|Finds from the Great Temple excavations|
At the temple we have found a large assortment of artifacts, from pottery to coins, to bone pins. In 1996, five fragments of a Latin inscription were found. The inscription has been studied by Stephen V. Tracy, of Ohio State University, and he has determined that the inscription is from the time of the Roman Emperor Trajan, more specifically between 112 and 114 CE.
Relief Sculpture (continuing with finds from the excavation).
We were fortunate to find the East Colonnade Inter-columnar wall and the aforementioned oblique wall to contain extraordinary architectural pilasters in relief from the Temple. These panel elements probably fell from the Temple façade and were found built into the Lower Temenos inter-columnar walls, serving as recycled building components
by the precinct’s later builders. There relief-sculpted torsos were recovered lying upside down in a gray mortar deposit that extended throughout the trench. Between the stylobates was the relief sculpture of a female measuring 0.52-m in height, 0.84 m in width and 0.38 m in thickness wearing a chiton and holding a cornucopia in her left hand. The hair in ringlets falling over her shoulder is apparently in vogue in Petra — the same iconographic scheme is evidenced by very similar styles and comparable ringlets found on two of the masks found in the Temple West Walkway in 1994.
In Special Project 54 of the Lower Temenos, in the central line of columns in the triple East Colonnade was found the torso of a woman. Bordered by a partial cyma reversa and carved in the "wet drapery" style lying upside down as part of the Inter-columnar wall, she was recovered next to the fifth column from the north.
Measuring 0.53 m in width-by-0.38 m in height, this Amazon or Aphrodite-like figure has her left battered breast exposed; she wears a chiton with a braided border with delicately fashioned button fastenings extending down her right arm. Built into the southeast oblique Inter-columnar rubble wall was the sculpted
panel of yet a figure in low relief with its right bust exposed and with a chiton over the left shoulder. Including the cyma reversa this figure measures 0.50 m in height, 0.85 m in width. Most of the pilaster figures were headless — we reason that the heads were not destroyed by the iconoclasts, but rather these torsos were fitted with separately sculpted heads, perhaps sculpted by a special school of sculptors that were put in place as the finishing touch to the block. Additionally installed as part of the south Inter-columnar wall and built into its west face was an exquisite low relief with an ornamental wreath embellished with a ribbon tied around its top, measuring in length 0.82 m, in width 0.52 m and 0.24 m in thickness. Joseph J. Basile will discuss the details of these panels in detail.
Here are some other photographs of some of our finds.
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