Palmyra, known as the ‘Venice in the sands’, has turned into a vast land of ruins with the Arch of Triumph, funerary monuments, Temple of Baal and the temple of Baalshamin lying destroyed by the Islamic State or ISIS. One by one, ISIS had been destroying the ancient temples, towers and statues of Palmyra dating back to 2000 years.


Zenobia, the legendary queen of Palmyra in Syria, would certainly weep profusely if she now comes to the capital of her kingdom that was a thriving metropolis two millennia ago.

The Tears of Zenobia: ISIS Killed An Archaeologist for Hidden Treasure

Image Source: Britannica


The destruction of the Roman columns and Roman Amphitheatre at Palmyra evoked global shriek. Can you believe, the ISIS militants gleefully tied captives to those historic columns and blew them up?

Earlier also, they beheaded many persons in the premises of the ancient amphitheatre where Queen Zenobia might have leisurely walked through some 1800 years ago. As ISIS is inching towards its gory end, it is worthwhile to have a glimpse of Palmyra of Zenobia.

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What’s The Secret of Palmyra? 

Palmyra is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Even a small defacement would be an international crime as Palmyra is a living page of history. The UNESCO has said destruction of Palmyra is an act of war crime. It is indeed so. The ISIS jehadis should be tried and punished for this.

The site, containing 1,000 columns, a Roman aqueduct and a formidable necropolis of more than 500 tombs, was a thriving city 2000 years ago.

This was the place from where Queen Zenobia ruled her kingdom and led her army against the Romans some 1800 years ago.

But the Islamic militants believe such temples, idols and statues are against their religious faith. Hence, they indulged in the destruction spree obliterating some of the best examples of 1st century Greco-Roman and Persian style of architectures. 

More than 150,000 tourists visited Palmyra annually before the Syrian conflict and the ISIS capturing the city. Jihadis used dynamite to tear down the historic temples at the site.

They also looted the priceless historic relics and artifacts and made this a major way of generating revenue for the ISIS. They traded these ancient statues and artifacts with the international art dealers in the Middle East.

The Tears of Zenobia: ISIS Killed An Archaeologist for Hidden Treasure

Image Source: Herbert Gustave Schmalz / Wikipedia

One of the victims of this jehadi invasion in Palmyra was Khaled al-Asaad, the famous archaeologist. The beheading of this 82-year old keeper of the artifacts and famous archaeologists outraged the entire world.

Al-Asaad was killed as he refused to divulge the exact location where Queen Zenobia might have hidden her treasures. It is believed that Queen Zenobia kept a huge cache of treasure somewhere in Palmyra.

As al-Asaad spent his entire life researching Palmyra and knew almost each and every nook of the ancient town, the ISIS thought he must be knowing that particular treasure-spot. Reports said the ISIS doubted that veteran archaeologist was hiding some secrets from them.

ISIS Killed an Noted Archaeologist

Al-Assad loved Palmyra so much that he named his daughter as Zenobia: after the legendary queen. So did the living Zenobia, al-Assad’s daughter.

Tears of our living Zenobia should not go in vain. ISIS terrorists must be tried as war criminals. A Nuremberg-type trial must be held for them and the criminals punished for their crimes.

This only can assuage the tears of Queen Zenobia as she must be weeping at the destruction of Palmyra.

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