Opened in 1996 under the auspices of the Free University of Berlin, Deir ez-Zor’ s archeological museum is one of Syria’s very best, well laid-out and thoughtfully presented, with excellent reconstructions including prehistoric housing and a Mari temple.  The exhibits mostly cover the period before the Islamic era in Syria, with particularly good sections on nearby Mari and Dura Europos, and the various local tells.  The final selections look at the history of Deir Ez-Zor in the last century, and at the progress that has been made in farming the difficult agricultural land of the surrounding steppes.