New Book Release: Let The Stones Speak Download PDF

Mosque Name: Khirbet Khann al Zabib

Country: Jordan

City: Desert Castle

Year of construction (AH): 93 AH

Year of construction (AD): 712 AD

GPS: 31°30’49.91”N 36° 6’2.63”E

Gibson Classification: Between

Rebuilt facing Mecca: never


Khan el Zabib was one of the stopping places on the old Hijaz railway. Before that it was a caravan stopping place and also part of a line of fortresses (Qasrs). It is located near Qatrana, 35 km to the south of Amman . This caravanserai is 18 km southeast of Khirbet al-Zona and 5 km east of the Desert Highway. Much of the materials and some structures were taken from the remains of a small late Roman town. Although now damaged, just beyond the north-east corner, an Islamic caravanserai may still be seen. It is dated to 712-37 AD. The fort or caravanserai seems not to have been excavated. Bujard argues that, as at Um el-Walid, all of these structures are Umayyad (Kennedy, 2000).

Khann al Zabib Mosque (external to the Qasr) has a rectangular shape (11.20x10.38m2) with two entrances from the north and east sides, with a recess at the southern wall. (Creswell) It faces close to Petra.

Around 7.5 kilometers from Khann al-Zabib is Qasr al Hammam (Al `Amiriyah) (M Bendi website :Qasr Mushash - Ancient Ruin near Al Muwaqqar, Amman, Jordan). The mosque has a semicircular mihrab.

The Qasr is oriented towards the Between Qibla position.

The Qasr is oriented towards the Between Qibla position.

The Mosque Plan. Credit Jacques Bujard

The Mosque Plan. Credit Jacques Bujard

Compare the mosque Qibla with that of the Qasr

Compare the mosque Qibla with that of the Qasr

Mosque Qibla faces Petra

Mosque Qibla faces Petra


Bujard, Jacques, and Genequand, Denis, 2001. “Um al-Walid et Khan az-Zabib, deux éstablissements omeyyades en limite du désert Jordanien“, in: Bernard Geyer, Conquête de la steppe et appropriation des terres sur les marges arides du Croissant fertile, TMO 36, Lyon: Maison de l’Orient et de la Méditerranée Jean Pouilloux, 189-218.

Genequand, Denis, 2009. “Trois sites omeyyades de Jordanie centrale: Umm al-Walid, Khan al-Zabib et Qasr al-Mshatta (travaux de la Fondation Max van Berchem 1988-2000)”, in: Karin Bartl and Abd al-Razzaq Moaz (eds.), Residences, Castles, Settlements, Orient-Archäologie 24, Rahden: Verlag Marie Leidorf, 125-151.

Genequand, Denis, 2012. Les établissements des élites omeyyades en Palmyrène et au Proche-Orient, Bibliothèque archéologique et historique 200, Beirut: IFPO.

Page Discussion

Membership is required to comment. Membership is free of charge and available to everyone over the age of 16. Just click SignUp, or make a comment below. You will need a user name and a password. The system will automatically send a code to your email address. It should arrive in a few minutes. Enter the code, and you are finished.

Members who post adverts or use inappropriate language or make disrespectful comments will have their membership removed and be barred from the site. By becoming a member you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy, Cookies & Ad Policies. Remember that we will never, under any circumstances, sell or give your email address or private information to anyone unless required by law. Please keep your comments on topic. Thanks!