Da Janiya

Aerial view of Da'Janiya

APAAME

  • Reference: APAAME_20030925
    _DLK-0272.tif
  • Photographer: David Leslie Kennedy ?
  • Credit: Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East
  • Copyright: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Click photo for high res magnifiable image


Names

Transliterated Name Language Name
Da 'janiya Arabic دا 'جانييا
Introduction
Introduction

The Castellum of Da'Janiya is ~41 km. north of Ma'an and ~78 km. south of el-Lejjun. Godwin (2006:285) suggests that initial construction of the fort was likely in the early 4th century CE. It may have been atop earlier structures. Formal occupation of the fort appears to have ended in the 6th century CE after which occupation appeared transitory - used intermittently for camping and as a cemetery (Godwin, 2006:287}. It was built atop basalt bedrock (Godwin, 2006:276).

Maps and Plans
Maps and Plans

  • Fig. 1 - Location Map from Bodzek et. al. (2019)
  • Fig. 14 - Satellite image of the microregion from Bodzek et. al. (2019)
  • Fig. 2 - Satellite image from Bodzek et. al. (2019)
  • Fig. 3 - Satellite image (closeup on the Fort) from Bodzek et. al. (2019)
  • Fig. 17 - Plan of the Castellum at Da'janiya showing excavation squares from Parker (1990)
  • Fig. 19 - Plan of the Principia of the Castellum at Da'janiya Castellum at Da'janiya from Parker (1990)
  • Plan of the Castellum at Da'janiya composited from multiple sources from Wikipedia (Mediatus)

Chronology
Stratigraphy

Stratigraphy from the Excavation Report - Parker (2006)

Two poorly dated earthquake destruction layers were identified at the Castellum of Da'Janiya. Both appear to have been caused by earthquakes which struck during the Byzantine period. There is also evidence for two later earthquakes but these were undated. The stratigraphic framework at Da'Janiya was matched to the stratigraphic framework at el-Lejjun. Parker (2006) used earthquakes in 502 CE and 551 CE to date the endpoints of some of the strata at el-Lejjun but these two earthquake assignments are incorrect. Both the 502 CE Fire in the Sky earthquake and the 551 CE Beirut earthquake were too far away to cause the extent of seismic destruction observed at el-Lejjun. Hence starting or ending dates of 502 or 551 CE in the stratigraphic framework presented below are incorrect. Although I dislike presenting archaeologically derived dates based on earthquake matching, as a guide to the chronology, I will share that destruction due to an earthquake around 502 CE may be due to the hypothesized Negev Quake of ~500 CE and destruction due to an earthquake around 551 CE may have been caused by the late 6th century Inscription at Areopolis Quake.

Stratum Period Approximate Dates Comments
Early Roman/Nabatean ca. 63 BCE - 135 CE Several Early Roman or Nabatean sherds were recovered from surface sherding (n=6) and excavation (n=14) of the structure (T.5) outside the fort's southeast wall suggesting use of the site during that period. The extramural structure was, however, firmly dated by excavation to the Late Roman/Early Byzantine period, and thus the Early Roman/EarlyNabatean sherds recovered there probably reflect secondary deposition
Late Roman 135-235 CE a few sherds (n = 5) of this period were recovered from surface sherding of Da`janiya, but no coins or stratified pottery of this period were recovered in the excavation.
Late Roman/Early Byzantine 284-502 CE The soundings suggested that the main occupation of the fort occurred in the fourth and fifth centuries.
Late Byzantine 500-551 CE There was evidence for Late Byzantine occupation of Da`janiya from only two excavated squares, T.1 and T6.
Late Byzantine - Ottoman ca.551 CE - 1900 CE

Stratigraphy from Wikipedia - based on Parker (1986)

Table Explanation

Ceramic finds from Parker's excavations was very rich with 225 sherds - 63 of which could be precisely dated. [24]

Number Period Dates
5 early Roman IV ca. 73-135
5 late Roman I–II circa 135-235
15 late Roman III–IV circa 235-324
21 early Byzantine IV circa 450-502
14 Late Byzantine I circa 502-527
3 Mamluk/Ottoman circa 1250-1918

Ceramic Framework of Sauer (1973) as revised by Parker (2006)

Table Explanation

Parker used a stratigraphic framework during his excavations of Limes Arabicus that produced simplified assignments for the secured Roman and Byzantine finds and findings. [45] [46] This framework was created up by archaeologist and ceramics expert James A. Sauer (1945–1999) in 1973 [47] and revised by Parker in 2006. [48]

Citations

[45] Samuel Thomas Parker, John Wilson Betlyon, Michael R. Toplyn: Preliminary Report on the 1987 Season of the Limes Arabicus Project (= Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Supplementary Studies 26). Preliminary Reports of ASOR-Sponsored Excavations 1983-1987, The American Schools of Oriental Research, 1990, pp. 89-136; here: p. 90.

[46] Parker, S. T. (1986). Romans and Saracens: A History of the Arabian Frontier.  United States: American Schools of Oriental Research. - can be borrowed with a free account from archive.org

[47] Sauer, J.A. (1973) Heshbon pottery 1971. A preliminary report on the pottery from the 1971 excavations at Tell Ḥesbân (= Andrews University monographs 7), Andrews University Press, Berrien Springs - used by Parker in Limes Arabicus excavations in Jordan - can be borrowed with a free account at archive.org

[48] Samuel Thomas Parker (ed.): The Roman Frontier in Central Jordan. Final Report on the Limes Arabicus Project, 1980–1989 . Volume 2 (= Dumbarton Oaks Studies 40), Washington, DC, 2006, ISBN 978-0-88402-298-5 , p. 332.

Period Approximate Dates
early Roman-Nabataean about 63 BC -135 AD
early Roman I about 63 BC -37 B.C. Chr.
early Roman II about 37 BC -4 B.C. Chr.
early Roman III approx. 4 v. 73 AD
early Roman IV ca. 73-135
late Roman I circa 135-193
late Roman II circa 193-235
late Roman III ca. 235-284
late Roman IV circa 284-324
early Byzantine I ca. 324-363
early Byzantine II ca. 363-400
early Byzantine III approx. 400-450
early Byzantine IV circa 450-502
Late Byzantine I circa 502-527
late Byzantine II circa 527–551
late Byzantine III–IV ca. 551-636
early islamic ca. 636-1174
late islamic circa 1174-1918

1st Earthquake - possibly ~500 CE - transition from the Early Byzantine to the Late Byzantine period until ?

Maps and Plans

Maps and Plans

  • Fig. 17 - Plan of the Castellum at Da'janiya showing excavation squares from Parker (1990)
  • Fig. 19 - Plan of the Principia of the Castellum at Da'janiya Castellum at Da'janiya from Parker (1990)
  • Fig. 14.1 - Plan of the Castellum at Da'janiya composited from multiple sources from Wikipedia (Mediatus)

Harris Matrix
Harris Matrix

  • Fig. 14.9 - Harris Matrix of Square T.7 from Godwin (2006)

Discussion

Godwin (2006:281) identified 3 destruction layers in room T.7. Roughly 2 m of architectural debris overlaid floor T.7:007, representing collapse from the curtain wall and other walls of the room. The 2 m of debris was divided into 3 different layers which is illustrated in the Harris Matrix (Fig. 14.9) and described in the Table below. Tumble layer T.7:006 appears to have been dated by findings of almost 300 sherds but mis-assigned to the 502 CE Fire in the Sky Quake which was too far away to have caused such damage. This may suggest that the fortresses suffered damage during the hypothesized ~500 CE Negev Quake. The two later destruction layers were interpreted as earthquake induced but were undated.
Layer Thickness (m) Description
T.7:001
Tumble Layer
0.18 highest layer of tumble mixed with topsoil (T.7:001). This layer yielded only five unidentifiable sherds, all from the same vessel, and an iron nail (Obj. #705).
T.7:002
Tumble Layer
0.77 tumble (T.7:002), 0.77 m thick, but with few sherds.
T.7:006
Tumble Layer
1.05 tumble layer T.7:006, 1.05 m thick and composed of soil and tumbled basalt blocks. This layer yielded 3 Late Byzantine, 6 Early Byzantine, 12 Late Roman, and 272 Late Roman/Early Byzantine sherds.

The pottery from the earliest layer of tumble (T.7:006) suggested that the room's initial collapse may date to the earthquake of 502, that is, the transition from the Early Byzantine to the Late Byzantine period.
T.7:007
Beaten Earth Floor
0.25 As in barrack rooms T.2 and T.3, ash layer T.7:008 was eventually covered by a thick (0.25 m) soil layer whose upper level was compacted into a beaten earth floor (T.7:007). This floor contained much artifactual evidence, probably representing secondary deposition, that is, debris transported from elsewhere for use as fill in the room. This included 132 animal bones and 13 Early Byzantine, 22 Late Roman, and 223 Late Roman/Early Byzantine sherds. An Early Byzantine coin (Coin #306) was found on floor T.6.007 [an equivalent layer in an adjoining room] providing a terminus post quem for the use of the floor.

JW: Later in the report, Godwin (2006:285) notes that a total of 11 coins were found on the site and 4 were dated simply Early Byzantine (ca.324-491)

These loci represent the only surviving Late Roman/Early Byzantine occupational remains in T.6 and T.7. Although, as described below, occupation in T.6 continued into the Late Byzantine period, occupation of T.7 apparently ended after the use of beaten earth floor T.7:007. Nearly 2 m of architectural debris (T.7:006, 002, and 001) overlay floor T.7:007, representing collapse from both the curtain wall and other walls of the room. Directly overlying this floor was tumble layer T.7:006.
T.7:008
Ash
0.33 The earliest datable evidence from the inner room came from an ash layer (T.7:008) deposited on fill T.7:009. Ash layer T.7:008 averaged 0.33 m in thickness and covered the entire excavated portion of the room (2.00 x 4.60 m). It contained 15 Early Byzantine, 7 Late Roman, and 37 Late Roman/Early Byzantine sherds and a few goat and caprine bones. It also yielded an iron knife blade (Obj. #103).

Ash layers were interpreted as a result of cooking
T.7:009
Fill
sterile soil

smooth and highly compact surface suggest [it] once served [as a] temporary floor

2nd Earthquake - possibly late 6th century - 491 CE until ?

Maps and Plans

Maps and Plans

  • Fig. 17 - Plan of the Castellum at Da'janiya showing excavation squares from Parker (1990)
  • Fig. 19 - Plan of the Principia of the Castellum at Da'janiya Castellum at Da'janiya from Parker (1990)
  • Fig. 14.1 - Plan of the Castellum at Da'janiya composited from multiple sources from Wikipedia (Mediatus)

Harris Matrix
Harris Matrix

  • Fig. 14.5 - Harris Matrix of Square T.1 from Godwin (2006)

Discussion

Godwin (2006:281) identified 3 destruction layers in room T.1 (aedes). This is illustrated in the Harris Matrix (Fig. 14.5) and described in the Table below. The author suggested that Collapse layer T.1:006 may have fallen during to the 551 CE Beirut Quake but this earthquake was likely too distant to have caused such damage. This might suggest the late 6th century Inscription at Areopolis Quake caused the destruction. The two later destruction layers were interpreted as earthquake induced but were undated.
Layer Description
T.1:001
Collapse Layer
Late collapse

This layer yielded 2 Modern, 3 Late Islamic, and a few earlier sherds, as well as an alabaster tessera (Obj. #344)
see T.1:006
T.1:002
Collapse Layer
see T.1:006
T.1:006
Soil layer and Collapse layer
Squatter occupation followed by abandonment, earthquake induced collapse, occasional ephemeral occupation, and use as a burial site.

A layer of soil (T1:006) ca. 0.31 m deep covered both T1:008, T1:009 and plaster floor T1:010 in the rest of the room. Soil layer T1:006 yielded 5 Byzantine, 2 Early Byzantine, 13 Late Roman, and 52 Late Roman/Early Byzantine sherds, 1 coin (Coin #272) dated Early Byzantine, 1 bead (Obj. #599), and 75 animal bones, including caprine, pig, and chicken. The upper portion of this layer contained several well preserved and substantial portions of unburned wooden planks and beams, evidence of the collapse of a plank and beam roof. The room walls appear to have stood for some time. Finally, the walls collapsed, as evidenced by a massive layer of tumbled stone in the upper portion of T1:006. The collapse was possibly due to the earthquake of 551.

Within the upper levels of tumble layer T1:006 were concentrated patches of wood and dung ash and assorted faunal material (including caprine, pig, and bird) to suggest occasional ephemeral use but no long-term occupation of the room. The height of the surviving walls would have afforded some protection to travelers camping at the site. Further, there was an intrusive burial cut into T1:006 against the northwest wall. The burial was sealed by a second layer of collapsed masonry, T.1:002, in which a second intrusive burial was found. The burial within T1:002 was in turn sealed by a third layer of wall collapse, T. 1:001.

As no grave goods, pottery, or coins were associated with these burials, it is difficult to determine the date of the burials, which would provide a terminus ante quem for the destruction layers in which they were set. What the series of collapse layers sealing the burials point out, however, is that further serious damage to the room, probably by an earthquake, occurred at least twice after the earthquake of 551.
T.1:010
Plaster Floor
survived only in patches

no pottery was recovered from the floor

Floor T.1:010 represented the latest phase of official use of the room. However, some short-term and nonofficial use of the room occurred shortly afterwards. In the southwest corner of the room, directly above plaster floor T.1:010, a heap of unburned dung (T.1:009) ca. 0.75 x 0.75 m and ca. 0.05 m thick was found. The size of this deposit suggests storage of fuel for cooking, Atop this dung heap was a patch of burned dung (T.1:008) containing a partially burned wooden plank, probably remains of a cooking fire. Its location within the sacred part of the principia suggests that this room no longer served its original function. Yet the roof was still intact, and thus the building was still suitable for shelter when this dung was deposited and partially burned.

This secondary use of the aedes was apparently brief, and the room was soon abandoned. A layer of soil (T.1:006) ca. 0.31 m deep covered both T.1:008, T.1:009 and plaster floor T.1:010 in the rest of the room.
T.1:011
Soil layer
earliest evidence of occupation in the aedes, probably due to a thorough clean-out of the room in the early sixth century. Soil layer T.1:011, a leveling layer over bedrock, yielded 3 Late Roman/Early Byzantine sherds and a nummus (Coin #560) dated 491-98, a terminus post quem for deposition of this layer. T.1:011 served as bedding for a plaster floor, T.1:010.

Lack of earlier occupational material in the aedes does not preclude earlier use of the room. In line with its highly official and sacred character, the aedes almost certainly functioned throughout the history of the fort from the early fourth century. The thorough clean-out that preceded the deposition of fill T.1:011 and floor T.1:010 probably post-dated the 502 earthquake.

3rd Earthquake - undated

Godwin (2006) identified two tumble layers after the first two earthquakes suggesting wall collapse at several locations in the Castellum of Da'Janiya. Both layers are undated.

4th Earthquake - undated

Godwin (2006) identified two tumble layers after the first two earthquakes suggesting wall collapse at several locations in the Castellum of Da'Janiya. Both layers are undated.

Seismic Effects
1st Earthquake - possibly ~500 CE - transition from the Early Byzantine to the Late Byzantine period until ?

Tumble layer was described as containing architectural debris representing collapse from both the curtain wall and other walls in the room (Godwin, 2006:281).

2nd Earthquake - possibly late 6th century - 491 CE until ?

the walls collapsed, as evidenced by a massive layer of tumbled stone in the upper portion of T1:006 (Godwin, 2006:283)

3rd Earthquake - undated

Godwin (2006) identified two tumble layers after the first two earthquakes suggesting wall collapse at several locations in the Castellum of Da'Janiya. Both layers are undated.

4th Earthquake - undated

Godwin (2006) identified two tumble layers after the first two earthquakes suggesting wall collapse at several locations in the Castellum of Da'Janiya. Both layers are undated.

Intensity Estimates
1st Earthquake - possibly ~500 CE - transition from the Early Byzantine to the Late Byzantine period until ?

Effect Description Intensity
Collapsed Walls architectural debris overlaid floor T7:007, representing collapse from both the curtain wall and other walls of the room. VIII +
The archeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VIII (8) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224).

2nd Earthquake - possibly late 6th century - 491 CE until ?

Effect Description Intensity
Collapsed Walls the walls collapsed, as evidenced by a massive layer of tumbled stone in the upper portion of T1:006 VIII +
The archeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VIII (8) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224).

3rd Earthquake - undated

Effect Description Intensity
Collapsed Walls VIII +
The archeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VIII (8) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224).

4th Earthquake - undated

Effect Description Intensity
Collapsed Walls VIII +
The archeoseismic evidence requires a minimum Intensity of VIII (8) when using the Earthquake Archeological Effects chart of Rodríguez-Pascua et al (2013: 221-224).

Notes and Further Reading
References

Articles and Books

Bodzek, J, Kopij, K., Miszk, L., Cwiąkala, P. u. a. (2019) Results of ‘Archaeological Study of Dajaniya & Tuwaneh’ 2018 survey of Dajaniya (Ma’an-Husseiniyeh), Southern Jordan. in Piotr Kolodziejczyk (Hrsg.): Discovering Edom. Polish archaeological activity in southern Jordan. Krakau, S. 51–67

Freeman, P. (1990:191) “Recent work on a Roman fort in south Jordan” in Akten des. 14. Internationalen Limeskongresses 1986 in Carnuntum. (1990).

Akten des. 14. Internationalen Limeskongresses 1986 in Carnuntum. (1990). Austria: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademic der Wissenschaften.

Parker, S. T. (1986). Romans and Saracens: A History of the Arabian Frontier.  United States: American Schools of Oriental Research. - can be borrowed with a free account from archive.org

Parker, S. T. (1988). Preliminary Report on the 1985 Season of the Limes Arabicus Project. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Supplementary Studies, 25, 131–174.

Parker, S. T. (1990) The Limes Arabicus Project: The 1989 Campaign ADAJ 34

Parker, S. T., Betlyon, J.W., and Toplyn, M.R. (1990) Preliminary Report on the 1987 Season of the Limes Arabicus Project (= Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Supplementary Studies 26). Preliminary Reports of ASOR-Sponsored Excavations 1983-1987, The American Schools of Oriental Research, pp. 89-136

Parker, S. T. (1991). Preliminary Report on the 1989 Season of the Limes Arabicus Project. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Supplementary Studies, 27, 117–154.

Sauer, J.A. (1973) Heshbon pottery 1971. A preliminary report on the pottery from the 1971 excavations at Tell Ḥesbân (= Andrews University monographs 7), Andrews University Press, Berrien Springs - used by Parker in Limes Arabicus excavations in Jordan - can be borrowed with a free account at archive.org



Excavation Reports

Parker, S.T. (2006) The Roman Frontier in Central Jordan: Final Report on the Limes Arabicus Project, 1980–1989, Washington

Parker, S. T. (ed.) (2006) The Roman Frontier in Central Jordan. Final Report on the Limes Arabicus Project, 1980–1989 . Volume 2 (= Dumbarton Oaks Studies 40), Washington, DC, 2006, ISBN 978-0-88402-298-5.



Websites

Karak Resources Project - Castella in Arabia

Orphan Plan ?

  • Fig. 41 - Plan of the Castellum at Da'janiya showing excavation squares from Parker (1986) - possibly mislabeled and from another Castellum

Wikipedia pages

Wikipedia page for Da Janiya (in German) - excellent reference section

  • from wikipedia - click link to open page in a separate tab and then use your browser to translate the page


Wikipedia page for Limes Arabicus