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Exposing the sacred monumentality in Ugarit: remodelling the Temple of Baal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Religious buildings are fundamental urban elements in constituting the urban composition of the ancient city and its final image. During the Middle Bronze Age period, the architecture of religious buildings (Temples) was mostly associated with monumental and gigantic structures. Therefore, it unveils significant clues about the city complexity and its inhabitants’ cultural and religious values. The strategic location of Syria, which mediated all weighty powers at that time, had contributed to varying structures in accordance with the influencing powers and the degree of this influence in each part of the region. However, the architectural principles of the temples in Ugarit, the capital of an important Bronze Age civilization in Syria, were not derived from a specific culture; alternatively, unique architectural concepts were developed in Ugaritic temples considering the city’s strategic location and benefiting from Ugaritic People’s multiscale relationships, which exceeded the land borders.
This paper presents a detailed archaeological reading and architectural analysis of the great temple in Ugarit, the Temple of Baal. The analysis of the temple considers its architectural concept, constructional techniques and urban settings. The study establishes a conservation proposal to highlight the outstanding architectural and cultural values associated with the ruins of this temple, preserve them, and simultaneously protect the ruins from further degradation. Also, the study aims to enhance the visitors’ recognition and perception of the temple’s architectural, urban and cultural characteristics. Therefore, the paper places more focus on exploring a conceptual design and conservation approach for the temple, which constitutes a rich basis for the design stage where a detailed design, management strategy and long-term maintenance and monitoring program would be established.
A series of poignant architectural interventions is proposed to facilitate the reading of the temple’s architecture, and restore its monumental value and urban relationships with other parts of the city. The interior space of temple is conceptually reconstructed to accommodate a cultural and religious museum on the site as well as reflect the hierarchy of the sacred spaces inside this unique structure. A virtual representation approach is adopted in order to materialize the extracted valuable aspects and the theoretical discussion and analysis onto the original fabric of the temple; diagrammatic virtual models, which examine the outcomes of proposed interventions and conservation principles, are produced.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructural analysis of historical constructions
Subtitle of host publicationanamnesis, diagnosis, therapy, controls
EditorsKoen Van Balen, Els Verstrynge
Place of PublicationLeuven, Belgium
PublisherCRC Press Inc
ISBN (Print)978-1138029514
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Event10th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions: SAHC 2016 - Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 13 Sep 201615 Sep 2016

Conference

Conference10th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions
CountryBelgium
CityLeuven
Period13/09/1615/09/16

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