27 December 2014

Ad Diwan & Qasr al-Ajuz area – Madain Saleh

At Ad Diwan niches containing carved columns decorated with symbols or an eagle between two vessels were found whilst other niches contained nothing. These niches are one of the defining features of the Nabatean civilization. Temples have also been found in this area which formed a sacred area for cultic practices. The Diwan itself was a place reserved for religious gatherings and consisted of a rectangular room carved in the rock measuring 12.8 x 9.9 metres and 8 metres in height. A narrow natural rock passage called the Siq, with inscriptions and niches carved on both sides is to the left of Ad Diwan. Qasr al-Ajuz was a center used by priests and is set in the desert slightly behind Ad Diwan. The entrance is as wide as the chamber carved beyond it. On the right wall of the chamber there is a square aperture, while there are five appertures on another wall to the right of which there is a small entrance leading to a small room.