The rich collection of buildings and artifacts attests to Syria's 5,000 years of civilization. "Almost all the main chapters of human civilization have a part written in Syria," said Rodrigo Martin, spokesperson for Syrian Archaeological Heritage Under Threat, a group of European and Syrian archaeologists who have tracked damage to Syria's heritage since clashes began.
Babylonians, Greeks, and Persians all fought for control of the region, which was a crossroads for trade between Asia and Europe. Two Roman emperors, Alexander Severus and Philip the Arab, were born in Syria. For an archaeologist in the 21st century, Syria is a place where you can unearth a significant artifact in nearly any spot you turn a trowel.
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