REMAINS OF TEMPLES. 377
RAsheiva (see page 375) there is a beautiful temple at Thelthatha, a place which also bears
the name of Neby Sufa. The spot where the temple stands is romantic, while the view of
Hermon from this point is imposing beyond the power of language to express. But still
nearer Rasheiya, and on the different routes leading thence to Damascus, there are the remains
of several of these monuments of ancient religion and art. These are found at 'Aiha, Burkush,
Rukhleh (see page 378), Kefr Kuk, and Deir el 'Ashair (see page 379), the first place being
only thirty minutes from Rasheiya, while the last is just south of the carriage-road to Damascus.
They also exist at Zekweh, Kiisr Neba, Husn Niha, 'Ain Harshy, and at several other places.
In some of these temples the style of architecture is Ionic, in others Corinthian, and in others
the two orders are combined.
At Rukhleh, a little more than three hours from Rasheiya, there were two temples, both
now in a very ruined state, but it is thought that one of them may have been used in the
Christian period as a church. It is in this one that the medallion head exists, which has
attracted so much attention (see page 378). " It consists of an external circle or ornamented
border in relief, five feet in diameter ; an inner circle or border, in higher relief, is four feet in
diameter. Within these is a finely carved front view of a human countenance, in still bolder
relief. The features have been purposely disfigured, but are still distinct and pleasing. It
may have been a Baal worshipped in the temple " (Dr. Robinson, " Researches," iii. p. 436).
A number of Greek inscriptions exist here, and we ourselves found four that had not been
copied by others before us. Inscriptions have also been found in connection with some of the
other temples, and they may have been far more numerous than is now known or even
supposed. On the same side of the building with the face just described, and near the
entrance, there is an immense wing which is essentially Assyrian in character. The stone on
which it is carved appears to have been brought from a distance. The block bearing the other
wing and the bird itself has fallen in such a way that they cannot be copied, and indeed
can scarcely be seen. We found a wing of the same type among the ruins of Sia, a
place twenty minutes east of Kunawat (the Kenath of the Old Testament), and a few others
have been discovered in other parts of the country, but chiefly near the coast. These are
among the oldest monuments in Palestine, dating, no doubt, many centuries before the
Two hours from Rukhleh is the village of Deir el 'Ashair, where a fine temple of the
onic order once existed. Its ruins occupy a conspicuous point, with an interesting prospect to
- east. It was eighty-eight feet long and forty feet wide. Like several other of these
narkable structures, it is peculiar in having no steps up to its platform, " the stylobate running
all round without a break" (see page 379).
must not be understood, however, that the region about Mount Hermon is the only
°i Syria where temples are to be found. There are a few in the Lebanon as
guished from the Hermon range, also many in the more northern parts; but it is in the
that they exist in the greatest numbers. All the important towns in the old Bashan
r> ad each one or more, and those at Kunawat (the ancient Kenath), at 'Amman (the