Unknown god described in the engravings of the ancient city of Palmyra

A mystery that lasted millions of years, a question that now has an answer: give it on ruins of Palmyra comes the solution to a question concerning what, for a long time, was nicknamed the “unknown god”. A mysterious entity, which was often mentioned in Syrian scriptures and which, for a long time, was not attributable to any specific religion.


The mystery has long tormented scientists because it was not clear whether this god, often called “Immortal”, “Lord of the Universe” and “Priest of Time”, was actually someone real, in flesh and blood. Science fiction? Maybe, but it was very, very difficult to interpret those scriptures. Which today, however, have an explanation.

The mystery of Palmyra and the unknown god

Let’s be clear: that human beings have always needed a religious belief is known, regardless of what one’s faith and thought about it may be. The Palmyra inscriptions, however, had haunted researchers because the city, that it has existed for millennia and connected the Roman Empire with trade routes in Asia, it has always been shrouded in a blanket of mystery regarding its “divine” customs.

In particular, numerous documents, inscriptions and engravings in Aramaic mention the unknown god we are talking about: a being who seemed human, but who in other inscriptions also took the form of a woman, an animal, a tree. In short, a changing being who, however, was described as someone realyou could talk to and meet on the street. Only after many years it was possible to be sure that the encounters were only metaphorical. It may seem strange, but, in fact, in the course of human history, nothing can really be ruled out.

The message about the unknown god of Palmyra

To shed light on the identity of the unknown god of Palmyra was the team of paleontology, paleoanthropology and paleoreligion of the University of Wroclaw, in Poland, led by the researcher Aleksandra Kubiak-Schneider. The researcher started from finding a message inscribed on the walls of what appeared to be a sacred building. The message in question seemed to speak not of a single god, but of a set of divinities that formed one.

Thus, the team from the University of Wroclaw began an analysis work on ancient texts, going to study engravings near Syria dating back to 2,500 years ago. He then sifted through the subsequent inscriptions: a very long job, which does not end here. Yes, because to be able to identify the unknown god, the scientist and her team went even further back, comparing the inscriptions of Palmyra with the inscriptions found throughout Mesopotamia and dating back to the first millennium BC.

By means of the unearthed message and comparison with Mesopotamian inscriptions, the Kubiak-Schneider team discovered that the gods worshiped in Mesopotamia were referred to with names similar to the unknown god of Palmyra. For instance, Bel Mardukthe supreme god of Babylon, was also called “Priest of Time”, as well as Baalshamin, the sky god in Mesopotamia, was called “Immortal”.

The identity of the unknown god of Palmyra

What, then, does all this mean? According to the team of researcher Kubiak-Schneider, simply that in reality the unknown god of Palmyra is a set of deities “inherited” also from Mesopotamia, which would also explain his mysterious changes in shape. The fact that there is no precise name for the god of Palmyra would be yet another proof and, moreover, it would also signal a great sign of respect.

This conclusion unravels a large tangle and opens a new window on the study of world religions and anthropology. And, who knows, it will make us discover even more about the evolution of each single creed.