greek languages ​​by the Arabic language.

In the year 273 AD, the city of Palmyra acquired a state of self-rule and annexed itadministratively – to the Roman state of Syria. This was a result of the establishment of an independent political system in the city, which was influenced by the success of the independent Greek cities. In the third century, Palmyra turned into a Roman outpost (a Roman colony), and then it became administered according to a royal system in the year 260 AD. However, after it was destroyed in the year 273 AD, it was no longer more than a small administrative center in the Byzantine Empire, and it lost most of its importance. The city was destroyed again in the year 1400 as a result of the Timurid invasion, and it was reduced to a mere small village, but it remained inhabited. The French rulers decided, after the advent of the Mandate, to transfer all residents in 1932 to the modern city of Palmyra, so that the city’s archaeological site would be available for excavation and exploration.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) took control of Palmyra in 2015, and since then the city has been the site of an ongoing war between the Islamic State and the Syrian army (which retook the city on March 2, 2017). The war and the actions of the members of the Islamic State led to the destruction or destruction of a large number of buildings and valuable artifacts in Palmyra, whose remaining cultural heritage is still in great danger.,

The Early Churches of Phoenicia and Antioch
It is worthy of notice that the majority of the Phoenician towns where Christians or Christian bishops can be traced, lay on the coast; i.e. they were towns with a strong Greek population. In the large pagan cities of worship, Emesa and Heliopolis, on the other hand, Christians were not tolerated. Once we leave out inland localities where Marcionites and Jewish Christians resided, the only places in the interior where Christians can be traced are Damascus, Paneas, and Palmyra. Damascus, the great trading city, was Greek (cp. Mommsen’s Röm. Gesch., v. p. 473; Eng. trans., ii. 146), as was Paneas, and in Palmyra, the headquarters of the desert-trade, a strong Greek element also existed (Mommsen. pp.425 f.; Eng. trans., ii. 96 f.). The national royal house in Palmyra, with its Greek infusion, was well disposed towards the scanty indigenous Christians of Syria, as maybe inferred from the relations subsisting between Paul of Samosata and Zenobia, no less than from the policy adopted by home against him.
Church of Phoenicia

Phoenicia (cp. subscript, Nicea) is distinguished from Syria. An ecclesiastical province of this name existed in 231-232 A.D. is proved by Saint Jerome, cp. xxx. 4 who wrote c. 380 A.D.: “Damnatur Origenes a Demetrio episeopo exceptis Palaestinae…et Phoenicis atque Achaiae sacerdotibus.”

As we learn from Acts. Christianity reached the cities of Phoenicia at a very early period. When Paul was converted, there were already Christians At Damascus (Acts x. 2, 12f., 19) ; for Christians in Tyre see xxi. 4. for Ptolemais see xxi. 7. for Sidon1 xxvii. 2, and in general xi. 19.

Eleven bishops, but no chor-episcopi, were present at the council of Nicea from Phoenicia; namely, the bishops of Tyre, Ptolemais, Damascus, Sidon, Tripolis, Paneas, Berytus, Palmyra, Alasus2, Emesa, and Antaradus.3  Source


Oct 4, 2022basilica (n.) 1540s, “type of building based on the Athenian royal portico, large oblong building with double columns and a semicircular porch at the end,” from Latin basilica “building of a court of justice,” from Greek (stoa)

basilica, in the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches, a canonical title of honour given to church buildings that are distinguished either by their antiquity or by their role as international centres of worship because of their association with a major saint, an important historical event, or, in the Orthodox Church, a national patriarch.

“royal (portal).”

Mythological hybrids. In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk ( / ˈbæsɪlɪsk / or / ˈbæzɪlɪsk / [1]) is a legendary reptile reputed to be a serpent king, who can cause death with a single glance. According to the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder, the basilisk of Cyrene is a small snake, “being not more than twelve inches in …
The Eikon Basilike (Greek: Εἰκὼν Βασιλική, the “Royal Portrait”), The Pourtraicture of His Sacred Majestie in His Solitudes and Sufferings, is a purported spiritual autobiography attributed to King Charles I of England.It was published on 9 February 1649, ten days after the King was beheaded by Parliament in the aftermath of the English Civil War in 1649.
Basilica (stoa basilike, or basileios) signifies a kingly, and secondarily a beautiful, hall.The name indicates the Eastern origin of the building, but it is in the West, above all in Rome, that the finest examples of the basilica are found.Between 184 and 121 B.C. there were built in the Forum at Rome the basilicas of Porcia, Fulvia, Sempronia, and Opimia; after 46 B.C. the great Basilica …

Basilica EquestrisPalmyra (Empire Divided)Palmyra (Empire Divided) Military (Training) Level 3

Basilica Equestris

Horsemanship and status are intertwined; the common man walks.

Horses enjoyed a respected position in Roman society. Bred and kept for the great sport of racing, religious sacrifice and noble military service, they were less of the working animal they became in later cultures if only because of their cost. Horses were rarely used on farms other than when their sacrificial blood was given to purify other livestock or their heads were nailed to a farm wall in hope of a harvest blessing! It was claimed that Romulus himself had a personal guard of 300 horsemen. Roman cavalry was, at first, made up of the richer classes, the equestrians or ‘riding class’, who could pay for their own mounts. Later, the sense of being an elite was maintained as the upper classes were favoured, and they were paid three times as much as foot soldiers. As the Empire grew, Gallic, Numidian, Spanish and Thracian horsemen were added to the ranks. The cavalry was used to scout, carry messages and, in battle, to charge, flank an enemy quickly and gain advantage at critical moments.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Woodblock print of a basilisk from Ulisse Aldrovandi,
Serpentum, et draconum historiae libri duo, 1640
City seal of Zwolle from 1295 with the Archangel Michael killing a basilisk
 In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk (/ˈbæsɪlɪsk/ or /ˈbæzɪlɪsk/[1]) is a legendary reptile reputed to be a serpent king, who can cause death with a single glance. According to the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder, the basilisk of Cyrene is a small snake, “being not more than twelve inches in length”,[2] that is so venomous, it leaves a wide trail of deadly venom in its wake, and its gaze is likewise lethal.

The basilisk’s weakness is the odor of the weasel, which, according to Pliny, was thrown into the basilisk’s hole, recognizable because some of the surrounding shrubs and grass had been scorched by its presence. It is possible that the legend of the basilisk and its association with the weasel in Europe was inspired by accounts of certain species of Asiatic snakes (such as the king cobra) and their natural predator, the mongoose.


The word originates from the Greek form basilískos (GreekβασιλίσκοςLatinbasiliscus), which means “little king”, “little prince“, “chieftain“, or “young ruler“, from two components βᾰσῐλεύς (basileús, “king”) and -ῐ́σκος (-ískos, diminutive[3]). It was also considered to be synonymous with the cockatrice.[4]


The basilisk is called “king” because it is reputed to have on its head a mitre, or crown-shaped crest. Stories of the basilisk show that it is not completely distinguished from the cockatrice. The basilisk is alleged to be hatched by a cockerel from the egg of a serpent or toad (the reverse of the cockatrice, which was hatched from a cockerel’s “egg” incubated by a serpent or toad). In Medieval Europe, the description of the creature began taking on features from cockerels. It has a venomous strike and in some versions of the myth, it has the ability to breathe fire.

One of the earliest accounts of the basilisk comes from Pliny the Elder‘s Natural History, written in roughly 79 AD.

There is the same power also in the serpent called the basilisk. It is produced in the province of Cyrene, being not more than twelve fingers in length. It has a white spot on the head, strongly resembling a sort of a diadem. When it hisses, all the other serpents fly from it: and it does not advance its body, like the others, by a succession of folds, but moves along upright and erect upon the middle. It destroys all shrubs, not only by its contact, but those even that it has breathed upon; it burns up all the grass, too, and breaks the stones, so tremendous is its noxious influence. It was formerly a general belief that if a man on horseback killed one of these animals with a spear, the poison would run up the weapon and kill, not only the rider, but the horse, as well. T

Isidore of Seville defined the basilisk as the king of snakes because of its killing glare and poisonous breath.[7] The Venerable Bede was the first to attest to the legend of the birth of a basilisk from an egg by an old cockerel; other authors added the condition of Sirius being ascendantAlexander Neckam (died 1217) was the first to say that not the glare but the “air corruption” was the killing tool of the basilisk, a theory developed a century later by Pietro d’Abano.

Theophilus Presbyter gave a long recipe in his book, the Schedula diversarum artium, for creating a compound to convert copper into “Spanish gold” (De auro hyspanico). The compound was formed by combining powdered basilisk blood, powdered human blood, red copper, and a special kind of vinegar.

Albertus Magnus in the De animalibus wrote about the killing gaze of the basilisk, but he denied other legends, such as the rooster hatching the egg. He gave as source of those legends Hermes Trismegistus, who is credited also as the creator of the story about the basilisk’s ashes being able to convert silver into gold. The attribution is absolutely incorrect, but it shows how the legends of the basilisk were already linked to alchemy in the 13th century.

Geoffrey Chaucer featured a basilicok (as he called it, possibly in relation to the cock) in his Canterbury Tales. According to some legends, basilisks can be killed by hearing the crow of a rooster or gazing at itself in a mirror.[8][9] The latter method of killing the beast is featured in the legend of the basilisk of Warsaw, killed by a man carrying a set of mirrors.

Stories gradually added to the basilisk’s deadly capabilities, such as describing it as a larger beast, capable of breathing fire and killing with the sound of its voice. Some writers even claimed it could kill not only by touch, but also by touching something that is touching the victim, like a sword held in the hand. Also, some stories claim its breath is highly toxic and will cause death, usually immediately. The basilisk is also the guardian creature and traditional symbol of the Swiss city Basel  (LatinBasilea).  Canting basilisks appear as supporters in the city’s arms.[10]

Leonardo da Vinci included a basilisk in his Bestiary, saying it is so utterly cruel that when it cannot kill animals by its baleful gaze, it turns upon herbs and plants, and fixing its gaze on them, withers them up. In his notebooks, he describes the basilisk in an account clearly dependent directly or indirectly on Pliny’s:

This is found in the province of Cyrenaica and is not more than 12 fingers long. It has on its head a white spot after the fashion of a diadem. It scares all serpents with its whistling. It resembles a snake, but does not move by wriggling but from the centre forwards to the right. It is said that one of these, being killed with a spear by one who was on horse-back, and its venom flowing on the spear, not only the man but the horse also died. It spoils the wheat and not only that which it touches, but where it breathes the grass dries and the stones are split.

Then Leonardo noted of the weasel “this beast finding the lair of the basilisk kills it with the smell of its urine, and this smell, indeed, often kills the weasel itself.”

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa wrote that the basilisk “is alwayes, and cannot but be a male, as the more proper receptacle of venome and destructive qualities.”[11]

According to the tradition of the Cantabrian mythology, the ancient Basiliscu (as they called it) has disappeared in most of the Earth but still lives in Cantabria, although it is rare to see it. This animal is born from an egg laid by an old cock just before his death exactly at midnight on a clear night with a full moon. Within a few days, the egg shell, which is not hard, but rather soft and leathery, is opened by the strange creature, which already has all the features of an adult: legs, beak, cockscomb, and reptilian body. Apparently, the creature has an intense and penetrating fire in its eyes such that any animal or person gazing directly upon it would die. The weasel is the only animal that can face and even attack it. It can only be killed with the crowing of a rooster, so, until very recent times, travelers carried a rooster when they ventured into areas where it was said that the basilisks lived.[12]

A basilisk is said to have terrorised the inhabitants of VilniusLithuania during the reign of Grand Duke Sigismund August. In his book Facies rerum Sarmaticarum,[13] 17th century Vilnius University historian Professor Adomas Ignacas Naramovskis (Adam Ignaci Naramowski) describes how boughs of rue, a plant believed to have the power to repel basilisks, were lowered into the creature’s lair. The first two boughs lowered into the lair turned white, indicating that the creature remained alive, but the third bough retained its characteristic green colour, indicating the basilisk had been killed. Nineteenth-century historian Teodoras Narbutas (Teodor Narbutt) claimed the location of the creature’s lair had been at the intersection of Bokšto, Subačiaus and Bastėjos streets, near Subačius Gate. Legend has it the basilisk haunts the bastion of the city wall located there.[14]

About: Subačius Gate –
Subačius Gate was arguably one of the most important gates in the city of Vilnius, leading strategic way to Vitebsk, Polock, Smolensk and Moscow. The gate was first mentioned in 1528 and reconstructed in the 17th century, forming a seamless defensive line in the southeast of Vilnius. It was noted for tremendous fortification as it not only had upper firing shells but also machicolations.


TEMPLE OF BAAL SHAMIN  27 September 2021

The Temple of Baalshamin was an ancient temple in the city of Palmyra, Syria, dedicated to the Canaanite sky deity Baalshamin. The temple’s earliest phase dates to the late 2nd century BC; its altar was built in 115 AD, and the temple was substantially rebuilt in 131 AD. With the spreading of Christianity in the region in the 5th century AD, the temple was converted to a church.

1.4: Temple of Baalshamin, Palmyra – Humanities LibreTexts

The temple’s cult is dedicated to Baalshamin or Ba’al Šamem, a northwest Semitic divinity. The name Baalshamin is applied to various divinities at different periods in time, but most often to Hadad (Aramaic: ܒܥܠ ܫܡܝܢ, lit. `Lord of Heaven(s)`), also known,  in Canaan/Phoenicia and Syria, simply as Ba’al. Along with Bel, Baalshamin was one of the two main divinities of pre-Islamic Palmyra in Syria and was a sky god.

This name was originally a title of Baal Hadad, in the 2nd millennium BC, but came to designate a distinct god circa 1000 BC. [5] The earliest known mention of this god or title is in a treaty of the 14th century BC between Suppiluliumas I, King of the Hittites, and Niqmaddu II, King of Ugarit.  Ba’al /Hadad is the lord of the sky who governs the rain and thus the germination of plants with the power to determine fertility. He is the protector of life and growth to the agricultural people of the region. The absence of Ba’al causes dry spells, starvation, death, and chaos.

The Dying-and-Rising Gods: Ba’al Hadad – Lost History

Ba’al Hadad

Aliases: Ishkur, Adad, Haddu
Location: Mesopotamia (Iraq), Canaan (Palestine), Ugarit (Syria), Asia Minor? (Turkey?)
Cities: Thebes
Estimated Date: 2500s B.C. – 600s A.D.

He is a storm god

Ba’al hurling a thunderbolt

Ba’al Hadad inherited several aspects of the vegetation shepherd god although he is actually a storm/war god equivalent to the Babylonian Marduk, the Hurrian and Hittite Teshub, and the Greek Zeus. In the Ba’al Cycle, or Epic of Ba’al, found in Ugarit just north of Galilee and dated to 1400s –1200s B.C., Hadad is called “Rider of Clouds”, a title that is also used in Psalm 68:4 for Yahweh, a proper name typically translated as “the LORD” in most Bibles. Isaiah uses the same tempest and fire language to describe “Yahweh Sabaoth”, which is translated “LORD of Hosts” in most Bibles but is sometimes given the more appropriate translation “Yahweh of Armies”. Throughout all of these epic cycles of the storm/war god, the ocean is symbolically linked to ever-churning chaos and is thus identified with the enemy. The storm god acts as a national protector by smashing the sea dragon and then constructing the world from its remains, just as the king was to defeat his enemy and construct his nation from the wealth of conquest. Thus the storm god became the national war god and so was promoted to the king of heaven in growing empires over that of old Titan king, Chronos, equivalent to the Canaanite god El the Bull, known in the Bible by its plural form Elohim, which is typically translated as “God”.

He is subordinate to El the Bull, a relationship similar to Yahweh and Elohim in the older parts of the Bible

Ba’al Hadad is the son of a fish god Dagon who created humans very much like Dumuzi’s father Enki, but Hadad also calls the king of the gods, El the Bull, father as well. He can probably be equated with Ba’al-Zebul, or Beelzebub, the god of Ekron mentioned in 2 Kings. In the Hurrian and Hittite creation myth, Kingship in Heaven, the storm/war god Teshub takes the heavenly throne of his father Kumarbi just as Kumarbi took the throne from his own father, the heaven god Anu. The story was then repeated in the Greek creation myth, Hesiod’s Theogony, where Zeus (Jupiter) took the throne from his father, the time and air god Chronos (Saturn), just as Chronos took the throne from the god of heaven, Uranus. The Hurrians identified Kumarbi with the Sumerian god of air Enlil, and in fact the description is a good symbolic description of how the Akkadian Enlil surpassed the popularity of the Sumerian Anu and then was himself surpassed by the Amorite/Babylonian storm god Bel Marduk. In the Song of Moses, a source used in the Dead Sea Scroll version of the Book of Deuteronomy, the lands are divided among the sons of Elohim with Yahweh taking the land of Israel, matching with the nationalistic character of the storm/war god. Other verses from Psalms are more henotheistic than monotheistic, focusing worship only on Yahweh while acknowledging the existance of other gods, just as all the nationalistic storm/war gods did. Later, when Yahweh became equated with El or Elohim, the bull aspect of El the Bull, represented in the Bible as the golden calf, became idolatrous.

He defeats a multi-headed sea dragon, just like Yahweh and the archangel Michael

Ba’al Hadad fighting Lotan

In the Ugartic Ba’al Cycle, Ba’al Hadad defeated the seven-headed sea dragon Lotan, just as Heracles defeated the multi-headed Hydra in his 2nd labor and a dragon Ladon guarding the golden applies of immortality from the Garden of Hesperides in his 11th labor, just as Marduk defeated the sea monster Tiamat in the Enuma Elish creation myth, just as Yahweh crushed the multi-headed sea dragon Leviathan in the books of Psalms and Isaiah, just as Michael defeated the seven-headed red dragon in the Book of Revelation. In the Enuma Elish, Marduk split apart Tiamat to create the world, parallel to the splitting of Leviathan, which symbolizes the splitting of the sea during creation, which in Genesis is a “divine wind” sweeping over the “deep,” tehom, believed by many scholars to be etymologically related to Tiamat. The Behemoth from the Book of Job is its land-based equivalent. After Yahweh became equated Elohim and took over El the Bull’s role as the king god in heaven, the archangel Michael took over Yahweh’s role as the subordinate war angel who battles the seven-headed dragon, Satan.

He ascends a mountain and establishes his heavenly temple

After a victory celebration, Ba’al Hadad climbs Mount Zaphon and erects his temple there in seven days, mirroring the week of creation in Genesis.

He dies and rises again

Just as Dumuzi is helped by his sister Geshtinanna and the sun god Utu (called Shamash by the Akkadians), so too is Ba’al assisted by his sister Anath and the sun goddess Shapash, and like Dumuzi, he is ultimtaely killed anyway. El the Bull, Shapash the sun goddess (the female equivalent of the Akkadian sun god Shamash), and Ba’al’s sister Anath (equivalent to Dumuzi’s sister Geshtinanna) mourns his death and he is buried. Anath takes revenge and kills Mot. El then has a dream that Ba’al is alive and Shapash descends to the netherworld and brings Hadad back. He returns to his throne, confronts a resurrected Mot, but this time with El favoring Ba’al, Shapash manages to scare Mot away.

Baal was found dead there in the fields of Shechelmemet, in the land of Deber. The news reaches the ears of El, Father of Shunem:…

For clothing She [Anath] is covered with a doubled cloak.
The mountain in mourning She roams.
In grief, through the forest.
She cuts cheek and chin.
She lacerates Her forearms.
She plows lake a garden Her chest,
Like a vale She lacerates the back.
“Baal is dead!
Woe to the people of Dagon’s son!
Woe to the multitudes of Athar-Baal!
Let us go down into the earth.”
The Torch of the Gods, Shapash, hearkens.
She lifts Aliyan Baal,
On the shoulders of Anath She places Him,
She raises Him into the heights of Saphon.
She weeps for Him and buries Him.
She puts Him in the grave of the Gods of the earth…

Shapash descends into the underworld. She enters the relm of Sheol. Upon Her return to the world above, She carries Great Baal with Her.

He and his king, El the Bull, both enjoin festivals of bread and wine where the wine is symbolically associated with blood

Eat bread from the tables! Drink wine from the goblets! From a cup of gold, the blood of vines [or: trees]!


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The invasion of Egypt is sometimes explained by Zenobia’s desire to secure an alternative trade route to the Euphrates, which was cut because of the war with the Sasanian Empire,[4] although the Euphrates route was only partially disrupted. Zenobia’s personal ambition and political motivation to establish Palmyrene dominance over the east definitely played a part in her decision to invade Egypt.[2]

The invasion coincided with, or probably even caused, serious unrest in Egypt, whose people were split between supporting and defying the approaching Palmyrene army.[2] What also made the situation worse for the Romans was that the prefect of Egypt, Tenagino Probus, was at the time preoccupied with naval expeditions against pirates.[2]

The Palmyrenes entered Alexandria, and left a garrison of 5,000, although shortly after, Probus was alerted to the situation in Egypt and quickly returned there.[2] He recaptured Alexandria, but his success was short-lived when the Palmyrene army regained control of the city.[2] Probus retreated to the Babylon Fortress.[5] However, Timagenes, a native of Egypt with knowledge of the land, ambushed the Roman rear and captured the fortress. Tenagino Probus then committed suicide and the Palmyrenes consolidated their dominion over Egypt.[5]

  1. An ancient Greek or Roman shrine consecrated to water nymphs, often with a fountain.

Nymph Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster

nymph: [noun] any of the minor divinities of nature in classical mythology represented as beautiful maidens dwelling in the mountains, forests, trees, and waters.

agora, in ancient Greek cities, an open space that served as a meeting ground for various activities of the citizens. The name, first found in the works of Homer, connotes both the assembly of the people as well as the physical setting. It was applied by the classical Greeks of the 5th century BCE to what they regarded as a typical feature of their life: their daily religious, political, judicial, social, and commercial activity. The agora was located either in the middle of the city or near the harbour, which was surrounded by public buildings and by temples. Colonnades, sometimes containing shops, or stoae, often enclosed the space, and statues, altars, trees, and fountains adorned it. The general trend at this time was to isolate the agora from the rest of the town.

“Agora” is an ancient Greek term meaning “gathering place”. For the ancient Greeks the agora of a town served as the center of public life, where people could socialize, do business, and hold discussions. Egora follows in that ancient Greek spirit, but its main function is to enable a new form of democratic organization, one that is rational, efficient, and incorruptible – i.e. Intelligent Democracy. To explain it most briefly, Egora enables everyone to. develop their own political philosophy out of various ideas  Intelligent Democracy would not be possible without a community that is dedicated to using reason to make sense out of a chaos.  Egora is agora + electric (technology)


Relief showing Arsu from Temple of Adonis, Dura-Europos
Arsu was a god worshipped in PalmyraSyria.

A deity known from Syrian and northern Arabian lands, being sometimes in male or in female (most often) representation. Arsu was connected with the evening star.

Frequently portrayed as riding a camel and accompanied by his twin brother Azizos; both were regarded as the protectors of caravans. His worship is also confirmed by material evidences in Temple of Adonis, Dura-Europos. In the temple complex there was a relief, which shows Arsu on a camel. The inscription under the figure goes: “Oga the sculptor has made (this to) ‘Arsu the camel-rider, for the life of his son”.[1] It is likely he was associated with the planet Mercuryearly on.[2]

Arsu, a military god identified with the Greek god Ares.  Source


 (Left) Relief of the god Arsu, with Palmyrene Aramaic inscription reading “Arsu, the camel rider, ‘Ogâ, the sculptor made it for the life of his son”. Traces of black paint survive around the eyes, and the inscription was painted in red; the god is armed with a lance and shield

(Right) Nabu god of wisdom and the art of writing.


Nabu, biblical Nebo, major god in the Assyro-Babylonian pantheon. He was patron of the art of writing and a god of vegetation. Nabu’s symbols were the clay tablet and the stylus, the instruments held to be proper to him who inscribed the fates assigned to men by the gods
Nebu (Nabu) is one of the more important minor deities of the Babylonian – Assyrian pantheon. The god Nebo (Akkadian Nab û, “the called”) appears in the Code of hammurabi in the early 2nd millennium b.c. as son of the national god marduk and tutelary deity of the city Borsippa (to the south of the city of babylon) and of its temple Ezida.


Photo Credits: Discover Walks

The Roman public baths were one of this mighty civilization’s most monumental architectural feats that lasted for more than a millennium. While the grandeur of this site is often known, the religious significance of these baths for the roman people is seldom realized. Let’s take a brief look at the spiritual value of these baths for the Romans.

Many ancient civilizations attributed the occurrence of what we call natural phenomena  to the supernatural or divine. Hot springs, upon which many Roman bathhouses were built, are a perfect example.

Romans discovered a hot springs, around which the Celtic Goddess Sulis was worshiped.  Seeing this miraculous display, they accepted Sulis’ validity but amalgamated the Goddess with one of their own, Minerva.

Image Source: Heritage Daily

Hence, the  temple and all following temples around the hot springs became dedicated to Sulis Minerva. Sulis was the Celtic Goddess of healing waters, whereas Minerva was the Roman Goddess of wisdom. Their amalgam largely retained the traits of Sulis, and the hot springs served as a place of healing and worship.

Hot Spring Temples became sites of pilgrimage as people sought the Goddess for direction, blessings and favors, as well as healings. Roman bath took on immense religious importance. Thought to be a place of healing, people from all over the Roman Empire brought their sick and wounded to Sulis Minerva  and bathed them in the healing waters of the bath

The Roman Bath in Bath, Somerset | Image Source: Conde Nast Traveler

They prayed to the Goddess, made animal sacrifices at her altars, and engaged in various other ceremonial practices. One such practice was throwing curse tablets, messages written on lead or pewter, into the sacred spring water. This was thought to transport the message directly to Sulis Minerva, who would then hopefully look favorably upon what was asked of her.

As time went on, people began to bring the worship of their own deities to the baths and build altars to them there. They would make sacrifices and other offerings to appease their preferred God. Out of the Roman pantheon, there were three for whom you would frequently find shrines at the baths: Luna (Goddess of the moon), Sol (God of the Sun), and Sulis Minerva.  Usually the priests of Sulis Minerva were the only ones allowed to enter this holy place, though the gilded bronze statue of the Goddess could likely be seen via the open gate.



Monumental Arch of Palmyra

The Monumental Arch, also called the Arch of Triumph (قوس النصر) or the Arch of Septimius Severus, was a Roman ornamental archway in Palmyra, Syria. It was built in the 3rd century during the reign of emperor Septimius Severus.

The Monumental Arch was built sometime during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus, which lasted from 193 to 211 CE; it linked the main street of the Colonnade and the Temple of Bel. The arch was meant to integrate the southern and central parts of the Colonnade as its location marks a change of 30° in the orientation of the street between the Tetrapylon and the Temple of Bel, so to solve this problem the arch incorporated two façades angled apart from one another.   (So, it is a two faced arch that serves as a bridge.)

Architecture: circa

The Monumental Arch was unusual from an architectural viewpoint, since it had a double façade, masking a 30° bend between the eastern and central sections of the Great Colonnade. The arch consisted of a large gateway in the centre flanked by a smaller opening on either side.

The arch was decorated with ornate stone carvings, including reliefs depicting plants or geometrical designs. These were similar to those found on other arches built during Severus’ reign elsewhere in the Roman Empire, such as at Leptis Magna in modern-day Libya. The reliefs on the arch were described by UNESCO as “an outstanding example of Palmyrene art,” and they make it one of the most lavishly adorned monuments in the city.


The Temple of Bel, sometimes also referred to as the “Temple of Baal”, was an ancient temple located in Palmyra, Syria. The temple, consecrated to the Mesopotamian god Bel, worshipped at Palmyra in triad with the lunar god Aglibol and the sun god Yarhibol, formed the center of religious life in Palmyra and was dedicated in AD 32.Wikipedia

Palmyra, Syria, The Temple of Bel. 2nd century AD – Archaeology Illustrated

Baal Hammon
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Terracotta statue of Baal-Hammon on a throne AvL.JPG
Baal Hammon, properly Baʿal Ḥammon or Baʿal Ḥamon (Phoenician𐤁𐤏𐤋 𐤇𐤌𐤍 Baʿl ḤamūnPunic𐤁𐤏𐤋 𐤇𐤌𐤍 Bʻl Ḥmn),[1] meaning “Lord Hammon”, was the chief god of Carthage. He was a weather god considered responsible for the fertility of vegetation and esteemed as King of the Gods. He was depicted as a bearded older man with curling ram’s horns.[2] Baʿal Ḥammon’s female cult partner was Tanit.[3]


He is clearly identified as one of the Phoenician deities covered under the name of Baal.[4] However, the meaning of his second name is unclear. Frank Moore Cross argued for a connection to Hamōn, the Ugaritic name for Mount Amanus, a peak in the Nur Mountains which separate Syria from Cilicia.[5] In the 19th century, when Ernest Renan excavated the ruins of Hammon (Ḥammon), the modern Umm al-‘Awamid between Tyre and Acre, he found two Phoenician inscriptions dedicated to El-Hammon.[6]

Zondervan Atlas of the Bible (2010): Hammon. General Location Notes. Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (1992) (Hammon (place)): “in the Wadi el Hamul “. Precise Coordinates Notes. Franḳel, Settlement Dynamics and Regional Diversity in Ancient Upper Galilee (2001) identifies Khirbet Umm el Amed with Awamid. Geo Data. KML (for Google Earth)

Others have proposed Hammon as a syncretic association with Libyan-Egyptian god Amun,[7] while a last current has called instead for a connection with the Northwest Semitic word ḥammān (“brazier“), suggesting the sense “Lord of the Brazier”.[6]

Cult and attributes

The worship of Baʿal Hammon flourished in the Phoenician colony of Carthage. His supremacy among the Carthaginian gods is believed to date to the fifth century BC, after relations between Carthage and Tyre were broken off at the time of the Battle of Himera (480 BC).[8] Baal Hammon was known as the Chief of the pantheon of Carthage and the deity that made vegetation grow; as with most deities of Carthage, he was seemingly propitiated with child sacrifice, likely in times of strife or crisis, or only by elites, perhaps for the good of the whole community. This practice was recorded by Greeks and Romans, but dismissed as propaganda by modern scholars, until archeologists unearthed urns containing the cremated remains of infants in places of ritual sacrifice.

He has been identified with a solar deity,[6] although Yigael Yadin thought him to be a moon god.[citation needed] Edward Lipinski identifies him with the god Dagon.[10] In Carthage and North Africa Baʿal Hammon was especially associated with the ram and was worshiped also as Baʿal Qarnaim (“Lord of Two Horns”) in an open-air sanctuary at Jebel Boukornine (“the two-horned hill”) across the bay from Carthage, in Tunisia.[11]

The interpretatio graeca identified him with the Titan Cronus. In ancient Rome, he was identified with Saturn, and the cultural exchange between Rome and Carthage as a result of the Second Punic War may have influenced the development of the festival of Saturnalia.[12][clarification needed]. Attributes of his Romanized form as an African Saturn indicate that Hammon (Amunus in Philo‘s work) was a fertility god.[13]

The Second Coming of Saturn Part 25: Baal Hammon

It is probable that the name Baal Hammon means “Lord of the Amanus,”[4] which refers to a mountain range in southern Turkey just northeast of Mount Zaphon, the mountain sacred to Baal. The Amanus, today’s Nur Mountains (from the Turkish Nur Dağları, “Mountains of Holy Light”), run alongside the Gulf of Iskenderun at the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea, just north of Antakya (ancient Antioch). Zincirli, mentioned above, is the site of ancient Sam’al, about seventy miles north of Antakya. It controlled the northern pass through the Amanus mountains, while Kinalua, capital city of the kingdom of Palistin, about fifteen miles southeast of Antakya, guarded the southern pass.


To be clear, Baal Hammon is not the Baal of the Bible. That was the storm-god, whose proper name was Hadad, Adad, or Addu, depending on where it was written. “Baal” simply means “lord,” and it was used by the Canaanites and Phoenicians the same way we Christians call our God “Lord” instead of “Yahweh.”

But Baal Hammon’s mountains, the Amanus, are only about seventy miles north of Mount Zaphon, home of the storm-god’s palacea mountain that was probably dedicated to El (Baal Hammon) before it became sacred to Baal (Hadad).

The worship of Baal Hammon continued until well into the Christian era. The Phoenicians built a maritime trading empire unrivaled in the ancient world that lasted from about the time of Ahab and Jezebel in the ninth century BC until the end of the Third Punic War in 146 BC, when Carthage was finally destroyed by Rome. The colony at Carthage was founded by Phoenicians from Tyre in what is modern-day Tunisia. As the Phoenicians extended their influence across the Mediterranean through settlements and trading outposts on the North African coast, southern Spain, and islands like Sicily and Sardinia, the worship of Baal Hammon spread as well. It appears the god and his consort, Tanit, became the supernatural power couple of Carthage around 480 BC, when a disastrous military defeat on the island of Sicily led to the colony’s break with its home city, Tyre.[5]

Tanit, sometimes rendered Tannit or Tinnit, was the Carthaginian version of the goddess Asherah,[6] although some scholars connect Tanit to the other great goddesses of the Canaanite pantheon, Astarte and Anat.[7] But since most scholars accept that Baal Hammon and El are one and the same, identifying Tanit as Asherah is probably correct.

The etymology of her name is interesting, to say the least. “Tanit” is a feminine form of the Canaanite/Phoenician tannin, which means “serpent” or “dragon.” Thus, “Tanit” is literally “Serpent Lady” or “Dragon Lady.”[8] This supports her identification as Asherah, whose epithets rabbat ʿatiratu yammi (“Lady Who Treads on the Sea[-dragon]”)[9] and ḏt bṯn(“Serpent Lady”)[10] are virtually identical.

Tanit was sometimes called Qudšu (“the Holy One”),[11] and she was known by this name in Egypt as well as the Levant from about the time of Jacob through the time of the judges (about 1800–1200 BC). In Egyptian art, she’s usually shown holding snakes in one or both hands.[12]

It’s probably not a coincidence that bṯn is the Ugaritic form of “Bashan,” the land at the foot of Mount Hermon ruled by Og in the days of Moses. The epithet ḏt bṯn could therefore be read, “Lady of Bashan.” (It also means that Bashan literally translates as “Place of the Serpent.”)

While scholars don’t completely agree on the identities and origins of Baal Hammon and Tanit, it is clear that the two, like Kronos, Saturn, and Molech, required a most precious sacrifice from worshipers—their children. In recent years, some scholars have tried to downplay the biblical accounts of child sacrifice, suggesting that they were invented by the Hebrew prophets to justify the conquest of Canaan and rationalize the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by Babylon. And God, speaking through the prophets, was very clear about His opinion of child sacrifice:

You shall not give any of your children to offer them [literally, “to make them pass through (the fire)”] to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. […] Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.

Leviticus 18:21, 24–25

[Manasseh] burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.[…] And the Lord said by his servants the prophets, “Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done things more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols, therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.”

2 Kings 21:6, 10–12

For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere.

Jeremiah 7:30–32

But the prophets weren’t alone in their condemnation of the Amorite-Canaanite-Phoenician practice of child sacrifice. Greeks and Romans were appalled by it as well.

We’ve already shared the nightmarish account of Plutarch, who described how the poor of Carthage sold their children to be sacrificed by those with no children of their own. But the wealthy were not exempt from burning their children; according to Diodorus Siculus, the citizens of Carthage responded to a disastrous military defeat in 310 BC to Agathocles, ruler of the Sicilian city-state of Syracuse, by slaughtering hundreds of their children:

Therefore the Carthaginians, believing that the misfortune had come to them from the gods, betook themselves to every manner of supplication of the divine powers.They also alleged that Kronos [Baal Hammon] had turned against them inasmuch as in former times they had been accustomed to sacrifice to this god the noblest of their sons, but more recently, secretly buying and nurturing children, they had sent these to the sacrifice; and when an investigation was made, some of those who had been sacrificed were discovered to have been supposititious [substitutions].In their zeal to make amends for their omission, they selected two hundred of the noblest children and sacrificed them publicly; and others who were under suspicion sacrificed themselves voluntarily, in number not less than three hundred.[13]

Next: A Phoenician monument to child sacrifice


Palmyra Update: Major Restorations Ready to Launch as Global Partners Await Security


On any given Monday morning, at approximately 7:30 a.m. a car carrying highly trained archeologists and two Palmyra National Museum security guards, on weekly rotation, departs the Homs, Syria HQ of Syria’s Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) along the previously dangerous 160 km Homs-Palmyra road east to Palmyra (Tadmor), the site of wanton destruction the past few years. Caused in the main by Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists who insist that non-Islamic archeological sites offend God who apparently abhors any possible idolatry-if indeed that is what preserving our global culture heritage for those who follow us amounts to. “It’s both propagandistic and sincere,” says Columbia University historian Christopher Jones, who has chronicled the damage on his blog. “They see themselves as recapitulating the early history of Islam.” Simultaneously, ISIS uses looting as fundraisers for military operations.

Since 2015, DGAM archeologists’ travel to Palmyra has sometimes been curtailed and the route closed by the Syrian army given that the area just to the north and south of the highway harbored jihadists camped deep under the vast desert in tunnels as well as dug into nearby hillsides with heavy weapons. On 5/23/2017 the Syrian army informed this observer that ISIS forces have now been pushed back some 50 km into the desert northeast of Palmyra and no longer pose a threat to those visiting the ruins area. The Syrian army two days ago (5/24/2017) announced that they had captured areas to the south of Palmyra and to the east of Qaryatayn in southeastern Homs province. Moreover, this past month Syrian troops, seeking to expand a buffer zone north of the Homs-Palmyra highway have advanced on ISIS positions in the same area with intermittent clashes between the Syrian Army (SAA) and ISIS units ongoing.

Consequently, an invitation from DGAM for this observer to join the group and again visit Palmyra, one of 300 of Syria’s 10,000 archeological sites damaged and/or looted since the spring of 2011, was most welcomed.

Syria’s current work at Palmyra includes conducting updated assessments of damage by ISIS during their second occupation of the ancient city which lasted for ten weeks between December 11, 2016 and March 2, 2017. Fortunately, this month’s Syrian government assessment shows that ISIS damage at Palmyra is limited to the central part of the facade of the Second Century theater and to the columns of the Tetrapylon, with no new damage to the Tomb of the Three Brothers, Temple of Bel, Temple of Nebo, Camp of Diocletian, the Straight Street, Agora and other monuments. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s director of antiquities, who had already arranged the transport of some 800 of the ancient statues and artifacts in Palmyra’s museum to Damascus and elsewhere for safe-keeping explained: “This time, they don’t seem to have damaged Palmyra as badly as we feared.

Photo: fplamb 5/23/2017. ISIS substantially leveled most of the Tetrapylon a group of raised pillars signaling a crossroads, with only four of 16 columns still standing and leaving the stone platform now covered in rubble. But again, ISIS failed to remove or pulverize the chunks of the columns such that the Tetrapylon will be relatively easily restored. ISIS also left behind most of the rubble at other sites during its first occupation. This means that approximately 80% of Palmyra’s antiquities are in fairly good condition and 15% of those more heavily damaged also can and will be restored.

Photo: fplamb 5/23/2017. As noted above, ISIS also destroyed the carved facade of the ancient Palmyra theatre, where the jihadi group forced locals to watch as it murdered 25 soldiers during the first occupation. If one focuses on the third column from the right, a broken rope is still visible, one of dozens ISIS used to hang prisoners in 2016. This theater was also where musicians from St Petersburg’s Mariinsky orchestra had performed at a “victory concert” after the area was recaptured from ISIS the first time.


Photo: fplamb 5/23/2017. Not reported in the media following ISIS’ 2nd occupation of Palmyra were 14 excavation holes counted by this observer. These struck me as odd given their random locations and absence of evidence that anything was excavated in contrast to other excavation areas around Syria where one sees hundreds of dug holes approximating rows. My tentative assessment is that during their second coming the original 4000 fighters quickly moved south to fight regime forces and try to capture the T4 Airport which is a critical security installation, providing regime forces with close air support. ISIS jihadists were able to storm into the base after seizing security checkpoints in the nearby Mashtal and Qasr al-Hir Districts. Given this priority, ISIS left behind among the ruins of Palmyra only a relatively modest number of forces during this period and these fact likely accounts for the limited ISIS damage to the ruins.

The ISIS success in seizing Palmyra the second time after being forced out of the city in March 2016 underlines the limits of airpower against the group and after four days of Russian airstrike and regime shelling Isis was firmly in control of Palmyra. During December 2016, Isis forces swept into Palmyra as the Syrian army and its allies focused on defeating rebels in Aleppo. ISIS remained in control the second time for ten weeks. Privately Syrian army friend’s blame their heavy troop loses on the Russians for letting their guard down at Palmyra. Simultaneously Russian friends in Syria blame the Syrian forces (in private). But publicly they both blame the Americans, without providing cogent detail, for allowing ISIS reinforcements from Raqqa, the de facto Isis capital in northern Syria, as well as not stopping ISIS from coming to Palmyra from the nearby eastern province of Deir Ezzor to move to Palmyra. Key to regime forces and their allies in expelling ISIS the second time was their success attacking from three sides the ISIS forces based in the Citadel on a hill overlooking the ruins. In any event Palmyra is today better guarded than it was last year—by both Russian, Syria and Iranian forces.
Concrete plans to restore Palmyra are largely completed as a result of many months of Syrian consultations with the global community, UNESCO, and UN Specialized Agencies as well as with dozens of archeological associations, Museums, and the Syrian public.

What is now needed is specialized equipment, specialized restoration craftsmen prepared to come to Syria and funding. All are largely available today but most partners, especially from the West want to wait for the violence to end to ensure the safety of their associates who would be working here and also to ensure that restoration work projects will not likely be attacked again.

Thanks to Syrian citizens and officials working in this 3000 year old town, given all the jihadist attacks it has sustained, Palmyra, like many antiquities sites around Syria in is reasonable condition and ready to be restored. More urgent, as Part II of the Update addresses, is the archeological crisis in Aleppo which requires immediate attention. Government cooperation with the local citizenry is needed so that invaluable damaged artifacts and pieces of treasures scattered around are not confiscated and removed as part of the current urgency citizens feel about returning to their smashed homes and start rebuilding with whatever material they can fine.e


19 OCT 2017, 08:52

This model is important for monitoring the condition of various objects and exploring sites

MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Specialists from the Institute for the History of Material Culture at the Russian Academy of Sciences plan to hand over a unique 3D model of the city of Palmyra to the Syrian government, which could help restore its cultural heritage sites, the Institute’s Deputy Director Natalya Solovyova told TASS.

“We have completed the 3D model, but we are still working on the geographical information system. We plan to hand it over to the Syrian government,” Solovyova said.

The Institute’s director general noted that it had taken about a year to construct the 3D model. According to her, the specialists who worked in Palmyra in 2016, are eager to go back there to explore the cultural heritage sites that were damaged after terrorists had seized the city for the second time. “We would like to go back there to take footage of the damage done during the second seizure, because the data that we have was collected after the city had been liberated for the first time. And now, after exploring the sites, we will be able to say exactly what damage the city suffered after the second seizure – this is the reason why we would like to go there once again,” Solovyova explained.

“We will discuss this issue, and if we have an opportunity we will go there again and take footage of the new damage, since apart from explosions, there was also predatory excavation. We still need to assess its scale,” she said.

According to Solovyova, Russian experts will continue assisting in the restoration of Palmyra’s historical heritage.

Symbol of civilization

Palmyra is an ancient city located in Syria. It was an important hub along ancient trade routes, particularly the Great Silk Road, in Western Asia. Its heyday stretched from the 1st-3rd century AD, when a number of architectural monuments were built in the city, which are preserved in the desert up to this day.

Palmyra’s architectural museum complex is ranked among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Militants of the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) first captured Palmyra in May 2015. In late March 2016, the Syrian government forces, supported by the Russian Aerospace Force, liberated the city, but nine months later it was retaken by the terrorists. On March 2, 2017, Russian Defense Minister General Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin that the operation to free Palmyra had been concluded.


Russia Gifts Amazing 3D Model of Ancient City to Syria (Palmyra) – Great Video

Various nations and religions peacefully coexisted in ancient Palmyra: Greeks, Arabs, and Arameans, which was emphasized in the architecture. The barbarians destroyed them, but they can’t destroy the memory partly thanks to such projects as the 3D model.”

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

One of the most saddening aspects of the war in Syria is not only the loss of life, but the tragic destruction of her ancient culture. In this video, the Russian news delves into what Russia is doing preserve Syrian Culture (full transcript below).

Russian experts have begun creating models of Palmyra to prepare for its inevitable reconstruction after total victory over the terrorists is assured. This is a subtle reminder of who will be favored in the massive and lucrative reconstruction projects to be held after the War.

This time, America doesn’t get to destroy a country and then rebuild it while charging exorbitant interest rates.

Check out this great video and full transcript at the bottom of the article:

The unique digital 3D model of ancient Palmyra is now available online for everyone. It was created at the Institute of History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IHMC RAS). This is the world’s most accurate and detailed digital model of the current state of the monument, which can help in the further study of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Earlier it was handed over to the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums of the Syrian Arab Republic during the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum.

Remotely, without going to the monument, you can plan any work: restoration, research, archaeological works. This is a universal scientific tool that surpasses all methods that have been used before. The collected data helps to look at the landscape differently. A detailed elevation map allows archaeologists and historians to plan further work. All received materials will be combined into the Palmyra geographic information system – a project on which we continue to work and which is being implemented thanks to the Russian Geographical Society. The geosystem will become a tool for managing the monument not only for scientists, but also simply for the curious people,” said Natalya Solovyova.

You can see the 3D model of Palmyra here.

Palmyra is a unique part of Syria, the Greco-Roman ruins remind the world of Syria’s diverse, multicultural background. The Syrian People are not ethnically homogeneous but consist of a mosaic of different peoples blended into the land including Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians, and much more, even a small population of Ukrainian-Russians on the coast, often who married into Syrian families.

Although the site was inhabited by different cultures since the Neolithic period, Palmyra’s ruins are a reminder of the ancient Christian culture of Syria as well, via the Roman Empire. With Russian help, Palmyra will rise again.

Syrian Christians to this day are occasionally called “Rum” (Romans) by Muslims, and the destruction of Palmyra by ISIS shows not only their brutality, but their dedication to a racist, anti-Syrian ideology of destroying the multicultural diversity of the beautiful secular republic and reducing it to a Sunni-Arab quagmire. Never mind the fact that the majority of Syria is Sunni and opposed to the terrorist occupation of the country.

Just like when the CIA-funded Mujaheddin destroyed the ancient Buddha statues of Afghanistan, these CIA funded Barbarians thought they destroyed Palmyra, but thanks to Russia’s ingenuity and Syria’s resolve, Palmyra will yet again rise like a Phoenix.

Video Transcript:


Ancient Palmyra, close and three-dimensional. A large-scale project was completed by a group of specialists in St. Petersburg. Pearl of the Middle East, torn by ISIS vandals and fanatics for several years, is now controlled by the government forces. And now scientists from all over the world again began to develop reconstruction plans for the ancient city. A new 3D model of Palmyra will be extremely helpful, of course. Suleima Zarif met with the developers.


The scientists didn’t sleep this night, they made the finishing touches before the presentation. A hard, almost round-the-clock work at the Institute for the History of Material Culture lasted a year. And here is the result: the world’s first detailed 3D model of Palmyra.

Natalia Solovieva, deputy director of the Institute:

“They work with individual things and objects, but such a huge territory represents huge scientific value. Restorers and archaeologists can work with it, it’s very helpful for monument protection bodies.”


The 3D model covers a huge territory of 13 square kilometers, it’s like 8 Luzhniki complexes. At the same time, you can see the smallest details from two centimeters, zoom in, rotate every stone lying on the ground. And after the invasion of terrorists, Palmyra actually turned into a pile of stones.

Yegor Blokhin, junior researcher:

“The valley of the funerary towers. Unfortunately, all tall buildings there are destroyed. There were two and even three-storied buildings. They were a sort of mausoleums with coffins, with fine frescoes, painted walls, bas-reliefs.”


Russian scientists spent 3 days in Palmyra last fall. They carried out a detailed aerial survey. They took a total of 20,000 photos, which became the basis of the model. It’s a virtual tour of Palmyra.

Here is the main Temple of Bel which was blown up and can’t be restored. And the Temple of Baalshamin is also destroyed, but disintegrated into large blocks that are possible to assemble. In a special computer program, to begin with.

Now it’s dangerous for scientists to work on the territory of Palmyra. Using the model, scientists can start restoration without leaving their offices. And when Syria is completely liberated from the militants, they can come and implement their projects.

Various nations and religions peacefully coexisted in ancient Palmyra: Greeks, Arabs, and Arameans, which was emphasized in architecture. There are numerous temples erected in honor of the gods of all cultures known at that time. The barbarians destroyed them, but they can’t destroy the memory partly thanks to such projects as the 3D model.

Suleima Zarif, Evgeny Kostin, Alexander Burushkov and Galina Orlova for Vesti from St. Petersburg.c


Fireworks Display Above the Gas Fields of Palmyra in Honour of Russia Day


November 28, 2019 10:34

In a strategic move this week, the state Hermitage Museum announced that Russia has partnered with Syria to restore 20 cultural artifacts from the National Museum of Palmyra that ISIS attempted to destroy over the last four years. A coalition will also look at rebuilding the historic sites of Palmyra damaged or destroyed by ISIS forces.

A group consisting of UNESCO, Russian experts, the Aga Khan Foundation and conservators from the National Museum of Oman will work with the Hermitage on the restoration. Hundreds of cultural sites in Syria have been damaged by ISIS, noted a 2014 U.N. report, among the many devastating tolls in war-torn Syria.

In 2015, ISIS blew up the Arch of Triumph, one of the jewels in the architectural crown of Roman-era buildings in Palmyra./ Wikipedia
The Trump administration formally withdrew the U.S. from UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural and scientific organization, in 2019.

The Hermitage statement reads, in part:

On 25 November 2019, in the Syrian Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums, agreements were signed on collaboration between the Directorate-General and the Hermitage and the Directorate-General and the Saint Petersburg-based Institute of Material Culture. Both agreements are a tangible step in the significant development of museum and research relations between Russia and Syria.

In their specifics, these agreements are aimed at producing a master plan for the regeneration of the Palmyra Museum as a basis for the creation of an innovative 21st-century museum-preserve on the historical territory of the site and they envisage:

  • the creation of a 3D geo-information system of the Palmyra archaeological site for use in the museum and tourist centre of Palmyra (the system has been created and passed on to the Directorate-General for Antiquities and UNESCO)
  • the creation of a set of architectural reconstructions of the original appearance of Palmyra’s architectural monuments (created by Maxim Atayants’s studio and passed on to the Directorate-General for Antiquities and UNESCO)
  • providing working visits to the Hermitage for Syrian specialists for the exchange of experience in the restoration of Palmyran artefacts, the preparation of exhibitions and publications devoted to Palmyra, and discussion of the future concept for the Palmyra museum
  • working visits by Syrian archaeologists to Hermitage and IMC expeditions in the field with the aim of preparing for the restoration of the Palmyra Museum.

In the longer term, the development of this agreement envisages:

  • joint work by the Hermitage and the National Museum of Oman to restore 20 Syrian artefacts, mainly from Palmyra, as a step towards preparing the display of the Palmyra Museum
  • stimulation of an international campaign for the regeneration of Palmyra
  • the creation and international discussion of a project for an innovative Museum and Museum-Preserve at Palmyra
  • the formation of an international initiative expert group under the direction of UNESCO and the Syrian Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums with the participation of the Hermitage and the Aga Khan Foundation
  • expert support from the Hermitage for projects to develop Palmyra-Tadmur, the Citadel of Damascus and the historical buildings of Aleppo.

On the same day, the exhibition “Two Palmyras” was formally opened at the National Museum in Damascus in the presence of Russian Ambassador Alexander Yefimov. Mikhail Piotrovsky gave a lecture on “The Greater Hermitage in the Northern Palmyra. The 21st Century”.

An official meeting between the Russian delegation and the Syrian Minister of Culture, Mohammad al-Ahmad, was devoted to the development of the agreement. The delegation also participated in the opening of the Days of Syrian Culture in Damascus.


mauro gambini / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Russian and Syrian state museums have signed two agreements to begin restoring the ancient city of Palmyra after it was heavily damaged by the Islamic State, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has said.

Aided by Russian airstrikes, the Syrian army captured Palmyra from the Islamic State twice in March 2016 and March 2017. The terrorist group had destroyed several centuries-old monuments in Palmyra, including the facade of its Roman Theater, the Temple of Bel, the Tetrapylon and the Monumental Arch, during its occupation of the site.

“We are preparing for the day after tomorrow, it’s not yet possible to do anything tomorrow,” Piotrovsky was quoted as saying about the project’s timeline at a signing ceremony in Damascus.

The agreements’ long-term goals entail restoring 20 Syrian antiquities primarily from Palmyra and launching an international campaign to restore the ancient city, the art news website reported Wednesday.

One was signed between the Hermitage and Syria’s authority for museums and antiquities, and the other between Syria’s museums authority and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ history of material culture institute.

Piotrovsky had said in August that it would take around two years to restore the National Museum of Palmyra. He vowed that Russia would help restore the Palmyra museum but not the damaged ancient monuments.

In 2017, Piotrovsky presented a 3D model detailing a 20,000-square-meter area of Palmyra to Syria to help restore the ancient city. Russian experts created the 3D model in about a year using photographs taken on the ground after Palmyra’s initial liberation.

Russia organized an international press tour of Palmyra in April 2016, which included a concert performance featuring Sergei Roldugin, a close friend and confidante of President Vladimir Putin.

This year, two Russian tour operators began offering travel packages to Syrian cities including Palmyra, though they noted that demand is not high.

Islamic State is a terrorist organization banned in Russia.s

Company Name: Association Stone Industry of Russia “Center Stone
Business Type: Natural Stone Country/Region: Russian Federation
Company Name:Association Stone Industry of Russia “Center Stone”
Business Type:Natural Stone
Country/Region:Russian FederationRussian Federation
Addr:30,Kuibyshev st.,1310,Ekaterinburg,Russisa,620144
On 19 July, Russian Prime minister, Dmitri Medvedev said he was working with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to find consensus for a strategy to persuade the Syrian government to abandon violence and begin a constructive dialogue with protesters.


Entrance Of The Ancient Temple Of Bel In Palmyra

The Russian government recently announced that it will partner with the Syrian government in reconstructing the ancient temple to the pagan god Ba’al in Palmyra. If successful, the project will necessarily mark the third incarnation of the Roman Victory Arch of Palmyra which an ancient Jewish source states must fall and be rebuilt three times before the arrival of the Messiah.

The site, once a vital point on the Silk Road caravan route, contains archaeological remains dating back to the neolithic period. As such, it hosted many monumental projects including the Temple of Bel (or Ba’al). The temple was built on the site of a prior pagan templedating back to the third millennium BCE. The most recent of the temples were dedicated in 32 CE. Converted into a Christian church during the Byzantine Era, parts of the structure were modified into a mosque by Muslims in 1132. It remained in use as a mosque until the 1920s. Its ruins were considered among the best-preserved at Palmyra, serving as a major tourist attraction. Before the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, Palmyra was a popular tourist attraction, drawing 105,000 visitors a year. The temple and much of the site was destroyed by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2015.

Mentioned more than 90 times in the Bible, most notably when Elijah defeated the priests of Ba’al, also known as Moloch, in a contest to bring down fire from heaven to burn a sacrifice, Ba’al became the archetypical form of idol worship. Pantheistic, his adherents worshipped Mother Naturewhile denying the existence of a creator. Followers of Ba’al engaged in bisexual orgiesand sacrificed human infants, burning them alive. Anthropologists conjecture that the child sacrifice was to cull the population after the inevitable outcome of wanton sexuality.

Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, announced last week that his institution and the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences signed agreements in Damascus with Syria’s Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) will begin restoring the ancient site.

The Hermitage posted a statement on its website ten days ago saying, “Both agreements are a tangible step in the significant development of museum and research ties between Russia and Syria.

The project will also be under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)UNESCO was involved in previous Palmyra projects that focused on idolatry. In November 2017, UNESCO teamed with the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) in the reconstruction of a statue of the pagan goddess Athena. The statue was presented at an exhibit “The Spirit in the Stone,” at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York City. The exhibit described Athena as “synonymous with reason, refuge and the rule of law, all of the same values on which that historic institution was built,but the spear lying at the statue’s feet belied her more common association as the goddess of war. Some scholars believe the Greek goddess was based on the Mesopotamian goddess al-Lat.

In 2016,  the IDA used 3-D printing technology to reproduce a 20-foot  full-scale replica of the Arch of Palmyra, a Roman victory arch that stood in front of the temple for 1,800 years. The first modern reappearance of the Arch of Palmyra was in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2016, when it was erected for UNESCO World Heritage Week. The unveiling coincided with the beginning of a 13-day period known in the occult as “the Blood Sacrifice to the Beast,” the most important holiday for those who worship the god Ba’al, celebrated with child sacrifice and bisexual orgies. The arch was unveiled on April 19th, the holiday of Beltane, the culmination of the 13-day period.

Also known as May Day, Beltane is an Anglicized reference to the god “Ba’al.”  An annual Beltane Fire Festival is held in Edinburgh and in other parts around the globe as part of ancient Gaelic culture. In an unfortunate misunderstanding of the festival’s roots, they are frequently billed as family events, with children being given special discounts.

In Jewish tradition, the Arch of Palmyra may be alluded to as a harbinger of the Messianic era.  An arch that is repeatedly built up and destroyed is described in the Talmud(Tractate Sanhedrin 78a).

The disciples of Rabbi Yossi the son of Kisma questioned him, asking when the son of David (the Messiah) will appear. And he answered: I am afraid you will request me a sign as well. And they assured him that they would not. He then said to them: When this gate will fall, be rebuilt and fall again, be rebuilt again and fall again. And before it will be rebuilt for the third time the Messiah will appear.

Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, a preeminent medieval rabbi known by the acronym Rashi, explained this section of the Talmud, stating that the arch described by Rabbi Yossi was “a Roman arch in a Roman city.” The arch in Palmyra was indeed a Roman victory arch built when Palmyra was a Roman city.

If the Russian-UN-Syrian triumvirate succeeds in recreating the Roman Victory Arch in Palmyra, this will mark the third incarnation of the arch; the original being the first, the IDA digital recreation being the second, and the soon-to-be creation being the third. (That is absurd. The IDA arch did not fall.)

The arch also appeared in Washington D.C. during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. It is interesting to note that one of the methods of serving Ba’al was by sacrificing infants and one of the major objections to Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court was his anti-abortion stance.

The recreated Arch of Palmyra has appeared at  several occasions connected with world government gathering

By advocating for reconstructing a temple of Ba’al, the UN is violating its Biblical mandate since the third Noahide law is a prohibition against idolatry.

Palmyra was listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1980, which described the temple as “one of the best-preserved and most important religious edifices of the first century in the Middle East.Palmyrais approximately 370 miles awayfrom two other UNESCO Heritage sites listed as having Muslim significance: Jerusalem and Hebron.


Creating The First Vision Stained Glass Windows For The Palmyra Temple


In all the work they have been privileged to do for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint temples, The Palmyra New York Temple project remains a tender and wonderful experience for both Gayle and Tom Holdman.  This is because it was the first project they did for their own Faith, and also because of the sacred nature of the project, depicting the origins of the church.


Having the task of depicting an experience that was stated to “defy all description” by Joseph Smith himself, was an overwhelming awareness that Tom and Gayle will never forget. The couple made it a matter of sincere prayer. Tom also sought for distinct insight for the temple design.

A distinguished window was needed for the temple, one that would make patrons feel the wonder and awe that Joseph sensed on that lovely morning. After much pondering and reflection, Tom and Gayle used this objective to blend the vision of Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ in many aspects of the temple glasswork.


For example, the edges of crystal leaves were sloped or beveled for each exterior window, refracting the light to symbolize the glorious light beaming through the trees draping the Father and Jesus appearing as if the foliage were on fire. This allows temple patrons to imagine what Joseph might have felt and experience that wonder for themselves. Each of the 108 windows installed in the temple represent the grove and symbolize how each individual may have their own personal witness to the truth taught in the temple, just like Joseph learned truth in the Sacred Grove.

Patrons to the temple can also discover another representation of the First Vision in the skylight above the baptistry. This octagon window makes the viewer feel as if they are gazing up through the trees with a glimpse of the blue sky on the outer edges and a glorious yellow and white center, as if you are seeing the light shining down on you in the font.


Although currently, the Holdmans have designed and created glasswork for dozens of temples around the globe, beginning with such a quintessential and history-compelling temple has shaped their dedication and love of this work from the beginning. Gayle and Tom Holdman’s testimonies grew of the First Vision grew as they worked together on these sacred windows and the knowledge from this event has given them great insight to the origins of their religion.

Tom Holdman - Palmyra Temple Doors.jpg

Tom has expressed how each opportunity they’ve had to create art glass with any precept of the gospel expands their gratitude and knowledge of that principle. He calls the First Vision project, “Intimately personal” and yet “profoundly grand”. Working on those glass art pieces for the Palmyra temple allowed the Holdman’s to feel the Spirit many times bear witness that the First Vision really happened, as well as the ensuing revelations and miracles associated with the Restoration.

Both Gayle and Tom hope that this work will continue to suggest to viewers, thoughts about the eternal impact of the First Vision and how it is eternally meaningful to each of Heavenly Father’s children on earth.

Palmyra Bel temple reconstruction

Today we, Atayants Architects, want to present the results of our Temple of Bel reconstruction.

This remarkable date this year marks a memorable event – the opening in the State Hermitage Museum of an exhibition dedicated to the reconstruction of the UNESCO heritage site of the Bela Temple in Palmyra (Roman Empire, 32 AD), which was completely destroyed in 2015.

The digital reconstruction was done entirely by hand in Blender 3D based on numerous references, drawings, satellite imagery, and photogrammetry of objects captured at the scene of the tragedy in the paramilitary zone, and it took several years to process and put everything together.

This project is powered by the fascinating ability of Blender to handle complex modeling workflows, such as

  • Multiref modeling, provided by tools such as Layers (reconstructed as a QCD system, as part of the Collection Manager addon, and used as an industry-unique flexible reference management system)
  • Stripe modeling workflow, which integrates retopology and organic modeling into a single workflow.

Details are available in the video (Russian only).


Dec 31, 2020 During World War II, Palmyra had been a refueling station for the U.S. Navy, and 6,000 people were stationed there. There had been housing and everything
The 1,800-year-old bust of a bejeweled and richly clothed woman, The Beauty of Palmyra, was damaged during the first offensive on the city by Islamic State fighters in 2015. After Syrian government forces took back the city with Russian military support in March 2016, the bust, alongside other damaged ancient monuments, was taken to Damascus …

New hope that ancient Palmyra will be rebuilt after Isis damage

The ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, which was severely damaged by Isis militants in 2015, appears to be heading toward reconstruction. In November, a memorandum of understanding on rebuilding the city’s Triumphal Arch was signed between Syria’s Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) and Russia’s Stone Industry Association, which is based in Yekaterinburg.

Although the Russian government has been widely criticised for its support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the country’s researchers are one of the few sources of information about Syria’s monuments.

Natalya Solovyova, the deputy director of St Petersburg’s Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Science, who was in Damascus for the signing, said in a statement that the next step would be the completion of a geo-information system called “Palmyra in Time and Space”, meshing all research and footage of the city with a 3D model created by the institute.

Drawing on 55,000 aerial photographs over 20 sq. km, the 1:300 scale 3D-printed model of Palmyra was presented to Syrian officials last August for use in future restoration, and to the international community via an English-language site.

“Using our 3D model and field research materials, we will look in detail at how many original parts of Palmyra’s monuments have survived,” Solovyova says. “All this data can be used in the future when a decision is made to restore these objects of world cultural heritage. This, in turn, will help to create new jobs and provide additional conditions for the return of forced refugees.”

The model is currently on show at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg in the exhibition Two Palmyras: Real and Virtual (until 24 January), one of three displays about the ancient archaeological site, a subject promoted by Mikhail Piotrovsky, the museum’s director.

The exhibition also includes digital models of the Temple of Bel, before its destruction and of its projected restoration executed by architects Maksim Atayants Workshop. The architects also created a scale model of one of the temple’s column capitals.

To coincide with the exhibition opening, the Hermitage organised a virtual conference on 2 December about approaches to saving Palmyra, with speakers including Mechtild Rössler, the director of the Unesco World Heritage Centre, Houmam Saad, who leads the archaeological digs for the DGAM, and Luis Monreal, the general manager of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. During the conference, Piotrovsky stated that Unesco had been asked to set up a “research committee on the restoration, reconstruction and rebirth of Palmyra”.


Apr 13, 2022   י״ב בְּנִיסָן תשפ״ב

After six years of laying in ruin, the Russians have begun reconstructing the Triumphal Arch of Palmyra in Syria that served as a gateway to a major pagan temple to Ba’al. Rebuilding the arch is predicted in the Talmud as preceding the Messiah.


The ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra located about 135 miles north of Damascus were a huge tourist attraction, drawing 105,000 visitors a year until the devastating civil war broke out in Syria in 2011. The temple and much of the site were destroyed by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2015. The Monumental Arch, a centerpiece of the site that was mostly destroyed, was built during the reign of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in about 200 CE. It is estimated that only 30-40% of the stones in the arch remain.

Nazir Awad, director-general of the Syrian Antiquities and Museums Directorate, explained to Al-Ahed News that “meetings have taken place with Russian experts to discuss the work that will begin to restore and resurrect the Arch of Triumph. They are in the process of documenting and studying in order to outline the restoration work.”

“The necessary programs have been put in place to establish working groups concerned with documentation and preparation of documents as part of the restoration work and other teams to handle the rubble,” he added.

Awad points out that “the work did not actually start, but a working paper was drawn up from the Syrian side, with specific tasks prepared for teams, as this type of work follows global standards. The coronavirus is affecting the progress of the restoration work with the Association Stone Industry of Russia, and the Directorate is in contact with UNESCO and other institutions.”

“The Syrian experts have put in place some plans, and there is no precise timetable for the completion of the work, but studies on restoration, rubble, and so on may be ready within six or eight months.”

The executive director of the Palmyra Restoration Fund, Sergei Tiglinov, said that specialists will make a 3D scan of all the elements, translate them into a virtual model, and then put them together in the restored monument.

Restoration work began this week after a memorandum of understanding was reached between the Syrian Ministry of Culture and the Association Stone Industry of Russia. In 2019, the  State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg announced plans to restore the site in conjunction with the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Syria’s Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM). The project will also be under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


The site, once a vital point on the Silk Road caravan route, has artifacts dating back to the Neolithic period. The Temple of Palmyra was dedicated in 32 CE to the worship of Ba’al. The earliest known inhabitants were the Amorites in the early second millennium BCE. As such, it hosted many monumental projects including the Temple of Bel (or Ba’al). The temple was built on the site of a prior pagan temple dating back to the third millennium BCE. The most recent of the temples were dedicated in 32 CE. Converted into a Christian church during the Byzantine Era, parts of the structure were modified into a mosque by Muslims in 1132. It remained in use as a mosque until the 1920s.

The arch stood at the entrance to the temple used to worship Bel, also known as Ba’al. Mentioned more than 90 times in the Bible, most notably when Elijah defeated the priests of Ba’al, also known as Moloch, in a contest to bring down fire from heaven to burn a sacrifice, Ba’al became the archetypical form of idol worship. Pantheistic, his adherents worshipped Mother Nature while denying the existence of a creator. Followers of Ba’al engaged in bisexual orgies and sacrificed human infants, burning them alive. Anthropologists conjecture that the child sacrifice was to cull the population after the inevitable outcome of wanton sexuality.


In Jewish tradition, the Arch of Palmyra may be alluded to as a harbinger of the Messianic era.  An arch that is repeatedly built up and destroyed is described in the Talmud (Tractate Sanhedrin 78a).

The disciples of Rabbi Yossi the son of Kisma questioned him, asking when the son of David (the Messiah) will appear. And he answered: I am afraid you will request me a sign as well. And they assured him that they would not. He then said to them: When this gate will fall, be rebuilt and fall again, be rebuilt again and fall again. And before it will be rebuilt for the third time the Messiah will appear.

Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, a preeminent medieval rabbi known by the acronym Rashi, explained this section of the Talmud, stating that the arch described by Rabbi Yossi was “a Roman arch in a Roman city.” The arch in Palmyra was indeed a Roman victory arch built when Palmyra was a Roman



The Arch of Palmyra stood at the entrance to the temple used to worship Bel, also known as Ba’al. Mentioned more than 90 times in the Bible, most notably when Elijah defeated the priests of Ba’al, also known as Moloch, in a contest to bring down fire from heaven to burn a sacrifice, Ba’al became the archetypical form of idol worship. Pantheistic, his adherents worshipped Mother Nature while denying the existence of a creator.

After six years of laying in ruin, the Russians have begun reconstructing the Triumphal Arch of Palmyra in Syria that served as a gateway to a major pagan temple to Baal. Rebuilding the arch is predicted in the Talmud as preceding the Messiah.

Just last month, Pope Francis was in Ur of the Chaldees, taking a Chrislam victory lap in the birthplace of Abraham, and today we are hearing news that Russia is helping Syria to restore the Arch of Palmyra that served the ancient world as a gateway to the Temple of Baal. This is how close we are to the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church.

“And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.” 2 Kings 21:2,3 (KJB)

Since the signing of the Abraham Accords, the Middle East has become a very different place, so different in fact that we are watching the entire region preparing itself to receive Antichrist. What could be more fitting than having 2 of the key players mentioned in Ezekiel 39 working on rebuilding the Arch of Palmyra, the gateway to the Temple of Baal? Very soon the man of sin will reveal himself, and you and I who are saved will fly on Flight #777.

Is This Preparation For The Arrival Of Antichrist?

ISRAEL 365 NEWS: The ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra located about 135 miles north of Damascus were a huge tourist attraction, drawing 105,000 visitors a year until the devastating civil war broke out in Syria in 2011. The temple and much of the site were destroyed by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2015. The Monumental Arch, a centerpiece of the site that was mostly destroyed, was built during the reign of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in about 200 CE. It is estimated that only 30-40% of the stones in the arch remain.


June 22, 2021

Russia has begun a project to rehabilitate Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra in its latest efforts to gain a foothold in the country’s vital sectors.


Pursuant to three agreements signed with the Syrian government, Russia has announced the start of a project to restore artifacts from the ancient city of Palmyra in the eastern countryside of Homs in central Syria.

The first agreement, founded in November 2019 between the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums, is to restore the Archaeological Museum of Palmyra and its collections.

The second agreement, with the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Material Culture, is to train Syrian staff and exchange information on image-based 3D modeling when assessing the damage caused by the Islamic State (IS). The Association Stone Industry of Russia signed the third agreement in November 2020 to restore the Arch of Triumph in Palmyra.

The outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 prevented the implementation of the agreements.

Syrian media outlets quoted Dmitry Medyantsev, the project manager in Palmyra, as saying on June 13 that Russian experts taking part in the restoration of the ancient city have already completed the first stage of the project, which includes measurements and ground surveys. In the second stage, they will remove the rubble, scan the fragments of destroyed monuments and prepare an inventory. The Russian experts will create an interactive model of the city, which will reveal the missing parts to be re-created, he added.

In this context, Mohamad Hasan al-​Ayid, director of the Palmyra News Network, an opposition-affiliated media outlet in Palmyra, told Al-Monitor, “The Russian interest in Palmyra began when IS was still controlling the city. At the time, Russia supported the regime forces in regaining control of Palmyra. The Russian forces oversaw the demining efforts and removal of explosive remnants of the war in the city. [After IS was expelled in 2016], Russia showed interest in the restoration of the ancient city, part of which IS destroyed.”

“IS destroyed the Temple of Bel, the Temple of Baalshamin and the Arch of Triumph, in addition to several artifacts displayed in the city’s museum. In early [2017], the terrorist group destroyed the Tetrapylon, which the UN labeled a war crime. Meanwhile, regime forces also targeted archaeological sites in the ancient city under the pretext that IS cells were hiding there,” he added.

Ayid continued, “In addition to its cultural importance, Palmyra is located near the phosphate mines and gas fields, making it a priority for Russia. The city has turned into a hub for archaeological excavations. We have no idea about the fate of the artifacts after the regime’s control of the city and the entry of Russian and Iranian militias. We do not know the extent of the destruction or the number of stolen artifacts. Russia has transferred hundreds of artifacts, including the Lion Statue, to Damascus for restoration purposes. More than 60 funerary reliefs and portraits, which IS destroyed, have been under restoration by Syrian experts at the National Museum in Damascus. Yet field visits and surveys are required in large parts of the city so as to assess the damage.”

Nasr al-Yousef, a Syrian-Russian journalist based in Moscow and an expert on Russian affairs, told Al-Monitor, “The most prominent Russian statements on Palmyra were made in 2016 when Russia urged UNESCO to help restore the ancient city. Also, then-Russian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Gennady Gatilov met with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in May 2016 to discuss a plan to dispatch international experts to Palmyra to assess the damage.”

“Moscow put forward a 3-D model of the city, including the [Roman] theater and the Temple of Bel. Natalia Solovyova, deputy director of the Hermitage Museum, says that the model would allow to assess new excavation sites, study the city planning and reconstruction costs without being present in the city,” he added.

Yousef went on to say that “in early August 2020, 12 Russian experts arrived in Damascus with the aim of supervising archaeological excavation works and assessing archaeological sites in Palmyra. Contracts were signed with 35 Syrian experts to carry out excavations. On Sept. 17, 2020, the team found 28 artifacts that were extracted within 48 continuous working hours. Then they were moved to 30-meter-long and 20-meter-wide warehouses built at the Palmyra military air base where the artifacts were hosted until the arrival of cargo aircraft where the artifacts were loaded.”

“With this, Russia seeks to draw the attention of the world to the destruction incurred in Palmyra in order to obtain restoration funds, although it does not have the experience in restoration of antiquities. Moscow also aims to take hold of the city through antiquities and the reconstruction process, to steal the UNESCO funds and open new investments in the city. Previously, most of the missions working in Syria were mainly German and French, in addition to some Japanese, Belgian and US ones. Russia only had one mission operating intermittently in Tell Khazneh in Hasakah. We have not seen any scientific publications by [this Russian] mission,” he added.

Russia seeks to control most of the sectors in Syria that would serve its economic interests in the future. Moscow shows special interest in the city of Palmyra and the city’s monuments, given its touristic importance and the possibility of implementing major projects should the situation become stable in the country. The Russian army built a military base within the ancient city of Palmyra in order to prevent the Iranian militias from seizing the area.

Wael Olwan, a researcher at the Istanbul-based Jusoor Center for Studies, told Al-Monitor, “Russia seeks to take hold of all dossiers that would generate economic gains in Syria, including raw materials, the reconstruction file and tourism, which is mainly centered on the Syrian coastal and archaeological areas. It also seeks to show that the Syrian regime is the one that won the battle, that it is actively seeking to achieve social stability, and that Syria’s tourism and investment projects have begun their recovery. Russia is trying to keep Iran away from the ancient city because the militias stole and smuggled antiquities through Lebanon. Since Russia is in control of the area, it seeks to prevent such operations from taking place so as to avoid any accusations in this regard.”

June 25, 2021

Russia is promoting its archaeological and historical restoration projects in Syria, as it tries to expand its influence in Syria by dominating the Syrian antiquities sector.

This picture shows a view of the Great Colonnade at the Greco-Roman ruins of the ancient city of Apamea, close to the town of Qalaat al-Madiq, after it was taken by government forces, Syria, May 17, 2019.

ALEPPO, Syria — A number of scientists and experts from Russia have created a digital model for the ancient city of Apamea and its churches in a move seemingly aimed at expanding and dominating the antiquities sector in Syria.

Apamea is located in the northwestern countryside of Hama province in central Syria.

On June 15, the Russian TV Zvezda channel published a video that showed how Russian scientists from the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences prepared a digital model of the ancient city of Apamea and its churches. The report quoted Jegor Blochin, a researcher at the institute, as saying that the Russian scientists used remote sensing techniques inside the soil to create the city model.

Apamea was founded in 301 B.C., and was considered one of the most important cities in northern Syria during the Seleucid Empire, according to UNESCO.

During the Syrian opposition’s control of the ancient city, it was heavily damaged as a result of the Syrian government’s bombing and illegal excavations.

On May 9, 2019, the government forces regained control of Apamea and the nearby town of Qalaat al-Madiq in the countryside of Hama province. A few weeks later, the regime accused the opposition of destroying archaeological monuments in Apamea.

A former official in the government-affiliated Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “It seems that the Russian interest in historical sites in Syria comes as part of its policies to expand influence in Syria, which also includes the political, economic and military sectors. The Russian interest in Syrian historical sites started in 2016, and ever since, reports about the Russian restoration of ancient cities have emerged.”

He said that a group of experts from the Russian Institute for the History of Material Culture are active in several Syrian provinces, as they work on studying temples, archaeological sites and ancient churches in PalmyraAleppo and Damascus, among other provinces.

“Historical sites are among the victims of the war in Syria, as several archaeological sites were damaged by the bombing of the Syrian regime forces and Russia or during the battles between the warring parties. Other antiquities were looted by the various parties, including the regime forces and allied militias, the Islamic State and the factions of the Free Syrian Army, as the antiquities trade flourished,” the official noted.

He added, “Russia is seeking to gain a foothold in post-war Syria through its interest in the antiquities sector. It is also working to mend ties with the West away from politics, since the archaeological sector is widely promoted and will be part of the reconstruction process in Syria. Huge funds must be pumped into Syria [for reconstruction], and it seems Russia wants to supervise the [archaeological] sector, along with other vital fields that have contributed to its growing influence in Syria in the past years.”

In December 2020, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an article he wrote on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of UNESCO that the time had come for the international community to take action to restore the world heritage sites in Syria, stressing that Russia wants to facilitate this process.

Meanwhile, Russian media have been increasingly focusing on archaeological sites in Syria in the past months, including ancient cities, museums or churches.

In February 2020, OZY media magazine published an article titled “Russia’s Next Goal in Syria? Its Legacy,” in which it stated that Russia is finding in ancient cultural sites the latest way to gain influence in the Middle East.

On June 8, 2020, the Russian RT channel spoke about the restoration of a church in Aleppo. The channel quoted the deputy director of the Institute of History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Natalia Solovyova, as saying, “We have a final result of our work, which is the creation of a 3D model, as a geographical information system and electronic archive.”

In February 2021, Russian experts completed a 3D model of the Citadel of Damascus and prepared models for Palmyra.

On March 26, the Russian TASS news agency spoke about a project aimed at having a Russian company prepare digital lists of historical sites in Syria. The agency quoted Oleg Gorbunov, head of the Department of Interaction with Educational Institutions of the Geoscan Group, as saying that the company intends to cooperate with archaeology institutes to digitize the heritage and historical sites in Syria, and work will begin during the current year if conditions permit.

According to Gorbunov, objects in the city of Palmyra have already been filmed as part of the project. Experts, meanwhile, expected other films to take place in other locations.

The Foundation for the Restoration of Palmyra announced in April that the restoration of the Arch of Triumph in the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs governorate will begin in 2022.

The Foundation for the Restoration of Palmyra was established by Russia in 2017 to raise funds for the restoration of Palmyra, in cooperation with a number of international museums.

In an interview in 2016 with the German website Deutsche Welle, French archaeologist Annie Sartre-Fauriat, who specializes in the antiquities of Palmyra, has voiced her concern over the Russian role with regard to the antiquities of Palmyra, warning that Russia lacks the expertise to restore antiquities.

On May 2, Russia announced another project led by Russian archaeologists that includes assessing 10 churches in the city of Aleppo dating back to the early Middle Ages, taking pictures and videos of them, and preparing 3D models and calendar charts for the areas in which they are located.



27 September 2021

Protocultural is a series of events to gather scientists, artists and geeks to develop new forms of artistic and technological expressions based on their digital practices.Protocultural is a moving space to prototype a continuation of thousands of years of human history expressed in all existing art forms.Protocultural considers computer coding as a continuation of human writing history. It takes advantage of all intellectual technologies to push forward the borders of emotions, literacy and understanding of life.Protocultural is an attempt to span art, science, and technology with brains, bare hands and the help of some technology.


27 September 2021

One of the most recognizable structures in the ancient city of Palmyra (تدمر) is the remarkable monumental arch (قوس النصر). Also known as the triumphal arch or victory arch, it was constructed during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus, who ruled from 193 to 211. Despite being built more than a half century after Hadrian’s visit to the city, the monument is often erroneously referred to as Hadrian’s arch. It was restored in the 1930s.

The arch is particularly impressive from an architectural standpoint, addressing a problem somewhat unique to Palmyra (تدمر). The layout of this ancient city was unusual for the Roman period, as its main streets did not align with the four cardinal points of the compass. The monumental arch (قوس النصر) was constructed at the point of a thirty-degree turn in the main colonnade between the tetrapylon (التترابيل) and the Temple of Bel (معبد بل‎). To solve this problem, the arch incorporated two façades angled apart from one another. Only one of the original arched façades survive, but the overall design is still easy to appreciate. The arch is richly decorated with stone carvings, one of the most lavishly adorned monuments in the city.


Ever since Netanyahu was toppled through dubious means, Russia has downgraded the importance of their relationship wit the Jewish State.


The latest flare up is connected to Israel’s attack on Palmyra – deep in Syria. Although Syria’s air defense system would have been able to ward of Israel’s attack, they were turned off as the IAF used civilian airliners nearby for cover.

We already know that Russia is angry at Israel’s actions and despite Bennett’s upcoming meeting with Putin, there is no way to sway Putin’s mind on his Middle East strategy. Essentially you play along nicely or prepare to lose.

With an inexperienced government and friends turning to enemies, the Biden-Lapid coalition is beginning to his a dead end when it comes to Iran. To make matters worse, Ra’am the pro-Islamist party in the government keeps threatening to topple the Prime Minister.


Russia begins restoration of Arc of Triumph in Syria’s Palmyra

Russia has begun the restoration of the Arch of Triumph, one of the historical landmarks in Palmyra, in cooperation with UNESCO.
The Arc of Triumph in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, circa 1880.
ALEPPO, Syria — Russia continues to promote its restoration of historical sites in Syria. Russia’s ambassador to Syria, Alexander Yefimov, announced his country’s intention to restore the ancient Arch of Triumph that was destroyed by the Islamic State (IS) in the Syrian city of Palmyra, according to a three-dimensional digital model.

In an interview with the Russian state agency TASS Nov. 4, the ambassador said, “The first serious steps have already been taken. For example, in August 2020, Syria was given a three-dimensional model of the ancient city of Palmyra prepared by Russian specialists, and the restoration will be based on that model.”

Yefimov said that this work is being carried out in close coordination with UNESCO and the Department of Antiquities and Museums in Syria.

“We can’t say that there are insurmountable difficulties, but the process itself is tough and requires delicate preparation and high-quality execution throughout all its stages. Objectively speaking, it will take a lot of time,” he explained.

In August 2020, Russia had presented a three-dimensional model of the Palmyra antiquities. The model, which Russian media described as an accomplishment and gift, depicts images of the historical city of Palmyra, including the theater and temple that IS destroyed in 2015.

Russia wants to draw the world’s attention to the destruction of Palmyra, with the aim of bringing in financing for the restoration, according to statements by Russian officials. It has already signed agreements with the Syrian regime to establish its guardianship over the ruins of Palmyra. The director of the Russian State Hermitage Museum, Mikhail Piotrovsky, had signed in November 2019 a memorandum of understanding with the Syrian Museums and Antiquities Authority to restore some historical facilities and artifacts in Palmyra, according to Sputnik.

Natalia Solovyova, deputy director of the Hermitage Museum, said that the model “provides an opportunity to assess new excavation locations and study the area’s planning and reconstruction costs without going to the city itself.” Solovyova’s statement at the time was considered a message to European missions that had refused to visit the region for security reasons. In April 2016, Piotrovsky said that he had handed Vladimir Putin proposals for the reconstruction of Palmyra, and confirmed that he had proposed to UNESCO that Russia join the international campaign to restore the historic city.

In addition, Russian archaeologists plan to restore the Church of St. Helena in Aleppo, and according to the Russian TASS agency, archaeologists at the Petersburg-based Russian Institute of History of Material Culture conducted a complete topography of the Church of St. Helena, one of the oldest Christian churches in the city of Aleppo dating back to the fifth century. The agency noted that Russian scientists will rely on photographs, videos and scientific descriptions of the church to prepare a three-dimensional model that would help in future restoration projects.

In November 2015, IS blew up and destroyed the archaeological Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, when it was controlling the area. The organization also destroyed the temples of Baal Shamin and parts of the Temple of Bel, and the famous Lion of Athena statue at the entrance to the Palmyra City Museum, which dates back to the second half of the first century B.C. and is on the UNESCO list of archaeological sites.

Ayman Nabo, director of the opposition’s Idleb Antiquities Center, told Al-Monitor, “Russian allegations about the restoration of antiquities and historical sites in Syria are propaganda-based and exaggerated to a large extent, as Russia is seeking the most recognition and support from UNESCO, in addition to working on investing in the antiquities’ sector on both the economic and political levels.”

He said, “Russia is lying and has no experience in restoring antiquities. It merely wants to increase its influence and infiltration in Syria and prepare for a long stay through the gateway to antiquities and reconstruction. It wants to steal UNESCO funds through this outlet, and it is also working to open new investments in the city.”

Nabo added, “Most of the missions that were operating in Syria before the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011 were German and French missions, and some Japanese, Belgian and American missions. Russia only had one mission that was working intermittently at the site of Tal Khazneh in Hasakah governorate in northeastern Syria.”

In mid-July, UNESCO published the recommendations of the technical meeting on restoring the antiquities of Palmyra, which brought together 34 international experts from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Russia, the United Kingdom and the Assad government. Throughout the five years of the regime and Russia’s control, Palmyra city that was in their grip became propaganda material for Moscow, which has used its global fame to promote its victory over IS. The remaining archaeological sites during the past years have become a shrine for Russian forces and their mercenaries, who appear from time to time in photos taken on the city’s stones.

Mohammad al-Sukari, researcher in Syrian affairs, told Al-Monitor, “The restoration of the antiquities sector is part of Russia’s policy in Syria, and this appeared more clearly after the 16th Astana Conference, which touched upon the policy of early recovery. Undoubtedly, in addition to its attempt to focus on reconstruction and refugees, Russia is trying to entrench the safe Syria narrative by focusing on the vital tourism sector, especially in a city like Palmyra, which has a global standing.”

He noted, “These data indicate that Moscow has almost completely monopolized the Syrian file and is seriously searching for a way to revive the Syrian regime through the tourism sector. At the same time, it hopes that this will be an entry point for some countries to reconsider their general policy, especially regarding isolating the Syrian regime internationally and open up to this sector. Thus, the Russian military and political efforts can be translated into a quest to end the isolation of the Syrian regime and perpetuate Russia’s control over the Syrian issue. This might push other parties such as Turkey, Iran and the United States to deal with the issue based on Moscow’s approach.”


Dec 21, 2021 Russian and Syrian regime soldiers watched as a famed Russian harpist played on the ruins of Palmyra on Monday to inaugurate the planned restoration of the Arch of Triumph, the city’s iconic landmark. The Russian-led project to restore the arch will begin in March and is expected to last two years, Russian outlet TVZvezda reported.
The Afqa Spring in Palmyra, first structure restored by the joint work of the Syrian and Russian governments together with UNESCO. Photo: RUPTLY.

The Afqa Spring in Palmyra, first structure restored by the joint work of the Syrian and Russian governments together with UNESCO. Photo: RUPTLY.

Restoration work of the archaeological site in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, is on going within the framework of a collaboration between Syria and Russia, with the support of UNESCO. The project started in October last year after UNESCO approved the 3-D models of the structures and monuments of the UNESCO World Heritage site that were prepared by experts from the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Palmyra, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, located in the Syrian province of Homs, was taken over by the Islamic State in 2015, which then carried out massacres, and damaged, demolished, or vandalized most of the structures of the millennia-old city. The terrorists also ransacked the famous Museum of Palmyra and looted a number of invaluable artifacts, and tortured and killed the director of the museum, 82-year-old historian Khaled Assad in August 2015. The Syrian government was able to regain control of the city in 2017, with military assistance from Russia and Iran. Since then, plans for the restoration of the city started. The project took off last year under the supervision of the Directorate of Antiquities and Museums of Syria, with financing by the government of Syria and by Russia through its Association for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Heritage.

The Afqa Spring site has been the first structure to be successfully restored, and was inaugurated on February 24. The spring originates from nine underground wells, and then flows through a creek inside a cave that was engraved in the hillside more than 6,000 years ago. The spring and the underground streams in the region are considered to be the lifeline of Palmyra, and could be a principal reason for the establishment of the city in the middle of the desert. A part of the cave was blown up by Islamic State terrorists in 2015, thus blocking the flow of the stream.

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According to the Director of Antiquities of Homs province, Hossam Hamish, “the restoration work focused on removing rubble and debris from the channel of the stream, in addition to restoring the cave and its exit and the flow of the stream.”

Muhammad Nazir Awad, director general of Antiquities and Museums of Syria who was present at the inauguration event, added that the work also included “the excavation of the entire main staircase leading to the stream, and rebuilding the wall above the cave using brocaded stones similar to the ancient ones. Debris was also removed to reveal the surrounding archaeological layers and votive altars to the god Yahboul.”

“This rehabilitation work—although it may seem small—is of great importance as it symbolizes the return of life to Palmyra,” remarked Director General Awad. Syrian authorities are making efforts to facilitate the return of the people displaced from the city due to the ISIS rule of terror.

The restoration of the archeological structures of Palmyra is being carried out by a joint Syrian-Russian team consisting of specialists from Syria and members of the Voluntary Expeditionary Archaeological Corps of Russia. “This team will work on the restoration of all the monuments of Palmyra that were sabotaged by the terrorists,” informed Houman Saeed, joint director of Antiquities and Museums of Syria. “The project includes the Roman Theater, the Temple of Bol, the Complex of the Gods, the Triple Arches, the Grand Colonnade, and other structures.”

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Timur Karmov, the head of the Russian team, explained the nature of his association’s work. “Our principle is the preservation of cultural and historical heritage. We decided to complete the restoration of this spring first because of its historical as well as economic importance to the city of Palmyra. As this millennia-old stream flows again, farmers will be motivated to return to their fields and orchards in the oasis region,” thus contributing to the Syrian government’s program of return of refugees.

Karmov clarified that the reconstruction works in Palmyra are part of an agreement between Syria and Russia to restore the ancient sites damaged or vandalized by terrorist groups that were financed by the US and its allies. Russian experts will assess the condition of all the 758 archaeological monuments and sites in Syria, and especially those that are on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and assist in the rehabilitation of all the historical structures that were sabotaged.

Several terrorist groups, mostly offshoots of the Islamic State, armed and funded by the US, Turkey, Israel, and some European countries, are still active in many parts of Syria and continue to remain a threat to the safety and security of both the Syrian people and the cultural heritage of the nation.


Mar 11, 2022  NATO condemned the Russian airstrikes and urged Russia to stop supporting the Syrian president.

The Syrian civil war started back in 2011. By 2014, a significant portion of Syria was claimed by the terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS) while smaller Islamist groups like al-Nusra operated under the umbrella of the US-supported Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Although the United States carried out airstrikes and armed the FSA, the conflict continued.

Zelensky: Russia is capable of chemical attacks, not Ukraine

So, in July 2015, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a formal request to Russia, asking for them to send military aid to combat terrorism.

Prior to the request, Russia’s help was limited to supplying the Syrian army with arms and military equipment.

However, afterwards, Russia deployed special operations forces and military advisors, while supporting the Syrian government’s fight with airstrikes.

In late December 2017, the Russian government announced that its troops would be deployed to Syria permanently.

By then, the Russian intervention had helped the Syrian government take back several cities including Aleppo, and carried out tens of thousands of combat missions and strikes.

The intervention was beneficial for the Russian army, too, as it helped around 48,000 of their military personnel to gain real-life combat experience.

International organisations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have reported that Russia was committing war crimes in Syria and deliberately targeting civilians.

Russian authorities have dismissed these claims.

A protest sign for Assad and Vladimir Putin
The military collaboration between the Russian and Syrian governments have received a lot of criticism. (Image: Getty Images)

How did the rest of the world react to Russia’s intervention?

The reactions to the Russian intervention in Syria were mixed.

As expected, countries with close diplomatic and economic relations with Russia, including ChinaBelarus, Egypt, Armenia and Iraq, supported the move.

However, those who had closer ties with the US government, criticised the intervention, saying Russia was helping the Syrian government commit war crimes and kill innocent civilians.

NATO condemned the Russian airstrikes and urged Russia to stop supporting the Syrian president.

The US-led anti-IS coalition that included the UKTurkey and others, highlighted that the airstrikes were damaging and would inspire more extremism.

The US punished Russia’s actions by imposing economic sanctions.​


Restoration works for ancient Arch de Triumph in Palmyra to begin

By   / 

Restoration works of the Arch of Triumph of the Ancient City of Palmyra, which was destroyed by the terrorist organization ISIS in 2015, begins. The project will be carried out by a working team of Russian and Syrian archaeologists and other experts.

It was announced by Natalia Solovieva, head of the Center for Rescue Archeology of the International Institute of History and Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, after signing a cooperation agreement with the Department of Antiquities and Museums in Syria.

The team of archaeologists and other experts from the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IIMK RAS) will start the fieldwork in April.

In August 2020, Russia had presented a three-dimensional model of the Palmyra antiquities. The model, which Russian media described as an accomplishment and gift, depicts images of the historical city of Palmyra, including the theater and temple that IS destroyed in 2015.

ancient Arch de Triumph in Palmyra
Ancient Arch de Triumph in Palmyra.

Natalia Solovieva, head of the Center for Rescue Archeology of the International Institute of History and Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences said that the model “provides an opportunity to assess new excavation locations and study the area’s planning and reconstruction costs without going to the city itself.”

In the news in the Tass news agency, it was stated that the project, which will include Syrian experts too, will start in March of next year and the project will last for 3 years.

The restoration project of the Arch of Triumph of the Ancient City of Palmyra, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is being carried out under the auspices of the Russian Geographical Society, with the participation of the Russian Ministry of Defense.


Putin in Palmyra: How Russia won the “truth” battle in Syria and learned lessons for Ukraine

April 20, 2022

The Arab proverb, “He who speaks the truth must not pitch his tent near ours,” might have been written for Putin. With skills honed through decades of working for the KGB, including time spent as a liaison officer to the Stasi in East Berlin, President Putin is a true aficionado of the art of disinformation. He knows how important it is to seize the narrative from the outset and never to deviate from the script. Syria provided him the perfect training ground for Ukraine. RT journalists were allowed free rein inside the country to report the Russian government’s version of events, while Western journalists were denied visas. Russian media repeatedly discredited the work of the White Helmets, whose first-hand film footage of Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes on schools, hospitals, and markets across the country flatly contradicted Russian propaganda. The BBC extensively researched and exposed this tactic in their Intrigue: Mayday podcast series.

To counter Western outrage in Ukraine, Putin uses tactics familiar from Syria, claiming Russian attacks were faked or that Ukrainians themselves conducted them as part of an anti-Russian smear campaign. In Syria Russia claimed to conciliate, while simultaneously denying humanitarian aid to rebel-held areas under siege, in the same way that humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians are routinely thwarted in Ukraine. Residents under siege in Syria were given the choice — starve or surrender. When they eventually surrendered, the Russians brokered “reconciliation deals,” which were then reneged on. Russia used “de-escalation zones” as temporary strategic measures, allowing it to buy time to refocus on military efforts in other areas, exactly as it is doing in Ukraine now. In Syria it then broke the de-escalation agreements, blaming the “terrorists” for violations. To this day, the false narrative persists in many Western quarters that the Syrian war was all about fighting “terrorists” like ISIS. But research has established that more than three-quarters of the deaths in the Syrian war were perpetrated, not by ISIS terrorists and other extremists, but by the Assad regime and its supporters — Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah. ISIS and its ilk killed just 6%. Rarely did Bashar al-Assad and his Russian bosses target ISIS. Instead they went after the moderate opposition — as did ISIS — well aware that they were the real threat. Of the half million Syrians killed, the overwhelming majority were innocent civilians, women and children, not “terrorists.”

As reports mount of chemical weapon use by Russian forces in Ukraine, expect more lessons learned in Syria. Russian media claimed the numerous horrific photos of dead gassed Syrians, uploaded by witnesses at the scene, were fakes, using “actors.” When teams from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) tried to reach sites to collect evidence, they were barred for “security reasons” and told that soldiers were making the area “safe.”

Author's photo
Assad and Putin watch over a checkpoint in Syria, April 2018. Photo courtesy of the author.

While Russian-sponsored trolls and bots were active on social media in support of Syria’s President Assad, just as they are today in support of Putin’s actions in Ukraine, Assad apologists, including respectable British academics and Members of Parliament, were seduced into parroting these Russian memes, causing untold damage to public perceptions of the Syrian war. The Times newspaper conducted its own investigation into such people. In April 2018 I myself travelled with a delegation dubbed “the Crazy Club” to undermine its message from within. Invited to visit and tour Syria by the Syriac Orthodox Church, we were treated like royalty, and it was easy to see how Christians throughout the 11-year war chose to align themselves with Assad to ensure their own survival. The same thing is happening today with the Russian Orthodox Church, where Patriarch Kirill in Moscow is standing by Putin, giving the Ukraine invasion his blessing and branding it “a Holy War.” By contrast, a multi-faith mission of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists led by Rowan Williams, former archbishop of Canterbury, has travelled, at some risk to themselves, to Ukraine to meet refugees, hoping to persuade President Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church of the error of their ways. Williams is even supporting calls for the Russian Orthodox Church to be excluded from the World Council of Churches.

If only a similar high-level multi-faith group had spoken out years ago against the way both President Assad and President Putin have used their relationships with the Orthodox Church to project themselves as guardians of the minorities, the war might have taken a different course and much bloodshed might have been avoided.

Instead, tragically, despite initially appearing to support anti-Assad protesters, Western governments, weary of Middle Eastern conflicts, and with no appetite for involvement, kept their distance, leaving a vacuum that first ISIS in 2013 and then Russia in 2015 stepped in to fill. Their inaction was a gift to Russia, emboldening Putin to pursue his goals in Ukraine.

Putin understood from the outset how to ensure Russia benefitted from the conflict. He enlarged the Russian naval base at Tartous and developed an air base at Hemeimeem near Latakia, extending the Russian state’s lease to operate them by 49 years. A Russian an import-export village was established in Latakia port after 2015 and Russia’s military hardware was showcased. Putin boasted of testing over 320 weapons systems in Syria, while 85% of Russian army commanders gained combat experience in Syria. The cruelest and most efficient of them, Gen. Alexander Dvornikov, has now been appointed to take charge of operations in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

Neither nation-building nor reconstruction were ever on the Russian agenda in Syria. On the contrary, the Kremlin was content to have a client state that was just stable enough to safeguard Russia’s interests, but not so strong that it no longer needed Moscow’s protection. The same is likely to be true in Ukraine, with Russia spending just enough money in areas it considers strategic, but avoiding large-scale investment that would bog it down, as happened in Afghanistan. Unlike Western governments that require clean endings and to bring their troops home, Russia has shown in Syria that it is comfortable with protracted low-level conflict, often using mercenaries as cannon fodder. In Ukraine battle-hardened Syrian soldiers are said to be recruited at 25 times their Syrian salary to fight for Russia. The Russian TV network Zvezda News, owned by the Russian Ministry of Defense, posted a recent video showing Brig. Gen. Suhail al-Hassan, “The Tiger,” commander of the Russian-backed elite 25th Special Mission Forces Division, involved in air landing operation drills in northern Syria. The Russians are clearly in charge, while the Syrian soldiers are interviewed afterwards, raving about the experience and praising their Russian trainers. Russian media likewise show upbeat interviews with Syrian soldiers purportedly queuing up to fight for Russia in Ukraine, while Western media report coercion among Syrian recruits, who acknowledge that 90% of them die.

Today Syria is a puppet state, with Russia controlling security and defense, while Iran has taken charge of the religious and cultural files. An Aleppo businessman summed up the situation well, describing Bashar as “a man with two false legs, one Russian, one Iranian, hopping from one leg to another as the ground he is standing on is very hot.”

As for the Russian propaganda climax, that came in Palmyra on May 5, 2016. Knowing the world was fascinated by the fate of Syria’s most iconic ancient site, a magical trading city in a desert oasis first seized by ISIS in 2015, Putin flew in a Russian orchestra from Moscow, led by his favorite conductor, to stage a victory concert in the Roman theater after Russian forces helped recapture it from ISIS. To crown it all, with the eyes of the world watching, Putin popped up by videolink on the Palmyra stage to project himself as “the Savior of Syria,” the only international leader truly fighting terrorism. Pocketing massive credit, it was the moment he moved from the Palmyra stage to the world stage, his dream come true, a global player at last.

Author's photo
Assad and Putin merchandise on sale in Aleppo, April 2018. Photo courtesy of the author.

Soviet ties to Syria go back to the 1970s when the USSR was Syria’s main economic partner and one of its strongest political and military allies. Hafez al-Assad’s long-term vice-president from 1984-2005, Abdel Halim Khaddam, said in an interview from exile in Paris: “You have to understand that, at some point, practically half the Syrian population worked for the Secret Police. Remember that we were formed by the Soviets. That’s why they were so powerful. The intelligence services soon became the main factor in maintaining the regime. The model was the KGB or Stasi. They were everywhere. Thousands of Syrians went to Russia to train and study, learnt Russian, and married Russians.”

Putin has learned much from his Syria playlist, tactics perfected over the years in which he had a free hand in the country. After the fighting in Ukraine is over, with many cities reduced to empty shelled buildings, expect the same tactics employed in Syria, where the regime confiscated all property from people it deemed “terrorists,” using new laws on land it had taken to prop up regime agendas and create facts on the ground, a sly way of gaining revenue while avoiding sanctions.

Today, ironically, I can no longer watch RT on Freeview, Sky, or other Western media channels because, just days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it was taken off the air across Europe and the U.K., deemed “unfit to hold a license.” If only such a concerted Western consensus had been garnered against Russian disinformation in Syria, providing a challenge to the Russian and Syrian regime’s narrative that it was always “fighting the terrorists,” the Syrian war might, in my view, have ended by now, instead of dragging on into its twelfth year. May the Ukraine war at least not share that fate.

Photo by VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP via Getty Images

By TOI staff 8 May 2022, 11:01 pm. Russian troops in the Syrian district of Daraa al-Balad in Syria’s southern province of Daraa, on September 1, 2021. (Sam HARIRI / AFP) Russia has begun the …

Oct 17, 2022

  &quot;Many programs are being implemented through the Palmyra Development Board to uplift the more than 12,000 people involved in the Palmyra industry in the North&quot;

The opening of the new building constructed by the Palmyra Development Board at the premises of the Palmyra Research Institute in Jaffna was done recently (October 13) with the participation of the Minister of Fisheries Douglas Devananda and the Minister of State for Plantation Industries Mr. Lohan Rathwatte under the chairmanship of the Minister of Plantations and Industries Dr. Ramesh Pathirana.

Speaking there, Minister Ramesh Pathirana stated that the Palmyra Development Board and the Palmyra Research Institute are jointly implementing many programs to elevate the Palmyra industry, which has been a traditional industry in the Northern Province, to a higher commercial level. He also said that the necessary studies are being carried out to focus on many different Palmyra-related products as well as the Palmyra-related alcohol industry. In addition to that, the minister also mentioned the need to start an education scholarship program through the Palmyra development board for the economic benefits of promoting the Palmyra industry for the children of more than 12000 people engaged in the industry. Finally, the Minister of Plantation and Industries also stated:

“We are fraternal people living in one country. There is no difference between North and South. Therefore, as the government, we are bound to do everything for the betterment of the lives of the people of the North. We are doing all the work for that.”
Officials of the Ministry of Plantation Industry, Jaffna District Secretary and other officials, Palmyra Development Board, Palmyra Research Institute and other dignitaries and dignitaries attended the event.




“He rebuilt the shrines that his father Chizkiyahu had destroyed; he erected altars for Baal and made a sacred post, as King Achav of Yisrael had done. He bowed down to all the host of heaven and worshiped them” Kings 21:3 (The Israel BibleTM)

PALMYRA, SYRIA – OCTOBER 14: Ancient ruins of the Palmyra city at present destroyed in the Syrian war. View on the Arch in Palmyra in October 14, 2006 – Image: Shutterstock

The Russian and Syrian governments announced that they are moving on to the next stage in reconstructing the ancient temple of the pagan god Ba’al in Palmyra. If successful, the project will necessarily mark the third incarnation of the Roman Victory Arch of Palmyra which an ancient Jewish source states must fall and be rebuilt three times before the arrival of the Messiah. (emphasis added)

On Wednesday, the Syrian Trust for Development, Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums and the Institute for the History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences signed an agreement to start the second phase of the project for restoring  the Arch of Triumph that stood outside of an ancient pagan Temple in Palmyra, Syria.

“The tripartite joint agreement signed Wednesday founds for the next stage represented in rebuilding the Arch of Triumph after the end of the first stage funded by the Syrian Trust for Development”, the Director General of Antiquities and Museums, Dr. Nazir Awad, said in a statement to SANA reporter.

For her part, Director of the Institute for the History of Material Culture at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Natalia Solovyova, indicated that the project to restore the Arc is one of the most important symbolic projects in the world, so all concerned parties were involved in it to get the best result.

Restoration work began in April 2021 after a memorandum of understanding was reached between the Syrian Ministry of Culture and the Association Stone Industry of Russia. In 2019, the  State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg announced plans to restore the site in conjunction with the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Syria’s Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM). The project will also be under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra located about 135 miles north of Damascus were a huge tourist attraction, drawing 105,000 visitors a year until the devastating civil war broke out in Syria in 2011. The temple and much of the site were destroyed by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2015. The Monumental Arch, a centerpiece of the site that was mostly destroyed, was built during the reign of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in about 200 CE. It is estimated that only 30-40% of the stones in the arch remain.

The site, once a vital point on the Silk Road caravan route, has artifacts dating back to the Neolithic period. The Temple of Palmyra was dedicated in 32 CE to the worship of Ba’al. The earliest known inhabitants were the Amorites in the early second millennium BCE. As such, it hosted many monumental projects including the Temple of Bel (or Ba’al). The temple was built on the site of a prior pagan temple dating back to the third millennium BCE. The most recent of the temples were dedicated in 32 CE. Converted into a Christian church during the Byzantine Era, parts of the structure were modified into a mosque by Muslims in 1132. It remained in use as a mosque until the 1920s.

The arch stood at the entrance to the temple used to worship Bel, also known as Ba’al. Mentioned more than 90 times in the Bible, most notably when Elijah defeated the priests of Ba’al, also known as Moloch, in a contest to bring down fire from heaven to burn a sacrifice, Ba’al became the archetypical form of idol worship. Pantheistic, his adherents worshipped Mother Nature while denying the existence of a creator. Followers of Ba’al engaged in bisexual orgies and sacrificed human infants, burning them alive. Anthropologists conjecture that the child sacrifice was to cull the population after the inevitable outcome of wanton sexuality. (emphasis added)

In Jewish tradition, the Arch of Palmyra may be alluded to as a harbinger of the Messianic era.  An arch that is repeatedly built up and destroyed is described in the Talmud (Tractate Sanhedrin 78a).

The disciples of Rabbi Yossi the son of Kisma questioned him, asking when the son of David (the Messiah) will appear. And he answered: I am afraid you will request me a sign as well. And they assured him that they would not. He then said to them: When this gate will fall, be rebuilt and fall again, be rebuilt again and fall again. And before it will be rebuilt for the third time the Messiah will appear. (emphasis added)

Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, a preeminent medieval rabbi known by the acronym Rashi, explained this section of the Talmud, stating that the arch described by Rabbi Yossi was “a Roman arch in a Roman city.” The arch in Palmyra was indeed a Roman victory arch built when Palmyra was a Roman city.

By advocating for reconstructing a temple of Ba’al, the UN is violating its Biblical mandate since the third Noahide law is a prohibition against idolatry.

Palmyra was listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1980, which described the temple as “one of the best-preserved and most important religious edifices of the first century in the Middle East.” Palmyra is approximately 370 miles away from two other UNESCO Heritage sites listed as having Muslim significance: Jerusalem and Hebron. SOURCE

Brethren, don’t forget that the “Rabbis” quoted are Kabbalistic rabbis. Much of their teaching comes from the “Talmud” which is not the inspired Word of God. It is a collection of teachings from rabbis throughout the centuries. Kabbalistic rabbis are mystical and for lack of a better term – NEW AGERS.