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Mortuary Statue

Object Number:
B8904
Current Location:
Rome Gallery
Culture:
Roman
Provenience:
Syria
Palmyra
Section:
Near Eastern
Materials:
Limestone
Technique:
High Relief
Iconography:
Woman
Inscription
Description:
CBS Register: Fragment of slab in limestone, mortuary stone. In high relief, bust of woman with Palmyrene inscription to the left of her head.

Romano: "Inscribed rectangular loculus slab with richly ornamented female figure in high relief. Woman is in frontal position with right arm bent and crossed over in front of body at waist height grasping the edge of her mantle. The left arm is bent and is raised to grasp the edge of the veil at shoulder height. She wears a tunic with a mantle fastened with a large circular jeweled brooch at the left shoulder and looped over her bare right forearm. She also wears a veil over the top of her head, the edge of which is scalloped and falls down the right side of the chest. Beneath the veil she wears a high, rolled turban with patterns in relief of rosettes, dots and narrow bands.

Attached at the front of the turban is a pin with a rectangle linked to an oval jewel with three drops pendant on the forehead. Around her head she also wears a hair chain with circular jewels linked to each other. She wears drop earrings with a deeply drilled separation from the cheek. She wears four necklaces: the uppermost is rolled with a circular pendant; the second a chain with a circular pendant; the third beaded with a circular pendant; and the fourth and lowest a thick chain with a large oval pendant (with a representation of an oval stone in the center and small stones along the perimeter) with four suspended chains with drops on the ends, of the same type as worn at the center of the head ornament. She wears a thick spiral bracelet with studded decoration on each wrist, and a ring with a circular jeweled bezel on the little finger of her left hand. The left hand is poorly executed, while more attention is paid to the right with the fingernails represented.

The face is rectangular with broad planes for cheeks. The hair is drawn back and up in individual wavy locks. The broadly arching eyebrows are incised; the almond-shaped eyes are prominent with thickened upper lids overlapping the lower; protruding irises incised around the perimeter and with dark pigment. The nose is long and straight with deeply incised nostrils; an indentation separates the nose from the small mouth; finely shaped lips with gouges at the outer corners. Top of head is roughly finished. Inscription to viewer's right of head is false and was probably added in the 19th c. Back of relief is roughly finished with concavity in center."

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Roman Sculpture Gallery (1975 - 2000)
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Roman World (15 Mar 2003)
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Bibliography:

[Article] Danti, Michael D. 2001. "Palmyrene Funerary Sculptures at Penn". Expedition. 43 (3): 33-40. : Page/Fig./Plate: 36
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[Catalogue] Legrain, Leon. 1950. The Babylonian Collection of the University Museum, University Museum Bulletin Vol.: 10:3-4. : Page/Fig./Plate: 72
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[Book] Quick, Jennifer. 2004. Magnificent Objects from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. : Page/Fig./Plate: 156
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[Catalogue] White, Donald, et al. 2002. Guide to the Etruscan and Roman Worlds at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. : Page/Fig./Plate: p. 85, no. 125
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[Catalogue] Romano, Irene B. 2006. Classical Sculpture; Catalogue of the Cypriot, Greek and Roman Stone Sculpture in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. : Page/Fig./Plate: p. 284, no. 132
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