|Khirbet el-Fityan||Arabic||كهيربيت يلءفيتيان|
Potential earthquake destruction layers were identified at the
of Khirbet el-Fityan but there was insufficient dating evidence to make positive identifications. There may be some archeoseismic evidence from Iron Age II but more extensive excavations would be required
to identify and date it. There could also be some Early Bronze Age archeoseismic evidence in the area but again systematic excavations would likely be required.
The Southern Cyril Quake of 363 CE and possibly
the ~500 CE Negev Quake may have both left a mark but their impact is
unknown on the basis of the existing evidence (
Richard and Parker, 1987). There was a
complete absence of Late Byzantine (i.e. sixth century) pottery from [excavations at] the site
Richard and Parker, 1987). Thus, there was no dateable evidence for the late 6th century
Inscription at Areopolis Quake. Above Early Byzantine occupation layers
were some tumbled stones but these were not dated and whether they were created by seismic events or intrusive activities such as stone robbing was not ascertained.
|Stratum Period||Approximate Dates||Comments|
|Early Bronze Age||ca. 3300-2200 BCE||
No stratified deposits of this period were encountered in the excavations. However, a few Early Bronze (i.e. third millennium B.C.) sherds were found in the 1980 soundings, always mixed with later material. Given the value of Fityan as an observation post and its proximity to the large fortified Early Bronze Age site at a lower elevation directly across the wadi, it seems possible that some sort of small satellite Early Bronze Age settlement existed at Fityan. Stratified remains of this period were probably largely obliterated by later inhabitants, particularly the Roman military, who cleared much of the area to bedrock before constructing their internal structures. It remains possible that isolated pockets of this presumed Early Bronze occupation might survive somewhere on the site.
|Iron II||ca. 900-539 BCE||
Although the evidence is quite limited, it appears that the enclosure wall of the Roman Castellum was built atop an Iron II foundation. This raises the real possibility that a substantial Iron Age structure, perhaps a Moabite fort, once occupied the site. More extensive excavation obviously is needed to test this possibility.
|Early Roman/Nabatean||ca. 63 BCE - 135 CE||
A few sherds of this period were recovered by the 1976 survey. A significant number of Early Roman sherds appeared in the four soundings excavated at Khirbet el-Fityan, but always mixed with later material. This fact, combined with the presence of substantial Early Roman occupation at Rujm Beni Yasser 1.5 km east of Lejjun and the presence of Early Roman pottery from the legionary fortress itself, suggests the likelihood of some Nabataean occupation of Fityan. But again, as with the presumed Early Bronze and Iron Age occupations, the activities associated with the Late Roman builders completely removed all Early Roman stratification in the excavated areas.
|Late Roman||ca. 284-324 CE||
The latest pottery from the soil layers above [pavements D.1:028 and D.1:029 of the northern gateway were] Late Roman, providing a terminus ante quem for the construction of the gateway. ... The bonding of the western tower with the pier and the pier with the threshold suggested that all were constructed simultaneously. ... Since the foundations of all these gateway structures in D.1 were not excavated, their construction must be dated to the Late Roman period on the basis of the section through the west enclosure wall (D.4).
|Early Byzantine||ca. 324-502 CE||
Evidence of Early Byzantine occupation appeared in both the northern gateway and the barracks.
|Late Ottoman||ca. 1900-1918||
There is little evidence of human activity at Khirbet el-Fityan between the end of the fifth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. However, it seems likely that the site was used for occasional bedouin burials over this long period. Surface sherding in 1976 yielded two late Ottoman sherds and the subsequent soundings in 1980 produced about 50 similar sherds, all from the upper layers of the D.2-3 barracks. Above the Early Byzantine occupation layers (D.2:013, D.3:015), a series of layers of tumbled stones and windblown loess soil were encountered (D.2:002, 007, 009; D.3:002, 003, 004, 009, 010). These layers contained Late Ottoman pottery and some objects commonly associated with bedouin graves, such as glass and amber beads, finger rings of bronze and silver, a fragment of fabric, and a bronze disc with a punch hole (probably a coin reused as an ornament). The grave of a child (D.3:012) was found in the northwest corner of room D.3. Several of the tumble layers yielded disarticulated human bones. It seems likely that several other individuals were once interred in these rooms but that their skeletons were badly disturbed by scavengers or stone robbing.
Considerable quarrying and stone robbing has occurred since the early twentieth century, as evidenced by a comparison between the photographs of Brannow and von Domaszewski and the current state of the site.
Below is the pottery material recovered by Parker and his crew in 1976. A total of 207 sherds were picked up, of which 56 were examined more closely.  
 Chronological periods and dates follow Parker's 2006 account: 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.
 Parker, S. T. (1976) Archaeological Survey of the "Limes Arabicus". A Preliminary Report. In: Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 21, p. 24.
|11||iron age II||ca. 900–539 BC Chr.|
|5||early Roman-Nabataean||about 63 BC -135 AD|
|1 (questionable)||late Roman II-III||circa 193-284|
|30||late Roman IV||circa 284-324|
|4||Early Byzantine I-II||circa 324-400|
|2||late ottoman||circa 1703-1918|
During his research expeditions to the late antique Limes Arabicus , Parker drew up a stratigraphic scheme that served as a simplified assignment for the secured Roman and Byzantine finds and features.  
 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.
 Chronological periods and dates follow Parker's 2006 account: 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.
|vb||early Byzantine I||324-363|
|v.a||early Byzantine II||363-400|
|IV||Early Byzantine III−IV||400-502|
|III||late Byzantine I−II||502-551|
Exposure of both faces of the western enclosure wall (D.4:002) revealed that it stood upon an earlier and narrower foundation wall (D.4:009), only 0.98 m wide and surviving just two courses (0.42 m) high. Wall D.4:009 in turn rested upon bedrock. The early wall yielded only two . sherds; both were Iron II. The loci against the interior (eastern) face of the wall consisted of four distinct layers of wall tumble (D.4:004, 005, 006, 007). These layers contained predominately Late Roman/Early Byzantine sherds and a few Early Roman/Nabataean and Iron Age sherds, including typical Moabite painted pottery. These tumble layers in turn rested on an earthen floor (D.4:008) that yielded two Late Roman/Early Byzantine and 3 Iron II sherds. Under the floor was an almost completely sterile fill layer (D.4:010) which rested on bedrock.
Against the western (exterior) face of Wall D.4:009 was D.4:013, a facing 0.80 m thick which widened the wall sufficiently to serve as a foundation for Wall D.4:002. This secondary wall, as seen below, is clearly of Late Roman date. Thus although the excavated portion of D.4:013 produced no artifactual evidence for dating, it seems logical to conclude it was built by the Romans to broaden the existing Iron Age Wall D.4:009 in preparation for their own much more substantial enclosure wall. As was the case within the fort, the Roman construction operation presumably removed all Iron Age stratification associated with Wall D.4:009, perhaps accounting for the relative abundance of Iron II pottery mixed with the Late Roman material.
Therefore, although the evidence is quite limited, it appears that the enclosure wall of the Roman Castellum was built atop an Iron II foundation. This raises the real possibility that a substantial Iron Age structure, perhaps a Moabite fort, once occupied the site. More extensive excavation obviously is needed to test this possibility.
The corridor/staircase within the western tower may have collapsed during this period. It contained a thick layer of ashy soil with many tumbled stones with the latest pottery dated Early Byzantine.
The impact of the 363 [JW: Cyril Quakes] and 502 [JW: 502 CE Fire in the Sky Quake is too far away - the ~500 CE Negev Quake is a better candidate] earthquakes on Khirbet el-Fityan is unknown on the basis of the existing evidence. Tumble layers from the barracks yielded Early Byzantine sherds, but most also contained Late Ottoman pottery. A series of tumble layers against both faces of enclosure wall (D.4:003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 011) and overlying the the northern gateway (D.1:011, 016, 017, 034) produced no pottery later than Early Byzantine, raising the possibility that these portions of the enclosure had collapsed by the end of the fifth century.
complete absence of Late Byzantine (i.e. sixth century) pottery from the siteit was not possible to date any late Byzantine archaeoseismic evidence and suggest that the Castellum of Khirbet el-Fitnan
was abandoned by the end of the fifth century, at least a half century before the legionary fortress [at el-Lejjun]. They also mention the possibility that
Late Byzantine stratificationwas
destroyed by the Late Ottoman occupation.
Parker, S. T. (1976) Archaeological Survey of the "Limes Arabicus". A Preliminary Report. In: Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 21
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
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