Located 17 km southwest of Madaba, Jordan, Khirbet Safra is a 2.6-acre hilltop site offering spectacular views of the Dead Sea and the Wilderness of Judea to the west, as well as the Wadi Zarqa Ma’in and the Jordanian highlands to the east. The site also dominates the road to Ma’in Hot Springs, which passes by at the base of the hill.
While Safra’s ancient name remains unknown, early Iron Age settlers established a walled settlement at the site sometime during the 13th century B.C.E. Iron Age Safra boasts a casemate fortification system, a large, central structure that possibly served as an administrative building, and a well-preserved gate complex. Destroyed by fire during the 11th century B.C.., Safra was quickly reoccupied and rebuilt. Settlement at the site continued until the mid-ninth century B.C.E., when Safra was destroyed a second time, either by seismic activity or by a human agent, possibly at the hands of the Moabite king Mesha, mentioned in 2 Kings 3. Aside from some activity of unknown duration at the site during the Byzantine period, Safra was not resettled.
May 8 - June 10, 2022
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
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Paul Gregor: Andrews University