mtg-palmiraSeries ‘Clessidre’, ed. Edizioni Terra Santa, Milan 2017, pp. 160

ISBN: 978-88-6240-478-5, EAN: 9788862404785


Palmira’s fame is unfortunately related to the dramatic war that, since 2011, disrupts Syria and has overwhelmed the country, its people, and its cultural heritage. The UNESCO World Heritage site since 1980 (and the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013) has been devastated by spectacular destruction, used as a backdrop for mass murder and deeply hit by the barbarous assassination of Khaled al-As’ad, Director of the Archaeological area and Museum for forty years, almost as if to wipe out its memory. Palmira has become a symbolic site of the massacre in place of our cultural heritage, but does not deserve to be just that in the collective imagination, and its history, monuments, art, inscriptions deserve to be recounted, described, remembered. For this book some particularly significant themes to understand Palmira, ranging from urbanism to the political, social, economic and religious history of the site, were selected. They reveal the complexity and peculiarities of the great city, halfway between Mesopotamia and Mediterranean, not only because of the location of the oasis, but also for the singular culture that has developed there.


Maria Teresa Grassi teaches Archeology of the Roman Provinces at the University of Milan and has directed, along with Waleed al-As’ad (son of Khaled), the joint Italian-Syrian archaeological mission of Palmira (PAL.MAIS), which has operated on the site from 2007 to November 2010.


List of contents:

– Palmyra between past, present and future

– A Piedmontese in Palmyra: Other trips

– Columns: Building a Colonnade Road

– Zenobia

– Two Zeus and others: Temples, rites, priests

– Tombs

– Family Portraits: New Research Methods

– Caravans

– Living in the oasis

– Palmyra over Palmyra

– Bibliographic note