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    The site of Umm al Awamid was first excavated in the 19th century by Ermest Renan and in 1943 and 1945 excavations resumed under the direction of Maurice Dunand. In spite of the fact that the Egyptian texts of Ramses II mention a mountain pass in this area, the site did not yield any remains that can be dated earlier than the 5th century B.C., except for two Neolithic sickle blades and a limited number of 8th century B.C. pottery sherds. The site  witnessed an era of prosperity in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C., when it became an important religious center in the Tyrian countryside. After the first century B.C. the site was neglected, but it recovered some of its importance in the Byzantine period: the main Hellenistic temple was transformed into a church and a village developed around it.
    The most impressive remains from Umm al Awamid are those of the Hellenistic period. Maurice Dunand excavated there two temples and a series of buildings dating to the third and second centuries B.C. The western temple  (56 m x 60m) was dedicated to the god Milkashtart. Inside a sacred enclosure is an open courtyard in the center of which stands a cella. The temple was built on a podium and the cella was surrounded by a portico and rooms. the eastern temple is very similar to the western one (60m x 35m) in its overall plan: it was also built on a podium and it has a cella erected in the middle of an open  courtyard and surrounded by a portico and rooms.
    The most significant finds from Umm an Awamid are the stone statues and stelae. Some of them were looted and sold on the antiquities market beforee and after the regular excavations on the site. One of these stolen stelae is now in the Museum of Copenhagen and represents the priest Baalyaton. Another one representing the priest Baalshamar is in the Beirut National Museum and a third is in the Louvre.
    The Umm al Awamid temples show different cultural influences. From Greek tradition, the temples borrowed their Doric columns and from Egyptian tradition, the cornice on top of their outer walls. In spite  of these influences, the religious complex of Umm al Awamid is clearly in the tradition of local Canaanite religious buildings.

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