National Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: Rubina Raja

Affiliation: Aarhus University

Rubina Raja is Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art in the School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University; she holds her degrees from the University of Copenhagen and the University of Oxford (M.St. and D. Phil.).  Her research interests include urban development and culture, the eastern Roman Provinces and Levant, the Hellenistic to early medieval periods, and religious identities.  She is the Principal Investigator and Director of a number of research projects, including the Ceramics in Context project, the Palmyra Portrait Project, the Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project, the Lived Ancient Religion Project (as Co-PI and Co-Director), and the Centre of Excellence for Urban Network Evolutions project.  Professor Raja is an AIA Kershaw Lecturer for 2018/2019.


This lecture evolves around the work done within the framework of the Palmyra Portrait Project. The project which is initiated and headed by Rubina Raja was begun before the civil war in Syria broke out. Within the framework of the project the largest corpus of Roman period portraits, namely the funerary portraits from Palmyra have been collected. The lecture contextualizes these portraits within their urban setting in Palmyra, a rich oasis city in the Syrian Desert. Moreover the lecture addresses the issues which have arisen when working with material stemming from a region where war has broken out and cultural heritage is being looted on a large scale.

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