Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Limestone Relief of the God ShadrafaPalmyra, Syria 55 AD

One of the earliest dated monuments from Palmyra. The Aramaic inscription reads:
"In the month of Iyar [May] in the year 366 [55 AD] this stela was erected by Atenatan, son of Zabd'ateh descendant of Toshabeb, to Shadrafa, the good god, in order that he may become patron in his sanctuary for him and members of his house, all of them."

The gods of Palmyra were largely Semitic. Shadrafa appears to be a Canaanite deity. His symbols are the snake and the scorpion and he sometimes wore a cylindrical headdress. It is not clear what his role was and military clothing was common for depiction of gods in the first century AD. He is often depicted on little terracotta tokens which were issued to privileged people attending ritual banquets and sacrifices.

Via http://ancientpeoples.tumblr.com/post/28846686873/limestone-relief-of-the-god-shadrafa-palmyra