arc Brown University Petra Excavations elephant elephant
  arc Finds from the Great Temple excavations elephant elephant
Fragmented elephant-headed capital with egg and tonque design as well as bead and reel design. From Trench 5, 1995.
A Tyche head found in spolia.
A bone pin from Lower Temnos Trench 16, Locus 21, with a conical round head. 10.3 cm in length, 1995.
Detail of the upper order of a capital with a profusion of vines fruits and flowers, 1996.
An ungentarium from Trench 20, Locus 21, 1995.
An intricately carved pine cone - decorative sculptural element placed between the upper boss — a order of capitals.
Fragments of two orders of the Great Temple, reerrected. The lower two-part order is of acanthus leaves and the upper four-part order is carved with fruits and vines..

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.



An inscription found in the temple A collection of lamps found in the Petra Great Temple, 1995. A partially restored Nabataean plate.

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