Khatt Shebib The Ancient Wall of Jordan

Khatt Shebib was first reported in 1948, by Sir Alec Kirkbride, a British diplomat in Jordan. While traveling by airplane in Jordan, he saw a "stone wall running, for no obvious purpose, across country. "Estimated to be roughly 1,900 years old, the structure has about 100 towers along its length, but the overall construct does not seem to have been built for defense, leaving archaeologists with a mystery of who built it and why.

Based on the pottery found to date, the wall is believed to have been built between the Nabataean period (312 B.C.–A.D. 106) and the Umayyad period (A.D. 661–750), which means it was likely constructed sometime within a 555-year window beginning in the second century common era. But just who might have built the wall is unknown, said David Kennedy, a professor at the University of Western Australia.

Along the Khatt Shebib, the archaeologists also found the remains of an estimated 100 so-called towers, measuring 2 to 4 meters in diameter. Some of the towers were constructed after the wall was built, the researchers said.

The purpose of the wall is also a mystery. Its low height and narrowness indicate that it wasn't constructed for defensive reasons, said Kennedy and Rebecca Banks, a research assistant at Oxford University, in a paper published recently in the journal Zeitschrift für Orient-Archäologie.


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