Nihata, Small temple

Nihata: site in the Bekaa valley with three Roman temples, modern Niha. The name is Syriac and means "tranquil".

Small temple

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 fa├žade, 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.