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Stone funerary bust of Aqmat
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This funerary bust is from Palmyra, a city that grew rich from the caravan trade linking the Gulf of Arabia and the Mediterranean. The city was incorporated into the Roman empire by the end of the first century AD but was destroyed in AD 273 following two insurrections.

According to the Aramic inscription, this is a funerary monument to a woman called Aqmat. Her image, known as nefesh (“soul” or “personality”), enabled the owner to exist in the next world. We also get a good impression of the closing and elaborate hair style that would have been worn by a wealthy woman of her world, as well as the type of jewellery she owned. The white appearance of Aqmat’s dress is probably misleading, as these portraits were originally richly coloured.

Stone funerary bust of Aqmat

From Palmyra, Syria, late II century AD.
Ht 50,8 cm.

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