The world collectively rejoiced when news of the recapturing of the ancient city of Palmyra emerged from Syria in March 2016. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, known otherwise as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, captured the city in August 2015, proceeding to destroy many of the priceless structures and artifacts found at the site. UNESCO, which is responsible for World Heritage Sites that represent the collective heritage of all of humanity, stated that the destruction was a "war crime".
Although under Roman rule at the time of its construction, Palmyra had its very own pantheon of gods, as well as its own unique take on classical architecture normally associated with the Greeks and Romans. While the extent of the destruction by the terrorist organization is significant, archaeologists are currently scrambling to see what they can salvage from the rubble. Take a look inside what's left of the ancient city:
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The Temple of Bel's inner chamber, or cella, in ruins. In classical architecture, a cella is where a cult image or statue of the temple's deity would have been kept.
This is what's left of the sculptures in Palymra's museum.
Ruined statues in the Palmyra museum.
A doorway is the only part of the Temple of Bel's cella that's still intact. The site dates back to 32 AD.
Priceless sculptures devoted to Mesopotamian deities defaced in Palmyra's museum. In addition to worshiping Bel (or Baal), the city's inhabitants also worshiped a Lunar god, Aglibol, and a Sun god, Yarhibol.
The face from a destroyed statue as found in the Palmyra museum following the city's recapturing.
This is all that's left of the nearly 2000-year-old Temple of Bel, which was destroyed by ISIS operatives prior to its recapture by Syrian forces in March 2016.
A priceless and unique historical treasure that was destroyed because, according to ISIS, it represented idolatrous worship.
Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad patrol the ancient ruins. The photographer's handheld photograph shows what the site looked like prior to ISIS entering and destroying it.
The Monumental Arch, or Arch of Septimius Severus, was one of Palmyra's main attractions prior to the city being captured by ISIS. It dated back to the 3rd Century AD. There are plans to restore the arch using a technique called anastylosis.
The Temple of Baalshamin dated all the way back to the 2nd Century BC, and was one of the best-preserved ruins in the ancient city. Although it's now no more than a pile of rubble, anastylosis will also be employed to recreate the temple in the future.