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29 March 2019PALMYRA : JEWEL OF THE DESERT
25 October 2019CATHERINE THE GREAT

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PALMYRA : JEWEL OF THE DESERT Dr Paul Roberts Friday 29 March 2019

Desecrated but not destroyed

Palmyra is an ancient Semitic city in present-day Homs GovernorateSyria. Archaeological finds date back to the Neolithic period, and documents first mention the city in the early second millennium BC. Palmyra changed hands on a number of occasions between different empires before becoming a subject of the Roman Empire in the first century AD.

The city grew wealthy from trade caravans; the Palmyrenes became renowned as merchants who established colonies along the Silk Road and operated throughout the Roman Empire. Palmyra's wealth enabled the construction of monumental projects, such as the Great Colonnade, the Temple of Bel, and the distinctive tower tombs. 


Dr Paul Roberts is the newly appointed Sackler Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University. From 1994 to 2014 he was Senior Roman Curator in the Department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum. He studied at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Oxford and lived in Italy for several years. He has excavated in Britain, Greece, Libya, Turkey and in particular Italy, where he directs excavations in the Sabine hills near Rome. His research focuses on the day-to-day lives of ordinary people in the Greek and Roman worlds. 


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