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Syria has one of the world's richest archaeological heritages. At the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe, the country holds the marks of many of the world's great empires.
From the cuneiform tablets of Ebla to stunning Roman cities, here are seven of the most amazing archaeological sites in Syria.
Trove of tabletsSlide 2 of 15
Trove of tablets
The ancient city of Ebla, or Tell Mardikh, was first discovered about 34 miles (55 km) south of Aleppo by Italian archaeologist Paolo Matthiae in 1964. The city flourished from about 3,000 to 2,500 years ago, but shows signs of having been continuously occupied since at least 3000 B.C. Archaeologists unearthed a trove of 20,000 cuneiform tablets written in a Sumerian script. The tablets, which mostly pertained to economics, provided an unprecedented look at everyday life for inhabitants of the ancient city.Slide 3 of 15
Roman ruinsSlide 4 of 15
Apamea was an ancient city founded by the Seleucid King Nicator in 300 B.C. The vast city, founded on the banks of the Orontes River, boasted half a million citizens at its peak. The city became part of the Roman Empire in 64 B.C.
An earthquake destroyed the majestic metropolis in A.D. 115, and foreign conquerors sacked the rebuilt city in the seventh century, but visitors can still view its stunning colonnade.Slide 5 of 15
Caravan citySlide 6 of 15
Bosra was once the capital of the Roman province of Arabia. The city was first mentioned in Egyptian tablets found at Tell el-Amarna that are nearly 3,400 years old, and the Nabateans ruled the area in later years. In A.D. 106, Bosra became part of the Roman Empire. During its heyday Bosra was a frontier trading post where Arabian caravans would buy supplies for their long treks.
The city is largely intact, with traces of each ruling empire remaining today. The city houses a stunningly preserved second-century Roman theater, one of the oldest surviving mosques in the world and a Christian Cathedral from the Byzantine period.Slide 7 of 15
Ancient occupationSlide 8 of 15