There is an astounding number of so called Dead Cities, some of which can easily be visited from Hama. There are some 800, of which 100 are described as worth a visit, in a region of some 30 by 140 kilometers. They were founded by Christians from the 4th till the 6th century, producing wine and olive oil, to be exported from the Antioch harbour. A researcher, Georges Tchalenko, speculated that the first olive presses were established in the 2nd century AD but that business and export boomed in the 5th century. When later wars between the Arabs and Byzantines erupted, trade routes were disrupted, trade collapsed and the cities were ultimately left.
I visited some four of them (Jeradeh, Ruweiha, Al-Bara and Serjilla) and was amazed to see how well they had withstood the attacks of time. Some contained villages, or the villages contained them. Some just stood abandoned. I will add some more information to the extent that I can retrace my steps.