We, at DGAM, are collecting our records of Palmyra and its monuments and are preparing a visionary plan for what can be restored, in order to give the city its cultural role back as one of the icons of world heritage, and we look forward to an international responsibility to restore and rehabilitate it.
In collaboration with our partners, experts of DGAM just prepared a preliminary 3D-model of a "reconstruction" of the sanctuary in Bel Temple in Palmyra using 3D photogrammetry techniques, after it had been destroyed by the terrorist militants of ISIS, along with Baalshamin Temple, Arch of Triumph, and several tower tombs. This model forms a base vision of the sanctuary in order to result a reference of the restoration project, not to forget the important model accomplished earlier by the Japanese mission by professor Kiyohide Saito, using laser photography techniques.
The following footage presents a preliminary 3D model of the sanctuary:
This part comes in a series of consecutive parts of a comprehensive set of documentation works of the Syrian heritage using 3D photogrammetry techniques, in collaboration with ICONEM, a French architectural firm managed by Mr. Yves Ublemann. First of which were rendered architectural plans of the court at the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus
, then were virtual tours of both the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus and the archaeological site of Ugarit
, and most recently a virtual tour for the Theatre of Jableh
The publication of these videos comes as planned to share the outcomes of this project with the public through this DGAM website and ICONEM's dedicated page on their website: www.iconem.com/syria
In accordance with the expert demining team, we can also obtain an expected plan of the explosives planted at the sanctuary prior the the destruction process, in order to have a visual estimation of the physical collapse of the stone blocks.
Some DAGM staff members had the chance to pay field visits to the city last week within a major and critical period for stabilization. DGAM experts will start specific documentation works of the current situation using advanced techniques, in order to accomplish the necessary files for restoration, based on international standards that gives priority to the authenticity of the site.
On the other hand, flowing data from the site, whether by vistors, media reports, or satellite imagery, indicate that several architectural blocks are in a good condition, i.e. the standing platform with its stair and monumental portal, wall foundations, several arcade columns. These blocks, with similar recent ones from the neighboring quarries to replace the missing parts, can be reconstructed preserving the authenticity of the ancient city, with a full revision and support of UNESCO as Palmyra is enlisted in the World Heritage List.
The Temple of Bel, among several highly significant cultural monuments in Palmyra, is the most distinctive of all throughout history. It was first built in 32 AD, and has an outer wall of 200m by 200m, preceded by inner colonnades. The sanctuary, 10m by 30m, is located in the center with a monumental portal in the middle and 2 altars inside, and surrounded by porticos.