Today was our day off so what do archaeologists do on their day off but visit other archaeological sites. We visited two interesting sites in the Madaba Plains.
We first drove to Madaba and then met the group on the bus and proceeded to Khirbat Iskandar (see our group at the site in the photo).
Khirbat Iskandar is an Arabic name that means the "ruin of Alexander (the Great)." The name does not reflect the ancient site as Alexander the Great lived in 323 BC and the sites was occupied in the Early Bronze Age. The Early Bronze Age (EBA) dates to ca. 3500 - 2000 BCE, a 1500 hundred year era that saw the rise and collapse of the first cities. It is subdivided into four periods: EB I from 3500-3100; EB II from 3100-2700; EB III from 2700-2300; EB IV from 2300-2000. There was an interesting city gate excavated here which we were interested in examining because we believe we have uncovered a similar EB city gate at Tall el-Hammam. For more information see LINK.
The second site we visited was the famous Tall Dhiban. According to the Mesha Stele found at the site, Mesha, a Moabite king, expelled the Israelites and established ancient Dhiban as an important settlement in the kingdom of Moab. Ancient Dhiban was also occupied in the Roman, Byzantine, Early Islamic, and Middle Islamic Period which became evident from the pottery remains lying around the site.
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