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News Tip: ISIS Control of Palmyra Sends 'Shockwaves' Through Archaeological Community, Experts Say

The militant group reportedly threatens the ancient city.

The militant group threatens the ancient city and its antiquities.•    Quotes: "ISIS control of Palmyra has sent shockwaves through the archaeological community, which fears for the fate of the remarkable antiquities of the site," says Carol Meyers, professor emeritus of religion at Duke University. "At risk are the magnificent structures visible above ground and also the untold numbers of invaluable artifacts that lie unexcavated beneath the surface, ripe for plucking by plunderers who would sell them to fund ISIS operations.""The city goes back to biblical times, and it is mentioned in the Bible as a site fortified by King Solomon. Its prominence as a desert oasis meant that by Greco-Roman times, it became in important part of the east-west trade route of the ancient world.""Its interaction with the major powers of that time are evident in its material remains, which show a successful blending of Semitic, Roman and Persian cultures."•    Bio:Carol Meyers is a professor emeritus of religion at Duke who specializes in biblical studies and archaeology. She is a trustee of the American Schools of Oriental Research and of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research. She serves on the board of directors of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation and is president-elect of the Society of Biblical Literature.•    For additional comment, contact Carol Meyers•    Quotes: "Palmyra is one of the best preserved sites of classical antiquity in the entire world and is recognized as one of the most important UNESCO World Heritage sites," says Eric Meyers, professor emeritus of religion at Duke University. "Its importance derives not only from the beauty and majesty of its ruins, but from its incredible literary pedigree. That pedigree included its Semitic name, which is mentioned in the Bible as 'Tadmor' (2 Chronicles 8:4), where it is known as a city built or fortified by King Solomon. While that is probably a misidentification, it is later known as Palmyra in the classical periods."•    Bio:Eric Meyers is a professor emeritus of religion at Duke. He specializes in the social setting of late biblical prophecy in the Persian period, Second Temple Judaism, the archaeology of the Land of Israel, and the synagogue in early Judaism.•    For additional comment, contact Eric Meyers