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Archaeological Discoveries in Damascus show depth and diversity of civilizations
Global Arab Network - - Gamal Ragay
The recent discoveries of the archaeological expeditions working in Damascus (Syria) and its countryside helped shed light on the role of the city in human civilization during various historical periods.

The annual report of the department of excavations and archaeological studies at the General Department of Archaeology and Museums said that the national, foreign and joint expeditions uncovered new discoveries that show the depth and diversity of civilizations that once lived in the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world.

The expeditions have been working in 121 sites, uncovering during emergency excavations within the current season a number of important discoveries such as four burial chambers dating back to the Roman era, containing pottery and glassware. One of these burial chambers was uncovered at al-Mujtahed Hospital during the digging of foundations for storage rooms.

Roman columns were uncovered east of the Umayyad Mosque within a wall. The columns bear Greek inscriptions and date back to 150 AD. Probing at the Damascus City Wall revealed the wall's Isamic foundations, while pottery fragments dating back to the Roman and Islamic periods were uncovered at a Tal al-Samaka site.

The report also states that studies for the restoration of the Damascus City Wall are complete, and that the Damascus Old City Department is working to restore various sections of the wall with the help of Italian experts. Restorations are also underway in the house of Fakri al-Baroudi.

In Damascus countryside, the national expedition working in Tal al-Bahariya site east of Damascus uncovered structures dating back to the sixth, fifth and fourth millennium BC, while another expedition uncovered several ancient ruins and sites such as al-Haytala castle.

The first stage of restoration at the Dmeir temple have been completed, with an overall cost of SP 1.5 million, in addition to restoring Khan Noureddin al-Shahid in Qara. Studies were carried out for the restoration of various other sites. (SANA)

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