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The Mystery Rock of Wadi Sier

Does anyone know what this rock was used for?


Like the Columbarium in Petra, it has strange niches. This rock however stands on the side of the hill. Did they have mail boxes back in those days? Did someone house his collection of little idols here? Did someone have pet minuature doves? Email us with your ideas.

Some responses:

Could the dove cote shaped carvings at the columbarium (and other various sites) have been part of the process for drilling into the rock and removing the stone? Especially since the largest amount found was at the Columbarium and this was an area that was a work in progress, part of a so called unfinished project. There also are some similar shapes found on the sides of the Khasneh. Was the intent to make these deeper? Was this part of the sculpting process, perhaps to reach fracture points and stone removal made easier? Dianne Marshall
I once visited an ancient columbarium, a dovecote, in Bet Guvrin in southern Israel. Walking the desert surface, the entrance was quite unremarkable, but exploration inside revealed an enormous bell-shaped, two chambered cavern. After our amazement that such a deep cave could exist, we noticed that all along the walls were carved niches, hundreds and hundreds of them, each created to house a tiny bird. Rhonda Sabo, PsyD
This picture from Wadi Sir in Jordan, west of Amman, is for a Colombarium as its shown by Horsfield "Sela - Petra The Rock City of Edom and Nabataean" in Quarterly of the Department of Antoquities of Palestine 8(1938),P.87 - 115. Dr. Younis Shdaifat, Department of Archaeology & Tourism, Mutah University, Kerak - Jordan
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