St. Petersburg: Herm, 2020. Sewn pb. This Hermitage publishes in this exhibition catalogue research on an ancient stone monument which constitutes a gigantice slab of inscriptions on trade and which was brought to the Hermitage in 1901. Also published are works of stone funeral sculpture and ceramics tesserae, which originated in the region of ancient Palmyra and were acquired by the Hermitage, some as gifts of the Patriarch of Antioch, others from the Russian Archaeological Institute in Constantinople. Archival photographs from the early nineteenth century and photographs of the ruins of Palmyra taken by the catalogue's author show the dramatic setting of desert and ruins. The director of the Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovskii brings out in his preface the poignancy of the study of authentic monuments from Palmyra now part of the Hermitage collection. The chief work, an enormous tablet that consists of Greek and Aramaic customs tariffs, was discovered by an amateur Russian archeologist in the late nineteenth century and eventually came to Russia as a diplomatic gift from the Ottoman sultan to the tsar. Piotrovskii points out that some may be find fault with that kind of provenance, but being in a museum has kept the monument safe and made it an accessible and rich source for scholars, while on the other hand monuments on their original sites have suffered vandalism and worse: as recently as 2010 many extant works in the area of Palmyra were wantonly destroyed by Islamic extremists. 147 p., approx. 75 color illus., Rus. with summary in ENGLISH. Item #3932
Section headings: Reference to Palmyra in the Old Testament and other ancient sources; Trade; History of the discovery and study of Palmyra; Palmyra inscriptions; History of the discovery of the Palmyra customs tariff; Expedition of Ia. I. Khuri for transport of the monument inscribed with the tariff; study of the tariff's Greek and Aramaic text; Journal of 1901 for the expedition to Palmyra for transporting the monument to St. Petersburg; Making a copy for the National Museum in Damascus; Ancient art and artifacts from Palmyra in the collections of the Hermitage: sculpture, ceramics.