The Pyramid of Hermel or Hermel Pyramid (also known as God’s Pyramid, House of El, the Funnel of Hermel or Needle of Hermel) is an ancient pyramid located 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of Hermel.
The pyramid has been suggested to date to the first or second century BC due to similarities with architecture of tower tombs of the late Selucid era at Palmyra in Syria. The construction also may have been Assyrian. Rene Dussaud later suggested that although the reliefs resembled the Ishtar Gate, the edifice was likely a monument to the hunting prowess of a member of Syrian royalty from the first century BC.
The pyramid sits on top of a hill that is clearly visible from a distance and has been fenced off to prevent damage. It is between 19.6 metres (64 ft) and 27 metres (89 ft) high and sits on a base measuring around 1.1 metres (3.6 ft) with three steps made from black basalt. On the base site two massive limestone blocks weighing between 40 tonnes (40,000 kg) and 50 tones (50,000 kg). The blocks are around 7 metres (23 ft) high and 9 metres (30 ft) wide and are crowned by a pyramid measuring some 4.5 metres (15 ft) high. The Some sections of the monument were restored in 1931. A relief on the north side depicts two deer, possibly caught in a hunting trap. On the east side is a carved image of a boar being attacked by dogs and speared. The south side is badly damaged but shows an image considered possibly to be a bear. The relief on the west side shows two wolves attacking a bull.
The objective of constructing such a pyramid was to survey the area in anticipation of the invading armies and also to be used as a guide for commercial and military convoys, which extended from Byblos – Jbeil – through Fakra, Afka, Baalbeck, Hermel, Labwa, Homs, and Palmyra where light signals were given among these regions reporting the arrivals of Kings allies or invaders.
There are several secrets that lie within the construction of this monument on the internal and the external levels, for example: we notice that its external shape is located to indicate four directions, from the south facing the Kingdom of Baalbeck, from the north the kingdoms of Homs and Palmyra, from the west the Western Mountain Chain of Lebanon overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and from the East it overlooks the Eastern Mountain Chain where the canalization of the Palmyra water lies; moreover, the region surrounding the pyramid was planted with wheat feeding the Roman army which was called Roman Bohrat where golden colors sparkled during the harvest season in June, as these fields were inhabited by animals such as reindeers that were shown in the figures illustrated on the pyramid.
According to a historical Italian reference referring to the object of constructing this pyramid, states that this monument was built as a temple having a tomb beneath it. Some stories state that this monument was robbed and partially destroyed and then was restored later on.