Wednesday, 26 August 2015

In memoriam: Palmyra

In 2008 I had a wonderful holiday in Syria, including a visit to the ruined city of Palmyra.

In the last couple of months ISIL seized Palmyra and have begun blowing all the pagan ruins up.

There is nothing I can do or say, except to post some of my pictures to show what is being lost to the barbarian hordes of our age.

This is the Great Temple of Bel (or Ba'al).  His symbol, the eagle, is found on the lintels. Bel just means "lord" (the feminine version is Belit) and often gets affixed to other names and regional variants with different portfolios - fertility, the sun, thunder, etc.

 The interior of the inner temple:

The niche at rear was presumably for a statue

Winged female figure, one breast bared:

 Mysterious totally veiled figures:

Our guide described this as "Tiamat, goddess of catastrophe" (note snake legs)

First century tower- tomb:

It would contain many wrapped bodies:

Monumental gateway:

The Great Tetrapylon:

The inscription of Julius Aurelius Zenobius:

The theatre:

Now I'm going to go have a bit of a cry.


Jo said...

ISIS are such scum. Vandal scum handed more power than they ever should have been allowed. I can only imagine how it must feel to hear this, having walked on those stones and under those arches.

Helen J Perry said...

It must have been amazing to be there.
Love your photos

Jean Roberta said...

Beautiful photos. It's heartbreaking to think how many ancient treasures have already been destroyed in the Middle East.

Jean Roberta said...

Beautiful photos. It's heartbreaking to think how many treasures of the Middle East have already been destroyed.

Artemis55 said...

Thanks for posting these beautiful photos. The world is poorer for the loss.