13 December 2021

Mugha’ir Shu’ayb – Madyan

Most scholars agree that Al-Bada’ is the ancient city of Madyan. Madyan refers to both a land and a city, probably dates back to the end of the 2nd millennium BC. It is known for being the place where the Prophet Moses spent ten years in voluntary exile after fleeing from Egypt and was inhabited by the Madiyan tribe. Madyan was divided into two zones; the residential area of Al-Maliha that was probably fortified, and the Nabatean necropolis dug in the hillsides of the Jebel Mussalla. Mugha’ir Shu’ayb (the Caves of Jethro) are probably 1st century AD Nabatean tombs. These monuments with ornamented façades with burial chambers dug inside on the ground support the idea that the tombs are similar to the ones at Petra in Jordan and Hegra / Madain Saleh in Madinah Province. There are 16 cemeteries and 30 tombs including some that are decorated with monumental façades of typical Nabatean style. One of them has a column ornamented with a capital showing the influence of ancient Greece and Rome in the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula.