Gesture and Identity in the Funerary Art of Palmyra

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Maura K. Heyn, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The funerary art from Palmyra, a city in the eastern Roman empire, offers us a glimpse into the creation of social identity in the aftermath of Roman conquest. The Palmyrene portraits are modeled on the Roman funerary relief but with interesting local variations. For example, the deceased in these portraits hold their hands in a number of different positions. An analysis of these gestures reveals that some highlight certain aspects of the individuals represented, such as gender, profession, and family connections. The emphasis on these characteristics shows the multifaceted ways in which they defined themselves, and moves us beyond interpretations of identity that focus on a dichotomy between local and Roman.

Additional Information

American Journal of Archaeology 114.4 (October 2010): 631-661
Language: English
Date: 2010
funerary portrait, reliefs, gesture in art, Roman empire

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