Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

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Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Thanas » 2014-12-23 02:26am

Reuters
(Reuters) - Satellite imagery indicate that 290 cultural heritage sites in Syria, whose history stretches back to the dawn of civilization, have been damaged by its ongoing civil war, the United Nations' training and research arm (UNITAR) said on Tuesday.

Syria's heritage spans the great empires of the Middle East but cultural sites and buildings around the country, such as Aleppo's Umayyad Mosque, have been looted, damaged or destroyed in the three-year-old conflict.

Using commercially available satellite pictures, UNITAR found that 24 sites were completely destroyed, 189 severely or moderately damaged and a further 77 possibly damaged.


This is "an alarming testimony of the ongoing damage that is happening to Syria’s vast cultural heritage", UNITAR said in a new report.

"National and international efforts for the protection of these areas need to be scaled up in order to save as much as possible of this important heritage (for) humankind."

Clashes between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebels have damaged historical sites and buildings throughout Syria. Pillaging has threatened tombs in the desert town of Palmyra and Roman temples have been damaged.

The report documented widespread damage to cultural heritage sites including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, mostly in the northern city of Aleppo.

Both sides in the conflict have used ancient fortresses as military bases. The army has positioned snipers on Aleppo's Citadel, one of the oldest and largest castles in the world.

Insurgent forces also overran the 900-year-old Crac des Chevaliers Crusader castle. The army retook it in March but only after months of bombardment.

The satellite imagery also found that sites in Raqqa and the millennia-old oasis city of Palmyra have been exposed to major damage. The ancient city of Bosra and abandoned settlements from the Byzantine period in Syria's north have been damaged as well, according to UNITAR.

Radical Sunni Muslim insurgents have also destroyed ancient sites which they consider to be heretical.

Maamoun Abdulkarim, head of Syria's antiquities and museums, told Reuters last year that tens of thousands of artefacts spanning 10,000 years of history had been removed to specialist warehouses to avoid looting.

The United Nations says more than 200,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict, which began in March 2011 with popular protests against Assad and spiralled into civil war after a violent crackdown by security forces.

As to what severely damaged means in this context:

Link

Use the slider to show before/now pictures.

They show Aleppo, Dura Europos, Palmyra and Raqqa. Four of the most important cultural places of humanity. Now gone, plundered and bombed (the craters in the second image are all robber digs). Our research about ancient Syria will not recover from this.

Dura Europos and Palmyra especially are so horrible I could cry. The places were being excavated responsibly. The best international experts were all in agreement that we should take it slow and proper. Now? Ruined.
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Adam Reynolds » 2014-12-23 04:58am

How does this damage compare to that of Iraq's similar issues with looting?

What is really disgusting is those who buy the artifact that were stolen, creating the demand for this in the first place.

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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Purple » 2014-12-23 05:04am

On the plus side, anything that was stolen at least still exists. If something has been sold off to wealthy collectors outside of the area at least it might turn up some day. And that beats being blown up.
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Broomstick » 2014-12-23 07:42am

Adamskywalker007 wrote:How does this damage compare to that of Iraq's similar issues with looting?
If I recall, some of the Iraq looting turned out to be people hiding/guarding artifacts which were later returned. (Not all, of course - there was also destruction and profiteering). Whether we'll see any instances of that is questionable, especially in ISIL controlled areas.
What is really disgusting is those who buy the artifact that were stolen, creating the demand for this in the first place.
No, what's really disgusting is waging war in the first place. ISIL, in particular, is engaged in needless destruction in the name of their view of purity but I'm sure they're not the only ones. War brings on not only bombing and deliberate destruction but random acts of vandalism, like some of Napolean's soldiers shooting off the nose of the Egyptian Sphinx, or soldiers of all times and places carving their initials in ancient monuments.
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by sarevok2 » 2014-12-23 07:49am

Dumb question. Does modern archaeology make sites actually more vulnerable ? Historical sites and artifacts have survived many wars over centuries. However in modern day artifacts are conveniently gathered in muesuems and many historical sites visibly marked as cultural heritage. 500 years ago a rampaging horde would not have bothered digging up some ruins or demolishing some statue in middle of the desert. Today cultural heritage is visibly marked and cataloged such as that if IS wants to they can find a thorough list of sites and artifacts they want to purge.

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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Broomstick » 2014-12-23 08:24am

Some types of modern weaponry are also more effective at causing destruction, even to buried items, that can't be helping things.
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Grumman » 2014-12-23 08:51am

Broomstick wrote:War brings on not only bombing and deliberate destruction but random acts of vandalism, like some of Napolean's soldiers shooting off the nose of the Egyptian Sphinx...
You can't blame Napoleon's campaigns for that - the removal of the Sphinx's nose was documented three hundred years before Napoleon was even born.

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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Broomstick » 2014-12-23 09:12am

In that case, my bad - but, um, who DID remove the nose in that case?
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by madd0ct0r » 2014-12-23 10:03am

sarevok2 wrote:Dumb question. Does modern archaeology make sites actually more vulnerable ? Historical sites and artifacts have survived many wars over centuries. However in modern day artifacts are conveniently gathered in muesuems and many historical sites visibly marked as cultural heritage. 500 years ago a rampaging horde would not have bothered digging up some ruins or demolishing some statue in middle of the desert. Today cultural heritage is visibly marked and cataloged such as that if IS wants to they can find a thorough list of sites and artifacts they want to purge.
selection bias - we only see the sites that have survived many wars over the centuries.
Rampaging hordes did lots of damage, mostly in removal of stone for building again with. Puritan zealots did huge damage in Europe on all possible sides. asia lost huge amounts of remarkable work to swings between religions and dynasties
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Grumman » 2014-12-23 10:09am

Broomstick wrote:In that case, my bad - but, um, who DID remove the nose in that case?
A Muslim iconoclast named Muhammad Sa'im al-Dahr defaced the nose in the 14th century. Even if we take a conservative stance and assume that this might not have caused sufficient damage to remove the nose, we do know that it was lost prior to Napoleon, as we have a picture of the Sphinx drawn a decade before Napoleon's birth, with the nose missing.

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Re: Syria has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Thanas » 2014-12-23 12:04pm

Adamskywalker007 wrote:How does this damage compare to that of Iraq's similar issues with looting?
It is similar on the total scale but much worse on the individual scale.

Yes, the looters did rip through Baghdad and Babylon with bulldozers while the US Army stood by and did protect the oil fields instead - but Babylon etc. were already excavated. And the quick US victory prevented large-scale bombing. Here we have cases where the choice was deliberately made to leave stuff in the ground to take it slow and leave it for further generations so that they might have a better chance to study more with better methods. IN short, archeologists made the conscious choice to forego discoveries in order to get more results in the next century. And now that is torn to shreds.

It is even worse because Baghdad etc. are cities we know a lot about already. But we do not know a lot about Dura-Europos. It was a real treasure trove. The small excavated area (the four blocks in the lower middle of the before image) was enough to stimulate research for over 3 decades. Heck, my own dissertation owes much to that research. And now? Completely destroyed.
Purple wrote:On the plus side, anything that was stolen at least still exists. If something has been sold off to wealthy collectors outside of the area at least it might turn up some day. And that beats being blown up.
BULL FUCKING SHIT. There would be no bombs falling in Dura Europos and Palmyra anyway, because these places are not/barely inhabited. They have no military value whatsoever. So there would be nothing blown up. And you know how the scumbags do this kind of shit? They take industrial grade bulldozers and rip up the earth. The use of heavy machinery alone is a big no-no because their weight can crush stuff. Nevermind a bulldozer ramming through the earth.

EDIT: Oh, and most surviving artifacts are nearly worthless once they have been stolen. Because if it turns up there will be decades of legal squabbling, during which it usually is inaccessible to research. And the conditions in which those barbarians smuggle stuff is abhorrent. For example, mosaics are usually smashed to pieces and reassembled later on. Naturally, that makes authenticity nearly impossible to prove.
sarevok2 wrote:Dumb question. Does modern archaeology make sites actually more vulnerable ? Historical sites and artifacts have survived many wars over centuries. However in modern day artifacts are conveniently gathered in muesuems and many historical sites visibly marked as cultural heritage. 500 years ago a rampaging horde would not have bothered digging up some ruins or demolishing some statue in middle of the desert. Today cultural heritage is visibly marked and cataloged such as that if IS wants to they can find a thorough list of sites and artifacts they want to purge.
No, it does not. If anything, it preserves stuff. Heck, it was less than a century ago (1920s in fact) that Artifacts in nations like Egypt and Syria were used as building materials or firewood. Heck, even today some regions in Greece and Turkey have the sport of robbing ancient tombs for jewelry and gold. I was in Anatolia two years ago and discovered a local farmer who had used a 2000 year old inscription as a through.

Only when people are taught to care do they start to. I see no way of doing that without museums. What is really needed here is more funding for UNESCO to start protecting the most valuable places. Unfortunately the same nations who cry about "evil western archeologists taking stuff" are also the same one who got the worst record in actually taking care of culture in recent times.
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Re: Syria has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Purple » 2014-12-23 12:55pm

Thanas wrote:BULL FUCKING SHIT. There would be no bombs falling in Dura Europos and Palmyra anyway, because these places are not/barely inhabited. They have no military value whatsoever. So there would be nothing blown up.
It's not about habitation or value. Religious fanatics like ISIL are likely to destroy these things for the crime of not being Islamic. Or at least that's my impression. So anything that escapes that even if damaged beats it not escaping.
And you know how the scumbags do this kind of shit? They take industrial grade bulldozers and rip up the earth. The use of heavy machinery alone is a big no-no because their weight can crush stuff. Nevermind a bulldozer ramming through the earth.
Still beats being blown up by idiots who hate history and culture that ain't theirs. Don't get me wrong here. I am not saying all this is a good thing. I am just saying that it's slightly less horrible than the alternatives.
EDIT: Oh, and most surviving artifacts are nearly worthless once they have been stolen. Because if it turns up there will be decades of legal squabbling, during which it usually is inaccessible to research.
That's a flaw in our modern bureaucracy and morality that seeks to place something... what ever that something is before science.
And the conditions in which those barbarians smuggle stuff is abhorrent. For example, mosaics are usually smashed to pieces and reassembled later on. Naturally, that makes authenticity nearly impossible to prove.
I can't really comment on this as I do not know how and why authenticity is so apparently important. I am sure it is or else you would not be mentioning it. So I'll take your word for it.
Only when people are taught to care do they start to. I see no way of doing that without museums. What is really needed here is more funding for UNESCO to start protecting the most valuable places. Unfortunately the same nations who cry about "evil western archeologists taking stuff" are also the same one who got the worst record in actually taking care of culture in recent times.
Well what can you do? We can't well have UNESCO build a private army and forcefully confiscate and occupy cultural sites in danger. And nothing short of that is going to stop things like this from happening.
It has become clear to me in the previous days that any attempts at reconciliation and explanation with the community here has failed. I have tried my best. I really have. I pored my heart out trying. But it was all for nothing.

You win. There, I have said it.

Now there is only one thing left to do. Let us see if I can sum up the strength needed to end things once and for all.

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Re: Syria has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Thanas » 2014-12-23 01:08pm

Purple wrote:It's not about habitation or value. Religious fanatics like ISIL are likely to destroy these things for the crime of not being Islamic. Or at least that's my impression. So anything that escapes that even if damaged beats it not escaping.
No, you are wrong. ISIL likes to do publicity stunts but they are actually among the worst looters/smugglers around. Artifact smuggling is one of the three pillars of ISIS income.
That's a flaw in our modern bureaucracy and morality that seeks to place something... what ever that something is before science.
No it is not, it is what is necessary to avoid sponsoring smuggling.
I can't really comment on this as I do not know how and why authenticity is so apparently important. I am sure it is or else you would not be mentioning it. So I'll take your word for it.
It should really be self-evident why it matters that historical artifacts are kept authentic.
Well what can you do? We can't well have UNESCO build a private army and forcefully confiscate and occupy cultural sites in danger.
Why not? Obviously I can't get into details but I personally know that there are countries where this kind of deals with local tribes is done. Incidentally these are also the countries where we don't hear much of looting anymore. You'd be amazed what can be achieved even in corrupt countries when you can get the locals to care. No international smuggling ring will get involved in areas where locals are willing to kill them.
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by cmdrjones » 2014-12-23 01:32pm

Thanas wrote:Reuters
(Reuters) - Satellite imagery indicate that 290 cultural heritage sites in Syria, whose history stretches back to the dawn of civilization, have been damaged by its ongoing civil war, the United Nations' training and research arm (UNITAR) said on Tuesday.

Syria's heritage spans the great empires of the Middle East but cultural sites and buildings around the country, such as Aleppo's Umayyad Mosque, have been looted, damaged or destroyed in the three-year-old conflict.

Using commercially available satellite pictures, UNITAR found that 24 sites were completely destroyed, 189 severely or moderately damaged and a further 77 possibly damaged.


This is "an alarming testimony of the ongoing damage that is happening to Syria’s vast cultural heritage", UNITAR said in a new report.

"National and international efforts for the protection of these areas need to be scaled up in order to save as much as possible of this important heritage (for) humankind."

Clashes between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebels have damaged historical sites and buildings throughout Syria. Pillaging has threatened tombs in the desert town of Palmyra and Roman temples have been damaged.

The report documented widespread damage to cultural heritage sites including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, mostly in the northern city of Aleppo.

Both sides in the conflict have used ancient fortresses as military bases. The army has positioned snipers on Aleppo's Citadel, one of the oldest and largest castles in the world.

Insurgent forces also overran the 900-year-old Crac des Chevaliers Crusader castle. The army retook it in March but only after months of bombardment.

The satellite imagery also found that sites in Raqqa and the millennia-old oasis city of Palmyra have been exposed to major damage. The ancient city of Bosra and abandoned settlements from the Byzantine period in Syria's north have been damaged as well, according to UNITAR.

Radical Sunni Muslim insurgents have also destroyed ancient sites which they consider to be heretical.

Maamoun Abdulkarim, head of Syria's antiquities and museums, told Reuters last year that tens of thousands of artefacts spanning 10,000 years of history had been removed to specialist warehouses to avoid looting.

The United Nations says more than 200,000 people have been killed in Syria's conflict, which began in March 2011 with popular protests against Assad and spiralled into civil war after a violent crackdown by security forces.

As to what severely damaged means in this context:

Link

Use the slider to show before/now pictures.

They show Aleppo, Dura Europos, Palmyra and Raqqa. Four of the most important cultural places of humanity. Now gone, plundered and bombed (the craters in the second image are all robber digs). Our research about ancient Syria will not recover from this.

Dura Europos and Palmyra especially are so horrible I could cry. The places were being excavated responsibly. The best international experts were all in agreement that we should take it slow and proper. Now? Ruined.

This is the cultural evolution you an I were discussing on the failed states thread... Evolution is about adapting to the environment and doesn't always go in one direction. Will the post war Syria BE Syria in any meaningful sense? I vote no.

Humanity could end up selecting for those who like their meat raw if we keep this up long enough.
Terralthra wrote:It's similar to the Arabic word for "one who sows discord" or "one who crushes underfoot". It'd be like if the acronym for the some Tea Party thing was "DKBAG" or something. In one sense, it's just the acronym for ISIL/ISIS in Arabic: Dawlat (al-) Islāmiyya ‘Irāq Shām, but it's also an insult.
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Thanas » 2014-12-23 01:59pm

cmdrjones wrote:This is the cultural evolution you an I were discussing on the failed states thread... Evolution is about adapting to the environment and doesn't always go in one direction. Will the post war Syria BE Syria in any meaningful sense? I vote no.
Of course it will, don't be daft.
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Re: Syria has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Purple » 2014-12-23 02:35pm

Thanas wrote:No, you are wrong. ISIL likes to do publicity stunts but they are actually among the worst looters/smugglers around. Artifact smuggling is one of the three pillars of ISIS income.
My bad than.
No it is not, it is what is necessary to avoid sponsoring smuggling.
That's my point. I do not feel it is bad for smuggling to occur if the end result is beneficial for scientific progress. It's only when it's a negative that it should be sanctioned, and not for the reason that it's smuggling but for the reason that it's negative toward progress.
Why not? Obviously I can't get into details but I personally know that there are countries where this kind of deals with local tribes is done. Incidentally these are also the countries where we don't hear much of looting anymore. You'd be amazed what can be achieved even in corrupt countries when you can get the locals to care. No international smuggling ring will get involved in areas where locals are willing to kill them.
That's all fine and well until you get into a situation like this one where there is literally a shooting war going on. Or do you propose UNESCO try and strike a deal with ISIS?
It has become clear to me in the previous days that any attempts at reconciliation and explanation with the community here has failed. I have tried my best. I really have. I pored my heart out trying. But it was all for nothing.

You win. There, I have said it.

Now there is only one thing left to do. Let us see if I can sum up the strength needed to end things once and for all.

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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by cmdrjones » 2014-12-23 03:00pm

Thanas wrote:
cmdrjones wrote:This is the cultural evolution you an I were discussing on the failed states thread... Evolution is about adapting to the environment and doesn't always go in one direction. Will the post war Syria BE Syria in any meaningful sense? I vote no.
Of course it will, don't be daft.

then why is it such a loss? Obviously you feel very strongly about those artifacts, and you believe that the native people there should be educated to care as well. If Syria before the loss of thier cultural history is not substantially different than Syria after the loss of their cultural history, then why should anyone care?

Evolution in action.
Terralthra wrote:It's similar to the Arabic word for "one who sows discord" or "one who crushes underfoot". It'd be like if the acronym for the some Tea Party thing was "DKBAG" or something. In one sense, it's just the acronym for ISIL/ISIS in Arabic: Dawlat (al-) Islāmiyya ‘Irāq Shām, but it's also an insult.
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Re: Syria has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Thanas » 2014-12-23 03:21pm

Purple wrote:That's my point. I do not feel it is bad for smuggling to occur if the end result is beneficial for scientific progress. It's only when it's a negative that it should be sanctioned, and not for the reason that it's smuggling but for the reason that it's negative toward progress.
No. Just no. Smuggling is bad whoever does it, for the reasons stated here. If you don't get why it is bad then you are probably not going to get any explanation I would try.
That's all fine and well until you get into a situation like this one where there is literally a shooting war going on.
So? There are wars going on elsewhere too and yet they manage to protect it.
Or do you propose UNESCO try and strike a deal with ISIS?
Wouldn't be the worst thing the UN did, but no. You strike deals with the locals. And with whatever state authority remains. Dealing with terrorists would give the retards in the US the option to wipe out UNESCO funding, which those troglodytes would love to do. That would be worse.
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Re: Syria has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Purple » 2014-12-23 03:31pm

Thanas wrote:No. Just no. Smuggling is bad whoever does it, for the reasons stated here. If you don't get why it is bad then you are probably not going to get any explanation I would try.
I guess I'll take your word for it given that you are a history expert and thus are likely to know what you are talking about with these things.
So? There are wars going on elsewhere too and yet they manage to protect it.
Really? I thought their record with protecting these things in recent wars was rather shoddy.
Wouldn't be the worst thing the UN did, but no. You strike deals with the locals. And with whatever state authority remains. Dealing with terrorists would give the retards in the US the option to wipe out UNESCO funding, which those troglodytes would love to do. That would be worse.
But what do you expect the locals to do? You can't well make a deal with local villagers that will make them stand up to ISIS to protect some random piece of an archeological treasure. I am rather sure those people would rather not die than save those things.
It has become clear to me in the previous days that any attempts at reconciliation and explanation with the community here has failed. I have tried my best. I really have. I pored my heart out trying. But it was all for nothing.

You win. There, I have said it.

Now there is only one thing left to do. Let us see if I can sum up the strength needed to end things once and for all.

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Re: Syria has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by cmdrjones » 2014-12-23 03:45pm

But what do you expect the locals to do? You can't well make a deal with local villagers that will make them stand up to ISIS to protect some random piece of an archeological treasure. I am rather sure those people would rather not die than save those things.
http://www.breitbart.com/national-secur ... concubine/


"Of the rapidity with which local men joined ISIS, as the area fell into Islamic State control, she said: “They were local Sunni fighters, some of whom we recognised… A local mechanic was among them. The Sunni men in our area became [ISIS] as soon as they got a smell of them approaching. No one even had to ask them to join”."


yeah, I think the votes are in on locals fighting ISIS.
While ISIS is the strong horse that is....
Terralthra wrote:It's similar to the Arabic word for "one who sows discord" or "one who crushes underfoot". It'd be like if the acronym for the some Tea Party thing was "DKBAG" or something. In one sense, it's just the acronym for ISIL/ISIS in Arabic: Dawlat (al-) Islāmiyya ‘Irāq Shām, but it's also an insult.
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Tiriol » 2014-12-23 03:52pm

cmdrjones wrote:
Thanas wrote:
cmdrjones wrote:This is the cultural evolution you an I were discussing on the failed states thread... Evolution is about adapting to the environment and doesn't always go in one direction. Will the post war Syria BE Syria in any meaningful sense? I vote no.
Of course it will, don't be daft.

then why is it such a loss? Obviously you feel very strongly about those artifacts, and you believe that the native people there should be educated to care as well. If Syria before the loss of thier cultural history is not substantially different than Syria after the loss of their cultural history, then why should anyone care?

Evolution in action.
Because those lost artifacts and sites are not just Syrian culture, but part of culture of everyone who can trace their roots (familial, cultural, historical or religious) to those areas which are now being devastated. Because several questions about those long-gone civilizations and empires may now be permanently un-answerable. Because the existence of nation or state of Syria (or rather its existence AS Syria) is not tied to the existence of these artifacts like you implied, but it does show the tremendous destruction done to common human history and culture. And Thanas cares because he holds culture, history and education in much higher regard than you with your "cultural evolution". For some reason I'm reminded of this song and video:



In any case, I can't really fathom how you deduce your conclusions about "evolution in action" from Thanas's statement and how you came up with your idea that Syria ceases to be Syria if historical sites and artifacts are destroyed. It's asinine.
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Thanas » 2014-12-23 04:11pm

Thank you, Tiriol.

To put it in an easier context, cmdrjones: If you are a christian - or know christianity - then guess what. The barbarians just destroyed our best chance to find out how early christianity worked and evolved.

Guess where the earliest known church was. Dura Europos. It is now most likely gone, certainly plundered. Which means we just may have lost the only chance we ever had of finding out about the theology of early christianity. Gone.

Syria is the birthplace of christianity as we know it. Saints. Martyrs. Churches. Bascially all these things trace their roots to Syria. Chances are we lost a lot of important things explaining them for good before we even analyzed them.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Iroscato » 2014-12-23 04:37pm

If people like cmdrjones cannot comprehend why this is such a profound loss to the common heritage of humanity, I doubt any energy expended trying to explain it to them will suffice. Such artifacts are our responsibility, as the current custodians of the world to look after, protect, analyse and admire. For me, it hurts because of all the lost stories that will never be told, stretching back so many centuries. All the hours of planning, the back-breaking work, the admiration and adoration of the fruits of the labour.

All the prayers said inside and in front of, the ceremonies and rituals, the simple fact that some things in our world, built by us, have stood silent and unchanging for millenia as the world shifted and changed. And now, we have destroyed much of what we should be protecting. In an age where terabytes of data can be stored in a device that can be carried around by a person, we should treasure the only way of recording information the ancients possessed. To do anything else is deplorable.
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by cmdrjones » 2014-12-23 05:18pm

Thanas wrote:Thank you, Tiriol.

To put it in an easier context, cmdrjones: If you are a christian - or know christianity - then guess what. The barbarians just destroyed our best chance to find out how early christianity worked and evolved.

Guess where the earliest known church was. Dura Europos. It is now most likely gone, certainly plundered. Which means we just may have lost the only chance we ever had of finding out about the theology of early christianity. Gone.

Syria is the birthplace of christianity as we know it. Saints. Martyrs. Churches. Bascially all these things trace their roots to Syria. Chances are we lost a lot of important things explaining them for good before we even analyzed them.
Including what Tiriol said: I whoelheartedly agree. What I was making a point about was something Thanas ans I were discussing on the "Why states fail" thread. Sorry for not making that clear. This is a tremendous cultural loss, don't get me wrong, I was (ineffectually apparenlty) asking for clarification about 'cultural evolution.' Thanas implied, (I thought) that even if a culture was so changed from its origins as to be unrecognizable to its forebears then that was a non-issue because of cultural evolution.
This I construe to be a result of what Thanas called cultural evolution. Whether the artifacts are here or not, I'm sure the cultures that DID exist, would like to continue to exist, if we could ask them.
Terralthra wrote:It's similar to the Arabic word for "one who sows discord" or "one who crushes underfoot". It'd be like if the acronym for the some Tea Party thing was "DKBAG" or something. In one sense, it's just the acronym for ISIL/ISIS in Arabic: Dawlat (al-) Islāmiyya ‘Irāq Shām, but it's also an insult.
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Re: Syria's has irrecoverably lost its culture - HOLY SHIT

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2014-12-23 06:23pm

Some impressive mine craters in that first comparison beside the old Citadel in Aleppo, sure wasn't bombing to make them that big.

As it is evidence exists that the Syrian government itself is behind no small part of the plunder to fund its war, which wouldn't be surprising at all if true considering that some sites like Palmyra have never been rebel wild west territory, while the government has been unable to fund its war effort since mid 2012. And this would not at all be the first time people funded a war selling artifacts and treasures. Actually I would wonder if a major war ever existed in history where that didn't happen. Reasons exist after all why so much of the past was already destroyed, buried or lost.

Too bad, but since nobody really gives a shit about the war except seemingly Iran, and all other nations are engaged in a policy of 'make it last longer' its just completely impossible for me to raise further eyebrow on the fact that a bunch of old stuff has been destroyed along with the new, and ever so many people. And a hundred years from now, if not five thousand, we'll still be debating if it even really began in March 2011, or not years earlier when eastern Syria began to slip away. Someone will spend a long time digging up the bombturbation to figure that one out, and perhaps or perhaps be very confused when they find 500 BC artifacts strewn among AK cartridges and satchel charges. So culture goes on.
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