Iraq al-Amir

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`Iraq al Amir
`Iraq al Amir is located in Jordan
`Iraq al Amir
`Iraq al Amir
Location in Jordan
Coordinates: 31°55′N 35°45′E / 31.917°N 35.750°E / 31.917; 35.750Coordinates: 31°55′N 35°45′E / 31.917°N 35.750°E / 31.917; 35.750
CountryFlag of Jordan.svg Jordan
GovernorateAmman Governorate
Time zoneUTC + 2

Iraq al-Amir or Araq el-Amir (Arabic:عراق الأمير - literally, "Caves of The Prince"), is the name shared by a town and nearby caves, within the municipality of Amman in the Jordan Valley. Located about 15 km southwest of the town of Wadi as-Seer, it has a population of about 6000 people, mostly members of the tribe of Abbadi. During the Greek Macedonian occupation, Iraq al -Amir was known under the Greek name Tyros. Ptolemy Philadelpus built the city, transferring population from Tyre in Phoenicia. It is located on the hills with high and medium altitude, the area has many springs, and is famous for its olive trees, in addition to other forest trees. About 0.5 km south of the town is located the so-called Al-Iraq historical site, marked by the partially restored palace (known colloquially as Qasr Al-Abd, (literally, "Palace of the Servant") perhaps an ironic reference to the name etched in the caves nearby, believed to be the name of the owner of said estate. See link below for more information) which was built during the Hellenistic period, around the 3rd century BC, and reused under Byzantine rule before being destroyed by an earthquake. There are many caves in the hills which were inhabited during the Copper Age. In the summer of 2018, Qasr Al-Abd was renovated by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiques. More stone pathways were created around the structure and a building now houses a small theatre that plays an animation, narrated in Arabic and subtitled in French. The animation illustrates what is thought to be the original vision for the dwelling, a summer lodge, surrounded by water, to give the illusion of a boat floating in a sea.

Iraq Al-Amir is home to the Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Cooperative. The Iraq Al-Amir Knowledge Station is located a short distance opposite the parking for the cave parking. It is next to the mosque. The cooperative involves women and girls from nearby Wadi Al Seer villages and produces hand-made paper, ceramics and clay pottery, as well as hand-woven fabrics. The fabric is crafted in a traditional manner, using a hand-weaving mill and three looms.

Iraq Al-Amir is a stop on the Jordan Trail. It is a side trip of Region 3, Salt to Wadi Zarqa (84.4 km). It is 22.3 km from Salt to Iraq Al Amir or 15.2 km from Fuheis to Iraq Al Amir. From Iraq Al-Amir, the trail makes its way to Husban (19.5 km away).

Bibliography[edit]

  • Will, E. and Larché, F., ‘Iraq al Amir, le Château du Tobiade Hyrcan. 2 vols (Paris: P. Geuthner, 1991) (BAH 132).
  • Larché, F., ‘Iraq al-Amir, le Château du Tobiade Hyrcan. Vol. II: Restitution et Reconstruction. 2 vols (Beirut: IFPO, 2005) (BAH 172).
  • Rosenberg, Stephen Gabriel, Airaq al-Amir, The Architecture of the Tobiads (Oxford: Hadrian Books, 2006) (BAR International Series 1544).
  • Rosenberg, Stephen, "Felicien de Saulcy and the Rediscovery of Tyros in Jordan," Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 138,1 (2006), 35-41.
  • 'Iraq al-Amir, guide historique et archéologique du domaine des Tobiades. Beyrouth, Guides archéologiques de l’Ifpo, 2010.

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