Paul Collart: Palmyra and the Temple of Baal Shamin
The temple of Baal Shamin was situated in one of the courtyards of the sanctuary of Palmyra. Baal Shamin was built on the model of a Greco-Roman prostyle temple with six-column pronaos decorated with Corinthian capitals and a deep porch. The internal layout was modelled on the classical cella. In 1980, UNESCO designated the temple as World Heritage Site.
In the 1950s, Paul Collart led the first major Swiss excavation in Palmyra focused on Baal Shamin. From his mission to Syria, he brought back thousands of photographs. Indeed, during his expeditions, the archaeologist was equipped with a photo camera and tripod and started assembling an important photographic collection. The black and white photographs of Palmyra and Baal Shamin, in the process of being digitized by the Association “Paul Collart au Proche-Orient”1 , became an important source for the eventual reconstruction of the temple, totally destroyed with explosives in May 2015.This collection presents to the public a selection of these exclusive images published for the first time.
1.The purpose of the Association “Paul Collart au Proche-Orient” is to digitize and highlight these archives to preserve the memory of the Sanctuary of Baal Shamin and allow further research.