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The Legacy of Ancient Palmyra

As wars continue to be fought in places rich with ancient art, monuments, and other works of human ingenuity, this site from the Getty Research Institute documenting Palmyra, Syria is timely. It is comforting, assuring us that this important history will not be completely lost. The images on the site include eighteenth-century drawings, maps, and illustrations by Louis-Francois Cassas (1756-1827); images from eighteenth-century books created by wealthy travelers, such as "The Ruins of Palmyra, Otherwise Tedmor" 1753, by Robert Wood or "Egyptian Sepulchers and Syrian Shrines" 1862, by Emily Anne Beaufort Smythe, Viscountess Strangford; and nineteenth century photographs by Louis Vignes (1831-1896) taken in 1864, as well as a few modern images of twentieth and twenty-first century Palmyra. The Getty acquired a large collection of Vignes's work in 2015, which had not been widely published previously. In the section on the Temple of Bel, originally constructed in the first century CE, and whose ruins were largely destroyed during the Islamic State (ISIS) occupation of Palmyra in 2015, there are 16 images either created by Vignes, or based on Cassas's work. This includes a Plan of the Temple of Bel, which is an etching done by Charles-Nicolas Varin after Louis-Francois Cassas in 1799. Also included are other prints created by French engravers after Cassas and eight albumen prints of the temple ruins by Vignes from 1864. In the modern section, a 1962 photo of a Polish archaeological expedition to Palmyra shows what was left of the colonnade at the Temple of Bel at that time.
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Date of Scout Publication
September 22nd, 2017
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September 20th, 2017 at 1:17pm
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