Center leader Rubina Raja protects Syria’s largest ancient cultural heritage

The DNRF center UrbNet headed by professor Rubina Raja Dr. Rubina RajaAssociate professorSection for Classical Archaeologyinvestigates the archaeology of urbanism from Medieval Northern Europe to the Ancient Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean World and aim to determine how, and to what extent, past urban networks catalyzed societal and environmental expansions and crises in the past. The research involves ancient city Palmyra in Syria, which is on the Unesco world heritage list. The city has been robbed and partially racked by Islamic State, but last Sunday ISIS were removed from the city, and the effects of the research project which started out as database registration of grave sculpture has developed into preservation of cultural heritage.

Read ‘Dansk arkæolog holder snor i stjålen syrisk kulturarv’ (from Kristelig Dagblad)
Portrait research is one of professor Rubina Raja’s core research competencies. During the past three and a half years she has been heading a joint research project which has built up a corpus of the palmyrien grave portraits from the roman period.

The Palmyra Portrait Project

This group of objects is the largest corpus of portraits outside Rome. The portraits depicts how urbane networks was extended beyond the material (the objects), and also covered an exchange and further development of ideas. In this sense The Palmyra Portrait Project feeds directly into the broader research scope of the UrbNet-center. In Palmyra the portraits were reinterpreted in a way which reflects local ideas of self-representation.

Currently Professor Rubina Raja is curator of an exhibition about the Palmyra Portrait Project at Antikmuseet in Aarhus.

Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket’s collection of sculptures from Palmyra is the second largest collection in the world outside Syria.