The following excerpts are from AINA.org:
- The Romans occupied modern-day Syria, and before them, the Assyrians, Persians and Akkadians built empires there.
- The country is home to ancient Paleolithic fossils, some of the earliest evidence of agriculture and one of the largest troves of cuneiform tablets ever discovered.
- "It's probably one of the oldest occupied areas of the Earth," said Emma Cunliffe, an archaeology researcher at Durham University in England, who has published a report documenting archeological damage in Syria. "It's been continuously occupied since before modern man even existed."
- Yet hundreds of archaeological sites are imperiled by civil war in Syria; bombing and looting have ravaged some of the richest of these sites; government and rebel forces have occupied ancient castles and bulldozed archaeological mounds created over thousands of years of human occupation. All six of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country have been damaged, Cunliffe said.
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