TREASURES IN SYRIA - Dave Thomas
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Open: Monday 7th October - Sunday 20th October // Time: 10am-4pm
Palmyra is an ancient archaeological site located north-east of Damascus, Syria, it held a key position on the Silk Route, connecting the Chinese, Persian and Roman Empires.
Recently, however, its treasures have been at risk due to the ongoing civil war in Syria. For a time, the so-called Islamic State or ISIS controlled the region around Palmyra, and some of the ruins at the site were destroyed.
The Syrian government retook the area in March 2017, and the ancient site, which has survived multiple wars and strife, remains a key historical and cultural treasure.
Palmyra was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
Apamea is an ancient city located on the right bank of the Orontes river about 55 km northwest of Hama, Syria, founded in 300 B.C. It overlooks the Ghab valley and is notable for its exceptionally long Roman street, lined with classical columns.
In contested areas of Syria, thousands of archaeological sites, including Apamea are being systematically looted by unknown parties, the treasures sold off, disappearing into the black market. ISIS has infamously looted and destroyed a number of sites over the past few years. Bulldozers have reportedly now destroyed parts of Apamea.
In 2002 Dave Thomas travelled solo across the length of Turkey, on through Syria, and into Lebanon, finally reaching Beirut. Documenting his travels along the way, (on 35mm film), he was fascinated by the breathtaking Roman ruins of Palmyra and Apamea. These films, along with others, have recently been re scanned and printed, and are exhibited here at the festival for the first time. They show how these sites were at that time.
Dave Thomas was born and lives in North Wales, and has been the lab manager in Cambrian Photography in Colwyn Bay since 1986. Dave is currently working on a larger set of these images for a forthcoming book.
Cambrian Photography has become the largest photographic retailer in North Wales. Their shop in Colwyn Bay has been established for over 70 years and covers every aspect of photography from large and medium format cameras to the most up to date digital equipment.