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Early Shrine Stairs 1

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Early Shrine Stairs 1
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Photo Comments

View looking southwest at the entrance to the "Early Shrine" at Omrit.

Note the three well carved stone stairs that lead up from a lower platform to the upper platform of this early shrine.  On both sides of the stairs are two stone plastered banisters.

The upper platform is of well-carved stones.  The lower portions of it have carved decorative moldings and much of the plaster (frescos?) that covered the stones is still visible.

The lower platform (left side of image) is flanked by two "elaborately decorated pedestals ...[that] probably supported either ritual basins or small statues" that are now protected with wooden metal covers.

This structure has been called a "shrine" in contrast to the two "temples" that succeeded it.  In recent literature the excavators seem to date this "ornate shrine" to ca. 40-30 BCE.