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“ The Archeological Discoveries in Lattakia “ Photos Exhibitions opened

 “The one  who is not proud of his past will  neither have  a present nor a future and those who work in archeology should be  specialists not ordinary  employees as they can realize  the importance and value of the history that reflects the deep-rooted civilization of  Syria  and the Syrian people ” the Governor of Lattakia Major General Ibrahim Khader Al-Salem said in the opening  ceremony of “the Archeological discoveries in Lattakia” photos exhibition at the National Museum in Lattakia.  

The Governor of Lattakia underlined that  the war on Syria was not limited to the military aspects and  imposing economic blockade, but rather  sought   to obliterate Syria’s history, falsify archaeological sites, and steal their contents as part of systematic plans that preceded the terrorist war on Syria, in coordination with the usurper Israeli occupation.

He stressed  the importance of preserving the historical monuments that reflect the  fact that Syria is the cradle of civilization  from which the first musical note and alphabet emerged to the world.

The Director General of Antiquities and Museums in Syria, Muhammad Nazeer Awad, said in a statement to the Syriatimes e-newspaper that “ this cultural event  is   part of the Culture Ministry’s program for digitizing and archiving museum’s  contents  , creating a database for them, and archiving the tangible and intangible cultural heritage in Syria which was subjected to great damage due to the nine-year war on Syria”.

He made it clear  that  the  documenting  project program for antiquities  was  carried out in Lattakia  in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as   the program   was launched from Damascus and Aleppo, adding the program includes two projects relating to documenting archeological artifacts and the architecture pattern. 

Director of Antiquities and Museums in Lattakia Ibrahim Khairbek told  Syriatimes  that this exhibition , which will last till the first of April, is important to highlight the history of Lattakia , spread the cultural heritage and provide a chance for passersby to see the photos of the most famous archeological sites on the  wall of  Lattakia National  Museum’ garden . 

Khairbek indicated that the opening of the exhibition was accompanied by holding a scientific symposium on “ the history of Lattakia through the archeological discoveries “ with the participation of famous archaeologists as well as a book fair for selling the publications of the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums ( GDAM).

Several lectures were presented during which the lecturers reviewed the history of Syria and its archaeological sites from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages and up to the modern era.

The world  archaeologist  Dr. Bassam Jamous, said in a lecture he gave “The archaeological  discoveries  in Lattakia Governorate confirmed that the first settlement of the ancient man began a million years ago and  the most important  discoveries were  the stone axes  in some regions of the Lattakia’s  countryside”. 

Dr. Jamous, who is a lecturer at local and international universities, pointed in his lecture to the results of archaeological sites survey  as tens of archaeological ones  were discovered , including  those dating back to pre-historic ages ,  the Bronze Age, Christian and Islamic eras. The archaeologist mentioned that Syria is one of the richest parts of the earth in the cultural heritage  and has more than 10 thousand archaeological sites, while excavation in it did not exceed 10%, and despite that, the excavations there have changed historical assumptions at  the global level.

 “The most famous sites  that we discovered are  “Al-Seefin”   Cave  in Al Fakhoora  village and the Cave of “Tell Ma'awi”  in Jableh , which date back to the Stone Age 5000-8000  BC”. Dr. Jamous said.

The lecturer reviewed  the results of the archaeological surveys carried out by the Syrian-Japanese mission between 2000-2003, as hundreds of archaeological sites were found in the  Northern Great  river and Zaghreen river  , which confirmed  the richness of the Syrian coast with cultural stability. 

 Regarding the return of the excavation missions , Jamous said that they  have  been stopped since the beginning of the war on Syria and they are limited to national missions, indicating that there is communication with  European archaeologists from France, the Netherlands, Spain, America, Japan and Canada , who are waiting for  the return of excavations at the end of the crisis so that they return with a very great desire to their paradise and the scholars' paradise as well as  they describe it.

Professor  Maya Hassan at the faculty  of Architecture in Tishreen university presented  a lecture entitled "Protecting Heritage Assets from Disasters" in  which  she focused on the preventive preservation of the risk-based approach as  in the recent period many disasters occurred, whether in terms of fires, earthquakes and natural disasters.

The lecturer concentrated on the importance of preserving the cultural and natural heritage from disasters and the necessity of studying the risks before occurring any disasters.

Dr. Hassan necessitated carrying out  accurate documentation of archaeological buildings to protect them.

Interviewed by : Rawaa Ghanam

Photos by : Rawaa Ghanam