"Mari - back through the ages" Top 5 Page for this destination Syria Things to Do Tip by TheWanderingCamel

Syria Things to Do: 414 reviews and 569 photos

  Zimri-Lim's library
by TheWanderingCamel

Nowhere in Syria gives more of a sense of the passage of time than Mari. A widespread jumble of mud walls and empty space, it certainly won't be the most immediately attractive site you'll see, but it was here, and places like this, that the world as we know it - with its cities, trade, record-keeping, organized religion and such began. The royal city-states of Mesopotamia were all once like this, Mari is now the best known and most peeled back of them all. Excavations here began in 1933 and will continue until all the secrets of Mari are revealed, by which time virtually nothing will remain of the mud-walled layers except the great palace of Zimri-Lim - the only part of the site to be covered and protected. It was here that the strange, and rather comical, statues of plump little men and women, priests and goddesses, in layered skirts and with kohl-rimmed eyes, that you see in the museums in Damascus and Aleppo were found. To walk down into the palace, with its maze of rooms and courtyards bathed in a strange yellow light from the plastic roof overhead, is to walk into the deep time of this long-lost world of our own past.

Facilities at the site are very rudimentary, though there is a small tea-house where you may get a drink and eat a picnic that you will need to supply yourself.

Directions: Mari lies just 12 km from the Syrian/Iraqi border, south of Deir ez-zor.
Website: http://www.syriagate.com/Syria/about/cities/Deir_Ezzor/mari-cm.htm

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 17, 2005
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