Philip Hammond

The Temple of the Winged Lions (Al ‘Uzza-Atargatis). The opulent decorative and architectural details of this temple were buried by rubble from earthquakes until excavations began in 1974. Named after the numerous felines found on its column capitals (see photograph of capital), the temple seems to have honored Atargatis, a fertility goddess and the consort of Dhu-Shara, whose own temple was located obliquely across the Wadi Musa.

A detail at the rear of the altar platform reveals a “closet” which was built into the back of the altar to store ritual paraphernalia necessary for religious ceremonies. See artist’s reconstruction drawings for probable appearance of the temple and its elegant entry colonnade.