I haven't been there. Too wussy by far.
I posted over a year ago about the problems of mourning archaeology at the expense of people.
Very sadly, today, that issue has resurfaced in the most tragic way.
An archaeologist has died at the hands of so-called Islamic State, brutally murdered. It seems that he was killed for refusing to reveal the location of antiquities at Palmyra. He gave his life to protect the artefacts he loved falling into the hands of this utterly repugnant organisation.
What courage. What honour. What bravery.
I also want to remember the individuals who are dying to save the living, as well as protect the leavings of the dead. The BBC carried a harrowing account of traders who pay money to secure the release of Yazidi slaves- women and girls, who have been exposed to hideous sexual and physical abuse, as reported by the New York Times.
The murder of old men, the rape of young women, the destruction of beauty in every way. When will it stop? When will it be enough to act?
Rest In Peace, Khaled Al-Assad. Your courage, and that of the Yazidi families, will not be forgotten.