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Introduction of Julia Steding

New PhD student in the Palmyra Portrait Project.

My name is Julia Steding and I’m from Germany. I did my Bachelor’s degree in Groningen (Netherlands) in 2013 and my Master’s degree in Cologne (Germany) in March 2016. My thesis was about the gender-specific representation of children in graves in the Roman period.

In November 2016, I will start as a PhD student in the Palmyra Portrait Project, which was initiated in 2012 and is directed by Prof. Rubina Raja. The project is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation.

The project aims to compile a comprehensive corpus of the Palmyrene funerary portraits, and today, the corpus consists of almost 3,000 portraits. In my PhD project, I will address questions of the production economy of these. This will include a study of the technical aspects and the ways in which these contribute to the broader understanding of the chaîne opératoire involved. The project aims to outline and discuss how and to what extent mass production and prefabrication constituted the main ways in which Palmyrene funerary portraits were prepared and to shed light on the extent to which we might also say something about how and when in the chain of production these portraits were tailor-made to fit either stylistic trends or the wishes of the customer.