These images of Palmyra were taken in the summer of 1962. The tourist infrastructure was less developed at this time and the images also show evidence of intrusive levels of renovation that had mellowed or been replaced by the later half of the C20th. For details relating to each image separately in this item please refer to the inventory appended to this collection.
As with a number of other cult sites in Dura Europos, the Temple of Bel was identified primarily by its frescoes which are now displayed in the National Museum of Damascus.
The Temple of Bel as it appears today dates from the C1st-C2nd AD, but stands on a much older cult site near the date palm grove and Eqfa spring that enabled the foundation of a city in the middle of the Syrian desert. Later on the cella of the temple was adapted for use as a Christian church and faint traces of frescoes are still visible on the interior walls. It was also fortified in the middle ages and there was a village within the walls of the compound until the population was removed by the French authorities during their rule of Syria in the 1920s.