Palmyra (Arabic: تدمر) was in ancient times an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus and 120 km southwest of the Euphrates. It has long been a vital caravan city for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert. The earliest documented reference to the city by its pre-Semitic name Tadmor, Tadmur or Tudmur,  is recorded in Babylonian tablets found in Mari . Though the ancient site fell into disuse after the 16th century, it is still known as Tadmor (in Arabic تدمر) and there is a small newer settlement next to the ruins of the same name.
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