High Place Adopted by the Romans 50 km)
on the right of the Qartaba road before the turnoff to Ehmej,
this site is easy to miss, so keep your eyes peeled.
A splendidly isolated altar of great
beauty, Mashnaqa occupies a choice location on the sacred road
from Byblos to Afqa, the source of the Adonis. The site gives
an idea of the traditional biblical High-Places characteristic
of the Canaanites and Phoenicians.
A large rectangular wall marks the sacred
enclosure, in the middle of which rises an Altar. A square
structure surrounded by columns, the altar encloses the bases
of two earlier altars, arranged and reoriented by the Romans
of their own rituals. The edifice has no door and worship was
carried out by walking around the monument.
The rocks overlooking the road leading to
the site are carved with funerary niches, some of which still
have their lids. Almost every tomb has sculpted scenes that
relate to funeral rites or to