The PAL.M.A.I.S. archive

Project PAL.M.A.I.S. (Palmira Joint Italian-Syrian Archaeological Mission) started in 2007 as a joint research project between the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums of Damascus (DGAM) and the University of Milan and was directed by Prof. Maria Teresa Grassi (University of Milan) and Waleed al-As’ad (Palmyra Museum). The aim of the project was the exploration of the southwestern district of the city, which until then had remained excluded from systematic investigations. The southwest quarter of the ancient city has a total total surface area of approximately 114,000 m2 (547×281 m) and is situated between the Agora, the so-called Diocletian Walls, the Transverse Colonnade, and the Great Colonnade.

The first fieldwork in November-December 2007. Given the large extension of the area, the work was aimed at an accurate survey on the ground, a review of some limited surveys carried out in the area by the DGAM, and the creation of a detailed general survey of the area. From 2008 to 2010, the research of the PAL.M.A.I.S. team focussed on the excavation of a building later known as ‘Peristyle Building’ close to the city walls. The excavations brought to light a section of a large private residential building characterized by a central courtyard with a peristyle surrounded by rooms. The buiding had a long history of occupation from the Roman to the early Islamic period.

Field activities were interrupted after just four campaigns in 2011 due to the war in Syria, but the research of team did not stop. The results of the PAL.M.A.I.S. mission are today preserved in an archive in the Archeology Section of the Department of Cultural and Environmental Heritage and are still being studied.

Go to the website of Progetto PAL.M.A.I.S. (last update: 2021).


Intagliata, E. E and Bacchetta, A. 2024. ‘Late Antique and Early Islamic Palmyra in Perspective: The Potential and Limits of Incomplete Datasets’. In R. Raja (ed.). Palmyra in Perspective. Turhout: Brepols (consultabile al link:

Intagliata, E. E. 2023. ‘Tra luci e ombre: studiare Palmira tardo antica e islamica ieri e oggi’. In C. Ruta (ed.). Luci sul Medioevo. Età logica, età delle lingue d’Europa, età degli Studia Generalia. Convegno Internazionale di Studi (Laboratorio degli Annali di Storia. I paradigmi 2). Cosenza: Edizioni di Storia, 45–60.

Seminars and papers presented at conferences

Emanuele E. Intagliata, ‘Surviving the crisis. Palmyra after the third century’, In The Third-Century Crisis revisited: Palmyra and the Roman Empire as lenses. Zooming in and Scaling up from the Evidence (The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Copenhagen – 7–8/03/2024).

Emanuele E. Intagliata, ‘Tra Luci e Ombre: Palmira Tardo Antica e Islamica’. In Luci sul Medioevo: età logica, età delle lingue d’Europa, età degli Studia generalia (Laboratorio degli annali di storia, Ragusa – 11/03/2023).

Emanuele E. Intagliata, ‘The past, present, and future of post-Classical studies in Palmyra’, in Palmyra in perspective: reflections on a critical decade of scholarship (The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Copenhagen – 08–09/12/2022). 

Emanuele E. Intagliata, ‘Palmira dopo Zenobia: tra continuità e discontinuità, in ‘Le storie straordinarie di Palmira’ (Civico Museo Archeologico di Angera, Angera – 23/10/2022).

News from the project