Imagine being able to ask a famous archaeologist anything you like. In this course, you’ll transport to the Syrian Desert in the 2nd century CE to explore the ancient city of Palmyra. While you watch, you'll be able to submit your questions for Guillaume Durand, Ph.D., and get them answered during a live Q&A session.
Join archaeologist and art historian Dr. Guillaume Durand to explore the ancient city of Palmyra, known as the ‘Pompeii of Syria.’ A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Palmyra is at the crossroad of civilizations where Greco-Roman construction techniques marry local traditions and Persian influences. Damaged during the Syrian Civil War, the archaeological site of Palmyra also speaks to the global conflicts of the modern age.
An oasis in the Syrian Desert, Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centers in the Eastern part of the Ancient Mediterranean World. From the first to the second century CE, the art and architecture of Palmyra reflected the blend of cultures and peoples who lived and traveled here. We will discuss the strategic position of Palmyra on essential trade routes starting in the Bronze Age through to the development of the Silk Road linking Persia, India, and China with the Mediterranean.
Together, we will explore the numerous monuments that illustrate the unique culture that flourished here – such as grand colonnaded streets, the Temple of Ba’al, the Roman Tetrapylon, Diocletian’s Camp, and the Agora, among others. We will also look at artifacts left behind, which give us an understanding of the lives of the population that inhabited Palmyra, including prominent characters such as Queen Zenobia, who challenged Rome in the late third century CE.
Led by an expert on the art and archaeology of the eastern Mediterranean basin Guillaume Durand, this webinar will explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmyra, truly the shared cultural patrimony of humankind. Participants will come away with an increased understanding of this epic archaeological site and gain insight into the crucial role that historic preservation plays in protecting the past and shaping a tolerant future.
As you watch the presentation, we encourage you to think about these questions:
- Please think about the symbolic nature of your home state's currency. Think about how these symbols illustrate the values of this specific state.
- Think about how could have been the political/economic structure of a city such as Palmyra. Think about earlier or later civilizations that could have been similar.
- Keeping in the Palmyrene society, think about the different Semitic languages (and so people) and how Palmyra is at the crossroad of all of them.
- As you watch, please think about how a Palmyrene inhabitant / wealthy trader could integrate himself with the Roman system and how and why they were able to retain their specialties.
Watch On Demand, Submit Questions to Your Expert
Learn Now with Context on Demand. Enjoy this 60-minute webinar that can be watched immediately — or up to 40 days after purchase. As you watch, you can submit questions, thoughts, or comments that will be answered by your expert. Guided discussion questions and recommended reading lists will also be provided to support further learning on the topic. Additional FAQ answers are available below.
About Your Expert
Passionate about the regions and countries at the crossroad of civilizations, Guillaume Durand Ph.D. has long standing expertise in Ancient art and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. Assistant dean and professor in archaeology and art history at the Institute for American Universities and the American College of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence, France, Guillaume has traveled many times in Iran during these six past years in order to study the Persian Empires. He is also a tourist guide / lecturer in this country for French citizens.
When will I receive the On Demand Lecture to watch?
Immediately after checkout, you will be emailed your order confirmation. This will contain a link saying "Watch Now."
How long is this video presentation?
Each presentation is approximately 60 minutes long.
How long is the presentation available to rewatch? What happens if I need to pause and then resume on a later date?
Your webinar is available to re-watch for up to 40 days from the date of purchase. Use the link in your order confirmation email to re-visit the classroom.
How can I send Context my questions for the Expert?
Input your questions into the form below your video screen on the "Watch Now" page.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
60 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.