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Nihata (Niha)


A capital and a votive stela at the Small Temple of Niha. Photo Jona Lendering.
A capital and a votive stela, showing Atargatis and Hadanares
Nihata: site in the Bekaa valley with three Roman temples, modern Niha. The name is Syriac and means "tranquil".

General Large Temple
Small Temple Hosn Niha

Seen from the Large Temple of Nihata, the Small Temple was across a very small river. This second sanctuary, probably built in the first century CE, appears to have been used for the cult of the god Hadanares, who was comparable to the Baal-Zeus-Jupiter of Baalbek or to Hadad, and the Syrian goddess Atargatis.

His shrine is poorly preserved, but we can still establish that it was a bit like the big sanctuary: four columns in the façade, a main entrance flanked by two small doors, a water canal, and a cella that was divided into a lower part and an adyton (the part of the sanctuary that was only accessible to the priests) that could be reached by climbing several stairs. A difference is that the Small Temple was built in the Ionic building order, while the Large Temple was built in Corinthian style.

An inscription, which has been removed, mentions a virgin priestess named Hocmea, who lived more than a hundred years.

A satellite photo can be seen here.
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
The Small Temple of Niha. Photo Jona Lendering. The Small Temple of Niha. Photo Jona Lendering. The cella of the Small Temple of Niha. Photo Jona Lendering. The Small Temple of Niha. Photo Jona Lendering.
The temple
Gargoyle
Cella
Pit

General Large Temple
Small Temple Hosn Niha
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2012
Revision: 28 April 2012
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