Part of the ruins at Palmyra in Syria. Palmyra is an ancient Semitic city in present-day Homs Governorate, Syria. Archaeological finds date back to the Neolithic period and the city was first documented in the early second millennium BC. Palmyra changed hands on a number of occasions between different empires, before becoming a subject of the Roman Empire in the first century AD. In 2015, Palmyra came under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which later destroyed a number of the site's buildings.