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Photos of the Ancient City of Palmyra, the 'Pearl of the Desert' ISIS is Destroying

Archeologists and researchers have called it an "irreversible loss," and Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria's director general of antiquities, has told The New York Times that he's the "saddest director general in the world." The ongoing destruction of Palmyra, an ancient Syrian city and UNESCO World Heritage site, by ISIS has unfortunately reached a new low, with reports over the weekend suggesting the Islamic state destroyed the Temple of Baalshamin, a nearly 2,000-year-old structure built in 17 A.D. in dedication to the Phoenician sky god.

A gallery of archeological gems, and why Palmyra is so important. >>