Postcard to Palmyra

On 19th-21st April 2016 a three-day event was held in Trafalgar Square that saw the installation of a replica of part of the triumphal arch from the archaeological site of Palmyra, Syria. A team from the Department of Classics at Royal Holloway, University of London (who were not involved in the creation of the arch by the Institute of Digital Archaeology), led by ‘Remembering the Romans’ project leader Dr Zena Kamash, invited visitors to write postcards on which they were able to share any memories of the site and any thoughts, hopes and fears for its future, including whether it should be reconstructed or not.

Dr Kamash and some of her student team at the ‘Postcard to Palmyra’ stall.
The triumphal arch in Trafalgar Square with musicians performing with instruments based on those found at Ur.

If you want to download the ‘Postcard to Palmyra’ posters and pictures, you can do so here. Many of the images we used came from the Manar al-Athar database, which is a great resource for photographs of archaeology in the Middle East.




Want to get involved?

The postcards have been kindly scanned for us as a MicroPasts project by Dan Pett and Jennifer Wexler. You can view the postcards that were created here. You can also get involved in the project by helping us to transcribe the postcards on the MicroPasts website by clicking here.

The transcription of the postcards will form a significant element of analyses that Dr Kamash will publish about how people responded to the installation of the arch in Trafalgar Square. If you would like to use the postcards in research, or would like more information on Dr Kamash’s research, please contact her on: or at her Royal Holloway email address

If you didn’t get the chance to come to Trafalgar Square to fill in a postcard, but would like to share any of your memories and/or hopes and fears for the future, please email us at:

You can follow the progress of the project on twitter, using these hashtags: #RetroProject #PostcardtoPalmyra

As with the main ‘Remembering the Romans’ project, this is an academic project and does not espouse particular religious or political views.