Russia and Syria agree to restore ancient Arch of Ba’al temple

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Syria and Russia have signed an agreement to restore Syria’s Arch of Triumph, an ancient monument that stood at the entrance to a largely destroyed temple used for the worship of Ba’al in the ancient city of Palmyra, Israel365 reports.

Much of the Arch and the temple were destroyed by ISIS in 2015, following the outbreak of Syria’s tortuous and protracted civil war in 2011: it is believed that only around 30-40% of the stones in the Arch are left.

The Arch restoration agreement was signed Wednesday by Syria’s Trust for Development, Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums, and the Institute for the History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, Israel365 said.

The restoration will take place under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as well.

Located 135 miles from Damascus, Palmyra was a major tourist attraction, Israel 365 reports. The site was a key stop on the Silk Road caravan route and has artifacts that date to the Neolithic period. In 32 AD, the Temple of Palmyra was dedicated to the worship of Ba’al, a god who is referenced over 90 times in the Bible.

Ba’al is especially well known as Elijah, the prophet who challenged the priests of Ba’al to a contest on who could call fire down from heaven to burn a sacrifice.

The earliest known inhabitants at Palmyra were the Amorites, an ancient Semitic-speaking people from the Levant who settled in the area in the second millennium BC. The Amorites are referenced in the Bible as inhabitants of Canaan both before and after the conquest of the promised land by Joshua.

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