Back when Jupiter temple had 9 columns

I came across an old illustration of Baalbeck complex from 1757 and I noticed that Jupiter temple had 9 columns while only 6 stand still today! Doing some research, I discovered that they fell during the 1759 devastating earthquakes that hit the Near East.

Between 1749 and 1751, the antiquarians Robert Wood, John Bouverie and James Dawkins began an expedition to view the ancient sites of the Eastern Mediterranean which had hitherto been viewed as inaccessible to eighteenth-century tourists. Bouverie passed away in 1750, but Wood and Dawkins continued on to our region to view the ancient cities of Baalbek and Palmyra.

Baalbeck in 1757 by Robert Wood

Wood also measured and recorded proportions of columns and remnants of friezes and ceilings. This approach to antiquarianism was one of the first of its kind and influenced both antiquarians and architects in Britain and France throughout the later eighteenth century.

The sequence of events in 1759 began on October 30, with the smaller of the two severe main shocks that year. This initial event was estimated at 6.6 Mw. This was followed by a more significant 7.4 Mw earthquake on November 25 that made considerable damage to Baalbeck temples and destroyed all the villages in the Beqaa Valley.

Baalbeck in 1839 by David Roberts

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