Ancient History, Modern Destruction: Assessing the Current Status of Syria’s World Heritage Sites Using High-Resolution Satellite Imagery

Date Published: 
18 Sep 2014

In partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s Penn Cultural Heritage Center (PennCHC) and the Smithsonian Institution, and in cooperation with the Syrian Heritage Task Force, the Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) undertook an assessment of Syria’s World Heritage sites using high-resolution satellite imagery. Syria has six World Heritage sites: the Ancient City of Aleppo, the Ancient City of Bosra, the Ancient City of Damascus, the Ancient Site of Palmyra, the Ancient Cities of Northern Syria, and Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din. The purpose of the assessment was to determine the current status of each site. Analysis indicates that five of the six World Heritage sites exhibit significant damage; damage was observed at every site except for the Ancient City of Damascus.

Click here to view an interactive version of this report.

Visit http://www.aaas.org/geotech/culturalheritage for more information about this project.