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Funerary relief bust

Figure: human
Historical period(s)
3rd century (dated 231 C.E.)
60.1 x 55.3 x 23.0 cm
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
The inscriptions carved on this relief bust, written in Aramaic, identify the figure as a woman named Haliphat and date her death to the year 231 C.E. The bust is from Palmyra, a city in southern Syria that flourished during the Roman Empire as a caravan oasis on the trade route linking the Mediterranean with West and Central Asia.

Many members of Palmyra's prosperous merchant class commissioned such funerary busts depicting fashionably dressed individuals; women often wear elaborate jewelry. The busts covered the openings of burial compartments in family tombs located in the desert outside Palmyra.

To 1908
Joseph Marcopoli, Aleppo, Syria, to 1908 [1]

From 1908 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Joseph Marcopoli, Aleppo, in 1908 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Reserved Miscellaneous List, R. 5601, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owners
Joseph Marcopoli
On View Location
Sackler: Palmyra
Sculpture, Stone
funerary, portrait, Syria, woman
Collection(s) Area
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

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