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Palmyra has just been retaken by the Syrian army after almost twelve months in the hands of the so-called ‘Islamic state’. During their occupation, IS destroyed some of the most significant monuments of the Roman era in the Middle East, or indeed anywhere. What did this desert oasis on the eastern fringe of the Roman-controlled world offer to its Syrian and international visitors as well as to historians and archaeologists and why is it still so important? This lecture examines what has been left after the deliberate IS campaign of destruction and what hope there that the ‘lost’ monuments can be reconstructed.

Dr Ross burns is the author of Monuments of Syria and his history of Damascus (2005) is about to be matched by a counterpart on Aleppo (Routledge, Aug 2016). A former DFAT officer, he was Ambassador to Syria in the mid-1980s. His website is at and many more of his nearly 100,000 photo archive are also available on the website of Manar-al-Athar, an open archival project run out of the Dept of Archaeology at Oxford University (

How to Book: Please email Jillian Kennedy. Email: Or call Jillian on 02 9958 7378. Or book via this website. Bookings and payment in advance are essential, no refunds.

Payment Options:

1. Payment by EFT:

The Asian Arts Society of Australia

BSB: 012-003, Account No. 2185-28414. Please provide “your name Burns” as a reference.

2. Payment by credit card via this website – see Bookings button above right.



1 August, 2016
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm AEST
Event Category:




Sydney Mechanics School of Arts
280 Pitt St
Sydney, NSW Australia
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