(60 Km from Halba)
Akroum is the name of a
mountain with many villages on it slopes, one of which is also
called Akroum. Almost all these villages contain remnants from
antiquity. Ancient tombs made of stone slabs or carved into
cliffs can be seen, as well as the remains of churches. In and
around Akroum village itself you will find a Roman temple, a
large Byzantine church dedicated to Mar Shamshoum al-Jabbar
(Saint Samson the Strong) and numerous cisterns.
Two interesting parallel structures can be seen at a place
called Jabal al-Hussein. The best preserved is a temple on the
north of the site whose cella is divided by a large arch.
During the Byzantine era this west-facing monument was
transformed into a church. Nearby are the ruins of another
temple, larger in size, but with only enough elements
remaining to identify its basic plan. Fragments of cornices,
Corinthian capitals and huge millstones are scattered in and
around the structure.
In the little valley known as Wadi as-Saba',
or Valley of the Lion, are two steles that appear to go back
to Neo-Babylonian times, The first represents a figure wearing
a tiara. Facing right, he is being attacked by a lion
standing on its rear legs. The hunter, probably royal, is
seizing the lion by the neck with his left hand while his
right hand holds a dagger at the ready. Sixty meters
above the stele of the lion, at a place known as "Shir
as-Sanam" or Cliff of the Statue, is another rock-carved
stele in the shape of a cone. The bas-relief shows a king
facing right, holding an unidentified object in his right hand
and a scepter in his left. Above the king, who wears a tiara,
are the symbols of divinity: the seven-pointed star of Ishtar
and the crescent moon of Sin.