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Two Palmyrene inscriptions in Russian museums

Among the holdings of the museums in Russia are two funerary reliefs with portraits and inscriptions in Palmyrene Aramaic, which had not been fully treated in scholarly literature. The purpose of this article is to publish the inscriptions on these reliefs. The inscription on the relief from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow (Inv. II 1а 647) now reads “ʔAmta, daughter of ʕAtu. Alas! (ʔmtʔ brt ʕtw ḥbl)”. The inscriptions on the relief from the State Hermitage Museum (Inv. 4176) includes two quite common Palmyrene personal names, Belta and Zabdibel. The reading of the text as a whole is still uncertain, three alternative hypotheses are proposed: (1) “Belta, daughter of Aḥ, (son of) Zabdibel. Alas!” (2) “Belta, niece of Zabdibel. Alas!” (3) “Belta, daughter of Aḥ. Zabdibel (her son). Alas!”