Photo of the Day 15 April 2008

Palmyra Ruins, Syria, 1999
Photograph by Annie Griffiths Belt
These monumental stone pillars are among the incredible remains of the second century B.C. kingdom of Palmyra, Syria, an oasis and trade crossroads in the Syrian desert.

Roman forces sacked Palmyra in A.D. 273 after its powerful queen Zenobia challenged imperial rule. The city continued to be an important landmark after Roman conquest, hosting silk caravans from China, spice traders from India, and perfume merchants from Arabia.