• Transliterations: Since there is no universal method of transliteration from Arabic to English, I have utilized my own method that I feel is closest to Syrian pronunciation, while also maintaining some consistency to the Arabic spelling. For example, I will always transliterate the “ق” as a “q” and the “ك” as a “k”, while other transliterations may interchange these characters. I have made exceptions for sites where specific spellings in English have been popularized, such Lattakia (where my usual transliteration would look more like al-Ladhaqiyeh).
  • Ratings: Individual site “rating” is somewhat arbitrary, based simply on my own personal impression of the site. Ratings are not meant to suggest one site is of more historical or archaeological importance than another. Some sites of great archaeological significance may receive lower ratings because they offer little for the casual visitor. Additionally, ratings are somewhat influenced by other sites contemporary to them.

Coming Soon

This website remains a work in progress, with several posts still to come. I am presently working on creating pages for the following sites:

Hama Region

  • Apamea (آفاميا)

Deir al-Zur Region

  • Halabiyeh (حلبية)
  • Zalabiyeh (زلبية)

Aleppo Region

  • Barad (براد)
  • Kharab Shams (خراب شمس)
  • Batuta (بطوطة)
  • Rafadeh (رفادة)
  • Sit al-Rum (ست الروم)

Several dozen additional sites within the cities of Damascus (دمشق) and Aleppo (حلب) are to be covered as well, along with the waterwheels (النواعير) of Hama (حماة).

Uncovered Sites

The following is a list of sites which, for varying reasons, I was unable to visit or document during my time in Syria. I have omitted bronze age (and earlier) sites with the exception of the most archaeologically significant:

Aleppo Region

  • Fedra (فدره) – Byzantine ruins in the western end of Jebel Samaan. Located at 36°19’07.10″N / 36°48’17.80″E.
  • Jebel al-Barakat (جبل البركات) – Byzantine ruins at the peak of the mountain. Access often restricted due to military use of site.
  • Khanaser (خناصر‎) – Byzantine ruins, historical Anasartha.
  • Qouballi (قوبللي) – Remains of a single Byzantine-era church in a modern village. Far northern end of the limestone massif of Jebel Samaan. Located at 36°28’41.82″ / 36°55’53.98″.
  • Zebed (زبد) – Like Khanaser, contains sparse remains from the Byzantine period.

Damascus Region

  • Barqash – Roman temple and Byzantine basilica remains in the mountains near the Lebanese border.
  • Khan al-Halabat (خان الحلابات)
  • Tell Aswad (تل أسود‎) – Important Neolithic site to the west of Damascus.

Daraa Region

  • Inkhel (انخل) – Byzantine-era residential buildings.
  • al-Harak (الحراك) – Umayyad-era mosque. Recent damage has been substantial.
  • Nawa (نوى) – Roman and Byzantine-era residential buildings. Recent damage has been substantial.

Deir al-Zur Region

  • Tel Baghouz (تل باغوز) – Roman tower tombs near the Iraqi border. Similar in style to those found just outside of Halabiyeh.
  • al-Busariyeh (البصيرة‎) – Remains of the historical Roman city of Circesium. Some remains of city walls intact.

al-Hasakeh Region

  • Ain Diwar (عين ديوار) – Roman-era bridge in the far northeast corner of Syria. Well-preserved, difficult to reach.
  • Qalaat Sukara (قلعة سكرى)
  • Tel Barri
  • Tel Brak (تل براك) – Important Neolithic site to the northeast of al-Hasakeh. Located at 36°40’3.13″ / 41°3’36.16″.
  • Tel Halaf (تل حلف) – Important Neolithic archaeological site on the Turkish border, northwest of al-Hasakeh. Located at 36°49’35.13″ / 40°2’22.64″.
  • Tel Leilan
  • Urkesh/Tel Mozan (تل موزان‎) – Important Neolithic site.

Hama Region

  • Baarein (بعرين) – Sparse remains of castle fortifications. Poor quality construction.
  • Deir al-Sharqi (دير الشرقي) – Tomb of caliph from Umayyad period.
  • Qasr al-Makharam (قصر المخرم) – Byzantine ruins east of Hama.

Homs Region

  • Deir Mar Elias – Historic monastery in Rableh, near al-Quseir.
  • Hawarein (حوارين‎) – Byzantine-era church remains. Fairly good condition.
  • Kharbaqeh Dam (سد خربقة) – Roman-era dam.
  • al-Qaryatein (القريتين) – Beautifully restored monastery that dates as far back as the Byzantine period.
  • Qasr al-Heir al-Gharbi (قصر الحير الغربي‎) – Sparse remains of an Umayyad-era palace.

Idleb Region

  • Arshin (عرشين) – Byzantine-era site in Jebel Barisha. Apse of church appears well preserved. Located at 36°4’13.00″ / 36°36’48.00″.
  • Bab Ayan (باب عيان) – Byzantine-era site in Jebel Barisha, not far from the site of Dahis. Sparse remains. Located at 36°10’40.83″ / 36°38’48.74″.
  • Banaqfur (بناقفور) – Byzantine-era site in the western end of Jebel Barisha. Appears to be a fairly extensive site with numerous buildings, including churches. Located at 36°11’3.97″ / 36°36’27.02″.
  • Banqusa (بانقوسا) – Byzantine-era site in Jebel Barisha, to the southeast of Kukanayeh. Located at 36°5′ 54.00″ / 36°37’36.00″.
  • Darkoush (دركوش‎) – Picturesque town on the Orontes River. No notable historical remains.
  • Deir Aaman (ديرعامان) – Fairly expansive Byzantine-era site located in the far northeast of the Idleb province, south of the town of Tarmanin. Located at 36°12’9.20″ / 36°49’13.21″.
  • Deir Tarmanin (دير ترمانين) – Byzantine-era site. Sparse remains of a monastery.
  • Hosn – Village in Jebel Wastani with sparse remains of Byzantine fortifications.
  • Jouaniyeh (جوانية) – Byzantine-era site with fairly substantial remains. Exact location not known.
  • Kafr Hawar (كفر حوار) – Byzantine-era site located northwest of al-Dana. Remains comprise mostly of towers. Located at 36°14’42.37″ / 36°44’10.71″.
  • Kafrbo (كفربو) – Christian village with old church.
  • Kaseibjeh (كسيبجة) – Byzantine-era site in Jebel Barisha near to Sarmada. Located at 36°12’30.00″ / 36°42’20.00″.
  • Khirbet al-Khatib (خربة الخطيب) – Byzantine-era site in Jebel Barisha, to the northwest of Baqirha in close proximity to the Turkish border. Located at 36°12’49.00″ / 36°38’17.00″.
  • Khirbet al-Sharqiyeh (الخربة الشرقية) – Byzantine-era site in Jebel al-Aala. This is a local name for the site.
  • Nouriyeh (نورية) – Byzantine-era site in the far west of Jebel Barisha. Located at 36°11’59.00″ / 36°36’18.00″.
  • Tourein (تورين) – Byzantine-era site in Jebel Wastani. Includes a fairly well preserved church.

al-Raqqa Region

  • Sura

More information about these sites will be published here as I come across it.