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Treasury Lower Pediment

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Treasury Lower Pediment
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Photo Comments

A detailed view of the intricate lower pediment.

From bottom to top, note the composite capitals with acanthus leaves, small scrolls, and a protruding (bull's head?) stub.

These support a plain architrave and above that is a very intricate frieze.  The frieze is divided into sections by goblets and between them appear to be the remnants of animals that were probably defaced at some point in time by iconoclasts.

Above the frieze is a flattish triangular pediment with three acroteria: one at the top and one on each side.  In the center of the pediment are the remnants of a bird (eagle?) that has been defaced.

The "Treasury" was probably constructed during the reign of the Nabatean ruler Aretas III Philhellene (82-62 B.C.).  It is probably a temple and not actually a tomb.

The exterior of the lower story has four free-standing and two engaged columns that support a classical-style architrave and triangular pediment.  Behind these columns is a porch with a large central door leading into the primary shrine room that probably contained a statue of the deity al-'Uzza (the Nabatean equivalent of Aphrodite).  The doors lead to side rooms on the north (right) and south (left) sides of the porch.