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Ancient Temple Complex Investigated in Jordan

Thursday, May 30, 2019

WARSAW, POLAND—According to a Science in Poland report, a team of archaeologists led by Jolanta Młynarczyk and Mariusz Burdajewicz of the University of Warsaw has begun to investigate the ancient temple complex known as Khirbat es-Sar, in northwestern Jordan. The earlier of two buildings at the site was constructed in the seventh century B.C., and may have been built to honor Belphegor, also known as Baal of Mount Phogor, who was worshipped in the region at the time. The second building dates to the first century A.D., when Belphegor was identified with the Greek god Zeus. The excavators also unearthed evidence that a Roman-era courtyard was enclosed sometime during the ninth or tenth century and used as a shop or residence into the fifteenth century. A lintel block in this room was decorated with an equal-arm cross set in a wreath, which may have been a Christian symbol. Human remains, buried without grave goods, were discovered under a courtyard arcade. “These are most likely burials of Bedouins from late-Ottoman times, from the nineteenth century,” Młynarczyk said. Future excavations will continue to search for the settlement’s ancient name. To read about another recent discovery in Jordan, go to “The First Bakers.”

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