One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Aleppo preserves remnants of more than four millennia of Near Eastern history. The Citadel of Aleppo is a densely layered microcosm of this long and complex history. The majority of the structures on the citadel were erected by the Ayyubids in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, but substantial structures are also preserved from the Ottoman period (beginning in the sixteenth century). The citadel was built on a natural limestone outcropping rising some 100 feet (30 meters) above the level of the surrounding plain. Its high walls, imposing entry bridge, and great gateway remain largely intact and dominate the skyline of the city. Within its walls, the fabric of the citadel’s inner spaces has been compromised by a succession of invasions, earthquakes, and natural decay caused by exposure to the elements. Recent excavations uncovered substantial remains of an important Bronze Age neo-Hittite temple, in use for the most part of the third and second millennia B.C. The temple is decorated with an elaborate system of reliefs that depict deities and fantastic creatures and that are an important addition to the record of this early period in Syria’s history.