Qal'at Bustra

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Qal'at Bustra
Qal'at Bustra is located in Lebanon
Qal'at Bustra
Shown within Lebanon
Alternative nameQalat Bustra, Qalaat Bustra, Harviya[1]
Coordinates33°17′12″N 35°40′08″E / 33.2866°N 35.6688°E / 33.2866; 35.6688
Typefarmhouse and Roman temple
PeriodsAncient Rome
Site notes
ArchaeologistsShim'on Dar

Qal'at Bustra or Qalat Bustra is an archaeological site in Lebanon, close to the border of the Sheba Farms region of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, about 5 km ENE of Ghajar.[1][2] It is situated on a peak of height 786m with a panoramic westward view.[1] Qal'at Bustra, believed to be an ancient Roman sanctuary, was excavated by Israeli archaeologists. Remains found at the site include a farmhouse and temple dating from the Hellenistic and Roman period.[1][3]


Archaeological surveys were first made in 1970–1972, who named the place Harviya.[1] In 1990 a second expedition, carried out under the auspices of Bar Ilan University's Department of Land of Israel Studies, learned from local Arabs that the place is called Qal'at Bustra;[1] the investigations revealed stelae and evidence of cultic activity dating to the Hellenistic period or earlier which continued into the Roman period.[4] A farmhouse and temple discovered at the site have been dated to the Hellenistic and Roman periods (third century BCE to third-fourth centuries CE).[1]

The farmstead is located at the center of a large farmyard,[1] surrounded by well-built stone walls, it has many rooms that served different purposes.[1] A villa-like structure contained a tower which is still visible;[1] the surrounding farmland counts remains of many structures, including buildings, walls.[1] Water cisterns with unusually large capacity for the region were found.[1]

At the highest point of the peak, there are the remains a Roman temple covering about 100 square meters.[1] Only the foundations, the foundation stones, and one course of stones are preserved.[1] Discoveries in the temenos of the temple included eleven coins that were dated between the third century BCE and the third century CE.[2] One was dated to the reign of Herod Antipas.[5] Parts of a marble statue that include a male foot wearing a sandal was also recovered; it was probably a local deity worshipped at the temple.[1][6] A collection of snails were also found.[7] Various animal bones were discovered and dated to the 5th century CE including sheep, goats, cattle and a chicken.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Shimon Dar (1993). Settlements and Cult Sites on Mount Hermon, Israel. BAR International Series 589. TEMPVS REPARATVM. pp. 93–103.
  2. ^ a b E. A. Myers (11 February 2010). The Ituraeans and the Roman Near East: Reassessing the Sources. Cambridge University Press. pp. 66–. ISBN 978-0-521-51887-1. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  3. ^ Julien Aliquot (2008). "Sanctuaries and villages on Mount Hermon during the Roman Period". In T. Kaizer (ed.). The Variety of Local Religious Life in the Near East In the Hellenistic and Roman Periods. Koninklijke Brill. p. 77.
  4. ^ E. A. Myers (2010). The Ituraeans and the Roman Near East: Reassessing the Sources. University of California Press. p. 70.
  5. ^ Morten H. Jensen (1 July 2010). Herod Antipas in Galilee: The Literary and Archaeological Sources on the Reign of Herod Antipas and Its Socio-Economic Impact on Galilee. Mohr Siebeck. pp. 299–. ISBN 978-3-16-150362-7. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  6. ^ Dar, S. and Gersht, R., A sculpted right foot wearing a sandal, from Qal'at Bustra in the Hermon. Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society 12 (1992-1993) 45-51.
  7. ^ Mienis, H.K., Note on a small collection of land snails recovered during the excavation of Qal'at Bustra, Mount Hermon, Israel. The Papustyla, 8 (3): 15., 1994.
  8. ^ Horwitz L.K., n.d. Animal Remains from Qalat Bustra (Unpublished Report submitted to the IAA). Jerusalem.
  9. ^ Horwitz, Liora., Diachronic patterns of animal exploitation in the Sinai Peninsula, PhD Thesis for Tel Aviv University, 2005.

External links[edit]

  • Qal'at Bustra site record, in the Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land.