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Reuse of building material and sculpture in late antique and early Islamic Palmyra (273-750 ce). An overview of the practice and several remarks on the evidence from the Sanctuary of Baalshamin

Emanuele E. Intagliata
p. 419-438

Résumés

Le remploi de matériaux de construction et de sculptures à Palmyre dans l’Antiquité tardive et la période islamique ancienne (273-750 de n. è.). Aperçu des pratiques et remarques sur les indices découverts dans le sanctuaire de Baalshamin
Cet article fournit la première synthèse académique sur le remploi de matériaux de construction à Palmyre dans l’Antiquité tardive et la période islamique ancienne (273-750). Ce phénomène est étudié plus particulièrement dans le sanctuaire de Baalshamin, en s’appuyant sur des archives jusqu’alors inédites. La façon dont ces matériaux ont été utilisés à Palmyre varie selon la fonction des bâtiments. En étudiant plus en détail les données disponibles dans le sanctuaire de Baalshamin, l’article propose également plusieurs hypothèses sur les pratiques de construction et l’organisation de la main-d’œuvre.

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Dédicace

A Maria Teresa Grassi (1957-2020) con stima e riconoscenza

Notes de l’auteur

This work was supported by the Danish National Research Foundation under the grant DNRF119 – Centre of Excellence for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet). The author is indebted to Anne Bielman, Patrick Michel, Antonio Iacobini, Alessandra Guiglia and Enrico Zanini for allowing him to access and peruse the Fonds d’archives Paul Collart (université de Lausanne) and the Centro di Documentazione di Storia dell’Arte Bizantina (Sapienza, Università di Roma), as well as for granting him the right to publish several photos from these archives in this contribution. I am also grateful to Rubina Raja, Simon J. Barker, Christopher P. Dickenson, Line Egelund Hejlskov, Paul M. Miller, Annahita Miller and the anonymous reviewers of Syria for having commented on a first draft of this paper. Any mistakes, however, remain wholly my own.

Texte intégral

  • 1 On the problematic use of this term, see Dumser 2018, p. 154-155.
  • 2 Intagliata 2018a, p. 31.

1The reuse of sculptural and architectural material for the construction of new buildings (also known as spolia 1) was an integral part of the process of urban transformation in Palmyra in Late Antiquity and the early Islamic period (273-750 ce). Such a practice was ubiquitous at the site, and all the buildings constructed after the dramatic events of 272-273 ce make extensive use of this type of material. 2 However, we still lack a detailed understanding of the distribution of this practice and a thorough discussion on its significance and meaning.

2Far from being a definitive synthesis on this topic, this contribution aims to discuss the practice of reuse and to reflect on its potential to shed light on building processes and construction techniques in post-Roman Palmyra. After introductory remarks on the history of the site from the second Palmyrene revolt to the fall of the Umayyad caliphate, this article will present an overview of the evidence based on a number of relatively well-dated case studies. It will then explore the evidence of reuse in the Sanctuary of Baalshamin – a monumental sanctuary in the Roman period that was repurposed to serve both public (or semi-public) and private functions in Late Antiquity and the early Islamic period. The evidence from this sanctuary points to at least two different ways of employing reused building material. It is proposed here that these two practices can shed more light on building processes and the organisation of a work force.

  • 3 Archaeological archives have proven to be invaluable veins of data for sites that are currently si (...)
  • 4 Zanini 2012.
  • 5 The total length of this wall was approximately 5.1 km. For a thorough description of its structur (...)
  • 6 Michel 2008 on the archive; Intagliata 2017b on the use of this documentation to shed light on the (...)

3Besides the data already published in archaeological reports, this article is based on a re-analysis of the archival material currently held at the Centro di Documentazione di Storia dell’Arte Bizantina (Sapienza, Università di Roma) and the Fonds d’archives Paul Collart (université de Lausanne). 3 The Centro di Documentazione di Storia dell’Arte Bizantina preserves notes and photographs of a survey conducted in Palmyra in the 1980s and 1990s by Fernanda De’ Maffei and her research group. 4 Thanks to the numerous photographs and methodical approach of the survey team, the data from Rome allows us to examine a large portion of the city walls of Palmyra – approximately 3.2 km of the 4.2 km still visible today. 5 The archive in Lausanne houses the complete documentation of the Swiss excavation conducted in the Sanctuary of Baalshamin under the direction of Paul Collart. 6 This includes notes and photographs that record the development of the late antique and early Islamic buildings in the northern courtyard of the sanctuary and information on the exact location of several reused pieces of architecture and sculpture.

Late antique and early Islamic Palmyra: Introductory remarks

  • 7 Dodgeon and Lieu 1994, p. 59-96, for an overview of the sources about the rise and fall of the Pal (...)
  • 8 The results of the excavations of the Camp of Diocletian have been thoroughly published by the Pol (...)
  • 9 IGLS 17.1, p. 131, n. 121 (Camp of Diocletian); IGLS 17.1, p. 112-115, n. 100 (Baths of Diocletian (...)
  • 10 Juchniewicz 2013, p. 196; Intagliata 2018a, p. 90-92; 2017a (on the Diocletianic dating). Cf. Zani (...)
  • 11 Intagliata 2018a, p. 81-82, for an overview of the literature.

4The events that brought Palmyra to its knees in the second half of the 3rd century ce are well known. 7 After the second Palmyrene revolt was quelled by emperor Aurelian with an iron fist in 273 ce, the city underwent a radical transformation during the reign of Diocletian. In this period, the governor of the province, Sossianus Hierocles, promoted the construction of a military camp in the west corner of the city (the so-called Camp of Diocletian) and the renovation of a bathhouse in the city centre (the so-called Baths of Diocletian – fig. 1). 8 Based on two foundation inscriptions that report the name of the governor, these buildings have been dated to 293-303 ce9 A third component of the Diocletianic renovation of the city was possibly the systematic repair of its urban circuit. 10 This involved strengthening the fortifications with U-shaped towers, reconstructing several stretches of the curtain wall and reinforcing several gates. The renovations at Palmyra were part of a much larger Diocletianic project aimed at strengthening the eastern frontier after the collapse of Palmyrene power. 11

Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Plan of Palmyra: 1. Sanctuary of Nabu; 2. Baths of Diocletian; 3. Theatre; 4. Agora; 5. Mosque; 6. Sanctuary of Baalshamin; 7. Suburban Market; 8. Church 4; 9. Church 3; 10. Church 2; 11. House F; 12. Church 1; 13. Bellerophon Hall; 14. Suq; 15 Peristyle Building; 16. Sanctuary of Allath

(redrawn after Schnädelbach 2010)

  • 12 IGLS 17.1, p. 114-115, n. 101; Żuchowska 2006, p. 448.
  • 13 Inv. 9, p. 40, n. 28; Gawlikowski 1973, p. 76-77.
  • 14 IGLS 17.1, p. 163-164, n. 154.
  • 15 IGLS 17.1, p. 95-96, n. 80, 81.
  • 16 Intagliata 2018, p. 49-68.

5The significant military presence at Palmyra, which served as an economic engine for the settlement, allowed the city to survive throughout Late Antiquity. Continuous restorations along the Great Colonnade, such as the Octastyle Portico promoted by the λογιστής (lat. curator) Flavius Diogenes in the vicinity of Church 1, demonstrate the existence of a municipality that was actively involved in preserving the city’s decorum12 The Palmyrene gods continued to be venerated by the urban community at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th century ce: in this period, symposia were conducted in the Sanctuary of Bel, 13 an altar was dedicated to Zeus in the Sanctuary of Baalshamin, 14 and sacred areas dedicated to the Palmyrene gods were renovated. 15 However, with the advent of Christianity, we witness the gradual disappearance of urban pagan cults, the proliferation of churches in the city centre, and the creation of burial grounds intra muros16

  • 17 E.g., see the Principia: Gawlikowski 1984, p. 17-45.
  • 18 See note 13.
  • 19 Genequand 2012, 45. This period was not devoid of tension – Intagliata 2018b.
  • 20 Genequand 2008, p. 14; 2012, p. 45.
  • 21 al-Asʿad and Stępniowski 1989 (suq); Genequand 2008 (mosque).
  • 22 Intagliata 2018a, p. 107.
  • 23 Gawlikowski 2009, p. 91.

6After an obscure 5th century ce, which was characterised by an apparent decline of several buildings in the city centre, the century that followed marked a revolution for Palmyra. In this period, the Camp of Diocletian underwent major transformations, 17 and sacred areas were constructed or renovated. 18 The conquest of the city by the army of the caliph Abu Bakr – led by the general Khalid b. al-Walid – in 634 ce did not translate into a period of decline. 19 On the contrary, Palmyra became the political centre of the powerful Banu Kalb, who wer allied with the ruling dynasty of the Umayyads. 20 A suq (open market) and at least one mosque were constructed in the city centre.21 The collapse of the Umayyad dynasty and the rise in power of the Abbasids in 750 ce led to the fall of the Banu Kalb and were likely the direct cause behind the decline of the city. 22 With the exception of several pockets of occupation, the city centre was already abandoned by the 9th century ce23 By then, the urban community had moved and contracted into the temenos of the Sanctuary of Bel, where it remained until the French authorities constructed modern Tadmor to the north of the site at the beginning of the 20th century.

The reuse of architecture and sculpture at Palmyra. An overview

  • 24 Examples are: Deichmann 1976; Brenk 1987, Alchermers 1994; Saradi 1997; Elsner 2000; Coates-Stephe (...)

7The practice of reusing old architecture, sculpture, and inscriptions for the construction of new buildings in Late Antiquity is well known to the scholarly community and has been extensively explored in modern literature. 24 A thorough examination of this practice and its meaning would be redundant and would go beyond the scope of this focused article. Yet, it is worth mentioning that the way in which reused architecture and sculpture has been studied by scholars has changed throughout the decades. Originally regarded as not deserving much attention and seen as simply epitomising the decline of urban communities, reused architectural and sculptural elements are now generally considered important pieces of evidence to shed light on building processes. Rather than demonstrating the existence of a community with limited financial means that could not afford to quarry new stones, the practice of reuse is now read as a form of resource optimisation, reflecting of a new pragmatic way of urban living. The meaning that a reused element acquired when inserted into a wall depended on the nature and function of the building itself. Besides mere structural functions, reused material could be used for aesthetic or ideological reasons.

  • 25 Al-Asʿad and Schmidt-Colinet 1992, p. 141-142.
  • 26 Barański 1994, p. 9.

8In late antique Palmyra, the practice of reuse is known from the late 3rd/early 4th century ce. The second Palmyrene revolt marked the abandonment of the quarries that had served the city in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. 25 At the same time, the construction of a number of major urban building projects, such as the Theatre and the Great Colonnade, halted abruptly. 26 By the beginning of the 4th century ce, architecture and sculpture from dismissed buildings was readily accessible for late antique builders and the city had already transformed into a large open quarry. The overview of the evidence presented in this section of the article suggests that this practice was used widely after the dramatic events of 272-273 ce and varied greatly depending on the period under examination and the nature of a building.

9For the sake of convenience, this overview is divided into two sections based on the function of the buildings analysed: whether this function is public/semi-public or private. In this article, buildings with a predominantly public function (for example, military compounds and churches) are considered “public buildings” and houses are considered “private buildings”. Admittedly, this division is not devoid of complications (for example: can barracks be considered public buildings? Can the construction of an aristocratic banquet hall be regarded as a public project?). Nevertheless, it helps as an initial point of departure to examine the evidence. In addition, at least in Palmyra, the structures in these broad categories seem to be characterised by an important difference: the construction and renovation of private residential buildings were generally modest endeavours while public buildings seem to have relied on larger and more organised workforces. As it will be argued in the next two sections, this is reflected in the different ways that reused material was inserted into walls.

Public (or semi-public) buildings

  • 27 The reuse of ancient architecture and sculpture in the Camp of Diocletian has been interpreted wit (...)
  • 28 See n. 8 for bibliography.
  • 29 Michałowski 1962, p. 13.
  • 30 Michałowski 1962, p. 19.
  • 31 Michałowski 1962, p. 17, fig. 10.

10The first examples of reuse in late antique Palmyra are known for public buildings constructed in the time of Diocletian. 27 The Camp of Diocletian, which was the base of the Legio I Illyricorum mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum, is situated on the slope of a hill, the Jebel al-Husayniet. Before the construction of this military compound, the area was home to (among other things) a burial ground and a sanctuary. 28 Many decorated sculptural and architectural elements sourced from this area and reused as simple building blocks for the new late antique complex were not placed in plain view. Among the most striking examples of this practice are the three-coursed foundations of the Groma, which is situated at the crossroads of the Via Praetoria and the Via Principalis. Within these foundations, which mainly consist of small stones and mortar, the Polish team uncovered a statue dedicated to Haggat that dated to the beginning of the 3rd century ce, as well as an altar with an inscription dated to 239-240 ce29 The floor of the Groma is made of reused flagstones of various sizes. These flagstones are between 20 and 52 cm thick with mouldings often placed face down. 30 Although their laying does not follow a regular pattern, it is evident that the builders strived to find a perfect join between the blocks. 31

  • 32 Michałowski 1964, p. 24.
  • 33 Michałowski 1964, p. 42.
  • 34 Michałowski 1964, p. 42.

11The tendency to reuse decorated sculptural and architectural elements in areas that are hidden is attested elsewhere in the Camp of Diocletian. Further to the north, for example, the excavation of the Forum brought to light ten statue heads in local limestone mortared in the foundations of the Grande Porte. The heads come from the same burial and enabled the archaeologists to suggest 250 ce as a terminus post quem for the construction of the gate. 32 The southern wall of the Forum is built of carefully cut stone blocks and is 45 m long and 1 m wide. 33 The wall makes abundant use of reused architecture and sculpture in its foundations, including approximately 20 fragments of funerary statues. 34

  • 35 Gawlikowski 1984, p. 22-26.
  • 36 Gawlikowski 1984, p. 37-42.
  • 37 Dumser 2018. I am grateful to S. J. Barker for this reference.

12When decorated architectural elements were used in plain view in the Camp of Diocletian, these were generally employed in accordance with their original destination. The tetrastyle entrance porch of the Principia, for example, made use of four reused column shafts resting on top of column bases, all of different sizes. The four capitals on top of these columns were also reused and have been dated to the 2nd century ce35 A similar attention to the positioning of reused architecture in areas not hidden from view has been noted elsewhere in the Principia, for example in the Grande Salle or in the Temple of the Standards. 36 This form of “discrete reuse,” in which architectural elements maintain their original aesthetical values, is not unique to Palmyra, but fits within a much wider phenomenon common elsewhere in the empire in this period. 37

  • 38 Dodge 1988, p. 227.

13The so-called Baths of Diocletian show a similar example of careful reuse. The entrance to the compound through the Great Colonnade presents a porch with four monolithic column shafts of different sizes in red granite of Aswan. Similar to the entrance porch in the Principia of the Camp of Diocletian, the column shafts rest on evidently reused bases. The capitals, which, like the column bases, are heavily worn, also seem to be characterised by a certain variety of styles (fig. 2). 38 However, the porch is perfectly integrated into the remaining northern portico of the Great Colonnade thanks to pre-existing pillars that are on the same axis as its terminal columns.

Figure 2.

Figure 2.

Porch of the Baths of Diocletian

(© Pal.M.A.I.S., Università degli Studi di Milano)

  • 39 Juchniewicz 2013; Intagliata 2018a, p. 90-92; Intagliata 2017a.

14Reused elements are also abundant in several repairs of the city wall of Palmyra. The dating of this building project to the Diocletianic period seems to be assured by, among other things, the use of a building technique also seen in the Camp of Diocletian (i.e. so-called Building Technique 4, or BT4, as in the Horreum and the Principia). 39 This consists of walls in opus emplectum made of two faces of stone blocks in a header-and-stretcher bond. Although it is difficult to put forward hypotheses for which building material was used at several points of the curtain wall, particularly in the northern sector (due to heavy modern restorations), reused elements are undoubtedly employed in other stretches of the monument. Reuse is immediately recognisable in alterations made on the stone blocks (for example, angular cuts: fig. 3b). Although reusing stone blocks often resulted in the creation of irregular courses, it seems the builders prioritised finding a perfect joint for the blocks.

Figure 3.

Figure 3.

a. Plan of Palmyra with location of Diocletianic repairs marked with grey dots (the labels of towers and gates follow Schnädelbach 2010; see also Intagliata 2015, p. 402-517); b. wall in BT4 in the vantage court of the “Theatre Gate,” K603 (north face of south wall)

[871013a, © Centro di Documentazione di Storia dell’Arte Bizantina, Sapienza, Università di Roma]

15The strengthening of the city walls with this particular building technique involved the construction of U-shaped towers and repairs of the curtain wall. An examination of the photographs now stored at the Centro di Documentazione di Storia dell’Arte Bizantina has revealed that these repairs are mostly concentrated between towers A302 and A221, in the northern sector of the monument. It is also possible (though difficult) to see repairs with this technique in the southern sector, but this has yet to be entirely brought to light (fig. 3a).

  • 40 This conclusion is based on the analysis of the photographs of the archive in Rome. Future surveys (...)

16The majority of the reused blocks in these repairs that are in plain sight are not decorated. 40 However, there are at least two exceptions documented in the archive in Rome. One is a moulded header block in the northern sector of the monument (of uncertain location), and the other is a decorated panel from a ceiling at the entrance of the Theatre Gate (K603 – southern sector – fig. 4). At least in the latter case, the aesthetic intention is undoubted and understandable, since the decorated block is situated in a passageway. By contrast, the reuse of doorjambs, architraves and small pediments for the construction of doorways in several of the U-shaped towers is uncertain (fig. 5); although the blocks appear perfectly laid, the absence of uniformity may be proof that the material had been sourced from different buildings.

Figure 4.

Figure 4.

Decorated element at the entrance of the “Theatre Gate,” K603

(900404d; © Centro di Documentazione di Storia dell’Arte Bizantina, Sapienza, Università di Roma)

Figure 5.

Figure 5.

Entrances to U-shaped towers A221 (a), A226 (b), and A302 (c)

[871504a, 871512a, 902008a; © Centro di Documentazione di Storia dell’Arte Bizantina, Sapienza, Università di Roma]

  • 41 Gawlikowski 1990, p. 43.
  • 42 Gawlikowski 1997b, p. 196; Gawlikowski 1998, p. 203.
  • 43 Gawlikowski 1998, p. 203.
  • 44 Gawlikowski 1998, p. 203.
  • 45 Gawlikowski 1990, p. 43; Gawlikowski 1991, p. 89.

17Through time, the “discrete” approach to reuse visible in these early examples faded away. However, reused material would still be employed extensively throughout Late Antiquity. The four churches excavated by the Polish team since 1988 in the northwest quarter are representative of the continuity of this phenomenon into the 6th century ce. Church 1 was constructed on top of a pre-existing building. Although this building underwent major alterations as early as the 4th century ce, it was only in the second half of the 6th century ce that an apse was installed to its eastern wall. Among the cases of reuse in this structure are architraves and cornices used as seating along its walls. 41 The floor of the apse and the eastern sector of Church 2 (dated to the 5th or 6th century ce) is made of reused blocks, several of which were sourced from a monumental building dated to the 1st century ce42 The columns of Church 2, in local white limestone and grey-and-black granite, 43 as well as the columns of the atrium of Church 3 – built in the 5th but restored in the 6th century ce – 44 are all reused. Likewise, the arch that marked the entrance to the apse of Church 1 was made of reused voussoirs that were decorated on three sides with floral motives. These decorations are dated to the second half of the 2nd century ce45

  • 46 Genequand 2008, p. 12, fig. 10.
  • 47 al-Asʿad and Stępniowski 1989, p. 208.

18It is difficult to keep track of the practice of reuse throughout the early Islamic period because of the chronological uncertainty of most of the structures dated to the 6th century ce. Nonetheless, it seems evident that the reuse of ancient architecture and sculpture continued without interruption. The congregational mosque constructed along the central stretch of the Great Colonnade between the Theatre and the Tetrapylon extensively employs this type of material. The qibla wall is made mostly with column shafts placed vertically into the ground. 46 In the Umayyad suq, which was brought to light in the carriageway of the western sector of the Great Colonnade, the occurrence of reused material seems to vary considerably depending on the sector of the monument in question. Khaled al-Asʿad and Franciszek Stępniowski noted a substantial difference between the group of shops 10-17, in which only a single (decorated?) reused element has been identified, and the group of shops 1-9, in which many examples of reuse can be seen. 47

Private residential buildings

  • 48 An analysis of housing in late antique Palmyra is presented in Intagliata 2018a, p. 34-40.
  • 49 Gawlikowski 1997a, with bibliography.
  • 50 On the Peristyle Building, see Grassi and al-Asʿad 2013.

19Private residential buildings in late antique and early Islamic Palmyra are characterised by simplicity in construction and extensive reuse of building materials. Two habitational models characterised this period. 48 In the first model, which is difficult to date, people continued to live in pre-existing houses, renovating them to respond to their changed social conditions. Among the numerous alterations they made are the subdivision of large rooms into smaller units with partition walls, the blocking of the intercolumnia of porticoes in open courtyards, and the creation of second stories. The most significant examples of these changes are found in House F, in the northwest quarter, 49 and in the Peristyle Building, in the southeast quarter. 50

  • 51 Among the examples of reused elements that can be dated to the first phase of construction of this (...)

20In the rarer second habitational model, new buildings were built ex novo in open or semi-open areas. The Praetorium of the Camp of Diocletian, which was constructed in the court of the Sanctuary of Allath at the end of the 4th / beginning of the 5th century ce, is an example of this model. 51 The reuse of disused buildings such as pagan sanctuaries for the construction of residential buildings should not necessarily be read as a sign of the city’s decline and the inability of its inhabitants to keep up civic decorum. Rather, it may be proof of a vibrant and growing urban community struggling to find living space within the limits of the site.

21In both habitational models, reused elements are abundant. Column drums, inscriptions, altars, reliefs, and other architectural and sculptural elements have commonly been found in late antique and early Islamic private residential buildings. It is reasonable to think that, in most cases, the function of these elements was simply structural. However, it is also possible that certain decorated pieces were used to break the monotony of a structure and, in this way, acquired an aesthetic meaning – such as the fragment of ceiling in fig. 4.

The sanctuary of Baalshamin

22A closer examination of a single case study, the Sanctuary of Baalshamin, will demonstrate that walls made of an apparent chaotic collection of reused architecture, sculpture and inscriptions can provide valuable insights into building practices and the organisation of a workforce in late antique and early Islamic Palmyra.

  • 52 See, e.g., Intagliata 2017b; 2018c.

23The Sanctuary of Baalshamin was excavated by a Swiss team under the direction of Paul Collart between 1954 and 1966. Among other things, the excavations were essential for their revelation of site topography, the Palmyrene religion, the Hellenistic phases of Palmyra, and the fate of the site following the dramatic events of 272-273 ce. More than 60 years after the beginning of excavations of this sanctuary, the data collected by Collart’s team continue to fascinate archaeologists and to be the objects of study by scholars. 52

24The Roman sanctuary centred on a tetrastyle prostyle temple and included two large porticoed courtyards to the south and north (the Cour Sud and the Grande Cour respectively) [fig. 6]. Other porticoes were unearthed in the immediate vicinity of the temple: T2 and T4, which flank the temple to the north and south; T1, located to the east of the temple, and C5, which is parallel to the southeast portico of the Grande Cour. North of the Grande Cour, the excavation uncovered the remains of a large building (Bâtiment Nord), which, according to Collart, was connected to the cult in the sanctuary. West of the temple, the excavators brought to light a funerary monument dating to the Hellenistic period. A number of inscriptions mostly found reused in post-Roman structures provide information about the Palmyrenes that dedicated several of these porticoes or parts thereof. These were Alaisha (C1), Zabdilah (C4 western section and C5), Yahrai (C4 eastern section), Malkou (T2), and Ouahbai (T4).

Figure 6.

Figure 6.

Plan of the Sanctuary of Baalshamin. Small numbers indicate the location of inscriptions; 1. Building A; 2. Building B; 3. Building C; 4. Former Temple; 5. Area D; 6. Area E

(modified from Dunant 1971, folded plan; © Istituto Svizzero di Roma)

  • 53 For the general topography and architectural development of the sanctuary, see Collart and Vicari (...)
  • 54 Kowalski 1994.

25After 273 ce, the sanctuary underwent several transformations. 53 According to Collart, at the beginning of the 5th century ce, the temple was transformed into a church. To achieve this, three rooms were built east of the pronaos: a central room for the altar and two flanking pastophoria. The entrance to the building was modified and a door was pierced into the back wall of the naos. Finally, the interior of the naos was freed from its architecture, which was reused for the construction of the three rooms to the east. These transformations were effective in changing the orientation of the building, whose apse faced east in Late Antiquity. Collart also argues that, contemporary with the church, a martyrium and a baptistery were erected, to the north and south of the repurposed building respectively. In 1994, Kowalski questioned this interpretation and concluded that the structure was, in reality, a banquet hall built in the 6th century ce54 Given that the published and archival data do not help to disentangle this issue, in this contribution, we refer to this structure simply as the “Former Temple”.

  • 55 Intagliata 2017b.

26Archaeological investigations in the north courtyard of the monumental complex unearthed at least three late antique and early Islamic buildings (A-C). A study of the unpublished archive material has made it possible to follow the development of at least one of them (B). 55 Building B was built in the 5th or 6th century ce and was significantly altered in the Umayyad period after a violent earthquake hit the city. Although there is little evidence to shed light on the fate of Buildings A and C, it is likely that they followed a similar chronological development. Building B was most probably a residential structure, but the function of Buildings A and C are obscure. It is reasonable to assume, however, that these were also houses with annexed open spaces. The function of two other areas within the compound – Areas D and E – are uncertain.

  • 56 Michel 2008.

27The complete documentation of the Sanctuary of Baalshamin excavations is now held at the Fonds d’archives Paul Collart (université de Lausanne). 56 Since all late antique and early Islamic structures were removed by Collart’s team to reveal the Roman phase of the compound, this documentation is essential to any consideration of the practice of reuse.

Reuse according to Paul Collart

  • 57 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 20.
  • 58 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 81.
  • 59 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 14, 15-16.

28The main goal of the Sanctuary of Baalshamin excavations was to study its Roman phase. The subsequent phases of occupation, which extensively altered the original plan of the sanctuary, were generally considered an obstacle to achieving this aim. 57 According to Collart, the practice of reuse brought both advantages and disadvantages to archaeologists. On the one hand, it led to the dispersion of Roman sculpture, architecture, and inscriptions within the sanctuary, but, on the other hand, it ensured their preservation. 58 The dismantling of the post-Roman walls was therefore considered by the excavators as an essential step to achieving the main aim of the project. 59

  • 60 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 81; Collart 1963, p. 157; this is discussed further below, note 61.

29Although the Swiss team did not seem particularly interested in examining reuse, there are several references to this practice in the book series dedicated to the excavation of the sanctuary, particularly in the first volume. For example, the abundant use of reused material within the walls of the eastern section of the Former Temple is believed by Collart to have had the ideological meaning of stressing the triumph of Christianity over paganism. 60

30With hindsight, it is easy to criticise Collart and his team for failing to address this building practice and, more generally, the post-Roman occupation of the sanctuary. However, it is important to stress that Collart’s excavations – and Michałowski’s ones in the Camp of Diocletian – were the first to document systematically post-Roman structures within monumental Roman remains at this site. We should credit these scholars with having revolutionised our approach to the archaeology of Palmyra and with having extensively contributed to our understanding of the site’s late antique and early Islamic history. It is indeed thanks to Collart’s attention to detail that it is now possible to re-analyse the phenomenon of reuse in the Sanctuary of Baalshamin.

Remarks on building processes and practices

31The reused material employed for the construction of the late antique and early Islamic structures within the Sanctuary of Baalshamin can be divided into three broad categories: 1. sculptures (e.g., bas-reliefs, statues); 2. inscriptions on stone supports (e.g., altars, architraves, column brackets), and 3. undecorated architectural fragments (e.g., drums and shafts of columns). This subdivision is partly imposed by the type of information provided by the excavators prior to the removal of this material from a wall. The location in which sculptures were found is usually well documented in the excavation notebooks and final publications; it is therefore possible to know approximately where such fragments were reused within the sanctuary after the 3rd century ce. More details can be obtained for the inscriptions, because their exact place of discovery was documented and published. By contrast, it is difficult to reconstruct the origin and final location of all the undecorated architectural elements, which were found in abundance in late antique and early Islamic buildings.

32Based on photographs now housed at the Fonds d’archives Paul Collart, it is possible to pinpoint at least two different ways in which reused elements could be embedded in a wall. It is important to stress that this division is based exclusively on the presence of medium and large architectural elements and does not take into consideration more modest fragments. Large pieces of architecture are generally well visible in the photographs of the archive and their location in a wall is therefore often easy to identify. Given the chronological uncertainty of most of these structures and the incomplete state of the archaeological record, in the following paragraphs, we will limit ourselves to presenting these two practices without chronological considerations.

  • 61 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 81.

33The first building practice (A) makes sole use of large reused elements, such as architraves, as building material. These are not only found in the lower sections of walls but also in their second and third courses. Walls built with this practice can have up to three courses built entirely of reused architecture and sculpture. Practice A is found only in the walls of the three rooms in the southeast of the Former Temple. The reused material in these walls includes column drums, capitals, and large fragments of architraves (fig. 7 and 8). Most of this material appears to come from the temple itself. 61 However, as we discuss below, several of these fragments come from more distant buildings.

Figure 7.

Figure 7.

Jacques Vicari posing behind one of the post-Roman walls made of reused architecture of the Former Temple

(VII.20a; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)

Figure 8.

Figure 8.

Back wall of the Former Temple

(VII.16a; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)

34The second practice (B) makes more occasional use of medium and large reused elements. These are frequently situated in the lower part of new walls. Practice B is markedly more widespread than Practice A and is attested in the rest of the post-Roman walls of the Sanctuary of Baalshamin. These walls are reported in Collart’s diary and in the final reports as being built in opus emplectum and without foundations or simply “de terre” (compacted soil). Unlike Practice A, the reason behind the choice of a reused architectural or sculptural element for the construction of a wall is the size of the piece and its corresponding ease of transport and installation. An illustrative case of Practice B is represented by the reconstruction of the east wall of Area 5 (fig. 9). This reconstruction makes extensive use of column drums.

Figure 9.

Figure 9.

Reused architecture in the east wall of the sanctuary

(IV.8, IV.9; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)

  • 62 With the data available, it is difficult to find any ideological meaning behind the use of this ma (...)
  • 63 Wall c2 in Intagliata 2017b, pl. 2.
  • 64 I am grateful to Simon J. Barker for this suggestion. Note that in fig. 10a the capitals are locat (...)
  • 65 Wall a6 in Intagliata 2017b, pl. 2.
  • 66 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 147-148.

35In both Practices A and B, architectural elements were mostly used for structural purposes, even if decorated. 62 A good case study is represented by reused capitals placed side-by-side within a wall. Based on the unpublished archive material, such reuse of capitals can be detected in at least two cases: at the base of one of the late walls of the Bâtiment Nord (exact location unknown) and in one of the walls of Building C (both walls appear to be of Practice B – fig. 10a and b). 63 The use of two capitals placed side by side provided solid foundations in the lower sections of walls and smooth surfaces to support the rest of the structure. 64 The reuse of a Corinthian capital as a base for a column drum (fig. 11) in a type B wall “de terre” (Building A) had likely the same function. 65 In each case, the reused capitals fit within a well-known group (named “Type B” by the excavators and dated to the second half of the 1st century ce) that includes at least 40-known specimens. These capitals were originally from the Grande Cour. According to Collart, they were frequently found in post-Roman walls because they were lighter than other capitals and therefore easier to transport. 66

Figure 10.

Figure 10.

Reused capitals: a. Bâtiment nord; b. Building C

(IV.4, III.87; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)

Figure 11.

Figure 11.

Reused capital, Building A

(III.90; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)

  • 67 The location of this niche was documented by the Swiss team (Collart and Vicari 1969, planches, pl (...)

36There are, however, several cases in which reused decorated architectural elements may have had an aesthetic (or even symbolic?) purpose, such as the monolithic niche reused in the south wall of the central room of the Former Temple. 67 Originally an ex-voto, the niche was placed in the late antique structure approximately 1.5 m above the ground – and therefore at eye level and highly visible (fig. 12).

Figure 12.

Figure 12.

Niche reused in one of the walls of the Former Temple

(VII.23a; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)

Inscriptions and sourcing of reused architecture

  • 68 Data from Dunant 1971. The documentation in Lausanne does not make it possible to clarify whether (...)

37Among the 93 inscriptions on stone supports from the Sanctuary of Baalshamin published by Dunant, more than half (52) were found embedded in the walls of late antique and early Islamic structures. 68 The vast majority of these (17) were inscribed on column drums (fig. 13), suggesting that the inscribed fragments may have been chosen for reuse because they were easy to transport (they could be rolled easily) and not because the inscription was considered valuable in itself. As previously mentioned, unlike the non-inscribed architectural elements, the inscriptions’ location was well documented by the excavators. Building C seems to make the most frequent use of inscribed fragments, followed thereafter by the Former Temple, which shows the greatest variety of supports, and by Building A (fig. 14).

Figure 13.

Figure 13.

Types of support for reused inscriptions

(data from Dunant 1971)

Figure 14.

Figure 14.

Types of support for reused inscriptions by building/area

(data from Dunant 1971)

38Collart and Vicari were able to identify the origin of 20 reused inscriptions within the Roman compound. These are presented in table 1. Knowing the origin and final location of these inscriptions makes it possible to approximate the distance that these elements travelled before reuse. In the table below, these data are presented in the column “Distance a-b (m)”. The approximation in parentheses (±) is the distance between the centre of the area of origin of a reused building element (for example, the centre of the portico of Yarhai [C4]) and its limit (for example, one of the two terminal columns of the same portico).

Table 1. Inscriptions of known origin/final location (data from Dunant 1971)

Catalogue n. Inv. fouille Description a. Original location b. Final location Distance a-b (m) References
III.2a 96 Column shaft Yarhai (C4) Building C 30 (± 10) Dunant 1971, p. 16
III.2b 129 Column shaft Yarhai (C4) Building C 7,5 (±10) Dunant 1971, p. 16
III.2c 254 Column shaft Yarhai (C4) Former Temple 15 (±10) Dunant 1971, p. 16
III.2d 278 Column shaft Yarhai (C4) Building C 25 (±10) Dunant 1971, p. 16
III.3 42 Architrave Alaisha (C1) Former Temple 25 (±5) Dunant 1971, p. 17
III.4f 302 Column shaft Alaisha (C1) Building A 20 (±0) Dunant 1971, p. 19
III.5a 90 Column shaft Zabdilah (W C4) Area E 10 (±8,75) Dunant 1971, p. 19
III.5b 132 Column shaft Zabdilah (W C4) Former Temple 25 (±8,75) Dunant 1971, p. 20
III.5c 227 Column shaft Zabdilah (W C4) Area D 43,75 (±8,75) Dunant 1971, p. 20
III.6 41 Column shaft Ouahbai Former Temple 16,25 (±12,5) Dunant 1971, p. 20-21
III.7 109 Architrave Malkou (C2) Area D 22,5 (±8,75) Dunant 1971, p. 21-22
III.10 283 Column shaft C2 (first phase) Building A 25 (±20) Dunant 1971, p. 24-25
III.11 277 Column shaft C2 (first phase) Building A 40 (±20) Dunant 1971, p. 25-26
III.12 247 Column shaft C2 (first phase) Former Temple 73,75 (±20) Dunant 1971, p. 26
III.14 287 Architrave Malkou (C2) Building C 16,25 (±20) Dunant 1971, p. 27-28
III.15 288 Column shaft Malkou (C2) Building C 18,75 (±20) Dunant 1971, p. 28
III.17 116 Column shaft C3 Building C 8,75 (±15) Dunant 1971, p. 29
III.18 282 Column shaft C3 Building C 8,75 (±15) Dunant 1971, p. 29
III.70 216 Stone block Alaisha (C1) Alaisha (C1) 3,75 (±3,75) Dunant 1971, p. 82
III.75 NA Cornice Temple Former Temple 13,75 (±5) Dunant 1971, p. 83

39Table 1 shows that four of the five structures that make use of reused inscriptions have elements recovered mainly from neighbouring buildings. These are Building A (20 [± 0] m – 40 [± 20] m), Building C (7.5 [± 10] m – 30 [± 10] m), Area D (22.5 [± 8.75] - 43.75 [± 8.75] m), and Area E (10 [± 8.75] m). An exception is the Former Temple (15 [± 10] m - 73.75 [± 20] m), which appears to have had access to a wider array of buildings within the sanctuary.

Sculptural elements

  • 69 The catalogue (Dunant and Stucky 2000) lists 28 entries.
  • 70 Dunant and Stucky 2000, p. 95-96.

40Based on the published evidence, only a limited number of reused sculptural fragments were found in the Sanctuary of Baalshamin. 69 The data collected by Collart’s team before the removal of this material from post-Roman structures does not enable us to accurately pinpoint their final destination although, in most cases, it is possible to identify their approximate location within the compound. There appears to be an abundance of reused sculptural fragments in Building C (fig. 15). In the Former Temple, the contrast between the number of the inscriptions and the reused sculptural fragments is particularly striking. Among the most curious cases of this type of reuse is a statue-in-the-round representing an individual wearing a toga. 70 Eight fragments of this sculpture were found in the structures located east of the temple (Area D), and three more were found in a wall in the northeast corner of the Grande Cour.

Figure 15.

Figure 15.

Reused inscriptions and sculpture by building

(data from Dunant 1971; Dunant and Stucky 2000)

Discussion: building processes and the common builder 71

  • 71 I am indebted to Frey’s book on “spolia in fortifications” (Frey 2016), the inspiration for this s (...)

41The way in which reused elements were employed in late antique and early Islamic buildings at Palmyra appears to vary markedly depending on the period and the type of building project. For example, the Camp of Diocletian, the Baths of Diocletian, and, based on photographs from the archive in Rome, the city walls show a tendency to avoid the use of decorated material in plain sight. However, when architectural elements are used in visible areas, they are generally employed in accordance with their original destination. Because of this sort of employment, Diocletianic projects share a strong structural uniformity, which is an indication that the building site was controlled by a central directive authority. The neatly aligned joints of the blocks in the city walls, or the careful, discrete reuse of architecture in the façade of the entrance of the Principia, all demonstrate the on-site presence of a well-organised, large workforce capable of sourcing, sorting, and altering the material to facilitate the building process.

42A different way of employing reused material has been identified in the post-Roman structures of the Sanctuary of Baalshamin. Here, reused architecture and sculpture was employed in plain sight irrespective of its original function. At least two different reuse practices have been identified in this compound. Practice A makes use of bulky and heavy elements for up to three courses of the walls of the Former Temple, thus suggesting a well-organised workforce that adopted tools such as winches for lifting heavy weights. Given the wide variety of types of reused elements in this structure (fig. 14), it is possible that such reused material was first collected in a single place and then sorted to be included in the walls. As opposed to other post-Roman buildings in the Sanctuary of Baalshamin, those responsible for the construction of the Former Temple also had access to material from more distant buildings (table 1).

  • 72 The absence of any tools to lift reused architecture or to place them in a vertical position appea (...)

43Practice B, which was used in the remaining post-Roman structures of the complex, is characterised by a more sporadic use of smaller-sized, reused elements. In this case, given its size and weight, the material could often be rolled into position by one or two people. In this practice, reused elements are often found in the lower sections of walls, meaning that they did not need to be lifted. 72 Overall, it appears that the more widespread Practice B could rely on a smaller and less organised workforce than Practice A and on material sourced in close proximity to the building being constructed.

44The decision to employ Practice A or B could be explained by the availability of material at the time of construction. However, the scale of the building operations could also have played a role in this choice. Unlike larger projects, modest building enterprises could generally rely on small workforces and limited financial capabilities. It is thus not surprising that Practice A is found in the only post-Roman building of the Sanctuary of Baalshamin that allegedly had a public/semi-public function, while Practice B is connected to buildings that are believed to have had a predominantly private function. Whether the function of buildings can explain this dichotomy in building practices, however, is a working hypothesis that needs to be further explored at site level at Palmyra.

Conclusion

45The purpose of this article was twofold. On the one hand, it aimed to briefly review the phenomenon of reuse in late antique and early Islamic Palmyra in order to define its extent and its diffusion across the site. On the other hand, it wished to examine the same practice within a single monumental building – the Sanctuary of Baalshamin.

46By detailing the evidence for reuse in this monument, it has been possible to pinpoint important differences in the way reused elements were inserted into a wall. In the Former Temple, heavy reused elements were employed more abundantly, whereas in buildings of a seemingly private nature it is possible to detect the use of easily transportable building material predominantly in the lower portions of walls. This detail, and the presence of reused material sourced from different areas within the same complex, suggests that the structures in the Former Temple were constructed by a larger and better-organised workforce.

47The existence of these two building practices may reflect a difference in the way reused elements are employed in medium-large urban construction projects – including public or semi-public buildings – and more modest building enterprises – such as in private residential buildings. A systematic study and mapping of this phenomenon at the site in the future will enable either confirmation or rejection of this hypothesis.

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Notes

1 On the problematic use of this term, see Dumser 2018, p. 154-155.

2 Intagliata 2018a, p. 31.

3 Archaeological archives have proven to be invaluable veins of data for sites that are currently situated in conflict areas. For Palmyra, see, for example, the results of “Project Collart-Palmyre,” directed by Patrick Michel (https://wp.unil.ch/collart-palmyre/) and those of the project “Archive Archaeology,” directed by Rubina Raja (https://projects.au.dk/en/archivearcheology/).

4 Zanini 2012.

5 The total length of this wall was approximately 5.1 km. For a thorough description of its structural elements, see Intagliata 2015, p. 402-517. A synthesis of an archival research conducted by the author in Rome is presented in Intagliata 2017a; 2018a, p. 83-96.

6 Michel 2008 on the archive; Intagliata 2017b on the use of this documentation to shed light on the late antique and early Islamic history of this compound.

7 Dodgeon and Lieu 1994, p. 59-96, for an overview of the sources about the rise and fall of the Palmyrene Empire. See also discussion in, e.g., Stoneman 1992 and Equini Schneider 1993. For the history of Palmyra in the late antique and early Islamic periods, see Kowalski 1997; Genequand 2012, p. 17-37, 45-67; Intagliata 2018a.

8 The results of the excavations of the Camp of Diocletian have been thoroughly published by the Polish team. Among the numerous publications, it is worth remembering the volumes Michałowski 1960; 1962; 1963; 1964; 1966, and Gawlikowski’s essay on the Principia of the fort (Gawlikowski 1984). See also Kowalski 1998 for a summary of the evidence. On the Baths of Diocletian, see Dodge 1988 and, more recently, the reports by Fournet 2009a, Fournet 2009b and Wielgosz-Rondolino 2013.

9 IGLS 17.1, p. 131, n. 121 (Camp of Diocletian); IGLS 17.1, p. 112-115, n. 100 (Baths of Diocletian); cf., however, Reddé 1995, p. 119, who shows reservations on the chronology of the Principia in the Camp of Diocletian based on the foundation inscription.

10 Juchniewicz 2013, p. 196; Intagliata 2018a, p. 90-92; 2017a (on the Diocletianic dating). Cf. Zanini 1995 (on a Justinianic chronology, with extensive bibliography).

11 Intagliata 2018a, p. 81-82, for an overview of the literature.

12 IGLS 17.1, p. 114-115, n. 101; Żuchowska 2006, p. 448.

13 Inv. 9, p. 40, n. 28; Gawlikowski 1973, p. 76-77.

14 IGLS 17.1, p. 163-164, n. 154.

15 IGLS 17.1, p. 95-96, n. 80, 81.

16 Intagliata 2018, p. 49-68.

17 E.g., see the Principia: Gawlikowski 1984, p. 17-45.

18 See note 13.

19 Genequand 2012, 45. This period was not devoid of tension – Intagliata 2018b.

20 Genequand 2008, p. 14; 2012, p. 45.

21 al-Asʿad and Stępniowski 1989 (suq); Genequand 2008 (mosque).

22 Intagliata 2018a, p. 107.

23 Gawlikowski 2009, p. 91.

24 Examples are: Deichmann 1976; Brenk 1987, Alchermers 1994; Saradi 1997; Elsner 2000; Coates-Stephens 2003. For a good summary of the debate and further literature, see Frey 2016, p. 9-35 and, more recently, Barker 2020.

25 Al-Asʿad and Schmidt-Colinet 1992, p. 141-142.

26 Barański 1994, p. 9.

27 The reuse of ancient architecture and sculpture in the Camp of Diocletian has been interpreted with an ideological meaning – the triumph of Rome over the inhabitants of Palmyra, who had rebelled a couple of decades earlier (Michałowski 1962, p. 14-15).

28 See n. 8 for bibliography.

29 Michałowski 1962, p. 13.

30 Michałowski 1962, p. 19.

31 Michałowski 1962, p. 17, fig. 10.

32 Michałowski 1964, p. 24.

33 Michałowski 1964, p. 42.

34 Michałowski 1964, p. 42.

35 Gawlikowski 1984, p. 22-26.

36 Gawlikowski 1984, p. 37-42.

37 Dumser 2018. I am grateful to S. J. Barker for this reference.

38 Dodge 1988, p. 227.

39 Juchniewicz 2013; Intagliata 2018a, p. 90-92; Intagliata 2017a.

40 This conclusion is based on the analysis of the photographs of the archive in Rome. Future surveys will hopefully be able to confirm whether this pattern is common throughout the whole monument. Note that reused funerary sculptures were found abundantly during the excavation in the northern sector of the wall by the Palmyra Museum (al-Asʿad, Gawlikowski and Yon 2012, p. 164).

41 Gawlikowski 1990, p. 43.

42 Gawlikowski 1997b, p. 196; Gawlikowski 1998, p. 203.

43 Gawlikowski 1998, p. 203.

44 Gawlikowski 1998, p. 203.

45 Gawlikowski 1990, p. 43; Gawlikowski 1991, p. 89.

46 Genequand 2008, p. 12, fig. 10.

47 al-Asʿad and Stępniowski 1989, p. 208.

48 An analysis of housing in late antique Palmyra is presented in Intagliata 2018a, p. 34-40.

49 Gawlikowski 1997a, with bibliography.

50 On the Peristyle Building, see Grassi and al-Asʿad 2013.

51 Among the examples of reused elements that can be dated to the first phase of construction of this building, it is worth mentioning the fragment of a ceiling with a central emblem displaying the bust of a Palmyrene priest. This was found upside down in the southern wall of room A2 (Kowalski 1994, pl. VII.1). Note that, according to Kowalski, the walls of this building were plastered (Kowalski 1994, p. 50).

52 See, e.g., Intagliata 2017b; 2018c.

53 For the general topography and architectural development of the sanctuary, see Collart and Vicari 1969.

54 Kowalski 1994.

55 Intagliata 2017b.

56 Michel 2008.

57 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 20.

58 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 81.

59 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 14, 15-16.

60 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 81; Collart 1963, p. 157; this is discussed further below, note 61.

61 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 81.

62 With the data available, it is difficult to find any ideological meaning behind the use of this material. As already mentioned above, Collart considers the use of this material in the Former Temple as a way to stress the triumph of Christianity over paganism. One of the pieces he uses to argue this is a well-known lintel showing an eagle with spread wings, among others (symbol of Baalshamin – Dunant and Stucky 2000, p. 81-83). The lintel was found in the foundations of the wall with the relief facing down. This location, however, can also be explained by the necessity to offer to the wall a smooth base of support.

63 Wall c2 in Intagliata 2017b, pl. 2.

64 I am grateful to Simon J. Barker for this suggestion. Note that in fig. 10a the capitals are located next to an undecorated stone block.

65 Wall a6 in Intagliata 2017b, pl. 2.

66 Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 147-148.

67 The location of this niche was documented by the Swiss team (Collart and Vicari 1969, planches, pl. XVIII). One picture of the niche in situ was published in Collart and Vicari 1969, planches, pl. LXXIV.4. Fig. 12 shows the artefact from another perspective. The niche is further presented, together with a similar specimen, in Collart and Vicari 1969, p. 156.

68 Data from Dunant 1971. The documentation in Lausanne does not make it possible to clarify whether the purpose of this material was aesthetic, ideological, or simply structural. Most of the inscriptions were photographed by Collart’s team after their removals from post-Roman walls.

69 The catalogue (Dunant and Stucky 2000) lists 28 entries.

70 Dunant and Stucky 2000, p. 95-96.

71 I am indebted to Frey’s book on “spolia in fortifications” (Frey 2016), the inspiration for this subtitle and the paragraphs that follow.

72 The absence of any tools to lift reused architecture or to place them in a vertical position appears to be confirmed by the presence of one large column drum in the structure of the eastern back wall of the sanctuary. As opposed to the others, which are smaller, this column drum was rolled into position but left horizontally (fig. 9a).

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1.
Légende Plan of Palmyra: 1. Sanctuary of Nabu; 2. Baths of Diocletian; 3. Theatre; 4. Agora; 5. Mosque; 6. Sanctuary of Baalshamin; 7. Suburban Market; 8. Church 4; 9. Church 3; 10. Church 2; 11. House F; 12. Church 1; 13. Bellerophon Hall; 14. Suq; 15 Peristyle Building; 16. Sanctuary of Allath
Crédits (redrawn after Schnädelbach 2010)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 295k
Titre Figure 2.
Légende Porch of the Baths of Diocletian
Crédits (© Pal.M.A.I.S., Università degli Studi di Milano)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 516k
Titre Figure 3.
Légende a. Plan of Palmyra with location of Diocletianic repairs marked with grey dots (the labels of towers and gates follow Schnädelbach 2010; see also Intagliata 2015, p. 402-517); b. wall in BT4 in the vantage court of the “Theatre Gate,” K603 (north face of south wall)
Crédits [871013a, © Centro di Documentazione di Storia dell’Arte Bizantina, Sapienza, Università di Roma]
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 207k
Titre Figure 4.
Légende Decorated element at the entrance of the “Theatre Gate,” K603
Crédits (900404d; © Centro di Documentazione di Storia dell’Arte Bizantina, Sapienza, Università di Roma)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 107k
Titre Figure 5.
Légende Entrances to U-shaped towers A221 (a), A226 (b), and A302 (c)
Crédits [871504a, 871512a, 902008a; © Centro di Documentazione di Storia dell’Arte Bizantina, Sapienza, Università di Roma]
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 262k
Titre Figure 6.
Légende Plan of the Sanctuary of Baalshamin. Small numbers indicate the location of inscriptions; 1. Building A; 2. Building B; 3. Building C; 4. Former Temple; 5. Area D; 6. Area E
Crédits (modified from Dunant 1971, folded plan; © Istituto Svizzero di Roma)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 249k
Titre Figure 7.
Légende Jacques Vicari posing behind one of the post-Roman walls made of reused architecture of the Former Temple
Crédits (VII.20a; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 185k
Titre Figure 8.
Légende Back wall of the Former Temple
Crédits (VII.16a; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 193k
Titre Figure 9.
Légende Reused architecture in the east wall of the sanctuary
Crédits (IV.8, IV.9; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 334k
Titre Figure 10.
Légende Reused capitals: a. Bâtiment nord; b. Building C
Crédits (IV.4, III.87; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 170k
Titre Figure 11.
Légende Reused capital, Building A
Crédits (III.90; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 107k
Titre Figure 12.
Légende Niche reused in one of the walls of the Former Temple
Crédits (VII.23a; © Fonds d’archives Paul Collart/UNIL IASA)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 208k
Titre Figure 13.
Légende Types of support for reused inscriptions
Crédits (data from Dunant 1971)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 172k
Titre Figure 14.
Légende Types of support for reused inscriptions by building/area
Crédits (data from Dunant 1971)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 332k
Titre Figure 15.
Légende Reused inscriptions and sculpture by building
Crédits (data from Dunant 1971; Dunant and Stucky 2000)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/syria/docannexe/image/13632/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 126k
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Emanuele E. Intagliata, « Reuse of building material and sculpture in late antique and early Islamic Palmyra (273-750 ce). An overview of the practice and several remarks on the evidence from the Sanctuary of Baalshamin »Syria, 98 | 2021, 419-438.

Référence électronique

Emanuele E. Intagliata, « Reuse of building material and sculpture in late antique and early Islamic Palmyra (273-750 ce). An overview of the practice and several remarks on the evidence from the Sanctuary of Baalshamin »Syria [En ligne], 98 | 2021, mis en ligne le 29 août 2022, consulté le 16 juin 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/syria/13632 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/syria.13632

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Auteur

Emanuele E. Intagliata

Centre for Urban Network Evolutions – Aarhus University

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