High Place of Sacrifice

Petra

     

 

The use of altars for making sacrifices and making votive offerings to deities, dates back to at least Neolithic times. Sacrifices, it must be noted, do not relate to killing, but to the making sacred of an object.

 

The location of altars at elevated sites is related to mountains being considered holy, being nearer to heaven, and were used by many ancient religions.

 

The Canaanite worshippers of Baal favoured high places and when they were conquered by the Israelites in the 12th century BCE, they continued the practice.

 

After the introduction of monotheism to the Hebrews by Moses the use of high altars continued. When the Temple was built in Jerusalem the practice was outlawed, and the erection of outdoor altars has never again been a common practice as the major religions like to control their congregations inside the church.

 

The worshipers however did not immediately refrain from their traditions, and the use of outdoor altars still remains the preferred practice, especially amongst Pagans.

 

 

Jordan Tour

 

 

The Stairs to the High Place

 

The High Place from the Valley

 

The High Place of Sacrifice