Additional Resources & Information

Selected Bibliography

Digitized Primary Resources from the Getty Research Institute

  • Edward Bernard, Inscriptiones Graecae Palmyrenorum : cum scholiis & annotationibus (1698). The Getty Research Institute, 87-B9868
  • Abednego Seller, The Antiquities of Palmyra (London, 1696). The Getty Research Institute, 90-B2629
  • Robert Wood, The ruins of Palmyra, otherwise Tedmor, in the desart (London, 1753). The Getty Research Institute, 85-B25010
  • Louis-François Cassas, Proof plates and archive for Voyage pittoresque de la Syrie, de la Phoénicie, de la Palestine, et de la Basse Egypte (vol. I), 1795–1826. The Getty Research Institute, 840011
  • Louis-François Cassas, Voyage pittoresque de la Syrie, de la Phoénicie, de la Palestine, et de la Basse Egypte, 1799–1800. University of Heidelberg. View in Getty Research Portal™
  • Constantin-François Volney, Voyage en Syrie et en Égypte (Paris, 1807). The Getty Research Institute, 1377-749
  • Charles Greenstreet Addison, Damascus and Palmyra: a Journey to the East. With a Sketch of the State and Prospects of Syria, under Ibrahim Pasha. (2 vol.s) (London, 1838). The Getty Research Institute, 2016-B110
  • Jean Yanoski, Syrie ancienne et moderne, (Paris, 1848). The Getty Research Institute, 2614-629
  • Emily Anne Beaufort Smythe, Viscountess Strangford, Egyptian sepulchres and Syrian shrines: including some stay in the Lebanon, at Palmyra, and in western Turkey (London, 1862). The Getty Research Institute, 3026-718
  • Louis Vignes, Views and panoramas of Beirut and the ruins of Palmyra (1864). The Getty Research Institute, 2015.R.15
  • Louis Vignes, Vues de Phénicie, de Judée, des pays de Moab et de Petra / photographiées par M. Vignes Lieutenant de vaisseau pendant son voyage, en 1864, avec le duc de Luynes de Beyrouth à la mer Rouge et son retour avec M. Lartet de Jérusalem à Damas par la rive gauche du Jourdain (1864). The Getty Research Institute, 2929-130
  • Honoré d'Albert, duc de Luynes, Voyage d'exploration à la mer Morte, à Petra, et sur la rive gauche du Jourdain (Paris, 1874). The Getty Research Institute, 2850-401


Secondary Resources

  • Andreas Kropp and Rubina Raja, eds., The World of Palmyra (Copenhagen: Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, 2016).
  • Thomas Ketelsen, ed., Palmyra Was bleibt? Louis-François Cassas und seine Reise in den Orient (im Graphischen Kabinett) (Köln: Wallraf, das Museum, 2016). View record
  • Rubina Raja and Annette Højen Sørensen, Harald Ingholt and Palmyra (Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus University, 2015).
  • Nathanael J. Andrade, Syrian Identity in the Greco-Roman World (Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2013). View record
  • Kate Culkin, Harriet Hosmer: A Cultural Biography (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010). View record
  • Yaron Z. Eliav, Elise A. Friedland, and Sharon Herbert, eds., The Sculptural Environment of the Roman Near East (Leuven; Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2008). View record
  • Andrew M. Smith, Identity, Community, and State Formation at Roman Palmyra (College Park: University of Maryland, 2016). View record
  • Ted Kaizer, The Religious Life of Palmyra: A Study of the Social Patterns of Worship in the Roman Period (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2002). View record
  • Susan E. Alcock, ed., The Early Roman Empire in the East (Oxford, England: Oxbow Books, ca. 1997). View record
  • Gunhild Ploug, Catalogue of the Palmyrene Sculptures, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (Copenhagen: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 1995). View record
  • Annie Gilet and Uwe Westfehling, Louis-François Cassas, 1756–1827: dessinateur, voyageur im Banne der Sphinx: ein französischer Zeichner reist nach Italien und in den Orient (Mainz am Rhein: P. von Zabern, 1994). View record
  • Richard Stoneman, Palmyra and Its Empire: Zenobia's Revolt against Rome (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992). View record
  • Jean Starcky and Michał Gawlikowski, Palmyre (Paris: Librarie d’Amérique et d’Orient, 1985). View record
  • Iain Browning, Palmyra (London: Chatto & Windus, 1979). View record
  • Malcolm A. R. Colledge, The Art of Palmyra (Boulder: Westview Press, 1976). View record
  • Kazimierz Michałowski, Palmyra (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970). View record

Online Resources


  • Manar al-Athar website, University of Oxford
    An extensive archive containing images of historical and archaeological sites found in the Middle East and North Africa that were part of the Roman Empire. Images are available without cost for teaching, research, and publication.
  • Monuments of Syria
    A comprehensive resource for historical sites in Syria, many of this website's sections, such as the one on Palmyra, juxtapose the author’s photographs with historical sources. It also includes documentation of the damage wrought by the Syrian conflict.
  • #NewPalmyra
    This digital archaeological project dedicated to preserving the memory of the lost cultural heritage of Palmyra features virtual reconstructions and 3-D models of major monuments, created to raise global awareness of these unique historic structures.
  • Pal.M.A.I.S. Progetto Palmira
    A joint Italian and Syrian archaeological project exploring the southwestern quarter of Palmyra with a focus on the chronology of the urban development and transformation of the city.
  • Palmyra exhibition, Freer Sackler
    A short introduction to Palmyra accompanied by an exhibition video with engravings published in 1753 by Robert Wood and photographs taken in the 1860s by Felix Bonfils. The museum is currently working on a three-dimensional scan of the 3rd-century funerary bust of Haliphat, a highlight of its Palmyra collection.
  • Palmyra Portrait Project, Aarhus University
    More than 3,000 Palmyrene funerary sculptures and fragments are held in museums around the world. This project aims to compile a definitive corpus of these objects for online research, to publish scholarly texts on Palmyrene art, and to digitize the archive of Danish archaeologist Harald Ingholt.
  • Photorientalist
    A collection of glass lantern slides, albumen prints, stereoviews, silver gelatin prints, postcards, and 35 mm slides collected by Norbert Schiller, who worked as a news photographer in the Middle East and Africa for over 30 years.
  • Site of Palmyra, UNESCO World Heritage Centre
    This site contains state-of-conservation reports, photos, and maps describing the recent devastation of several buildings and damage to artifacts in the Palmyra Museum.
  • Supporting Technical Works in Palmyra, Iconem
    Using a variety of digital tools and imaging techniques, the Iconem team documents and assesses damage to heritage sites. Their work in Palmyra involves acquiring field data to create 3-D models that simulate the dynamics of the explosions that leveled the site's monuments.
  • The American Schools of Oriental Research
    An international organization that promotes research into the history and cultural heritage of the Near East and wider Mediterranean from the earliest times. This website includes special reports on the Syrian conflict.
  • The Iris
    Read scholarly insights and a behind-the-scenes perspective from the curators of The Legacy of Ancient Palmyra, available on the blog of the J. Paul Getty Trust.
  • Wisconsin Palmyrene Aramaic Inscription Project
    Using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), scholars will re-collate inscriptions from Palmyra and analyze stylistic changes in the scripts to understand how family relations are described.
  • Zenobia: Empress of the East
    A blog by classical scholar Judith Weingarten highlighting the life and times of Palmyra's famed Queen Zenobia, as well as other "ambitious" female rulers from antiquity.


Digitized Images

Exhibition Checklist



Faces of Ancient Palmyra

Palmyrene funerary portraits offer an intimate glimpse into an ancient culture and reveal how its diverse inhabitants wanted to be remembered. In this video, scholars of Palmyra's art and archaeology explain why the need to protect and study these sculptures helps to preserve the legacy of this Syrian city.
Runtime: 7 min.

The Palmyra Portrait Project: Preserving Cultural Heritage in a Time of Conflict

The funerary monuments of Palmyra, Syria, constitute the single largest group of portraits that have survived from an ancient city within the Roman Empire. In this talk, archaeologist Rubina Raja discusses the unique funerary portrait tradition of ancient Palmyra and the recent looting and destruction of its monuments resulting from the Syrian war.
Runtime: 62 min.

Palmyra and Aleppo: Syria's Cultural Heritage in Conflict

Recent political unrest in Syria has progressed into a devastating conflict that has targeted and looted heritage sites, most notably the ancient caravan city of Palmyra. In the battle for Aleppo, a bombing campaign and street-by-street fighting have effectively leveled one of the oldest, continuously populated, and architecturally rich cities in the world. A panel of specialists discusses the unfolding consequences of war on historic sites and monuments throughout the region.
Combined runtime: 163 min.

Designing the Getty Research Institute's First Online Exhibition

Co-curator Peter Louis Bonfitto and web designers Masato Nakada and Karen To Nakada discuss the challenges of bringing 18th-century prints and 19th-century photographs into a digital environment as part of the Getty Research Institute's first online exhibition. Rare collection materials that inspired the online design are presented.
Runtime: 13 min.

French 18th-Century Artist Travels from Istanbul to Egypt

Co-curator Peter Louis Bonfitto presents the rarely seen images of a three-year diplomatic voyage to the Ottoman court undertaken by artist and architect Louis-François Cassas (French, 1756–1827) beginning in 1784. Cassas created hundreds of detailed drawings of ancient monuments; a rare and significant collection of these proof prints are part of the Research Institute's collections.
Runtime: 15 min.

Lady Strangford's Travel Account of Crossing the Syrian Desert

Co-curator Peter Louis Bonfitto and art historian Jane Friedman look at the 19th-century travel account of Emily Anne Smythe, Viscountess Strangford, who undertook a two-year expedition through the Middle East. Her illustrated description provided a vicarious adventure and sought to assure individuals—particularly women—that travel could be performed with "ease and security" in the region.
Runtime: 15 min.

About This Exhibition

The Getty Research Institute's first online exhibition, The Legacy of Ancient Palmyra, features the Institute's rare print and photograph collections documenting an important archaeological site that has recently undergone devastating changes amid an ongoing war in Syria. The project was conceived as a means to complement the Institute's exceptional holdings with an innovative design that creates a compelling digital experience. The online presentation of this exhibition aims to reach a global audience.

Project Team


  • Frances Terpak, Getty Research Institute, curator
  • Peter Louis Bonfitto, Getty Research Institute, research associate

Project Team

  • Betsy Brand, Getty Research Institute, digital engagement
  • Paula Carlson, J. Paul Getty Trust Web Group, web developer and programmer
  • Jane Friedman, Getty Research Institute, project associate
  • Alicia Houtrouw, Getty Research Institute, content strategist
  • Andrew Kersey, Getty Research Institute, content strategist and project editor
  • Ahree Lee, J. Paul Getty Trust Web Group, user experience designer
  • Liz McDermott, Getty Research Institute, project lead
  • Uma Nair, Getty Research Institute, project manager
  • Karen Nakada, The Happening Studio, visual designer
  • Masato Nakada, The Happening Studio, visual designer
  • Kayleigh Perkov, Getty Research Institute, graduate intern


  • Mikka Gee Conway, J. Paul Getty Trust, assistant general counsel


  • Moira Day, Getty Research Institute, curatorial assistant
  • Kristen Decker, Getty Research Institute, administrative assistant

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Thomas W. Gaehtgens, Jack Ludden, Andrew Perchuk, and Marcia Reed for their sustained encouragement in developing this project, and for creating an environment at the Getty Research Institute that fosters new endeavors.

Special thanks to the following for their valuable contributions to this project: Fred Albertson, Martha Alfaro, Mantas Andrijauskas, Joan Aruz, Christa Aube, Zainab Bahrani, Nikolas Bakirtizis, Annie Barnes, Jobe Benjamin, Tracy Bonfitto, Claudia Brink, Robert Brown, Shelby Brown, Michelle Brunnick, Giorgio Buccellati, Debra Canter, Henry Colburn, Linda Conze, Tahnee Cracchiola, Ted Dancesu, Owen Doonan, Chris Edwards, Adriana Fernandez, Duncan Forbes, Lisa Forman, Michał Gawlikowski, Corinna Gramatke, Eric Guzman, Ann Harrison, Maira Hernandez-Andrade, Amy Hood, Brooks Huber, Wim Hupperetz, Visa Immonen, Julie Jaskol, Ted Kaizer, Jorrit Kelder, Thomas Ketelsen, Jan Kindberg Jacobsen, Sharon King, Kenneth Lapatin, Sean Leatherbury, Claire Lyons, Louis Marchesano, Theresa Marino, Maureen McGlynn, Matt Moore, David Myers, Christine Nguyen, Nancy Perloff, Melissa Piper, Isotta Poggi, Merritt Price, Rubina Raja, Julie Romain, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Kim Sellery, Sarah Sherman, Teresa Soleau, Jeffrey Spier, Christopher Sprinkle, Annelisa Stephan, Mark Stone, Jeanne Marie Teutonico, Branko van Oppen, Cristina Velasquez, Maria Velez, Sarah Waldorf, Wes Walker, Amelia Wong, Anna Zagorski, and Dror Zeevi.

Image Rights

© 2017 J. Paul Getty Trust

Except as noted below, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License.

All images listed below, numbered according to their order on the Exhibition Checklist, are reproduced with the permission of the owners and are expressly excluded from the Creative Commons license covering the rest of this online exhibition. These images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted, or manipulated without consent from the owners, who reserve all rights.

List of Images

76. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, ДВ-4187

77. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, ДВ-4187

78. The Getty Research Institute, 84-B25075

82. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 1033. Photo: Ole Haupt

83. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, 1992-13. Photo: Gérard Blot. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY

85. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 1068. Photo: Ole Haupt

86. Musée du Louvre, Paris, AO 1556. Photo: Hervé Lewandowski. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY

87. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 2795. Photo: Ole Haupt

89. Allard Pierson Museum, University of Amsterdam, 000.049. Courtesy of the University of Amsterdam

93. Photo Credit: National Trust / Art Resource, NY

94. Sir John Soane's Museum, London, MR34. © Sir John Soane's Museum, London

95. National Trust, Erddig, Wrexham, Wales, 1147092

100. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australian Government Grant 1890, 0.86

101. British Museum, London, 1843, 0513.425. © The Trustees of the British Museum / Art Resource, NY

102. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. Purchased with the Virginia Steele Scott Acquisition fund for American Art. Photo © Fredrik Nilsen. © Courtesy of the Huntington Art Collections, San Marino, California

104. Photo: T. Versteegh. © Polish Mission to Palmyra / Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology

105. Photo: H. Romanowski. © Polish Mission to Palmyra / Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology

106. Photo: T. Biniewski. © Polish Mission to Palmyra / Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology

107. Photo: T. Versteegh. © Polish Mission to Palmyra / Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology

108. Photo: M. Gawlikowski. © Polish Mission to Palmyra / Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology

109. © Ursula Schulz-Dornburg. Courtesy of Gallery Luisotti