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Al Khazneh "The Treasury" | The Siq | Ed-Deir or Monastery | Petra churches | Qasr al-Bint Temple Complex | Great Temple complex | High Place of Sacrifice trail | Al-Khubta Mountain trail | Wadi Muthlim - small Siq

Great Temple complex

The Great Temple complex represents one of the major archaeological and architectural components of central Petra. Since 1993, archaeologists from Brown University have been excavating this temple precinct. These investigations are conducted under the auspices of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Great Temple precinct measures an estimated 7000 square meters, and is comprised, north-to-south, of a Propylae (monumental entryway), a Lower Temenos (sacred area), twin Exedrae (semi-circular structures) flanked by broad stairways; and an Upper Temenos – the sacred enclosure for the temple itself. In the Lower Temenos are triple colonnades on the east and west. Here, large limestone hexagonal pavers were positioned above an extensive water canalization system. With its red-and-white stuccoed exterior, the Great Temple must have had a dramatic impact when set against its rose-red environment. The temple is tetrastyle in antis (four large frontal columns) with solid outer walls, typical of Nabatean architecture, as is seen on the Kasr el Bint farther to the west. Approximately 15 meters in height, the columns plus the entablature they carried, would place the temple’s height at a minimum of 18 meters. The Great Temple measures 28 meters east-west and is 40 meters in length. The style and quality of the Temple’s elaborate floral friezes and acanthus-laden limestone capitals suggest that the sanctuary was constructed by the end of the first century BC by the Nabateans, who combined their native traditions with the classical spirit. The Great Temple was in use until some point in the late Byzantine period. Text from notice on site.
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