Serious fans of archaeology will be interested in Mari, an isolated town 140 mi/225 km northeast of Palmyra and near Syria's border with Iraq. A Mesopotamian palace and temples from the Bronze Age were discovered there and excavated in 1933. The various finds, including archives, were instrumental in shedding light on the early history of the region.

Be prepared for very hot weather and the fact that what remains may not be easy to understand or appreciate without a good guide.

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