Funerary bust: the so-called Beauty of Palmyra, Palmyrene, anonymous maker, 190–210 CE. Limestone. 21.6 x 16.1 in. (55 x 41 cm). Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 2795. Photo: Ole Haupt
Representing an unnamed woman referred to as "The Beauty of Palmyra," this female is exceptional for her physiognomy and the abundance and detailed rendering of her jewels. The distinctive eyes, along with the full cheeks and lips, suggest that she represents a foreigner who originated from India. Traces of ochre and red on the limestone indicate that the jewels were painted to simulate gold and precious stones; there may have been inlays in the pupils of the eyes and cabochons and colored glass inserts in the recessed central ovals of the turban, pin, necklaces, and ring that would have heightened her appearance. Indeed, "The Beauty of Palmyra" was a woman of means who stood apart, even in the afterlife, among the wealthy of this city.