This Day. Khaled al-Asaad

A martyr of modern science. Five years ago – on August 18th, 2015 – a prominent Arabic scientist, archeologist and researcher Khaled al-Asaad was executed by ISIS at the age of 83 years. Most of his life he devoted to researches of the ancient city of Palmyra (Syria). Due to his efforts, Palmyra became a UNESCO world heritage site. He also researched numbers of texts in the Aramaic language, translating them. He published 20 scientific works, mostly about results of archeological excavations and researches in Palmyra. For 40 years (1963-2003), he was the principal custodian of the Palmyra site. In 2003 he retired but continued to work there, publishing new researches. In 2015, prior to the capture of Palmyra by ISIS, the elderly scientist organized evacuation of the Palmyra museum, archeological artifacts and its antiquities. However, he himself was captured by ISIS. After weeks of tortures he didn’t reveal the location, where the evacuated antiquities were hidden. On August 18th, he was beheaded publicly on a square, being accused of participation in conferences with ‘infidels’.

Dmytriy Kovalevich

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Filed under History, West Asia (Middle East)

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