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Qusayr ‛Amra [Quṣayr ‛Amra]locked

  • Alastair Northedge

Extract

[Quṣayr ‛Amra]

Early Islamic site 61 km east of Amman (see fig.). Set on the banks of the Wadi Butum in an open steppe, the complex is built of roughly shaped flint and limestone and roofed with small barrel vaults. It consists of a basilical audience hall (11.5×14 m), terminating in a central square apse flanked by small rooms and an attached hypocaust bath of three rooms (the cold bath is placed in the main hall). In addition to a well and raised water-tank, there is a subsidiary building 200 m away. First discovered by Alois Musil in 1898, the building is notable for its well-preserved fresco paintings, cleaned in 1974. At the head of the apse a prince is depicted in Late Roman style, seated in a niche with two attendants, while six female figures are depicted on its sides. On the west wall of the main hall is a panel depicting six kings, four of whom can be identified by Greek and Arabic inscriptions as the Byzantine emperor, ...

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