al-Sham (Historical Greater Syria). Syria was the mainly Christian core province of the Umayyad Empire and Damascus its capital, when the ruling elite had a Mediterranean outlook. Although rich and prosperous under the Umayyads, the province was neglected under the Abbasids who shifted the center of power to Iraq and adopted Iranian culture. Negligence caused numerous Islamic sectarian ʿAlid uprisings (Cobb 2001). Nevertheless the province maintained a certain ideological attraction for the Abbasid: The caliph al-Amin (r. 809-813 C.E.) proclaimed only in Damascus his son as caliphal heir on coins; The caliph al-Maʾmun (r. 813-833 C.E.) came to Jerusalem and restored the Dome of the Rock, and al-Mutawakkil (r. 847-861 C.E.) is suspected even moving his capital to Damascus. The reasons for that are as yet poorly understood. The PI is involved in the post-excavation project of Antioch by Princeton University, of the Citadel in Damascus by the Institut français du Proche Orient (IFPO), in Beirut, and of the citadel of Aleppo by the Technische Hochschule für Wirtschaft, Berlin. For the development of a rural region the PI worked with the Syrian Antiquity Authority at Masyaf, western Syria. He also co-operating with the Israeli archaeological project in Tiberias by Hebrew University.