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The Foundation of the Temple

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The Foundation of the Temple
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View looking west along the eastern and southern foundation walls of the Donuktash.   The preserved portion of this foundation reaches to a height of about 15 ft. [4.6 m.]. This foundation wall is 335 ft. [102 m.] long — about the length of a football field!

The foundation seems to be composed of a hardened conglomerate of medium size pebbles.   “Donuktash” means “Frozen Stones!” In ancient times it was probably faced with marble.  Note how upper levels overhang the lower ones—a rather unusual building technique.

The Donuktash (Turkish for “frozen stones”) is a very mysterious structure that is located on a back street in Tarsus.  This massive structure is apparently the foundation of a large, second century A.D., Roman Temple—probably dedicated to the Roman Emperor Hadrian (r. AD 117–138).   The exterior core of the temple remains, as do some significant interior foundations—for the marble and stone facing have been stripped away during the centuries.