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Medieval Copper Production Settlement Found in Jordan

Monday, January 14, 2019

Jordan Copper SmeltingAMMAN, JORDAN—A medieval settlement dedicated to copper smelting has been identified in southern Jordan, reports The Jordan Times. The site, known as Khirbat Nuqayb Al Asaymir (Arabic for "Ruin of the Small Black Pass"), flourished under the Ayyubid dynasty, which was founded by the Kurdish military leader Saladin. University of San Diego archaeologist Ian Jones leads the excavation, and notes the site was only occupied for 50 or 60 years. Its rise coincided with the expansion of the sugar industry under the Ayyubids, which requires a large supply of copper to fashion boiling vessels. Jones and his team were suprised to find no locally produced pottery at the site. However, they did discover glazed ceramics known as “stonepaste" pottery, which were likely imported from Damascus, suggesting the presence of high-ranking Ayyubid administrators at the site. To read more about the archaeology of the Levant during this period, go to “Reimagining the Crusades.”

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