Damascus: A History (Cities of the Ancient World)

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However commercial and semi-industrial activities are spreading into the residential area of the walled city and its suburbs, in places eroding the value of the attributes relating to the urban fabric and their inter-relationships. Responsibilities for planning control over the old city and its management are in the hands of two government departments the Commission for Safeguarding the Old Town and the General Directorate for Antiquities and Museums DGAM. Technical Cooperation for projects and programmes to enhance the city is undertaken by the Ministry of Local Administration and Environment with support from international organizations.

Legal protection is provided by the Antiquities law amended in in addition to the Ministerial order no.

Ancient city of Damascus, Syria

A Committee for the Protection and Development of Old Damascus has been established, with representatives of the different bodies to coordinate the planning and building activities in addition to being responsible for the strategic planning for the Old City. A buffer zone has also been delineated but not yet formally approved.

There is a need for the plan, once approved and implemented, to clarify the different levels of protection to be applied to the different parts of the urban fabric, to set out the appropriate interventions.

Damascus: a City Beyond History & Imagination

Baku, Azerbaijan , 30 June — 10 July About us www. Help preserve sites now! Join the , Members. Search Advanced. By Properties. Cultural Criteria: i ii iii iv v vi Natural Criteria: vii viii ix x. Category All Cultural Natural Mixed. All With videos With photo gallery. Country Region Year Name of the property. Without With. Ancient City of Damascus Founded in the 3rd millennium B.

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Ciudad vieja de Damasco Fundada en el tercer milenio a. Oude stad van Damascus Damascus werd gesticht in het 3e millennium voor Christus en is daarmee een van de oudste steden in het Midden-Oosten.


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Integrity The line of the walls of the old city forms the boundary of the property. Then there is nearby Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, which claims settlements dating back to 6,BC. Iran meanwhile has Susa, now the delightfully named Shush, administrative centre of Shush Country, which has an acropolis — a sure sign of ancient city status — that is carbon-dated to around 4,BC, and evidence of permanent homemaking going back another years.

Indeed, archeologists have found evidence of 20 successive settlements in Jericho dating back as far as 9,BC. And they were already building walls around their proto-city: serious 12ft high, 6ft wide walls, a remarkable and unprecedented feat of defensive architecture. Jericho, as the Bible tells us, developed a thing about walls.

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The city later became a private estate for Alexander the Great, and Herod — that Herod — leased it from Cleopatra, who had been given it by Mark Anthony as a gift. What else do you give the woman who has everything? Byblos, a once groovy Mediterranean resort in Lebanon, is possibly the first Phoenician city, founded in BC — not as old as Jericho, maybe, but at least it can claim continuous habitation since 5, BC.

Damascus was once a largely undisputed shoo-in for oldest city. It was name-checked in Genesis, and there is evidence of settlement going back to 9,BC.


  1. Damascus: A History.
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  5. Unfortunately, there is no clear evidence of meaningful activity in what is now Damascus proper until the 2nd millennium BC — a bit like West Bromwich arriving seven centuries before Birmingham. Herod, by the way, may also have been gifted Damascus.

    Ancient City of Damascus — Google Arts & Culture

    He was clearly doing something right. A modern by Damascene standards piece of history can be found in Souq al-Hamidiyya, where an ancient street was converted into a lively covered market during the lateth-century Ottoman era. Traditional Damascene homes are often unassuming from the street, but their interiors, built around lush courtyard gardens, are artistic and architectural treasures often filled with fine things. Some outstanding examples are open to the public, such as the midth-century Azem Palace, built for the governor of Damascus but now home to the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions.

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    The ancient section of Damascus has seen populations decrease in recent years as residents seek more modern housing. Read Caption.