cella

sights / Historic

cella information

Location
Palmyra , Syria
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The cella was completed in AD 32, a date given in a dedication inscribed on a pedestal found inside the temple, and now exhibited in the Palmyra Museum. It's unusual that the entrance is in one of the sides rather than at an end, and is offset from the centre. Inside is a single chamber with adytons (large niches) at either end.

The adyton ceilings, carved from single slabs of stone, are magnificent: the northern ceiling has a cupola featuring seven busts of divinities and the 12 signs of the zodiac, while the southern ceiling has a circular pattern of acanthus leaves surrounded by a ring of geometric patterning all inset within a square frame, itself surrounded by an elaborate pattern of hexagonal coffers. The stepped ramp leading to the southern portico suggests that it may have contained a portable idol used in processions.