31 December 2014

Qasr Al-Bint – Madain Saleh

Qasr Al-Bint is named the daughters or girls palace. This group of tomb lies west of the Jabal Ithlib. The tombs are carved into two sandstone hills, one is very large and oriented in a north - south direction and contains twenty-nine tombs. The other one is much smaller, lying northwest of the former, and containing only two funerary chambers cut on its eastern flank. Tomb 18 is an example of a complete tomb in both its architectural features and decoration. Its façade is crowned by stepped crenellations underneath which are a cornice on two levels. Columns with Nabatean capitals were carved on both sides. There are four columns on the sides of the entrance, two, one each side crowned with Nabatean capitals which bear a transom surmounted by a molding above which lies a triangular cornice with carved bases bearing funeral elements on both sides. The foundation inscription of the tomb lies above the entrance. There are a number of large tombs as well as some unfished ones and this area is another of the most photographed set of tombs in Madain Saleh. The northern end of the west face has a very large, abandoned tomb, that was abandoned in the early stages of construction that would have been the largest tomb on the site if it had been completed. The light is best in the morning for photographing and viewing this site.