A gem of empires, Dhiban surrounded by questions

 From the Jordan Times
On the King’s Highway, between the mosaic city of Madaba and the dramatic gorge of Wadi Mujib, stand the remnants of a town that defied the odds.

Some 70 kilometres south of Amman, Tel Dhiban was a center of commerce and culture throughout the ages.

What sets Dhiban apart from other cities of antiquity in Jordan is its inhospitable location: There are no major water sources above ground or underground near the area, which receives little rain.

Despite its arid surroundings, the area of Dhiban has been a prized conquest of empires and the capital of various kingdoms for over four millennia.

The history of Dhiban dates back to the Early Bronze Age, in 3100BC, when the first settlers built mud-brick houses on the hill….

Teams from Knox College, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Liverpool among others have been working at Dhiban over the past few years to learn more about the city and its role through the ages…