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Klassische Archäologie

The Jewellery of Palmyra: Objects and Images

Förderungszeitraum: April 2013 - März 2016
Jewellery played an important role in Roman society, it served as a symbol and signifier. The display of jewellery was even regulated by law and heavily commented by ancient authors. Archaeological evidence has been rather neglected in this field of study though, mostly the focus has been on literary and legal sources.
In my dissertation I focus on jewellery from Palmyra. The heyday of this city were the first three centuries A.D., the period in which the city was under Roman rule and was one of the most eastern cities of the Roman Empire.
Funerary sculptures from Palmyra are an exceptional and valuable source of information on jewellery in the Roman imperial period. Especially the women on these busts are represented with remarkable amounts of jewellery. By examining the role and meaning of both jewellery represented on funerary sculpture and actual jewellery items found, I aim to construct a more complete account on jewellery in Palmyra.
The study of the material record will give insights into how jewellery was handled in Palmyrene society and what kind of social norms, values, conventions and traditions come forward. In addition, the results on the jewellery from Palmyra will be reviewed in a wider context. Comparisons can help reveal possible influences, ties and networks of exchange.