Syria upheaval halts race to reveal secrets of ancient fort:
The Independent

Dr Emma Loosley, an archaeologist and art historian with the University of Manchester, was invited by Syria’s Department of Antiquities to work on the site. She said Zalabiyeh overlooked the narrowest point in the Euphrates, and was on a vital trading route.

“It contains evidence of continuous human settlement through many civilisations including the Assyrian, Roman, Arab – it is an astonishing area to work in and one of the most important in the world,” she said. “So our work to understand as much as we can before it disappears is hugely important and I hope to be able to go back as soon as it is safe to do so.” She told The Independent that the fortress – occupied for only a few hundred years – provided a perfect “time capsule” of day-to-day life at the end of the Byzantine era and during early Muslim expansion across what is now the Arab world.

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