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The Aqaba Khans and the Origin of Khans in Jordan


An Archaeological Approach


A diachronic study of the development of Aqaba castle, an important Islamic khan at the junction of two major pilgrim routes, both based on Arabic and Crusader sources and the results of the excavations undertaken by Ghent University in Aqaba.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0651-2
  • *
Publication Status: Forthcoming

Publication Date: Apr 29,2019
Interior Color: Black with Color Inserts
Trim Size: 7 x 10
Page Count: 558
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0651-2
$175.00
$140.00

The origin and development of the khan, also known as caravanserai or roadside inns, is an area of research that has not been extensively addressed in existing studies on the Islamic history and archaeology of Jordan. This is despite the historic importance of khans as way stations for pilgrims undertaking the hajj pilgrimage and their ubiquitous presence throughout the Jordanian landscape. Previous studies that have been carried out on the khans, have been either very general or restricted in terms of geography and chronological/historical scope. Therefore, the present study will include a diachronic study of the development of a particular khan—the Aqaba castle—being an important Islamic khan sat at the junction of two major pilgrim routes, based on both Arabic and Crusader sources, and the results of the excavations undertaken by Ghent University in Aqaba. The main objectives concerning the Khan al-Aqaba project are defining a chronological sequence regarding the occupation of the site and to provide a structural interpretation of the layout of both the standing remains and the underlying structures. The combination of a detailed study of Khan al-Aqaba, coupled with overviews of the other Jordan khans, will result in the first diachronic description and analysis of the origin and development of the khans in Jordan.

The origin and development of the khan, also known as caravanserai or roadside inns, is an area of research that has not been extensively addressed in existing studies on the Islamic history and archaeology of Jordan. This is despite the historic importance of khans as way stations for pilgrims undertaking the hajj pilgrimage and their ubiquitous presence throughout the Jordanian landscape. Previous studies that have been carried out on the khans, have been either very general or restricted in terms of geography and chronological/historical scope. Therefore, the present study will include a diachronic study of the development of a particular khan—the Aqaba castle—being an important Islamic khan sat at the junction of two major pilgrim routes, based on both Arabic and Crusader sources, and the results of the excavations undertaken by Ghent University in Aqaba. The main objectives concerning the Khan al-Aqaba project are defining a chronological sequence regarding the occupation of the site and to provide a structural interpretation of the layout of both the standing remains and the underlying structures. The combination of a detailed study of Khan al-Aqaba, coupled with overviews of the other Jordan khans, will result in the first diachronic description and analysis of the origin and development of the khans in Jordan.

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Contributor Biography

Reem Al Shqour

Dr Reem Samed Al Shqour is Research Associate for Islamic Archaeology at Andrews University, USA. She has worked as an archaeologist and curator of the Madaba Archeological Museum. An historian and archaeologist, Al Shqour has being carrying out fieldwork at sites across Jordan and Europe over the past 15 years. This has included the direction of three archaeological projects in Jordan and the co-directing of one project in Belgium. She has published several archaeological publications concerning her work.

Table of Contents (v)
Acknowledgements (ix)    
Preface (xi) 

Chapter One. Pre-Islamic Khans of Jordan (1)
   Introduction (1)
   Ancient Environment and Physical Geography in Jordan (2) 
   References to Khan/Caravanserai in Ancient Sources (5)
   Archaeological Evidence for Pre-Roman Caravanserai (12)
   Forts along the Nabataean-Roman-Byzantine Caravan/Pilgrim Routes (20)
   The Rise of the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire in Jordan (31)
   The Ghassanid Phylarchy (43)  
   Summary (46)

Chapter Two. Early Islamic Khans of Jordan (49)
   The Rise of Islam and the Arab Conquest (49)
   Definition and Emergence of the Islamic Khan (Umayyad) (53)
   Misr (pl. amsar), Qasr (pl. qusur) (58)
   The Qusur /Desert Castles (71) 
   The Khan (76)
   Khans in Jordan in the Abbasid and Fatimid Periods (109)
   Summary (117)

Chapter Three. Middle Islamic khans of Jordan (121)
   Introduction (121)
   History of Aqaba and Khan Aqabat-Ayla (132) 
   Ayla (Aqaba) in the Roman and Byzantine Periods (136) 
   Early Islamic-Ayla (Aqaba) (142)
   Ayla (Aqaba) in the Crusader and Ayyubid Periods (150) 
   Ayla (Aqabat-Ayla) in the Mamluk Period (154) 
   Aqaba (Aqabat-Ayla) in the Ottoman Period (162) 
   Summary (197)

Chapter Four. Archaeology of Khan Al-Aqaba (199)
   Introduction (199)
   Khan/Qalʿat Al-Aqaba Description (201) 
   The Exterior (202)
   The Interior (213)
   Archaeological Results (235)
   Summary (249)

Chapter Five. Khan Al-Aqaba Material Culture (251)
   Introduction (251)
   Ceramics (251)
   Discussion (310)
   Summary of the Ceramic finds within the Occupational Phases (311)

Chapter Six. Late Islamic Khans of Jordan (313)
   Introduction (313)
   Ottoman Khans/Qilaʿ (316)
   Summary and Discussion (397)

Chapter Seven. Conclusions (401)

Glossary (419)
List of Plates, Tables and Figures (423)
Bibliography (433)
Index (471)