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Modified 6-Dec-12
Created 2-Dec-12
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Khirbat ad-Dharih is primarily a Nabatean village and temple, located approximately 7 kilometers south of the high temple at Khirbat at-Tannur, along the Wadi La‘ban, a tributary of the Wadi al-Hasa (biblical Zared). It is also along the King’s Highway, approximately 97 kilometers north of Petra. The site was excavated between 1984 and 2004 by Z. al-Muheisen and F. Villeneuve on behalf of Yarmouk University and the Institut Français d’archéologie du Proche-Orient.
The site was first settled during the pottery Neolithic period, and small Early Bronze settlement is visible on the highest hill to the south of the Nabatean village. Remains of an Edomite settlement have also been uncovered beneath some of the Nabatean structures. The primary occupation of the site, however, was by the Nabateans from the first through the fourth centuries BC. The site was partially destroyed by the earthquake of 363 BC and then abandoned for a few centuries. During the sixth century, the site was reinhabited by a small Byzantine community, which continued through the Umayyad and Abbasid periods.

The Nabatean village consists of a large, luxurious temple, a large villa, a few public buildings and oil presses, and numerous smaller houses. The temple complex is unusual in that it consisted of two large courtyards, possibly attesting to a segregation of worshippers. The later Byzantine and early Islamic communities are limited to small houses building within the northern temple courtyard. The temple itself was converted into a small church and stables.

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Sanctuary (left) and temple (right)Olive harvestOlive harvestOlive harvestMy loyal servant