Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

“Do it like that” - Challenges and limitations for Palmyrene carvers

Lecture by PhD student Julia Steding.

2018.12.14 | Christina Levisen

Date Tue 19 Feb
Time 16:00 17:00
Location Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet), Aarhus University, Moesgård Allé 20, 8270 Højbjerg, Denmark (Building 4230-232).



3,700 portraits of Palmyrenes are known, depicting males, females and children. Around 1,500 of them are depicted on the loculus reliefs that were meant to shut off the loculus opening containing the remains of the deceased. Sadly, not many insitu contexts remained and often we don’t know where reliefs were originally located. However, the placement of the reliefs in the graves was an essential part of the production and needs to therefore be studied in more detail.

Therefore, it’s not only necessary to take a look at the graves together with the associated loculi but also at the raw material that was available. How and through which circumstances were the carvers limited in their production of reliefs? To what extent did the local limestone limit or influence the carved products that they were able to make? Furthermore, how was the carver limited by the space available within the graves?

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

Lecture/talk, History and archaeology