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12 Items

Trench 3, end of excavation shots

These images were taken on the final day of the excavation season.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Test pit looking for sterile soil in trench 3

This test trench was dug at the westernmost end of trench 3 to confirm that there was no earlier occupation level under the Byzantine era dwelling.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Trench 3, fourth extension

This was the final extension to the trench and details such as thresholds, doorposts and a tannour (clay oven) were revealed.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Trench 3, third extension

This was the third extension to trench 3.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Trench 3, second extension

These pictures are taken some days after the last images and show the second extension to the trench, by which point it was clear that the trench was uncovering a street of terraced one room dwellings.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Trench 3, first extension

The trench overseen by the DGAM expanded rapidly and this is the first of a series of extensions that were added to the trench as it was extended to reveal a row of simple houses.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Trench 3, Context 1

These pictures are of the northernmost trench opened and overseen by Yaarob Abdallah of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM). The photographs record the first phase of his work.

Type: Archaeological Excavation
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Umayyad Mosque Aleppo 1992

These pictures were taken in December 1992 and show the Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo. The famous minaret of the mosque has since been destroyed in fighting during the Syrian civil war.

Type: Architecture
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Umayyad Mosque Damascus

The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus is the earliest Islamic monument still extant after the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. As with the Dome of the Rock, the Mosque boasts a large volume of mosaic decoration of the highest quality that is believed to have been carried out by Byzantine artisans given the similarities of the technique and motifs with high-quality Byzantine commissions of the same era. The most notable difference is that there is a complete absence of figural imagery in the Islamic monuments. In the case of the Umayyad Mosque the decoration is particularly intriguing as it depicts a range of landscapes both urban and pastoral, all entirely without living creatures. This has led many commentators to argue that it represents a vision of paradise, with others arguing instead for an idealised representation of Damascus. Whether or not these interpretations are correct, the mosaicists appear familiar with Roman architecture, with porticoed late Roman villas appearing prominently in the decoration, meaning that the mosaics demonstrate a continuity with earlier artistic forms rather than a definitive break with the past. In many ways the decorative scheme is far more conservative than that of the Dome of the Rock, which predates is by over twenty years.

Type: Mosaic
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Hawwarin was known as Evaria in late antiquity and is recorded as being the seat of two bishoprics. It appears to date from the Roman era as there is extensive evidence of Roman spolia in the Byzantine remains in the town. The local population talk of there having been seven basilicas in the settlement and evidence of three of these is still extant, although only one has been excavated thus far - by a Syrian team led by Wedad Khoury of the DGAM. The Roman dressed limestone blocks were carried to the site from some distance away as there are no quarries in the vicinity of the town and the modern dwellings are mud brick or cement. At the centre of the settlement is the mysterious "burj" or tower, which local people believe to have been part of an Umayyad hunting lodge, but which is built with Roman spoil and may well date from the Byzantine period as its nearest equivalent structure is the C6th stone tower at Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi. However, unlike the Qasr and neighbouring Khans/Caravanserai this tower has entrances to both the north and south rather than the single entrance that is the norm for such structures.

Type: Architecture
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