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Dumat Al-Jandal

Found in: Archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia

Dumat al-Jundal , is a ruined ancient city located in North Western Saudi Arabia in the Al Jawf province. The name Dumat al-Jandal means literally "Dumah of the Stone", since this was the territory of Dumah one of the twelve sons of Ishmael.

Pre-Islamic History

The city has a history dating back to the 10th century BC and it can be found in Assyrian records dating from 845 BC in which it was called 'Adumatu', described as the capital of an Arab kingdom, of which the names of five powerful Queens that ruled this city are known. A Queen, Te'elhunu, is mentioned as the high priestess of Ishtar (or Atarsamain as she was known locally), the Sumerian goddess of fertility, love and war. Dumat al-Jundal was the site of an important temple of Ishtar.

Excavations made by Khaleel Ibrahim al-Muaikel in 1986 added to observations made in 1976 that an homogenous layer of Roman-Nabataean pottery sherds indicated a prosperous community during the time of the Nabataeans to whoms realm the region probably belonged.Amir 'Abd al-Rahman bin Ahmad al-Sudairi, The Desert Frontier of Arabia, Al-Jawf through the Ages, 1995, ISBN 0905743 75 X, p49

In 106 CE Dumat was incorporated into the Roman Empire when the Emperor Trajan defeated the Nabataeans. In 269 CE the place was mentioned by Zenobia, the Queen of Palmyra, as city with an immune fortress. After her forces had captured the city the fortress of Marid withstood the attack in her revolt on the occupying Romans. Later in the 5th century CE the city became the capital of the kingdom of Kindah. In 630 CE Khalid ibn al-Walid captures Dumat Al-Jandal and it became a part of the newly forming Islamic world.

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