Desert castles  


Kharana is a tributary of the Wadi Sirhan, the great wide valley which was one of the trade arteries from Arabia to Azraq, and Kharana as one the Ummayad desert complexes may have functioned as a stopover on trade routes between Amman, Qasr Tuba and Bayir or to Damascus, or possibly as a meeting place where tribal matters and differences could be discussed. It is thought to have been built in the late 7C with later work dating to the 720s-an inscription scribbled over one of the doorways gives a date of 710. The courtyard had an underground cistern.

Qusayer Amra:
The baths complex at Qusayer Amra lies by Wadi Butum, named after the terebinth trees which still grow there. Wall paintings, represent a formative stage in the development of Islamic art. Figures and even erotic scenes were portrayed, showing late Hellenistic, Persian and Byzantine influences. The baths also lie on an old trade route linking Azraq with Amman.

The Hamam in the Caladrium room, contains one of the earliest representations of the sky on a domed surface. The circumpolar constellations shown have been transposed left to right, presumably the artist
Was using a sketch based on a globe where the sky is seen from outside looking down rather than from inside looking upwards. The map is centered on the north star: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor are top centre with part of Draco’s tail between them.


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