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Rubina Raja

Funerary portraiture in Palmyra: portrait habit at a crossroads or a signifier of local identity?

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While Palmyra has fascinated travellers and scholars
alike since its rediscovery in the seventeenth century
and the collecting of in particular Palmyrene sculptural
art took off in the late nineteenth century, the
massive amounts of funerary portraits found at the site
have never been studied as a discrete group of material.
Furthermore, when debated, they have most often been
considered within the framework of a centre-periphery
discussion assuming that Palmyra, like several provincial
cities, oriented itself towards the centre of the empire,
Rome. As a consequence of such an approach, the local
traditions, in which such portrait habits emerged and
developed, are usually overlooked or simply assumed to
be non-existent, and incorporation of the portrait tradition
into the types of expressions used at a certain site
assumed to be only a reaction to new influences coming
from the western parts of the Roman Empire.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFunerary Portraiture in Greater Roman Syria
EditorsMichael Blömer, Rubina Raja
Place of publicationTurnhout
PublisherBrepols Publishers
Publication year17 Dec 2019
Pages95-110
Chapter7
ISBN (print)978-2-503-57633-6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2019
SeriesStudies in Classical Archaeology
Volume6

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