Archeological bathhouses in Qanawat…unique architectural style dating back to 2nd century AD

Sweida, SANA- Archeological bathhouses in Qanawat town bear a unique architectural witness on the region’s civilization as they represent a miniature model of the Roman bathhouses in each of Shahba and Bursa.

Archeologist, Hasan Hatoum who is specialized in the region’s antiquities said that the bathhouses which are located in the lower western part of Qanawat consist of several buildings which were built according to the Roman imperial style in the first half of the 2nd century A.D., and they include several buildings where they used to accommodate for about 500 persons.

Hatoum indicated that the bathhouses consist of a number of halls which are different from each other in terms of their temperature as the visitors of the bathhouses were moving from the hot hall to the warm one ending up with the cold hall.

The heating channels at the bathhouses were built within the walls according to a high technique to allow the ascending hot air to warm up the hall, in addition to the existence of several small in every hall as small basins for the elite figures between the halls to endow them with full independency away from the eyes of the other visitors of the bathhouses.

Qanawat bathhouses also include other halls which were allocated for playing and reading, in addition to a library, restaurant, market, and smaller bathhouses.

He noted that the channels which transfer water to the bathhouses and distribute it to the halls were discovered through excavations carried out by the national excavation expedition which is affiliated to Sweida Antiquities Department over past years as it managed to identify the hot water hall and warm water hall, and the steam bath section, in addition to finding a part of channels , near the discovered halls, which draw water from the  ancient reservoir or  “tank” on the top of the ancient city which used to feed the ancient city with drinking water while other parts from bathhouses are still under the current municipality building .

It noteworthy that there is an archeological hotel near the building of the bathhouses in the southern side which consists of two floors and a large yard, and it was used for the accommodation of the passengers and pilgrims who used to come to visit the temples and churches of “Qanawat and Si’a”. The ancient hotel dates back to the first half of the 2nd century A.D.

Hybah Sleman/ Ruaa al-Jazaeri

 

 

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