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Geography, Middle East, War, Ancient Sites

Anyone out there wayyy better at geography than me? I am wondering with all of the war-torn areas in the middle east right now...are some of these ancient sites being ruined? i can't imagine my own government would really concern themselves that much with preserving them considering i feel like we are pretty much war making bullies (MY OPINION!)...any insight?

Long Story Short:

Yes. With the rise of radicalized religious groups in the Mid East, such as ISIS and Al Qaida, many archaeological/historical sites are being shot asunder. ISIS is making apoint to distroy any historical site they come across. Same thing with the Arab Spring Revolutions where Egyptian rioters stormed the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square and distroyed some artifacts. Unfortunately, in times of war, history takes a back seat. It happened in the World Wars, it's happening now.

This chaos in the Mid East is no different than the Great Wars.

In fact, Syria was home to an entire Christian town (Ma'aloula) that was fluent in the dead language Aramaic, and it was leveled. There were churches and buildings there that were incredibly important that no longer stand. Luckily most of the Aramaic speakers fled before the major fighing since it is a strategic town. 

The US is historically rarely concerned with preserving history besides its own and they are spotty with their support for even that. The UN handles most heritage sites internationally, but due to low funding they cant keep up with the rising costs of preservation. They recently stopped funding Hadrian's Wall. So basically history is taking a back seat and heritage sites all over the world are falling into disrepair. I recently visited Greece, specifically the Mykonos and the UNESCO Heritage site at Delos and both were in desperate need of funding. 


Hopefully this answered your question. 

"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it" -Winston S. Churchill

Sadly, it does. I wish it

Sadly, it does. I wish it didn't have to be like this.

love, light and blessings


At some point in the future

At some point in the future humanity will overcome its tribalism and realize what it has lost.  But then, alas, it will be too late and what was lost cannot be regained.  What astounds me the most is that in this 21st Century humanity is still walking the same old worn out roads to mayhem and destruction.  When I was younger I thought surely by this time humanity would be at peace and sailing through the stars but, in fact, little has changed and what I thought would be, would not be, sadly.  

I couldn't agree with you

I couldn't agree with you more Robert!

I cant help reading the 1st 2

I cant help reading the 1st 2 comments but to feel a bit angry and a bit sad. hundreds of thousndes of humen souls have been lost in the most horrific ways and pepole outside our region only care about the things in it rathere than the people.



With Respect

I do care about what happens to the people of the region. I am a citizen of an Arab nation. I want to see peace as much as any other Arab, but I cant help but feel remorse for the amount of destruction caused to both people and historical artifacts for a silly cause such as politics and dogma. I will always feel sympathy for those who have been killed and advocate the end of all wars in the region. I am not heartless. I am also a cultural anthropologist, it is my duty to protect the welfare and dignity of the people. In no way, shape, or form do I ignore the death of people. Did I not say in my previous comment how glad I was the native Aramaic speakers of Ma'loula were safe and away from the town when it was distroyed? 

"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it" -Winston S. Churchill

Custodians of the Past, Sculptors of the Future

Thank you, Naia, for your eloquent reply.

The struggle to master the darker side of our own nature is one we humans face as individuals and as a species. I have found compassion and perspective to be invaluable assets in this pursuit. 

Whether we are cut down by war, famine, disease or old age, our sojourn upon this earth is a brief one. Whether a sacred text, the remains of a forgotten city or etchings on an ancient clamshell, the artifacts left to us by those who have gone before represent our shared human heritage and provide a deep sense of perspective few of us could hope to achieve in the short time we are here.

Our loved ones are immortal. The fragile traces they leave behind are not. Perhaps that is why we feel their loss so keenly.

Naia I feel the same way

Naia I feel the same way about the people. When I first read that comment it struck me and it took me a while to try and find the right words to say because it's true. I DO care about the people...but this site has also shown me how much of our history has been lost and destroyed and that makes me feel bad too. I don't believe anyone deserves to see violence inflicted on them. I feel for the children and the mothers and fathers. It's awful, but it's also so hard for me to imagine what it must be like because I've never witnessed anything like that in my own life. I know that it happens every day in different places all over the world.

love, light and blessings


We must be careful to not

We must be careful to not generalize and assume that ISIS, al Qaeda, and other radical groups represent Islam.  In fact the do NOT represent the MAJORITY of Muslims.  Jordan's King Abdullah has stated this bluntly recently and has called for a major offensive to eliminate these radical groups once and for all.  And, we must realize the importance of what has really been lost in this farce.  That is HUMAN lives!  Yes it is sad and unfortunate that many archaeological sites have been and are being destroyed by these radicals but more importantly consider the thousands of human lives they have slaughtered.  In my mind the sites are important, yes, but more important are the people.  Neither can be gained back and these groups must be stopped.  Stop them and the sites will be saved and so will human lives, INNOCENT human lives. 

I will add this as well.  I am completely astounded that the West has not taken care of this ISIS already in light of the wholesale slaughter of Christians in the Mid East carried out by their hands.  There seems to be a rather "odd" silence in the West about the whole thing.  Why?  Why are Western Christians not livid about the killings?  Somehow I do not think sitting by and just letting such things happen would be what Jesus would do!