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The Ain Dara Temple dates back to 1300 BCE and is fascinating for it’s many distinct features, as well as it’s structural similarity to descriptions of Solomon’s Temple. There is disagreement as to whether the temple predates the temple of Solomon.

The temple itself has a courtyard approach, which contains flagstones and a chalkstone basin as well as imposing pillars. The outer walls contain statues and reliefs of lions, while the entrance to the portico is guarded by a sphinx and two lions. The temple’s interior contains an antechamber, a middle room and a sanctum all of which feature basalt reliefs in the lower walls. When intact, the temple would have had at least three stories, remains of which are visible in the sides of the temple.

One of the most intriguing features of the temple is a set of large incised footprints, all measuring about 1 metre in length. The footprints, which lead into the temple, have been interpreted both as the footprints of the deity processing into the sanctuary, and as the footprints of large clawed animals.

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