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Jordan unearths 3,000-year-old Iron Age temple

By Associated Press
Wednesday, September 1, 2010 22:52 EDT
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Archaeologists in Jordan have unearthed a 3,000-year-old Iron Age temple with a trove of figurines of ancient deities and circular clay vessels used for religious rituals, officials said Wednesday.

The head of the Jordanian Antiquities Department, Ziad al-Saad, said the sanctuary dates to the eighth century B.C. and was discovered at Khirbat ‘Ataroz near the town of Mabada, some 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of the capital Amman.

He said the complex boasts a main room that measures 388 square feet (36 square meters), as well as two antechambers and an open courtyard.

The sanctuary and its artifacts — hewn from limestone and basalt or molded from clay and bronze — show the complex religious rituals of Jordan’s ancient biblical Moabite kingdom, according to al-Saad.

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