The Louvre :: Palmyra and Dura Europos

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Palmyra and Dura Europos were important caravan cities in what is now Syria. Most of the illustrations here (the objects are in gallery 20 of the Louvre's Oriental antiquities collection) are from Palmyra, which flourished down to its capture and destruction at the hands of the Romans in 272 CE. Palmyran tombs and public places were decorated with portrait sculptures, such as the examples featured here, with the inscriptions identifying the individuals being in both the local language and in Greek. Dura Europos is known for its very important and largely well preserved murals. For more on Palmyra, with photographs and engravings showing the still impressive remains of the city, see the essay by Prof. Albert Dien.

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Divine triad (Ba'alshamin, Aglibol, and Malakbel).
Syria, Bir Wereb, near Palmyra. 1st half of 1st c. CE. Limestone relief, 56 x 72 cm. Rare depiction of the supreme god flanked by gods of sun and moon. Mixture of Parthian-style and Roman-style military garb.
Inv. no. AO 19801. Website
Incense altar.
Syria, Palmyra, April 142 CE. Limestone. 74 x 32 cm. Inscription: "In commemoration for the One whose name is blessed. Zabd'ateh, son of Hagagu, son of Bar'ateh "Alayb'al, has made this incense altar for his life, the life of his sons and his brothers in the month of Nisan, year 453."
Inv. no.: AO 28377. Website (no photo yet).
Detail of bust of priest Zabdila, son of Bar'a, son of Zabde'ateh.
Syria, Palmyra, 176 CE ("in the month of Adar 487"). Limestone. 56 x 52 x 26 cm.
Inv. no.: AO 2200. Website
Bust of 'Ana, daughter of RZYSH, wife of Gadya.
Syria, Palmyra, 1st half of 2nd c. CE. Limestone. 55 x 47 x 25.5 cm.
Inv. no.: AO 5004. Website (no photo yet).
Funerary relief of a couple.
Syria, Palmyra, end of 2nd c. or 1st quarter of 3rd c. CE. Stone (dolmicrite). 55 x 69 x 22 cm. Inscription: "Zabdibol, son of Salman, Alas! Haggai, daughter of Haddudan, Alas!"
Inv. no.: AO 4449. Website (no photo yet).
Funerary busts.
Syria, Palmyra, 2nd half of 2nd c. BCE. Limestone.
Bust of Ummayat, daughter of Yarhai.
Syria, Palmyra, 2nd half of 2nd c. BCE. Limestone. 53 x 43 x 21 cm.
Inv. no.: AO 2196. Website
Bust of a man (Marcus).
Syria, Palmyra. 2nd half of 2nd c.-1st half of 3rd c. CE. Limestone.
Inv. no.: AO 1556. Website
Head of a woman.
Syria, Palmyra, 2nd half of 2nd c.-beg. of 3rd c. CE. Limestone, traces of polychrome. 29 x 19 x 14 cm.
Inv. no.: AO 26432. Website (no photo yet).
Bust of a woman.
Syria, Palmyra, 3rd c. CE. Limestone. 54 x 44 x 23 cm. Inscription is a modern addition visually imitating Palmyran inscriptions.
Inv. no. AO 1575. Website
Bust of Habba, daughter of Oga son of Yarhai.
Syria, Palmyra, 3rd c. CE. Limestone. 52 x 58 x 21 cm.
Inv. AO 4147. Website
Head of a man wearing hat of a priest.
Syria, Palmyra, 3rd c. (before 272) CE. Limestone. 25 x 14 x 10 cm. Part of a sculptural group on lid of a sarcophagus.
Inv. no.: AO 20124. Website (no photo yet).
Sculpture of a young man in graeco-roman tunic with crown of laurel wreath.
Syria, Palmyra, 2nd c.-3rd c. CE. Limestone. 102 x 32 x 28 cm.
Inv. no.: AO 22252. Website (no photo yet).
Mural of hunting for onagers.
Syria, Dura Europos (Salhiye). 194 CE. 97 x 211 x 15 cm. Figure of Eros on left was part of a banqueting scene that remained in situ. Palmyrian graffiti were added later.
Inv. no.: AO 17310. Website