Wood's rendering of an ancient Roman eagle seen in Palmyra, for example, would later become the model for the Seal of the United States.
The archaeological complex has endured the rise and fall of myriad kingdoms, and the invasions of a succession of conquering empires. But it may face its greatest danger now.
Extremists from the Islamic State circulated images on social media on Tuesday that appeared to show the group's destruction of a famed temple in Palmyra. On Sunday, the Syrian government confirmed news that the militant group had detonated explosives in the Temple of Baal Shamin, an act that UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency, deemed a war crime.
The temple, devoted to a Phoenician storm god, was nearly 2,000 years old and was a testament to Palmyra's rich, diverse cultural history. The militants, though, consider such pre-Islamic art and shrines to be heretical and deserving only of obliteration.
When it's not pulverizing the past, the Islamic State has reportedly made millions of dollars by smuggling artifacts plundered from their domains in Iraq and Syria.
The images published by the group appear to show militants setting up explosives within the archaeological complex, and then a giant cloud of smoke where the Temple of Baal Shamin once stood — behind a stretch of the city's lengthy colonnade.
A caption in Arabic reads: "The moment of the explosion of the pagan Temple of Baal Shamin in Palmyra city."
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