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Mysterious Ancient Wall Documented in Jordan

Friday, February 19, 2016

Jordan Khatt Shebib Wall

AMMAN, JORDAN—Specialists from the Aerial Archaeology in Jordan Project have completed photographing the remains of an ancient wall that together with spurs and sections of a parallel wall runs 93 miles, reports LiveScience. The wall, now largely in ruins, once stood a little over three feet tall, and has some 100 towers built alongside it standing six to twelve feet tall. Given the wall's height, it is unlikely the towers had a defensive purpose. University of Western Australia archaeologist David Kennedy speculates they might have been watch posts or temporary shelters, or even hunters' blinds. The wall itself, dubbed “Khatt Shebib” (or Shebib’s Wall, after a pre-Islamic prince who was traditionally believed to have constructed the site) might have served as a boundary between land used by farming and nomadic peoples. Scholars believe it was probably built sometime between the Nabatean period (312 B.C.-A.D. 106) and the Umayyad period (A.D. 661-750), but more fieldwork is needed to determine its precise function. To read about a massive wall built in the Caucasus, go to "The Shah's Great Wall."