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Excavation in Khirbet Al Batrawy gives clues to ancient urban centre

27 Dec 2017

(Jordan Times) With the aim of excavating an early urban centre, the Italian Sapienza University of Rome has conducted a project in Khirbet Al Batrawy.

The site was established around 3000 BC, said Lorenzo Nigro, who is affiliated with Sapienza University of Rome and leads the expedition at Khirbet Al Batrawy, around 25km north of Amman.

“People leaving in rural villages along the banks of the Zarqa River [which actually formed a lake in the area of the modern town of Zarqa], chose a hilltop  site as the seat of a communal temple and the palace of a ruling institution, which organised long-distance trade [up to Egypt as finds demonstrated] with donkeys caravans and a military force to control overland routes and the ford across the river, which was the easternmost tributary of the Jordan River, that is the first water course reached by travellers arriving from the east, Nigro elaborated.

The impressive four-lined fortification system of Batrawy, with towers, gates and even staircases, allowing the soldiers to climb up the wall quickly, is a major example of how urbanisation was connected to the necessity of gathering, storing and protecting agricultural products and other stuff which had become the material wealth of the city-state, he continued.

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