The top frieze of this altar is designed in the shape of Ziggurats. A common motive in near-eastern classical art.
The stone of this altar is typical of Palmyrene monuments from the middle of the 1st century AD onward. Palmyra has yielded numerous limestone incense altars, which for the most part are square and have a square or rounded top-element with a bowl-shaped depression.
Most Palmyrene altars are accompanied by an inscription recording the monument’s dedication by an individual to a particular deity. With most altars, the decoration is restricted to the main face, or —less common— spread over three faces. Hence these monuments were designed to stand against a wall.
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