Roman-era limestone cemetery unearthed in Damascus Countryside

Damascus Countryside, SANA – An ancient Roman-era limestone cemetery was unearthed in Rakhleh town in Qatana area in the southwest part of Damascus Countryside.

“Ten days ago, we had information that a farmer found a cemetery while he was working at his farm. An excavation team went to the site and uncovered a collective Roman cemetery dating back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D.,” Mahmoud Hamoud, Director of Damascus Countryside Antiquities, said in a statement to SANA.

He noted that the cemetery has a square shape. Once coming down the stairs, there is an entrance leading to three grave rooms. Each room contains several tombs, 15 of which were discovered.

Paintings for different figures, candlesticks, wreaths, and other archeological discoveries including lanterns, jewelry and bronze coins were uncovered at the site, Hamoud added.

He pointed out that there is a unique stone sculpture of a priest above the front door, 2 meters in length and 120 cm in width, adding that the sculpture is considered the first of its kind in archaeological discoveries in Syria and it indicates the development of the art of sculpture in the Roman era.

Rakhleh town, 40 km west of Damascus city, is rich of archeological sites and includes more than 50 sculptures with ancient Greek and Latin inscriptions.

R. Raslan / Ghossoun

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