A Bearded Head On A Fragment Of A Loculus Slab

A bearded head on a fragment of a loculus slab.

Description

This relief is a type of funerary monument characteristic of the prosperous caravan city of Palmyra during the first three centuries A.D. Reliefs with a representation of the deceased and a short identifying inscription were used to seal burial niches in elaborately decorated communal tombs; those with a half-length or bust format became prevalent sometime after A.D. 65. The relief depicts the upper body of a bearded man in high relief who faces directly toward the viewer. The background of the relief has been broken away on the left side, but was likely inscribed in Palmyrene Aramaic with the name and lineage of the deceased. The intensity of his gaze is emphasized by the large size of his eyes, and the concentric circles indicating the iris and pupil of each eye. The eyebrows and eyelids are marked by raised ridges, with two small vertical furrows at the bridge of the nose. Creases at either side of the mouth, which is set in a firm line, evoke middle age. The gaze does not meet the viewer´s but extends far into the distance. The man´s short hair is depicted as a mass of wavy locks that cover his head like a cap, ending above the ears.

The Aramaic inscription in the left corner. šlmn br | šlmn slwqw|s “Šalman, son of Šalman Seleukos.”

  • Material: Limestone.

  • Item Dimensions:

  • Date:

  • Excavated from: Palmyra- Found during excavations at the Northern city wall area.

  • Archaeological Mission: Syrian Archaeological Mission – Dr. Khaled Al Asaad

  • Archaeological Museum Of Palmyra – 2011

Excavation Site Location

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