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Authored by: Trevor Bryce , Heather D. Baker , Daniel T. Potts , Jonathan N. Tubb , Jennifer M. Webb , Paul Zimansky

The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia

Print publication date:  July  2009
Online publication date:  September  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415394857
eBook ISBN: 9780203875506
Adobe ISBN:


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Rabbath-Ammon (Amman) (map 8) Transjordanian city, consisting of acropolis and lower city, capital of the Iron Age kingdom of Ammon, located on the Transjordanian plateau c. 40 km east of the Dead Sea. Its history of occupation extends from the Neolithic Age through succeeding ages to the Roman imperial period. After earlier preliminary surveys, the site was first excavated by an Italian team, under the direction of G. Guidi (1927) and subsequently R. Bartoccini (1929–33). Further excavations were undertaken after the Second World War, beginning with those of G. L. Harding in 1945, and J. B. Hennessy’s exploration of a Late Bronze Age temple in 1966, near Amman airport. Excavations in more recent years have concentrated on the acropolis (Jebel Qala). Middle Bronze Age rock-cut tombs of roughly rectangular or semicircular shape were discovered near the summit of the acropolis. The remains of fortification walls on the summit itself appear to have been of both Middle Bronze Age (II) and early Iron Age (I) date. A circular Iron Age wall was also discovered at the southeastern corner of the lower city. In the southern part of the lower city, the remains of an extensive architectural complex, dating to C7, were unearthed. One of its chief features was a large courtyard with a high-quality polished white plaster floor. Tentatively designated as a palace, its architecture has been compared with that of the Neo-Assyrian palatial complexes at sites like Nimrud and Khorsabad.


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