The Temple of Bel

The temple is covered in large coffered beams decorated with geometric-shaped patterns leaving ample space for painted character scenes and simple rinceaux in blue and red but also more unusual colours. On the ceilings, the figures feature in a network of rhombi, painted mostly on a blue background.

The Tomb of Hairan

The entrance lintel was inscribed with the genealogy of Hairan and the construction date, 149-150 CE. The two deceased persons, both painted in the exedra, are accompanied by other decorations, including an eagle, which bore the souls of the deceased to heaven, busts of the deceased in medallions, and two winged genii holding a crown and palm leaf. The vine around the deceased shown full-length probably symbolises the drink of immortality consumed by the mystes during sacred meals, and the crowns and palm leaves the victory over the forces of evil. 

The Tomb of the Three Brothers

The tomb called the  ”hypogeum of the Three Brothers” contains one of the rare frescoes still in place in Palmyra. Built around  apr. 140 CE, this underground tomb dug into the rock is beautifully decorated with sculptures and paintings. Only the walls and vault of the west alcove intended for the family of the three brothers - Male, Saadai and Naamain - are painted.

The pillars separating the loculi bear winged Victories depicted frontally and supporting busts of the deceased in medallions. The Victories stand on globes above paintings imitating a technique used to inlay marble into walls called opus sectile. Animal scenes are depicted on the lower level. The corners and the band at the base of the vault are decorated with trompe-l'oeil architectural motifs: columns, corniceswith modillions, and decorative friezes. Figures of the deceased are depicted on the entrance pilasters; a decorative structure of intersecting circles is painted on the intrados. A scene from the Iliad - Achilles on Skyros - is depicted on the lunette of the west wall. The characters are depicted on a green background with their names written in the Palmyrene alphabet.

The vault is decorated with a honeycomb structure of red lines on a white background around hexagons painted green with a yellow ochre fleuron. In the centre of the vault, a medallion depicts the abduction of Ganymede by Zeus transformed into an eagle. While all these paintings are strongly influenced by Greco-Roman culture, both in iconography and style, the Near Eastern influence is apparent in the use of the Palmyrene alphabet and the frontality of the Victories.