Settlement Areas, Wall on Jebel Qatar



Settlement Areas, Wall on Jebel Qatar

On our many visits to Jebel Qatar, we usually have one of two destinations: the Hanging Gardens and the 'tourist route' to the summit. However, as other visitors to the mountain know, there are many other sites of interest, including the houses, graves and terraces located near the Hanging Gardens.

However, about midway between the Hanging Gardens and the route to the summit, there are two more recent settlement sites and sections of a substantial wall. The wall, with what appear to be rifle slots, is almost certainly built for defensive purposes as it is located between the settlements and the slopes leading up from the plain to the rubble field below the escarpment.

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The view from the field of boulders below the escarpment
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The geology here is challenging with so much debris that has fallen from the escarpment
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A gnarled tree, almost certainly the work of hungry donkeys; there is a large herd of feral donkeys on the mountain
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Pottery in the settlement areas is very common, almost all of it recent
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Red pottery the remains of a cooking pot
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The outline of a shelter built against this vertical rock face
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The GPS position (right) and a failing device (left)
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The settlement appears to be to the right of this formation, based on pottery finds
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Another view of this interesting formation
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Glazed pottery, probably from Iraq and Iran, is also in abundance
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Inclusions of stone in the rock in the area
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Salt water seashells are also in abundance
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Pottery rims and handles
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Modern glass ware suggesting occupation as little as 50 years ago
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More red clay cooking pots
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The base of a green-glaze pot
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Potsherd (right) and deceiving stone (left)
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The glassy blue-green glaze pottery is easy to spot
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The settlement area is located behind this small rise
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Graves in the area of the settlements are few in number suggesting a brief period of occupation
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Another of the classic Islamic mountain graves we see in many places
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A view up the approaching slope of one section of the wall
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The wall runs along the ridge and down across this depression
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In some sections the wall is in poor condition but is still evident
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Even as it crosses a rock outcrop it is still about a half a meter in height
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The view down on the plain from the wall
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Most of the wall is about a meter in height with a few openings such as this one
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The longest continuous section of wall is about 400 meters in length
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The wall is only a single row of stone
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Another view of the longest section of wall with the meter stick
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The wall is well constructed but the stones are not close fitting as we see in houses
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The wall would be difficult to vault
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Curiously the wall seems to just end
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Another section of wall with the escarpment in the background


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