Name of Monument:
Date of Monument:
Hegira, early 10th century / AD 16th century
Period / Dynasty:
Suleyman the Magnificent (AH 926–74 / AD 1520–66).
A station on the pilgrimage route to Mecca along the Desert Highway, the complex comprises a square fortress (25 m x 25 m) and two water cisterns. The fortress was built on top of an earlier building, the remains of which are still visible under the northern and eastern walls. A re-used lintel incorporated into the new construction might indicate that the earlier building belonged to the early Islamic period.
View Short Description
Dhab’a, some 50 km south of Amman, was a station on the pilgrimage route to Mecca. The complex comprises a fortress and two cisterns. The fortress was built in the early AH 10th / AD 16th century on top of an earlier building, probably from the early Islamic period. The external walls were provided with slit windows 4 m above the ground and with battlements. Three of the corner towers had projecting rain spouts that drained the rainwater and replenished the well located at the centre of the courtyard, while the first floor was provided with seven rain spouts for the same purpose.
How Monument was dated:
Dhab'a was dated to the early 10th / 16th century on the basis of historical documents and stylistic analysis. The fortress shares common architectural features with al-Qatrana and Ma'an in, for instance, the projecting rain spouts, the arrow slits, the corbelled roofs and the general layout of the ground floor. Ma'an was dated to the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent by an inscription at the entrance.
Burckhardt, J. L., Travels in Syria and the Holy Land, London, 1882, p.657.
Citation of this web page:
Mohammad Najjar "Dhab’a Fortress" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=monument;ISL;jo;Mon01;35;en