The spectacular ancient desert city of Palmyra was heavily destroyed during the Civil War in Syria. Shortly before the conflict escalated in 2011, the Palmyra Portrait Project was initiated. The research project is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation and headed by Professor and Centre director Rubina Raja.


The project’s important work with the Syrian cultural heritage has since been widely published, and the latest edited volume within the project is now available as part of the series Palmyrene Studies published by The Royal Dansih Academy of Sciences and Letters.

The new publication covers the roles of women and children within the family in Palmyra during the Roman period (1st–3rd centuries CE). The nine chapters are written by leading scholars of Palmyra, who all participated in a two-part workshop held at Aarhus University, under the auspices of the Palmyra Portrait Project in October 2016 and February 2017. The chapters discuss different aspects of family constellations and assess which implications different representations of women and children may have carried in relation to the Palmyrene family structure and wider Palmyrene society. By looking at portraiture and the written evidence from the city, this volume adds further aspects to our understanding of how women and children were perceived in Palmyra and how identity aspects were included in their portraiture and the written evidence.

The book can be purchased here

Women, children and the family in Palmyra

Edited by Signe Krag and Rubina Raja

The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.

Scientia Danica. Series H, Humanistica, 4 · vol. 10. Palmyrene Studies vol. 3.

2019. 228 pages. Lavishly illustrated. 250 DKK

ISSN 1904-5506 · ISBN 978-87-7304-419-3