Albert Hashweh Photography

Jerash – Temple of Artemis 2

Artemis was the patron goddess of the city and was highly esteemed by the Hellenistic population of Gerasa, while Semitic part of the population preferredZeus. Construction of the temple was finished in CE 150, during the reign of roman emperor Antoninus Pius. The temple was built on one of the highest points and dominated the whole city. The building had a hexastyle portico with 12 columns of which 11 are still standing. Corinthian capitals decorating the columns are very well preserved. The temple walls had three entrances decorated with three Corinthian pilasters.

The Temple of Artemis supposedly was the most beautiful and important temple of ancient Gerasa, containing fine marble paneling and a richly decorated cult statue within the cella.

In early 12th century the temple was converted into a fortress by a garrison stationed in the area by the atabey of DamascusBaldwin II, King of Jerusalem, captured and burned the fortress in CE 1121-1122. The inner faces of the temple walls still clearly show the effect of the great fire.

The temple, along with other ruins in the area of Gerasa, was excavated by C.S. Fisher and his expedition in 1930s.

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