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Faqra


Small altar, Faqra. Photo Jona Lendering. Faqra: site of several Roman monuments on the western slopes of the Lebanon Mountains.

General Tower of Claudius
Great Altar Small Altar
Destroyed Altar
Temple Adonis
Temple Atargatis
Basilica
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
The Small Altar at Faqra. Photo Jona Lendering.
To us, the Small Altar at Faqra, which has been restored in 1945, hardly looks like an altar, and to be fair, we do not really know its function. It is a smaller version of the building at Machnaqa, though, which certainly served as a tower altar. Still, there are some problems: for example, where was the sacrifice presented to the deity?

In most tower altars, we can identify the place where the priest ascended the platform. For example, we can recognize the place where the ladder was placed in Faqra's Great Altar, and there are internal stairs in the Tower of Claudius. A block of stone that resembles a small stairs was found near the Small Altar, but we do not know for certain whether it belonged to this monument.

There is also an apse, where a statue of a deity may have stood. If this is true, that would suggest that the monument is not an altar at all, unless the sacrifice was quite small and could be deposited between the columns, in front of the apse.

Small altar, Faqra. Photo Jona Lendering. Small altar, Faqra. Photo Jona Lendering. Small altar, Faqra. Photo Jona Lendering.
Illegible inscription. Photo Jona Lendering.
Illegible inscription
If the monument was not an altar, it may have been a votive gift. There is an illegible inscription, which may be evidence that it was indeed a dedication. But why was it placed between the altars, and not next to the temple of Adonis or the temple of Atargatis? In French, the monument is called the édicule à colonettes, and perhaps we should not try to be more precise.

A satellite photo of the altar area is here.


General Tower of Claudius
Great Altar Small Altar
Destroyed Altar
Temple Adonis
Temple Atargatis
Basilica
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2012
Revision: 18 April 2013
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other