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The Ingholt Archive: The Palmyrene Material, Transcribed with Commentary and Bibliography

New publication by Olympia Bobou, Amy C. Miranda, Rubina Raja and Jean-Baptiste Yon

Download news feature about the publication below

Harald Ingholt’s monumental archive has just been published in print. It is the archive that he based his 1928 monograph on Palmyrene sculpture on and that he kept up-to-date for several decades thereafter. In four volumes the new publication takes the reader through the more than two thousand archive sheets contained in the archive. All sheets were scanned within the Palmyra Portrait Project in 2012, and now the entire archive has been brought to final publication. It is a joint effort of three researchers from the ALIPH-funded project ‘Archive Archaeology: Preserving and Sharing Palmyra’s Cultural Heritage through Harald Ingholt’s Digital Archives’ – postdoc Olympia Bobou, former postdoc Amy C. Miranda and centre director, Professor Rubina Raja – in close collaboration with the world-leading expert in Palmyrene epigraphy Dr. Jean-Baptiste Yon (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Lyon).

The Danish archaeologist Harald Ingholt started collecting material for the archive about one hundred years ago. The records in the archive consist of photographs and drawings of Palmyrene sculpture, architecture and inscriptions and other excavated finds. For more than fifty years Ingholt extended, revisited and curated the archive, adding notes that tell about the collection history of the objects and their dates, as well as relevant bibliographical information.

In the 1980s, Ingholt donated the archive to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, where it can still be found today. The legacy data of Ingholt has been important for the work done within Professor Rubina Raja’s Palmyra projects at Aarhus University. It offers unique insights into conservation and collection practices, iconography and dating of sculptural objects, and now lost or damaged Palmyrene artefacts and monuments.

The four authors of the new publication have transcribed and commented upon each sheet in the archive, provided new translations of the inscriptions that accompany the sculptures and compiled an updated bibliography for each sculptural object. Also found in the four-volume set is a thorough introduction to the archive, thirteen research-based concordances and a bibliography. The publication has been printed in full colour, which has been made possible by grants from the Carlsberg Foundation and the New Carlsberg Foundation.

The archive was an important working tool for Ingholt, and now it has been taken down from the shelves in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek and made into an updated working tool yet again – an invaluable resource for everyone studying the art and archaeology of the Roman Near East.

Full reference

Bobou, O., Miranda, A. C., Raja, R. & Yon, J.-B. 2023. The Ingholt Archive: The Palmyrene Material, Transcribed with Commentary and Bibliography, Archive Archaeology 2. Turnhout.

Open Access

In addition to this printed publication, each archive sheet can also be found Open Access on figshare, making the entire archive (without comments, transcriptions and translations) available online too.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5509725.v1

Publication series: Archive Archaeology

The Ingholt Archive is published in the book series Archive Archaeology – a series that delves into the archival material related to the archaeological and historical disciplines. Unpublished material from archives around the world is being made available through the book series, and theoretical and methodological considerations regarding the handling and dissemination of such data are also highlighted in the publications of the series. The Ingholt Archive is the third volume to be published (though vol. 2 in the series). Vol. 1 dealt with a travel account by Johannes Østrup (a translation from Danish to English, published in June 2022) and vol. 3 with how legacy data inform archaeological investigations (published in December 2022). The series is published by Brepols Publishers (Turnhout, Belgium).

Read more about the publication series on Brepols’ webpage, and in this document.

The research project about Ingholt’s archive

The project ‘Archive Archaeology: Preserving and Sharing Palmyra’s Cultural Heritage through Harald Ingholt’s Digital Archives’ is directed by Professor Rubina Raja, and it is financially supported by the ALIPH Foundation. It explores and researches the legacy data of Harald Ingholt. Through this work, the project team assesses the endangered cultural heritage of Palmyra and reconstructs lost and damaged contexts. The work on the portrait sculpture of Palmyra and the legacy data of Ingholt is furthermore supported by the Carlsberg Foundation and the Danish National Research Foundation under the grant DNRF119 – Centre of Excellence for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet).