Item Details

An Umayyad Era Mosque and Desert Waystation from Wadi Shīreh, Southern Jordan

Issue: Vol 2 No. 1 (2015)

Journal: Journal of Islamic Archaeology

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/jia.v2i1.26940


In the winter of 1988, while surveying Wadi Shīreh in the Ḥismā (or Wadi Ramm) Desert of southern Jordan, the ʿAqaba-Maʿan Archaeological and Epigraphic Survey, directed by the late William Jobling of the University of Sydney, discovered a rare early Islamic open-air mosque in association with several exceptional early Islamic (Kufic) inscriptions, one of which gives a date of 109 H (727/728 CE). While a number of scholars have since commented on the site’s interesting inscriptions, there has been little discussion of the mosque within its broader archaeological context or immediate landscape setting. This paper evaluates the mosque, together with several associated buildings discovered in Shīreh, in relation to similar early Islamic open-air mosques and marginal desert settlements known from the southern Levant. Following a review and analysis of the site’s intriguing inscriptions, the authors then offer tentative conclusions regarding the site’s function as a desert waystation during the time of the Umayyads.

Author: Firas al-Bqāʿīn, Glenn J. Corbett, Elias Khamis

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