This is a relief depicting a banquet scene from the tomb of Zabda, son of Moqimo. It was discovered by the Polish expedition directed by Prof. K. Michałowski in the first season of excavations in Palmyra in 1959. The relief depicts the deceased owner of the grave in a pose characteristic for a reveler. He wears a long draped gown and holds a cup of wine in his left hand. The large slab is accompanied by a smaller relief with an image of the deceased’s wife, Beltihan, sitting in an armchair. An inscription in Palmyrene mentions not only the names of both deceased but also the occasion when the tomb was founded. Sculptural figurative decoration present in Palmyrene art was related mainly to religious life, particularly funerary beliefs. Banquet scenes were especially important. These reliefs, sculpted on large slabs and later also on sarcophagi, were usually placed in a prominent place in the tomb, in a niche opposite the entrance. They invariably depicted a man lying on a banqueting bed and surrounded by his family. In the tombs sarcophagi with such scenes were often arranged in a horseshoe shape to imitate a real banqueting hall.
Date: Second Century AD.
Excavated from: Palmyra- Tomb of Zabda
Archaeological Mission: Polish expedition – Prof. K. Michałowski – First season 1959
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