AL-LAHUN Jordan

  Nabataean

 

In the Nabataean period new evidence of the settling process appears at Lehun in the form of an attractive, square temple of 6,25 x 6,25 m. In this period traders and caravaneers travelled all over Jordan, not only along the King’s Highway, but also along byroads, subordinate to this principal NS way. Lehun is located along one of these roads (passing Dhiban, Ara’ir, Mesheirfeh etc.) where Nabataean architecture is still attested. In those days the site must have been an agricultural market (perhaps a town or village) of some importance, as well as a religious centre where nomads passed by to attend certain festivities. So far no houses or settlements of this period have been discovered.

The small square temple in sector B2 was constructed in local embossed limestone blocks [Figure].  Its foundations rested on the bedrock and a monolithic door threshold stepped down to the cella. Its quite elementary plan (just one room with an altar on the eastern side), corresponds with the single-chambered Nabataean sanctuaries of oriental origin. The pottery fragments date back to the 1st C. AD and represent the smooth or ribbed common pottery and painted fine ware.

The temple was restored to a height of 3,40 metres in 1988. It was impossible to reconstruct the building to its initial height (presumed height : 4,30 metres) as many stones were lost or re-used in modern times.

In sector D an intrusive Nabataean grave [Figure], covered with irregular stones, was identified next to the Iron Age Pillar House. In the grave a woman was buried together with some pottery, a bead necklace, a bronze fibula, earrings and bracelets.

 

 

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