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The Ancient Splendor of Palmyra, Syria with Dr. Guillaume Durand

The Ancient Splendor of Palmyra, Syria with Dr. Guillaume Durand


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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:
  1. Please think about the symbolic nature of your home state's currency. Think about how these symbols illustrate the values of this specific state.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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