Head of an honorific statue


This over-life-size head was carefully worked on all sides. The portrait depicts a young beardless man. The position of the neck indicates that the head was originally facing forward. The youthful features are regular and the face is full and round with a prominent chin marked by a small dimple. The eyes are abnormally large and bulging. They have broad, sharply cut upper eyelids and strongly arched incised eyebrows. The pupil and the iris are marked by two concentric circles; the iris touches the upper lid. The slightly down-turned mouth has full lips, of which the upper one is bow-shaped and marked by a finely incised contour line. The nose, now broken, was straight and small with well-marked nostrils. The philtrum is strongly carved. The ears are big and plastically modeled, with large lobes and a characteristic triangular tragus. The hairstyle comes forward from the crown in five rows of short, comma-shaped locks, which were carefully separated by chisel marks and have incised internal strands. The fringe of gently curved locks is short and cut on the brow. One small curl falls in front of each ear. The hair is worked flat and close to the skull. Two horizontal grooves are visible on the full neck. In its general appearance, this portrait could be considered a local reception of the Julio-Claudian type, perhaps that of Germanicus, although this kind of hairstyle continued to be used in Palmyra into the third century. (*)

Excavation Site Location

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The Museum Item Before And After March 16th 2016

 The left side of the item has been chopped off including the eye and the left cheek with what was left of the nose as well as the right cheek that has been destroyed. (Palmyra museum footage 2016)