The mountain of jebel bishri is situated in Central Syria between Palmyra and the Euphrates River (Fig. 1). The table-like mountain covers about one million hectares and forms a natural boundary between the desert and the sown. The yearly precipitation of the area falls between 100 and 250 mm, and therefore the mountain belongs to the arid zones in UNESCO global terms. Nowadays the mountain and its surroundings to the south and west are nomadic grazing grounds, while the riverine zone of the Euphrates to the east and north as well as the oases on the western plateau are represented by villages and cultivation. Before the Finnish archaeological survey and mapping project SYGIS started its work in the area in 1999–2000 the region had remained largely unexplored archaeologically. (See more on the project website: www.helsink.fi/hum/arla/sygis.) Location of Jebel Bishri. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315086064/49408de0-f8c3-43c7-986f-f00469dff998/content/fig7_1.jpg"/>