A horrifying satellite image has been recently released showing the significant damage of a centuries-old archeological site in central Syria as a result of illicit excavations.
Apamea (also known as Afamia) is an ancient city dating back to the Greek and Roman era located on the right bank of the Orontes River some 55 km to the northwest of Hama city.
The image shows hundreds of holes – some are more than 3 meters deep – dug by smugglers at the site of the ancient city in search for artifacts.
Syria’s cultural heritage has been greatly affected by the 6-years war. While some of the archeological sites (many enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage) have been substantially damaged by the military operations, others were tragically looted, artifacts illegally smuggled.
Apamea is now part of the large swathes controlled by jihadi groups in Idlib province and northern Hama countryside.
The ancient city of Palmyra located deep in the Syrian Desert had the biggest share of destruction as the Islamic State seized the city twice in 2015 and 2015.