Working from September 3 to October 3, the Mission
continued the exploration, begun in 1988, of three urban blocks to
the north of the Great Colonnade.1 The objective, hopefully to be
achieved some five years from now, is to uncover and make
accessible to the public a substantial sector of the downtown area,
featuring monuments of the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic periods.
After the discovery in 1988 of a church arranged inside an earlier
building, we are currently dealing with another church, identified
during the previous season some 50 m to the east.2 It was also
incorporated in an ancient public building of some importance.
THE EXCAVATION AREA
The town block, which the Mission is engaged in excavating,
is marked as G on A. Gabriel’s plan. A square peristyle courtyard
(Gl) that was cleared last year underwent some additional research
in the form of trial pits and extra clearing work. The season’s main
1 The expedition, led by the present writer and assisted by Dr. Grzegorz Majcherek,
included Dr. Maria Krogulska, Mr Slawomir Kowalski, Ms Anna Witecka, and
Ms Dagmara Wielgosz, archaeologists and established members of the Mission, and also
graduate students Ms Marzena Luszczewska, and Ms Marta Zuchowska. Mrs. Krystyna
Gawlikowska also participated in our work. For two weeks, Mr Janusz Bylinski continued
work on his publication of the Ayyubid Castle soon to be completed. Mr Abd el-Nasser
Nimr, a student of archaeology in Damascus, volunteered to help with the documentation.
While in Palmyra, we have enjoyed as always the unfailing hospitality and helpful
cooperation of the officials of the Palmyra Museum, who are also our friends of many
years: Mr Khaled As‘ad, Director of Antiquities and Museums of the Palmyra region, and
his associate Mr Ali Taha, who served as inspector attached to the Mission.
2 PAM VIII, 1996 (1997), pp.191-197.