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Qasr al-Bint From Above

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Qasr al-Bint From Above
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View looking southwest at the area of Qasr al-Bint—located in the center of the image.  The top of the large altar is visible in the lower right (north) quadrant and in the lower left is the Colonnaded Street.  There, a doorway, blocked by a fence led to a two-storey building where sacred meals may have been consumed.

The Qasr is a square structure, 105 feet on each side, 25 feet high (two stories), and stands on a podium 10 feet high.  It is approached via a flight of 19 stairs to a landing and then 9 additional stairs lead to the porch.

The porch is defined by two walls that extend from the walls of the temple (antae).  Between them, there were four columns—three of the stubs of the columns are visible.

Qasr al-Bint (the "Palace of Pharaoh's Daughter") is located in the Petra basin at the west end of the Colonnaded Street on the south side of the Wadi Musa.  It faces north.  It was constructed during the reign of Aretas IV (r. 9 B.C.-A.D. 40; 2 Corinthians 11:32) and refurbished after Trajan annexed Nabataea into a Roman Province in A.D. 106.

It is debated what deity was worshiped there.  The majority say that it was Dushara — the chief deity of the Nabataean pantheon because the large altar to the north of Qasr al-Bint was dedicated to him. Al-'Uzza (Aphrodite) may have been worshipped there as well.