Historical Conditions For Preserving Antiquities In The Levant

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Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Strehle, Helle;


Conservation and the Eastern Mediterranean: Contributions to the 2010 IIC Congress, Istanbul, p.195-200 (2010)


The history of caring – and not caring – for cultural heritage in the Middle East dates back to the seventh century bce. This paper deals with the attitudes towards, and political reasons for treating, material cultural heritage during the various socio-political periods in the Levant, beginning with the period from antiquity through to Ottoman rule and then focusing in particular on Syria, including the independent kingdom of Faisal, French mandate rule and independence. The paper offers an overview of the legal documents of the Syrian Arab Republic on the ownership of material cultural heritage. The traditional Muslim system of waqf (Arabic , Turkish vakif ) is also described.