857-69586 - Palmyra, Syria - January, 2008: Roman ruins in the desert. Palmyra or Tadmore was a 2nd century AD desert oasis used as a strategic staging post for caravans traveling between the Mediterranean Sea and the east. It was also settled by the Assyrians, and Persians.
857-34024 - Young boys on donkeys watch over flocks of goats, sheep and donkeys near the top of the Shebar Pass, which crosses into the Province of Bamiyan. Due to a devastating drought in the region, dry wheat farming has failed for three years from 1998-2002 and the forage is extremely sparse, The pass is a strategic point leading into the Central Highlands, the Koh-i-Baba range and the Hazarajat, at the end of the Hindu Kush. Most of the people of this region are of the Hazara tribe, and are Shi'a Moslems who have been persecuted for centuries by many of the Pashtun rulers of Afghanistan, who are from the Sunni sect.
817-345356 - Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland A medieval fortress located on a rocky outcrop 3 km south of Stonehaven The site has held a fortress since the Dark Ages but most of the surviving buildings are from the 15-16th century the Castle p. Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland A medieval fortress located on a rocky outcrop 3 km south of Stonehaven The site has held a fortress since the Dark Ages but most of the surviving buildings are from the 15-16th century the Castle played an important role in the history of Scotland from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment WIlliam Wallace is said to have led the Scots to victory over thr English at Dunnottar in 1296 including incarceration of the defeated English soldiers in the castle church Mary Queen of Scots visited the castle twice in 1562 and 1564 James IV was in residence for part of 1580 The Scottish Royal Regalia crown, sword and sceptre were hidden here during the 17th century the garrison was held under seige by the English for 8 months but the Regalia were secreted away to Kinneff Parish Church These can now be seen in Edinbugh Castle In more recent times the castle has been used as a set in Mel Gibson's film version of 'Hamlet'