Garo Nalbandian

Distyle in antis. Two columns support a portico in the courtyard of St. Onuphrius Monastery. They guard the entrance to a complex of burial caves whose entrance architecture is known as distyle in antis (“two-pillared porch”). The arches above the columns are modern, apparently added when the complex was incorporated within the monastery. An Attic door with a high pediment—a hallmark of Second Temple-period decoration—leads to the tomb proper.

By dividing the entrance to the portico into three entryways, the two columns of the distyle in antis mimic a triple gate. At least two entryways on the Temple Mount—above Robinson’s Arch and above Wilson’s Arch—have been reconstructed as triple gates with columns, another indication that the architectural features of the Akeldama tombs mimicked those at the Temple Mount.