Logistics at a crossroads on the southern frontier of the Mesopotamian Empires: the management of water resources in southern Transjordan
The site of as-Sila/Sela, located in the area of at-Tafileh in the southern Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, was an important settlement along the trade routes of southern Transjordan during the first millennium BC. Sela was situated in a key strategic position, four km off the King’s Highway and near modern-day Busayra, the ancient Edomite capital of Bozrah. The first results of the new research project promoted by the University of Barcelona in Sela, based on a survey and an archaeological excavation (2015-2016), have revealed a complex, well-developed system of rainwater management in the upper part of the settlement. Several water structures designed for the collection, storage, transport and distribution of rainwater were documented. The variability of typologies, dimensions, and methods of construction of the structures highlights the importance of rainwater management for the inhabitants of Sela. This paper will provide a brief description of the rainwater harvesting system used in Sela and the preliminary results of the study of the complex hydrological network, which forms the core of my doctoral thesis. The system of rainwater management in place at Sela along with its geographical location makes it a unique site for the study of the economic and social development of Transjordan under the ancient Mesopotamian Empires.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Roser Marsal, "Logistics at a crossroads on the southern frontier of the Mesopotamian Empires: the management of water resources in southern Transjordan", in: Katia Gavagnin, Rocco Palermo (Edited by), "Imperial Connections. Interactions and Expansion from Assyria to the Roman Period. Volume 2. Proceedings of the 5th “Broadening Horizons” Conference (Udine 5-8 June 2017)", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2020, pp. 71-83