Surkania Location Byzantine Ruins

Surkania Church - Byzantine Era

The Dead Cities are a group of 700 abandoned settlements in northwest Syria between Aleppo and Hama. They date back to before the fifth century B.C and contain many remains of Christian Byzantine architecture. Important dead cities include Qal’at Sim’an, Serjilla and al Bara. Chris Wickham, in the authoritative survey of the post-Roman world, Framing the Early Middle Ages(2006) argues that these were settlements of prosperous peasants which have few or no specifically urban features. The impressive remains of domestic architecture are the result of the prosperity of peasants who benefited from a strong international trade in olive oil at the end of Antiquity.

The other arguments are that these were prosperous cities that flourished as they were located along major trade routes in the Byzantine Empire, and not merely prosperous peasant settlements. When the area was conquered by the Arabs, the trade routes changed and these towns lost the majority of the business that their economies depended on. The settlers eventually abandoned their towns and headed for other cities that were flourishing under the Arabs and the Umayyads as increasing urbanisation took its toll.

The majority of the dead cities are very well preserved and tourists can access the sites quite freely despite the ongoing archaeological excavations and some restoration work, though some of the Dead Cities are quite difficult to reach without a guide.

Relatively few of the Dead Cities have any type of archaeological excavations taking place, and unfortunately the majority of people living in close proximity to them have no understanding of their importance. However, the local inhabitants are always welcoming to visitors. Most sites are now easily accessible and within the last two or three years many roads have been asphalted.There is a guidebook with a detailed map that is extremely useful for finding the lesser known sites: ” The Church of St. Simeon the Stylite and Other Archaeological Sites in the Mountains of Simeon and Halaqa” Arabic Text by Abdallah Hadjar, Translated by Paul Amish. –Lynjane 16:42, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
From: Wikipedia.org

Surkania LocationSurkania LocationThe Walls Of Surkania ChurchChurch Of Surkania LocationSurkania Church From Byzantine EraDead Cities Area NatureDSC07939Wild Flora At Byzantine RuinsByzantine Ruins At SurkaniaByzantine Ruins At SurkaniaByzantine Ruins At SurkaniaDSC07916DSC07909DSC07908The Door Of Surkania Church

3 thoughts on “Surkania Location Byzantine Ruins

  1. Zelidar 08/08/2007 at 19:48 Reply

    Very nice set and place. Can it been seen on Google Earth?

  2. Hovic 08/08/2007 at 22:20 Reply

    Hello Zelidar, and thanks for Q.
    These places can be seen by google earth, it is west of Aleppo.
    There are many around Dar Etezza.

  3. Zelidar 12/08/2007 at 07:38 Reply

    I could not find it (them). Never mind, there are always tons of things to do during each of my trips to Syria.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: