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CANATHA (Qanawat) Syria.

In the Hauran N of Soueida, Canatha was one of the cities of the Decapolis at the end of the Hellenistic period. The city, perched on a steep plateau bordered to the E by a deep ravine, contains many ancient monuments: temples, palaces, churches, a triumphal arch, the SW rampart gate, and tower tombs. Travelers in the past saw a dozen of the latter, still several stories high.

On a wooded slope to the NW stood a temple, a peripteral structure, with Corinthian columns and carved pedestals and bases. The principal street led E to a flagged space bordered by columns, then some ruins of baths, and nearby a building with a vaulted hall containing inscriptions that refer to Agrippa, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Julia Domna. On the opposite side of the ravine was an odeon designed like a theater, almost entirely cut in the rock, and next to it a nymphaeum. At the highest point of the city, at the E end of a long terrace, was a portico of Corinthian columns, then an atrium that led to a basilica. The latter had a doorway framed with carved foliated scrolls and maeanders. A church is attached to the W side of the atrium by its chevet. This church is a modification of a building with a porticoed entrance to the N and a semicircular three-lobed exedra to the S, originally a praetorium. Farther S, beyond a Byzantine cistern, are the ruins of a so-called temple of Jupiter.


R. E. Brünnow & A. v. Domaszewski, Die Provincia Arabia III (1909)MPI; H. C. Butler, PAES II, Architecture, Sec. A, Southern Syria (1916)MPI; E. Will, “La tour funéraire de la Syrie,” Syria 26 (1949); E. Frézouls, “Les théâtres romains de Syrie,” Annales archéologiques de Syrie 2 (1952).


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