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Dakoue Temple

Zahle District

· Bekaa

The village of Dakoue houses a well preserved Roman temple, located on the eastern side of the village.

Toponym

According to local tales, Da-ko-ue derives from Semitic roots meaning "The holy place where the temple of the God used to stand, planting safety around, and attracting sacrifices and offerings". This theory is not, however, concrete according to scholars.

Timeline

Neolithic period – Excavations have uncovered numerous traces of habitation that date back to the Neolithic era in and around the village.

1st Century AD - 3rd Century AD - Dakoue settlement becomes an important commercial hub thanks to its strategic location on the interconnected Bekaa-Syria trade routes. Consequently a Roman temple is erected.

4th Century AD - 5th Century AD - The temple is believed to have been converted to a Byzantine church.

No further records are clear about the history of the temple and the village for centuries to come.

Unknown Date - The Structure is converted into a house and stable until it was finally restored in modern times.

Structure

The Roman temple of Dakoue is well preserved compared to other structures located in the area. This preservation was made possible thanks to its transformation into a house and stable. It still retains the traces of its temenos, a central courtyard and a front colonnade composed of three columns, while the entrance wall of the temple has been dismantled.

The building follows rests on a modest foundation. It is a tetrastyle prostyle temple of Corinthian order, open to the North-East, which includes a pronaos and a cella at the bottom of which rose the platform of an adyton.

The niche of the venerated deity can still be seen above the adyton platform.

The deity venerated at the temple is unknown since scholars couldn't find any reliable inscription or relief that can give a concrete answer.

It is important to note that the hill right next to the temple houses several rock-carved tombs that date back to antiquity.

Scroll down to enjoy the pictures and to locate the site on the map.

Karim Sokhn

Tour Operator & Tour Guide

References:

La vie Religieuse Au Liban Sous L'Empire Romain - Julien Aliquo

The 3 columns at the missing entrance of the temple

The 3 columns at the missing entrance of the temple

Remnants of the niche where a statue of the venerated deity would be erected (Top of the door, semi-circular shape)

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