Qasr Mushash complex

 Year AH

Year AD




Original Qibla

Rebuilt facing Mecca

 7th century

 Desert Cast


Qasr Mushash



GPS Coordinates: 31°48'47.90"N 36°18'56.93"E

This very large Qasr complex and settlement was a caravan station on the route between Amman (Roman Philadelphia) and Wadi Sirhan. Ceramic finds point to an occupation since the 3rd century A.D. (DAI, Dautches Archeological Institute) Research identified the remains of 18 structures built of locally quarried stone. These include the main Qa?r or residential building with sides of 26 m, with a central courtyard surrounded 13 rooms and a single entrance in the east wall.

The oldest part of the site is the Qa?r itself, in the east, which had occupation since the 4rd century AD, as part of the Roman guard posts in the Arabian Desert. The complex was in further use in Umayyad times, for the same purpose. The sole historical settlement periods represented there are those of the early Byzantine and Early Islamic (Umayyad) times, between the 4th and 7th and the 7th and 8th centuries A.D. The ruins of this large complex (2 sq km) and settlement was once a grand site in the desert steppe, which probably served as a caravan station. The settlement complex had a large number of hydraulic systems in the form of reservoirs, cisterns and dams. The whole site had several separate units: the Qa?r, a bathhouse and the water system. There are actually two Qa?rs, the west Qa?r Mushash and the East Qa?r Mushash.

The medieval Arab historian el-Maqdisi mentioned that this was one of the three routes from Amman to the Hijaz in western Arabia used by the Umayyad postal service. (Khouri, 1988)

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