Brchin: Where Mountain and Valley Meet in one Place

 

Brchin is one of the important resorts in Syria since it is mediating three provinces which are "Homs-Hama and Tartous.

It is distinguished for its charming nature, archeological and religious sites such as St.George church which dated back to the year 1889 AD.

Thanks to its location which rises about 900 m above the sea level and its moderate climate, compared to the surrounding areas , as well as the availability of the complementary infrastructure  for tourism elements like canteens , hotels and apartments for rent , it has become a destination for tourists and holidaymakers in summer.

Brachin's charming nature combines mountains and valleys which are dotted with cultivation of  fruit trees such as vine, peach, apricot  and apple.

 The village production capacity of apple  reaches 20 thousand tons per year . The village hosted " Apple Festival', which was held in Sahara Tourist Compound on 27|8|2008 .

There are several domestic industries related to the villagers' agricultural products such as: apple cider vinegar , raisins and molasses.

 

AmalFarhat

 

Keeping dead handicrafts imperative

Damascus, (ST)   In a bid to preserve authenticity and traditional heritage, the Ministry of Tourism has set up programs for keeping the traditions alive, and ensure the country's civilized and cultural identity.

The Damascus Handicrafts Market is regarded as one of the most important market as regard this kind of goods, as it is located near to the National Museum at the heart of Damascus. It includes many handicrafts that are dated back to the mid of the 15th century.

 Among the displayed items are the ancient pieces and silver jewelry,

Mosaic jobs, plastic and Ajami art, silver and gold framing.

Moreover, great efforts are being exerted to revive dead handicrafts, achieve highly developed programs to support the occupation, only to provide them with all facilities to marketing their products in order to keep their jobs alive.

 

Khaled falhoot

Tell Brak

Tell Brak is situated in the Upper Khabur of north eastern Syria. It is one of the largest ancient hills in northern Mesopotamia, over 40 m high, 800 x 600 m in area, with an extensive outer town including a corona of smaller tells surrounding the main tell. As a ‘Gateway City’, Brak controlled one of the major roads leading from the Tigris Valley north to the metal sources in Anatolia and west to the Euphrates and the Mediterranean. The tell itself was occupied from at least as early as 6000 BC to the end of the Late Bronze Age , with settlement of ‘Ubaid to early Islamic date also attested in the outer town. Excavated areas of the site up to now date from the mid-fifth to the end of the second millennium BC. The earliest identified non-residential structure at Tell Brak is what must have been an enormous building, even though only a small portion of the room has been excavated. This building has a massive entranceway with a basalt door-sill and towers on either side. The building has red mud brick walls which are 1.85 meters thick, and even today stand 1.5 meters tall. Radiocarbon dates have placed this structure securely between 4400 and 3900 BC.

A workshop of craft activities has been identified at Tell Brak, as has a large building which contained mass-produced bowls and a unique obsidian and white marble chalice held together with bitumen. A large collection of stamp seals and so-called 'sling bullets' were also recovered here. A 'feasting hall' at Tell Brak contains several very large hearths and a quantity of mass-produced plates.

Surrounding the tell is an extensive zone of settlements covering an area of about 300 hectares, with evidence of use between the Ubaid period of Mesopotamia through the Islamic periods of the mid-first millennium AD.

Nada Haj Khiddr

Umm el-Marra

Umm el-Marra ‎, east of modern Aleppo in the Jabbul Plain of northern Syria, was one of the ancient Near East's oldest cities, located on a crossroads of two trade routes northwest of Ebla, in a landscape that was much more fertile than it is today. Possibly this is the city of Tuba mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions listing cities that were defeated or destroyed in the Pharaoh Thutmose III's north Syrian campaign. The city of Tuba is also mentioned in epigraphic remains from Ebla and Mari.

Umm el-Marra probably had three to five thousand inhabitants between 2800 BC and about 2100/2000 BC, when Tuba and other cities in the Jabbul Plain experienced a mysterious collapse of central authority that lasted about 200 years. Partial answers to the question, why these early centers were so brittle, may lie in the effects of sustained drought on overstressed primitive agriculture. Dr Glenn Schwartz who has been doing field archaeology at Umm el-Marra, suggested in 1994 that "they placed extensive demands on their environments, continually intensifying their agriculture to feed more people. The added stress from a few dry years may have been the straw that broke the camel's back." Simple daily life went on in Tuba, for the site was never completely abandoned, but at the renaissance of the city in 1800 BC, Amoritic names were now in control. Tuba went on to enjoy a second period of prosperity and power, as a "subsidiary capital" of the still shadowy kingdom of Yamkhad.

After a long period of abandonment, the site was re-occupied in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

The site covers around 25 hectares. It was surrounded with a city wall with 3 gates and a defensive ditch. Excavation of Umm el-Marra began in the late 1970s and early 1980s with soundings by a Belgian team led by Roland Tefnin. Since 1995, a joint archaeological team from the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Amsterdam have been working at Umm el-Marra.

A rare intact, unlooted tomb, ca. 2300 BC, uncovered by Dr. Schwartz's team in 2000 at the site, made science press headlines, for it contained five richly-adorned adults and three babies, some of whom were ornamented head-to-toe in gold and silver.

It may be the oldest intact possibly royal tomb yet to be found in Syria. Dr. Schwartz noted of peculiar aspects in the burial that they 'may hint at ritual characteristics, rather than a tomb simply reserved for royalty or elite individuals.' The interment, which was above ground in ancient times, included three layers of skeletons in wooden coffins lined with textiles. The top layer includes traces of two coffins, each containing a young woman in her twenties and a baby. The women were the most richly ornamented of all the occupants of the tomb, with jewelry of silver, gold and lapis lazuli. Also of interest on this level was an accompanying lump of iron, possibly from a meteorite. One of the babies appeared to be wearing a bronze torque, or collar.

 

Compiled by:Maysa Wassouf

Bosra

It is a very ancient town,being mentioned in tablets by "Thutmose the Third" and "Akhnatoun", in the 14th century B.C.

Bosra is situated on the plain of Horan,140kms.south of Damascus.It has been one of the first Nabathean cities in the second century B.C. named "Bohara" whereas in the Hellinistic period it bore the name "Bostra". Then the Romans arrived,and during the King Trojan days made it a capital of the State of the Djezire under the name of "Niatrojana Bostra".

At that time the city underwent a great housing development being an important center for caravans as well as the seat of the emperial ruler.Even after the Roman domination,Bosra maintained its role during the early Christianity as well as at the rise of Islam.

In this place lived a Nestorian monk named "Buheira". One day he met a young man named "Mohammed ben Abdullah", who was passing with his caravan and predicted his prophecy,and his call for Islam.

The most spectacular site of Bosra,most certainly, would be its famous Roman theatre that dates back to the 2nd century, and is considered to be as one of the most intact and the most beautiful Roman theatres known to us.

It seats fifteen thousand spectators. Its stage is 45 m long and attains 8 m.An annual festival is held in which local entertainments as well as Pan Arabic and international ones are shown.

The town has many other vestiges such as Nabathean ruins (remnants of walls), Roman ones (a Triumph Arch and public baths), Byzantine traces(a cathedral and remnants of the church of "Buheira" the monk) and finally some Islamic vestiges such as the Mabrak and the Arous mosques, the citadel and the pool. The most ancient Islamic square minarets can be seen in this town.

A new international hotel has been inaugurated to welcome visitors.

Hanan Shamout