Banias in Wikipedia
Banias (or Paneas; Greek: Πανειάς; Arabic: بانياس الحولة; Hebrew: בניאס) is an archaeological site by the uninhabited former city of Caesarea Philippi, located at the foot of Mount Hermon (Ba'al-Hermon, Arabic: جبل الشيخ, Jabal esh-Shaiykh, Hebrew: הר חרמון, Har Hermon) in the Golan Heights. The site is 150 km north of Jerusalem and 60 km southwest of Damascus. The city was located within the region known as the "Panion" (the region of the Greek god Pan), and is named after the deity associated with the grotto and shrines close to the spring called "Paneas".
The temenos (sacred precinct) included a temple, courtyards, a grotto and niches for rituals, and was dedicated to Pan. It was constructed on an elevated, 80m long natural terrace along the cliff which towered over the north of the city. A four-line inscription at the base of one of the niches relates to Pan and Echo, the mountain nymph, and was dated to 87 CE.
In the distant past, a giant spring gushed from a cave set in the limestone bedrock, to tumble down the valley and flow into the Hula marshes. Currently it is the source of the Nahal Hermon stream. Whereas the Jordan River previously rose from the malaria-infested Hula marshes, it now rises from this spring and two others at the base of Mount Hermon. The flow of the spring has decreased greatly in modern times. The water no longer gushes forth from the cave, but only seeps from the bedrock below it.
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