It was custom in Palmyra to bury the dead in family towers. Some of the towers are still standing, many did not survive earthquakes and erosive influences of time. The Valley of the Tombs is situated just behind the ancient city of Palmyra. Some of the towers are high, others low. Some of them contained hundreds of deceased. Although all in the same valley, not one tower is the same. Rich families had more decorated towers, poor families had simpler ones.
Some of the towers can be entered. It is especially inside that the difference between rich and poor families can be seen. One tower for a rich family contains marble statues of some of the deceased. Inside, corpses were placed in boxes, one on top of the other, and closed at the front. Now the spaces are empty, although in one occasion there are still bones in one former coffin space.
In some cases it is possible to climb the tower and reach the top. On the way, you see more coffin spaces on the first level. It is hard to imagine how Palmyrenes were able to carry their dead ones to these upper levels. When you reach the top of the tower, you are rewarded with a great view of the valley. I especially admired the blending of the towers in the barren landscape.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Tombs of Palmyra (Syria). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Tombs of Palmyra.
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