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    The Citadelthe Citadel Amman, Jordan
    The Amman Citadel or the Jabal al-Qal'a is the national historic site located in the heart of downtown Amman, Jordan, and called Jabal al-Qal'a in Arabic, the L shaped hill is one of the seven jabals that would originally make up Amman, with excellent evidence of occupation since the pottery Neolithic period, that has been discovered and making it the oldest continuously inhabited places on the earth. The citadel's history represents important civilizations that had stretched across the continents and prospered for centuries as one empire gave rise to another, and the birthplace of three enormous monolithic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The earliest settlement began here over 7000 years ago, and the site itself represents a passage of time in an open-air museum that offers you the opportunity to explore a great aspect of the history of mankind. This site has Biblical references, has been besieged by wars, crushed by earthquakes, been associated with iconic deities and home to profoundly different cultures. The citadel is also the site of the first national archaeological museum that is now home to many extraordinary relics in its collections along with other historic Jordanian sites. There is a large area that is still undiscovered and unexcavated, containing outstanding opportunities for future discoveries, and with the many advances in modern exploration, these areas may well be excavated very soon.

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    Qasr al-KharranaQasr al-Kharrana Amman, Jordan
    The Qasr Kharrana is considered one of the best known desert castles in eastern Jordan, some 37 miles east of Amman, and close to the border with Saudi Arabia, and believed to have been constructed sometime before the 8th century, this based on one of the graffito that was found in one of the upper rooms, although there are visible Sassanid influences. There might have been a Byzantine or Greek house located on the site originally, but regardless, this castle is one of the earliest examples of Islamic architecture in the area. Its purpose is and has been unclear, since the term castle is a misnomer since the interior arrangement holds no suggestion of a military use and the slits in the walls couldn't have been designed for arrows. It could have been a caravanserai or resting place for traders, although it lacks a water source that such structures usually have close by, and it is not located on any of the old major trade routes. It is quite well-preserved, and since it is now located close to a major highway, and a short drive from Amman, it has become somewhat of a popular desert castle.

January 12, 2014