Funerary Bust of a Palmyrene Lady

Illustration

James Blake Wiener
by
published on 08 November 2017

This funerary bust of a Palmyrene lady dates from c. 175-200 CE and is made of limestone. It is originally from Palmyra, Syria. (Inscribed in Aramaic: ‘Aqmat, daughter of Hagagu, descendant of Zebida, descendant of Ma'an. Alas!") The inhabitants of the wealthy city of Palmyra buried their dead in family or communal tombs containing rows of individual compartments. Each was sealed with a plaque bearing an elaborate and highly realistic portrait of the deceased. Known as "nefesh" ("soul" or "personality"), these portraits enabled the owner to exist in the afterlife.



About the Author

James Blake Wiener
James is a writer and former Professor of History. He holds an MA in World History with a particular interest in cross-cultural exchange and world history. He is a co-founder of Ancient History Encyclopedia and its Communications Director.

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