With Support of Total E&P Syrie..Opening of Visitor Center at the archeological city of Mari, south-east Deir Ezzor

With Support of Total E&P Syrie..Opening of Visitor Center at the archeological city of Mari, south-east Deir Ezzor which work was started since 2007 .this center is the first of its kind in archeological sites in Syria.



The center is a fruitful cooperation between General Directorate of Antiquity and Museums in Syria , CRATerre Institution Grenoble ,French Institute of the Near East, and Friends of Mari Association   through three phases .The center includes a motel for visitors, tickets room, café and a showroom which contains pictures and figurative illustrations for Mari’s most important discoveries.

Governor of Deir Ezzor Hussein Arnous said that the importance of Mari lies in being the center of the road of the world’s traditional trade and a cultural and civil center, pointing out that the center aims at defining the role Mari had  played in the past and insuring a suitable place for serving tourists and visitors .
He thanked Total E&P Syrie and all supportive partners to introduce this work in this successful way.






French Ambassador in Damascus, Eric Chevalier said “The project represents a symbolic, idealistic and typical success due to the extensive efforts exerted by the Syrian and French partners”. He added that it aims at highlighting the value of the site and spreading knowledge about it in addition to shedding light on the experience of mud architecture and marketing the environmental tourism in Syria.



Jean-Louis  Barjolle, Total E&P Syrie, Managing  Director said that Total E&P Syrie Partnership in establishing this center is one of the company’s activities and responsibilities towards local society in Sustainable Development areas, in cooperation with the Syrian Government and International Organizations pointing that the project is a unique Symbol that link History, Culture  with Development ,Economy ,and Environmental protection .. and work on documenting Syrian greate experience in Mud Architecture .



For his part, Director of the French Institute of the Near East Francois Burgat said ” Mari is considered as one of the most famous and oldest school for building mud which dates back to the 3rd millennium BC and the Service Center is an extension of that school. He added that the Institute is considering preparation of a website to highlight the archeological information about Mari.

Supervisor of the Project Implementation from CRATerre Institution Mahmoud Bendakir pointed out that the project aims at identifying and marketing the mud architecture through the issuance of a private catalogue in three languages.



Director of the French Mission Pascal Butterlin said the opening of the center coincides with the Mission celebration of 75 years of work in Mari site and with launching the 47th campaign for excavation and restoration of the site, pointing out that the archeological missions which started work on 1933 by the French archeologist Andre Parrot up till now prove the deep-rooted Syrian-French friendship and both sides keenness on joint cooperation.

Bassam Jamous General Directorate of Antiquit and Museums in Syria – General Director said that there are daily new discoveries in archeological sites in all parts of Syria by 140 archeological missions indicating that the Directorate and Cultural Ministry seek to rehabilitate archeological sites.
Pascal Butterlin described the work at Mari site as a unique opportunity as Mari is considered a genuine laboratory for the development of the mud architecture.

In addition to its Exploration and production activities TOTAL E&P SYRIE supports a number of Sustainable Development projects in Health, Environment, Education, cultural heritage and Local Economic Development especially in Deir Ez Zor area, in cooperation with the local entities and international organizations working in Syria.




Kingdom of Mari is located on a hill called Tel al-Hariri , 10 km northwest Abu Kamal city in Deir Ezzor on the west bank of the Euphrates River .Its strategic location made Mari a very important city during ancient times. It was a key city on the trade route between Syria and Mesopotamia, which helped to make it a powerful and prosperous kingdom. The site at Mari was discovered accidentally in the early 1930s by Arabs that were digging graves. Excavations began shortly afterwards by a group of archaeologists from France.


 Under the direction of Andre Parrot, the excavators uncovered many artifacts and structures, including temples, a royal palace and many cuneiform tablets. The evidence gathered from Mari, indicate that it had been occupied from before the 3rd millennium B.C. to about 1750 B.C. when the city was captured and destroyed by Hammurabi of Babylon.

The largest and most important find in Mari is the royal palace of King Zimri-Lim where the goddess of Spring was founded.



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