A mysterious 150-kilometer long stone wall stretching across part of southern Jordan has tentatively been dated to pre-Roman times.
The wall, called Khatt Shebib by local Bedouin, was first documented by the British diplomat Sir Alec Kirkbride in 1948 as he flew across Jordan by plane.
Only now that the wall has been studied in detail, using low-level oblique photography from helicopters fielded by the Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East, have its complexities come to light.
Khatt Shebib actually consists of several walls, some branching off a main line, while elsewhere, double walls run side by side. Ultimately its overall length is about 150 km.
The towers along the ‘Khatt Shebib’ don’t seem to have served a military purpose: They may have been shelters from sandstorms.