Tourists ride camels in the historical city of Palmyra, September 30, 2010.
IN PHOTO:Tourists ride camels in the historical city of Palmyra, September 30, 2010. Islamic State fighters in Syria have entered the ancient ruins of Palmyra after taking complete control of the central city, but there are no reports so far of any destruction of antiquities, a group monitoring the war said on May 21, 2015. REUTERS/Nour Fourat

Islamic State militants have beheaded 82-year-old archaeologist Khaled Asaad in Palmyra Tuesday, after interrogating him for more than a month. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that his body had been hanged from a column in the ancient Syrian city.

Asaad had served as the head of antiquities in the town for more than 50 years, and the terrorist group was trying to find out about the hidden treasures in the town. However, the scholar did not give up any information, said Syrian state antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim.

"Just imagine that such a scholar who gave such memorable services to the place and to history would be beheaded ... and his corpse still hanging from one of the ancient columns in the centre of a square in Palmyra," said Abdulkarim, Reuters reported; "The continued presence of these criminals in this city is a curse and bad omen on (Palmyra) and every column and every archaeological piece in it."

Palmyra is one of the oldest towns in the world and known for its with archaeological treasure, which dates back to Neolithic times. Many experts feared that the treasure was in danger when ISIS seized the town in May, and Syrian officials had moved hundreds of ancient statues to prevent them from being destroyed by ISIS.

ISIS militants released a video in July that showed the execution of 20 government soldiers in an amphitheatre in Palmyra. Fox News reported hundreds of people watched the execution as young ISIS militants shot the prisoners dead.

The militant organisation follows a puritanical ideology of Islam. They consider artefacts idolatrous, therefore, destroying those. However, there are no reported damages to Palmyra’s monumental Roman-era ruins yet.