The village of Qirq Bizeh photographed in December 1992.
A photograph taken of the church of Qalb Lozeh in December 1992.
These images of Qal'at Seman were taken in December 1992
These images of Qal'at Seman, the famous shrine of St. Symeon Stylites the Elder on Jebel Seman are valuable because they are taken midway between the French restoration of the site in the 1930s and the way the site looked in the late 1990s when the majority of the rest of the photographs in this archive were taken. They show the complex to be well maintained, with less visitors (local or foreign) than were customary by the pre war years.
This image shows that in 1962 there was still a clear distance between Qalb Lozeh and Qirq Bizeh. By the late 1990s only two or three fields and a road separated the two ancient settlements.
Qalb Lozeh is, as mentioned elsewhere, an exceptionally well-preserved C5th church on Jebel Barisha and is probably the best known monument in the region after Qal'at Sem'an. These images show that in 1962 there was already a modern village around the church, but that it was not as large as the settlement had become by the early C21st century. The photographs can be compared with those from the 1990s to show that in the 1960s there were no restrictions on entry and the building was open to all. In this case there appears to have been no deterioration of the site pre the Syrian Civil War since the 1960s.
These basalt doors are found across Syria, but generally most frequently originate from the Syrian Limestone Massif around Aleppo and Idlib provinces. They are found throughout the Late Antique period and were a particular feature of tower-houses occupied by multiple families. In some cases these doors have remained in situ, thus enabling us to see how they would have been far easier to operate than the modern viewer would expect.
A brief note published in Antiquity 75 (2001): 509-10
This article was published in 1999 and summarises some of the ideas that were expanded in the later monograph The Architecture and Liturgy of the Bema in Fourth- to-Sixth-Century Syrian Churches.
This paved Roman road is approximately one kilometre in length and intersects the road from Aleppo to Dana on the Limestone Massif.