Excavations of the ancient city of Hippos in North-eastern Israel revealed a monumental Roman gate. The excavations were conducted by a team of archaeologists from Zinman Institute of Archaeology of the University in Haifa. It is believed that the gate may lead to the compound of Pan, god of shepherds, that was unearthed during last season of excavations. Last year a silver mask depicting Pan was discovered in the remains of a large basalt ashlar building.
This season the researchers found two square basalt towers with dimensions of approximately 6.3m by 6.3m and a portal of 3.7m. wide in between. The gateway originally was over 6m. high, while the building (propylaeum) itself was even taller. It can be possibly dated to the period of the emperor Hadrian, who reigned from 117 to 138 CE, or slightly earlier, as the archaeologists suggest.
North of the site the city of Paneas is located, which served as one of the best-known sanctuaries for the worship of Pan in antiquity. Finding a monumental gate at Hippos and evidence of an extensive compound dedicated to the deity forms a mystery that is planned to be solved during the next season of excavations.
(after The Jerusalem Post)