The importance and mystery of the Ain Dara Temple are hinted at by a pair of massive footprints carved right outside the door.
These footprints serve as a memory of a long-forgotten era when “gods” walked among us, or perhaps just to ensure that future generations do not forget or deny the existence of giants among us.
Just west of the Syrian village of Ain Dara, northwest of Aleppo, sit the remnants of a once-remarkable edifice. It first gained notoriety in 1955, when a massive basalt lion was discovered by happenstance in the vicinity. Archaeologists became interested in it because it stood as a proud reminder of an ancient society.
The excavations lasted from 1980 to 1985, and what they found had a striking resemblance to the biblical Temple of Solomon, albeit it was eventually determined that they were not the same structures.
According to Bible History Daily, “the similarities between the ‘Ain Dara’ temple and the temple depicted in the Bible are striking.” Both structures were constructed on a 2.5-foot-high artificial platform placed on the highest point in their respective cities.”
Lions, sphinxes, mountain gods, and other magical animals with great claws, of which only the feet survive, guarded the platform on which the temple stood, all carved from massive pieces of basalt.
Climbing a massive stairway flanked on both sides by a sphinx and two lions allowed access to the temple portico. The middle room would then be accessible, followed by the main corridor, which led to the inner sanctum, which was decorated with cult sculptures at the far end.
The footprints (about 1 meter in length) etched into the unyielding stone floor near the temple’s entryway are one of the most intriguing features of the Ain Dara Temple.
A pair of footprints may be found on the portico’s floor, while a second footprint can be found about 30 feet distant, near the main hall’s entrance.
To get from one footprint to the other, a 65-foot-tall giant would have to take a 30-foot leap, or simply take a regular stride. Although historians agree that these markings were not created by real giants traversing the Earth in ancient times, they remain an enigma that no one can explain.
It’s probable that the temple’s creators were responsible for these strange engravings, but why and what was their purpose remain unknown.
The gigantic footprints appear to show our forebears’ concept of giant humanoid beings at first glance, and they could serve as a reminder of these ancients, who were possibly the deities revered in this temple.
The Ain Dara Temple is thought to have been built between 1300 and 1000 B.C., during the onset of the Iron Age. The Syro-Hittites, a group of political groups that arose following the demise of the Hittite Empire, extended it.
They dominated the Eastern Mediterranean until they were defeated by the Neo-Assyrian Empire at the end of the eighth century B.C.
The legacy that has been left behind can be interpreted in a variety of ways. What is evident is that ancient Mesopotamia, and specifically the Sumerians, had a vast cultural effect.
Although the timelines of these peoples varied by a millennium, the symbols and figures etched on the walls of both civilizations bear a striking likeness.
The one-meter-long footprints discovered at Ain Dara temple could be divine imprints. The Sumerian King List describes these mystic monarchs as mythical creatures that existed before the Flood and up until the creation of mankind.
Only a few of them are officially documented in contemporary history, despite the fact that their names and kingships are carved on Sumerian artifacts.
It’s probable that the Syro-Hittites brought the image of their gods with them and built temples in their honor. Knowing that their society was on the verge of extinction, they left behind clues to these colossal kings and teachers who were regarded as their forefathers.
In any event, the Ain Dara shrine adds another piece to humanity’s puzzle. Although many parts of the situation are impossible to describe with confidence and in an official manner, we may trust our intuition this time. After all, we each have our own realities and beliefs.