Palmyra

An exquisitely sculpted bust of a woman from ancient Palmyra in Syria has returned to view for the first time since 2006. Named “Haliphat,” the limestone funerary relief depicts an elegant, bejeweled figure that combines both Roman and Eastern characteristics. According to the Aramaic inscription behind Haliphat, she died in 231 CE, when Palmyra, “city of palms,” was one of the wealthiest Roman trading cities between the Mediterranean, Iran, and South Asia. A newly created 3-D scan of Haliphat will be released for viewing and download at a later date as part of the Smithsonian X 3D Collection.