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Three Roman Temples
(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.

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