Reflecting Splendor and Conflict in Enduring Visions of an Ancient City

A Getty Online Exhibition Unearths the Complex Legacy of Syria’s Palmyra

All places contain history; traces of the past that can be read, contextualized, interpreted, and, with some effort, crafted into knowledge. Some places are so rich in material and textual information that they become archives, deep resources that beseech the senses and necessitate generations of scientific and intellectual exploration.

The ancient caravan city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmor in Arabic, is one such place. Stretching three kilometers through the Syrian Desert, its ruins tell enumerable stories, thousands of years in the making. The city was never fully abandoned, and …