Head of a Woman Artist: Unknown

ca. A.D. 170–230

Ancient Art

On view, 1st floor, Ancient Art

This limestone head of a woman, wearing an ornately rendered headdress, turban, and veil, is surely a fragment of a larger funerary stela, which would originally have included the upper part of her torso as well. Wavy locks of hair flow from beneath the headdress, brushed from a central part out toward both sides of head before disappearing behind the veil. Eyebrows have been incised above her large, almond-shaped eyes. A straight nose (mostly broken off) points down toward a small mouth. Her full face sits atop a neck marked with three distinct folds of skin, known as "Venus rings." Painted in vivid colors, limestone funerary reliefs like this one served as grave markers for the wealthy inhabitants of Palmyra, a caravan city located in Roman Syria.




12 13/16 × 10 1/4 × 9 13/16 in. (32.5 × 26 × 25 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Vicomtesse d'Andurain

Accession Number





Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Gift of Vicomtesse d'Andurain
  • Lisa R. Brody and Gail Hoffman, eds., Dura-Europos: Crossroads of Antiquity (Boston: McMullen Museum of Art, 2011), 375, no. 74, pl. 74
Object copyright

Technical metadata and APIs


Open in Mirador

View IIIF manifest

The International Image Interoperability Framework, or IIIF, is an open standard for delivering high-quality, attributed digital objects online at scale. Visit iiif.io to learn more

Linked Art

API response for this object

Linked Art is a Community working together to create a shared Model based on Linked Open Data to describe Art.