A group of Syrian archaeologists have partnered with a French digital surveyor to recreate detailed 3D reconstructions of some of Syria's most prominent historic sites. The photogrammetric technology has been used to record the 8th-century Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, the Krak des Chevaliers Crusader castle near Homs, the Roman theater in Jableh and the Phoenician site in Ugarit.
These 3D reconstructions went online March 15 on the French start-up Iconem 's website. According to the start-up, the team hopes to preserve the knowledge of heritage sites that are under the threat of disappearing. They scan the sites using drones in order to transmit this common world heritage from one generation to another.
Work on the "Syrian Heritage" project began in December 2015, and was in partnership with Syria's Directorate-General of Antiquities & Museums. The head of DGAM, Maamoun Abdul-Karim, pointed out the importance of the project in avoiding an irreplaceable loss to humanity given the situation in Syria, according to The Daily Star . He added that this project gave Syrian sites a real hope of renaissance and preservation.
This project comes after 5 years of war in Syria, and after ISIS blew up two first-century temples in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmyra last year; Bel and Baalshamin, as they were considered "idolatry."