Jerusalem Archaeological Park
Proto-Aeolic Capitals

One of the most prominent features of the monumental architecture of the First Temple period is the Proto-Aeolic capital. This unique type of stone Capital is characteristic of palaces and public buildings in Israel and Judah, and continues into the Persian period.

The Proto-Aeolic capital is composed of a large rectangular stone slab, decorated on one or both sides with a central triangle flanked by volutes. Apparently capitals adorned on only one side were placed against a wall, atop an engaged pilaster, whereas the double-sided capitals stood atop freestanding columns adorning the entrances into the palaces.
The decoration of the capital, resembling the Tree of Life, is a motif characteristic of Ancient Near Eastern art, especially of the Phoenicians. Capitals of this type were found in the major administrative centers of Israel: Dan, Hazor, Meggido and Samaria, and of Judah: Jerusalem (City of David) and Ramat Rahel. Outside the local sphere, similar specimens were recovered only in Cyprus.
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