Hotel El Tovar

Thirty minutes later Katie followed him into the grand entrance of the El Tovar Hotel. “Good afternoon, may I help you?” “Room for two, for Dr. Evans.” He looked around at the beautiful rustic hotel, built from massive logs of ponderosa pine and giant slabs of limestone. The hotel was three stories high, designed in a Swiss Alps chalet motif. It was exquisitely beautiful in an old European style. The support timbers were dark, dark brown, almost black with age, giving the open space a feeling of massiveness and strength. “Were you able to get me a room overlooking the canyon?” “Yes, we were, Dr. Evans.” “Good!” He grabbed Katie, sharing his excitement. “Can you send a bottle of chardonnay up

Ishtar, Lion Goddess of Ebla

The other main temple, in fact the largest temple at Ebla, was located in the Lower Town North, and was part of a large cult complex, Ishtar’s Cult Area, also dedicated to the great goddess, in her quality as patron deity of the whole town. Ishtar’s Temple in the Lower Town (Area P) featured, like the other contemporary temples, one long cella, and was turned to the South, and it was located by the edge of a wide open space, the Cisterns Square, where ceremonies took place, also in the open, during which gifts for the goddess were thrown in favissae excavated in the square area. On the west side of the square Ishtar’s Cult Terrace stood, an imposing and massive stone structure, with a wide a

Modern Lalish

“In Northern Iraq there is a place called Lalish where the Yezidis say the universe was born.” — Michael J. Totten The building itself was a large rectangular block structure with a stone patio on the top of the first floor where people were standing, and talking. The structure supported three spires elegantly carved into lines pointing upward into the heavens. They were the dominant architectural elements in the valley. The towers, carved from light reddish-brown colored limestone reminded Katie of upside down snow cone cups. “Isn’t that one of the camp’s white ambulances?” It was parked in the dirt parking lot closest to the temple. The back doors were wide open. “Yes,” her driver replied.

Gubla, Ancient Byblos: Inconvenient Goddess, Ch 5

By the beginning of the Early Bronze Age (about 3000 B.C.) Canaanite Gubla had developed into the most important timber shipping center on the eastern Mediterranean and ties with Egypt were very close, and Egyptian influence can be seen in its art and its religion. The Pharaohs of the Old Kingdom needed the cedar wood and other wood for shipbuilding, tomb construction and funerary ritual. In return, Egypt sent gold, alabaster, papyrus rolls, papyrus rope and linen. Thus began a period of prosperity, wealth and intense commercial activity. Byblos was called Gubla by the Phoenicians. Later the Greeks renamed the city Byblos from its exportation of papyrus paper (called by the same word); later

Ištar Comes to Earth

Nabil recalled the unusual event. Moudad was satisfied the Jema’iyye, the fall pilgrimage festival had been a good one. The Sacrifice of the Bull and the final community meal went off without a hitch yesterday. Now all of the thankful, uplifted people were gone, back to their everyday lives. Yes, the events of the last week went well. But things ended differently this time. “Father, you must come! Something has happened in Ištar’s temple chamber.” A young man with pale skin and blonde hair shook his aging father from sleep. “What is it Cedat?” Moudad asked as he sat up slowly. “Ištar has come to Lalish, father!” “What do you mean? What is this nonsense?” “I can’t explain it, Father. You hav

Ancient Baalbek

The ruins of Baalbek are the largest ever uncovered, bigger than the structures in Rome," Jay explained as he drove the car from the hills into the Beqaa Valley. But the place was well known before the Romans, even the Greeks settled, ruled alternately by Egyptian and Canaanite priests. During the Canaanite period, the local temples were largely devoted to the Heliopolitan Triad: a male god, Baʿal, his consort, Astarté, and their son, Adon. Ba'al was the early Canaanite's sky god, their King of Heaven, and Astártē was their Queen of Heaven," Jay explained. The site of the present Temple of Jupiter was probably the focus of earlier worship, as its altar was located at the hill's precise summ

Amarna: The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti

Amarna, Akhenaten’s Capital In Amarna, Egypt, Pharaoh Akhenaten and his great wife, Nefertiti waited with Pahhanate, the commissioner of Canaan and Amurru for the scribe to unwrap the latest tablet from Gubla. Akhenaten was a handsome king, a bit over six feet tall. The dark-skinned ruler had curly black hair and a long, slender face, with flashing dark brown eyes. He knew all about Gubla's mayor, Rib-Hadda, whose name came up often in Amenhotep III, Akhenaten's father’s court. But Akhenaten didn’t understand the urgency the mayor felt. So long as trade continued to flow, a small distant skirmish was not significant. It took a lot of money and promises to get the army on the road.​ However,

Ba‘alat Gebal, the Lady of Byblos

The goddess of Gubla, ancient Byblos was Astarte, the Phoenician derivative of Ishtar. She was known as the Ba‘alat Gebal, the Lady of Byblos. A beautiful temple overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea was built in Her honor around 2700 BCE. As the main Goddess of Gubla, Ba'alat watched over and protected the city and its royal family. Her shrine in Gubla, close to the Sea, is the oldest, dating way back to 2700 BCE. Ba‘alat Gebal was also patroness of the shipmasters, which was appropriate for such an important shipping port as Byblos. Here's Ishtar's throne in Sidon, a neighboring coastal village north of Byblos. Here's her throne in Tyre, a city south of Byblos <<<= Order an

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