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21/10/2016 - 07:00hs

Syrian archaeology is the topic of lecture

Archaeologist Ahmad Serieh, former Museums national director in Syria and Arab-Syrian Cultural Center director in Brazil, will discuss Syrians museums and archaeological sites next Sunday (23) in São Paulo.

São Paulo – The 3rd International Archaeology Seminar, scheduled for next Sunday (23) in the city of São Paulo, will focus on Syria. Archaeologist Ahmad Serieh will give two lectures, one on the Arab country’s archaeological heritage in a time of war, and another on Ebla, the archaeological site located in Northern Syria, near Aleppo. The seminar is organized by the Brazilian Association of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology (Abamo).

In a phone interview with ANBA, Serieh expressed his concern regarding the Syrian archaeological wealth that has been destroyed and stolen while the war goes on. He says that Ebla is located in a region that is currently dominated by a radical group. The archaeological heritage of Ebla shows that the place was a monumental city, full of large fortifications, palaces and temples. According to Serieh, the city was founded in 2,300 B.C.

“There’s a lot of destruction, more than one thousand archaeological sites and between 60% and 80% of museums were destroyed”, said the Syrian-born archaeologist, a former national director of Museums in Syria who currently lives in Brazil. Serieh is worried about the archaeology mafia, the series of non-legal excavations that have been going on in the country, with the sales of pieces generating revenues to armed groups such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS).

Serieh graduated in History at the Damascus University and has a master’s degree and a doctorate in Archaeology from the University of Warsaw, Poland. He moved to Brazil seven years ago to be the director of the Arab-Syrian Cultural Center, where he held the post until it was closed due to financial difficulties brought by the war. Currently, Serieh is a speaker, archaeology researcher and Arabic professor at the Arab, African and South American Library and Research Center (Bibliaspa) located in São Paulo.

According to information from Abamo, the choice of Syria as the theme of the seminar aims to offer Brazilians the opportunity to reflect on the history and archaeology of the region and to express solidarity towards the Syria people. Abamo recalls that the country was the home or gateway to many peoples, such as the Aramaeans, Hittites, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Turkish and Arabs, and home to some of the world’s most ancient cities.

The seminar starts at 9:45 am with an opening ceremory, and Serieh’s first lecture begins at 10 am. The second lecture, also given by him, starts at 11 am and is followed by a panel with a Q&A session. After it, there will be a lunch for Abamo members. Admission for the lectures is free of charge.

Quick facts

3rd International Archaeology Seminar
October 23 (Sunday), at 9:45 am
IASD Moema Auditorium
Avenida Chibarás, 185 – Moema – São Paulo – SP
Information: www.abamo.org

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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