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Beyond Destruction: Report on Spring Symposium Contributed by Amber Zambelli, CMES Administrative Coordinator Before 2015, you might not have recognized the Temple of Bel (Bel Shaamin) at Palmyra, much less known its long history— starting with its construction in 32 BCE and lasting through its tenure as a temple of Ba’al, early Christian church, mosque, and local municipal government headquarters. The temple received heightened global attention after it was targeted by the Islamic State, in an act harking back to the damage of the Great Sphinx of Giza in the fourteenth century. The Islamic State quickly swept cultural heritage into both its ideological and physical warfare. Unfolding before a global audience via streaming video and glossy press releases, museums were sacked, monumental statues smashed, and antiquities secreted away to ultimately appear on the black market. The worldwide archaeological community was rocked in August 2015 by the murder of Dr. Khaled al-Asaad, a titan of Syrian archaeology and native of Palmyra. After a forty-year career as the head of antiquities for the ancient city, the octogenarian’s beheading brought into stark relief the human cost of the war against history, heritage, and identity


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CMES Newsletter - Spring 2016  

CMES Newsletter - Spring 2016