Monumental Classical architecture of the Palmyra Oasis, Syria.
"Tetrapylon with Sunbeams." 2006
Radial spokes of sunset light over the Roman-era archaeological ruins of Palmyra, Syria
"Temple of Baal and Starry Sky." 2006
Nightime view of the constellation Orion and the lost archaeological ruins of the monumental pagan Temple of Baal in the classical style. The raised Naos in the proximate center of the elevated tememos was consecrated in 32 CE to the Semitic deity Baal who was assimilated with the Mesopotamian god Bel-Marduk, both of whom presided over the movement of the stars. Palmyra aka Tadmur, Syria.
"Sunset behind Colonnade." 2006
Corinthian colonnade with the peculiarly Palmyran projections from the columns which originally held busts of civic notables and patrons in Palmyra, Syria. The large corinthian capitals make the colonnade appear to be an arcade.
"Temple of Baal, Sunrise." 2006
The warm glow of first light on the rear facade of the elevated Temple, featuring stepped merlons (<i>shurafat</i>) and Corinthian columns and entablature.
"Colonnade and eroded entablature. Baal Temple Precinct, Night." 2006
View west through an isolated independent colonnade with eroded entablature. The Baal Temple precinct is elevated on a platform above ground level, a feature that more or less eliminates the natural horizon for people inside and substitutes another artisanal one in its place.
"Passageway, Festooned" 2006
Carved stone ornamental panel featuring tendrils, leaves and grape clusters to the side of a monumental portico entrance along the <i>decumanus</i>. Archeological Ruins of 2nd and 3rd centry c.e. Photographs in Tadmur, aka Palmyra, Syria.
"Baal Shemin Temple Portico, Sky." 2006
View upwards through Corinthian capitals of furled acanthus leaves with eroded entablature, sky and clouds. Destroyed Palmyra, Syria.
"Temple of Baal, Twilight." 2006
Entrance ramp to the Temple of Baal. Inside the cella and to the left were three platforms for votive offerings. Inside and to the right was the cultic image —now long gone— beneath a wondrous geometric-carved ceiling. Only the entrance portico still stands.
"Victory Arch, Dawn." 2006
Qaws al-Nasr (in Arabic), a monumental arched entrance to the main colonnaded thoroughfare of ancient Palmyra. Built during the reign of emperor Septimius Severus [193 to 211 CE], it commemorated a Roman victory over the Parthians. It was exploded with dynamite in October 2015 by Daesh.
"Fluted Columns, Sunrise." 2006
The colonnaded portico, or peristasis behind the cella of the Temple of Baal, destroyed by Daesh in August 2015. The holes were drilled in the 20th-century to accomodate poles which supported lean-to roofs for people's shelter until the state evicted citizenry from the ruins and began restoration.
"Rider & Eroded Column." 2006
Dessicated windblown sandblasted and expressively eroded column behind which a man rides a colorfully bedecked camel. The tones and textures of erosion on once glorious specimens of artisanal production are eloquent testaments to the relative nature of evanescence.
"Fallen Column, Sandstorm." 2006
Morning view northeast from Diocletian's Camp, Palmyra.
"Outside the Oasis, Morning." 2006
Palmyra is a Greek translation of "Tadmur", the local name for the oasis, which means 'palm tree' in Aramaic. This view south from the outskirts of the archaeological ruins toward the desert.
"Bel Shamin Temple, Exterior." 2006
View from the southeast showing the portico and naos, or cella, surrounded by the remains of a peristyle courtyard. First built in 17 CE.
"Baal Shemin Temple Interior, Dawn." 2006
The central apse for votive offerings and cultic image(s) of the Semitic deity Baal. This niche is surrounded on both sides by two adyta, or private chambers serving both as reliquary and office for the priests. priestesses, oracles and acolytes.
"Temple of Baal from the Southeast, Sunrise." 2006
The shurafat, or stepped merlons, such as those on the colonnaded portico became a hallmark of Umayyad architectural projects in the 7th- and 8th-centuries CE. Note the Ionic capitals in the engaged columns of the narrow (southern) face of the cella, whereas most of the other capitals and entablature are Corinthian, such as the one in the foreground with acanthus and volutes.
"Relief with Two Figures and a Camel." 2006
Palmyra earned its wealth through caravan trade between the Euphrates River (hence Persia, India and China) and the Mediterranean West (specifically, Egypt, Rome and, later, Byzantium). Note the Parthian dress of the two men.
Thanks to the work of thousands, if not tens or hundreds thousands of people.... this site was magnificent. Palmyra across time marked an historic, artistic and dare we say, spiritual convergence between the Orient and Occident. It helps us confront our pagan and common past. To many, this confrontation is irrelevant or dangerous, but I want to advocate for the contrary. Hopefully, words and photowords can here help us remember past accomplishment and inspire us to restore something of their like but better. Save lives and art!