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The Magnificent “Dead Cities” of Ancient Syria

Known as the Dead Cities, or Ancient Villages of Northern Syria, there is an incredible collection of 700 abandoned settlements that lay in the Al-Bara region. Ranging from single monuments to almost-complete villages, these ghostly sites date back before the fifth century CE. They are situated in an area known as Belus Massif, and contain numerous remains of Christian Byzantine architecture.

The ruins are believed to have been abandoned between the 8th and 10th century, and include churches, public houses, dwellings, and even wine presses. Restorative work is currently taking place on the sites, and the local inhabitants are welcoming to visitors.

The Dead Cities, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are believed to have flourished on the major trade routes of the Byzantine Empire, where they were established. But when the Arabs conquered, they lost the majority of their business, and many inhabitants moved to areas of increasing urbanization. As a result, the Dead Cities have an “eerie” feel to them – as if the inhabitants simply vanished without trace.

(Source: urbanghostsmedia.com)

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