This limestone carving is a funerary effigy for an unknown man.
These images show the tell to the south of Qaryatayn and the surrounding landscape, including the remains of the spring that once fed the surrounding area.
This is one of the best-preserved tomb towers still extant and preserves many elements of its original fresco and sculptural decoration.
The Tomb of the Three Brothers is a well-known frescoed hypogeum to the south of the Valley of the Tombs. The entrance has an extensive Palmyrene inscription over the door detailing the names of those interred inside.
Batumi/Tamar castle is situated on a small area of high ground above the Koroli river where it runs into the Black Sea. It contains the remains of a small church. It has been subject to some restoration in recent years and sadly a relatively new church was built into the south-west of the castle mound.
These images were taken on 1997 and, despite their relatively poor quality (they were badly developed in Syria) have been included as of possible interest due to the occupation of Palmyra by IS and the continuing uncertainty of the fate of many of the artefacts there. The pictures show Palmyrene sculptures and a scale model of the Temple of Bel.
The highest status objects from regional excavations were taken to Damascus and Aleppo, but the Raqqa Museum housed less significant artefacts in a small colonial-era building. These pictures were taken quickly as an experiment in dim winter light, but are included here as all finds in the museum are now presumed destroyed or looted.
Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi is the western of the two famous Umayyad palaces built to the east and west of Palmyra. This palace was built on the site of an earlier building and the stone tower still extant from that earlier phase has an inscription suggesting that it may have been part of a C6th monastery complex. The Qasr ("little castle") was built of mud brick, field stone and bricks and the whole was covered with a layer of stucco. The façade was covered with stucco decoration that was excavated from the site in the early C20th and reconstructed in Damascus as the façade of the National Museum. The frescoes and a number of stucco figurative three dimensional sculptures taken from the site are now on display in the National Museum.
The tell in Qaryatayn was the centre of a middle bronze age kingdom, with the site being settled due to the presence of an oasis. The significance of the town declined over time although a garrison was permanently stationed in Qaryatayn in the Ottoman period in order to protect travellers from raids by the Bedouin as they travelled between Damascus and Palmyra. These pictures of the tell were taken by a local resident in May 2012 after the tell was bulldozed by unknown looters. Quickly taken on a telephone, the photographer returned the next morning with a camera but found the artefacts shown in these low resolution pictures had already been destroyed.
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.