Assad’s bombings damage Roman theater in city mentioned by Pharaohs

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A Roman Theater at Bosra was destroyed in part by the bombardment of the city of Daraa by the Syrian army and the Russian air force. The theater is considered one of the most famous historical and cultural landmarks in the world.

Reports from various media and social media sources stated that since late June the Bosra theater has been affected by a series of bombings by the Syrian regime's army, Russian planes and the heavy cannons used by Iranian militia fighting alongside the Assad army south of Syria.

According to reports from various sources, Russian fighter jets targeted the fortress of the historical theater of Basra, as well as its steps, which have suffered extensive destruction to large pieces of stone seats that had stood for nearly 14 centuries without harm.

The theater of Bosra is considered the only one that is best preserved among all Roman theaters in the world.

Unique historical theater hit

The bombing targeted different areas of the unique historical theater - its western side, and the section known as the Museum of Popular Tradition.

A number of Syrian archaeologists and opponents of the Assad regime have at different times appealed to UNESCO, which has listed the city of Bosra, where the theater is located as a World Heritage site, to protect this unique human heritage from the continuous destruction caused by the bombing of the Assad army, which has affected it more than once, since the Syrian regime began bombing Syrian opposition areas.

Anas al-Miqdad, a Syrian archaeologist and academic, said in a press statement to Zaman al Wasl that UNESCO did not intervene to protect the city of Bosra and its theater, and that despite the messages he sent to the international organization to protect the world heritage, they never responded to his appeals.

He pointed out that the bombing by the Assad regime’s army and the Russian aircraft, not only targeted the theater of Basra and the fortress, but also Omri Mosque, the Cathedral of Bosra, and other urban areas which are of priceless historical importance.

Various media sites, through published photos, confirmed that the theater of the Bosra was partially destroyed by Russian shelling and Assad's forces last week. The importance of this place, at the level of world history, makes its partial ruin, a historical and archaeological tragedy.

Bosra theater 2
Bosra theater 2

Although there is no consensus among archaeologists and historians about the exact time of the construction of the Bosra theater, it is believed that it was built between 117 and 138 AD, and shortly after the death of the Nabataean king, who had taken the city of Bosra as his capital.

Royal Pharaonic archive

According to Dr. Said Al-Hajji, Archaeologist and former professor at the University of Damascus, the city was mentioned in the correspondence of “Tel el-Amarna” in 1350 BC, which was revealed in 1885 AD, and is considered a royal Pharaonic archive written in cuneiform script.

The famous Egyptologist, Dr. Zahi Hawass, wrote in Asharq Al Awsat in London on June 14, 2012 that “it is a unique royal archive dating Egyptian diplomacy during the heyday of Pharaonic Egypt.”

The Bosra theater, carved out of basalt stone, can accommodate more than 15,000 spectators in an area 850 meters above sea level. It has witnessed human settlement since the ancient Bronze Age. It was the capital of the Roman Arab region, then the capital of the Nabataeans, a path for the Arab convoys, and then the facade of the Islamic conquest that was to come later.

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