Funerary Bust Of A Woman Holding The Spindle

Description

The relief depicts the upper body of a woman dressed in a draped garment, pinned at the left shoulder with an elaborate brooch, who faces directly towards the viewer. Her hair is gathered up at the temples and covered by a turban-like headdress, worn over a richly patterned diadem that covers her forehead. Pendant earrings in the shape of dumbbells, perhaps representing two pearls or beads connected by a vertical rod, hang from her earlobes; the lower ball of each earring is still connected to the stone at either side, to protect this delicately carved detail from breakage. She wears a long veil over her head, and holds its edge at shoulder level with her right hand, while the voluminous fabric wraps around the left arm, leaving only the hand exposed. The left hand holds a looped fold of the veil. Over her left shoulder, an inscription in Palmyrene Aramaic records her name and her father’s name, against a blank background. Her expression is serene, and her gaze does not meet the viewer’s but looks far into the distance. The iris and pupil of the eye are marked by incised concentric circles, and the eyebrows are indicated by simple incised lines. The relief can be stylistically dated to around 150-200 A.D. because of the hairstyle, and the arrangement of her hands and veil.

  • Material: Limestone.

  • Date: first half of 2nd century.

  • Item Dimensions:  H. 53 cm, W. 33 cm,

  • Letters 10 mm.

  • Excavated from: Palmyra-

  • Archaeological Mission:

  • Archaeological Museum Of Palmyra – 2011

Excavation Site Location

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Photo Credits to Jos van Deventer

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