Thursday, October 28, 2021

A temple of Herod at Khirbet Omrit?

ARCHAEOLOGY: Strange Ruin in Northern Israel Could Be a Lost Roman Temple. On a hill in the Galilee stands Khirbet Omrit: A temple that may have been built to curry favor with an emperor, and may have become a shrine to a weeping nymph. And why a huge column from the temple was moved to a college sitting on a giant fault line (Moshe Gilad, Haaretz).
Archaeologists agree that the temple was built during the time of King Herod, over 2,000 years ago. The big question is whether it was one of the four temples the king built during his lifetime, as described by the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus Flavius.

One was the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The other three were reportedly built to honor the Roman emperor Augustus: one is in Caesarea and another in Samaria, as has long been known. Is the temple at Omrit, near the Banias (the biggest city in the region during the Second Temple period, and named for the god Pan) the “lost” one? This is a matter of some argument.

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