Palmette

Motif resembling a stylized erect leaf divided into lobes, in the form of a fan or palm leaf, often supported by spirals. Its origins are obscure, but similar motifs are first recorded in Syria and Mesopotamia and in the islands of the eastern Mediterranean by the 2nd millennium BCE. As the name suggests, it may have been derived from representations of palm-trees, especially in view of the belief that a tree cult may have existed in western Asia in association with the introduction of the cultivated date-palm; however, it has much in common with other early floral and spiral motifs. The motif is common in classical and classicizing styles, used either individually or along with other conventionalized flower or foliage forms, for example, in an anthemion.