The Institute of Digital Archaelogy

The Arch of Palmyra

The Monumental Arch of Palmyra in Syria was destroyed in 2015 by terrorists. The Institute of Digital Archeology (IDA), using a combination of computer-based 3D rendering and pioneering 3D carving technology, have been able to create a half-scale replica of the Arch, dating back to the 3rd century. At the time of the commission (late 2017), the replica was being toured to several locations around the world before being sent ‘home’ to Syria.

A special exhibition on the reconstruction of the Arch was to take place at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Jammy Custard was asked to create a short animation that would feature at the exhibition. The animation tells the recent story of the Arch and features the inspiring tale of the Bald Headed Ibis. The Ibis is a rare bird that was on the verge of extinction because of the capture of Palmyra in Syria. Fortunately, on the reclamation of Palmyra, the Ibis has been seen to return in higher numbers and is a perfect metaphor for a hopeful and peaceful return of Palmyra’s people. The outcome needed to be culturally sensitive and mindful of how violent actions were conveyed.

This simple, yet powerful piece is one of the projects we’re most proud of – in how it was used, and what it represents.

For more information on the IDA, visit


Animation: Matthew Creed

Design: Kyle Abraham

Producer: Patrick Hathaway