Archaeologists have discovered a temple in northern Syria that could be the oldest in the Middle East, Syria's official news agency reported Saturday.
The discovery of the Neolithic temple, dating to the ninth century B.C., was made by a joint Syrian-French archaeological team at Jaadet al-Maghara on the Euphrates river some 450 kilometers north of Damascus, the agency said. It did not say when the temple was unearthed.
Objects made of stone and bone instruments were found in the large temple, whose walls bore geometric designs and a drawing of a bull's head in vivid red, black and white colors - further evidence that bulls where worshipped in that period, the report said.
The agency quoted Syria's minister of culture, Riyad Neisan Agha, as saying that "this is a unique discovery that could lead to re-reading culture."