Archaeologists find rare Crusader-era murals in Syria





Archaeologists have discovered two Crusader-era murals depicting heaven and hell in a medieval church near Syria's coast — a rare find that could reveal new information about the Christian knights who battled Muslims for control of the Holy Land hundreds of years ago.

Experts are now renovating the 12th century paintings, which were discovered last year by a joint Syrian-Hungarian team excavating an old Crusader fortress on a hilltop near the Mediterranean Sea in the western province of Tartous.

The discovery was announced Saturday by Bassem Jamous, Syria's director general of antiquities and museums, who told the state-run Al-Thawra newspaper that the paintings could provide information about the traditions and beliefs of the Crusaders.

The murals, which measure about 8 feet (2.5 meters) high and 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) wide, were hanging on either side of the altar of a 12th century chapel inside the al-Marqab Citadel and had accumulated thick layers of dust and dirt, archaeologists said.


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S K - 10/17/2009

Murals at al-Marqab are not surprising. What is surprising is the reporting...
http://badlatin.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/medieval-archaeology-reporting/

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