The ruins of PalmyraPalmyra (known as Tadmur in Arabic) grew up around an oasis in the Syrian Desert, to the northeast of Damascus. It was a resting place for traders travelling across the Syrian Desert more than 3000 years ago. It came under the control of the Romans in the first century AD. Palmyra grew steadily in importance as a city on the trade route linking Persia, India and China with the Roman Empire. Its monumental architecture reflected this importance.
The main street, lined with columns—the Great Colonnade—runs for more than a kilometre from one end of the city to the other. The Temple of Bel, the Agora, the Theatre, the baths and other temples were built on this or adjoining streets. An aqueduct was constructed outside the city's walls. The Valley of Tombs, a vast necropolis, or cemetery, containing more than 50 huge towers, lies to the west of the city.
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