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Preserving Endangered Cultural Heritage Through 3D Scanning. The Case of the Banqueting Tokens from Palmyra, Syria

New publication by Derek Parrott, Rubina Raja and Julia Steding.

Screenshot of the 3D model of IN 2771 (side A), showing a priest under winding wines (cf. Figure 4). 33 × 33 mm. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, I.N. 2771 (Scan produced by Derek Parrott, with permission from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek).

Parrott, D., Raja, R. & Steding, J. (2023). "Preserving Endangered Cultural Heritage Through 3D Scanning: The Case of the Banqueting Tokens from Palmyra, Syria", Journal of Open Archaeology Data 11:13,  1-8. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/joad.112.


The dataset presented in the newly published article are the first ever 3D scans and models of the so-called banqueting tesserae from Palmyra. These clay tokens were used as entrance tickets to religious banquets hosted by Palmyrene priests. Today more than 1300 different types are known. These tokens have been collectors’ items since the late 19th century, coinciding with the beginning of systematic archaeological work at the site. Today, the tesserae are spread across the world in public and private collections. The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen holds a collection of 92 tesserae of which we present five 3D-scanned examples here.