Um al- Zeitoun archeological ponds narrate chapters of Sweida rich history

Sweida, SANA – Sweida province is famous for its archeological ponds which spread in a number of its villages and the two ponds of Um al- Zeitoun in the northern countryside of the province are an example on the human creativity in the adaption with nature.

Head of Sweida Antiquities Department, Dr. Nashat Kiwan told SANA that the ponds have been considered as one of the most important water resources throughout different eras, as the Nabateans, who lived in the area, were famous for building them particularly in the 2nd   and 1st centuries BC and the 1st AD.

Kiwan noted that after that era, the residents of al-Arab mountain in the province have continued to build new ponds in the Roman and Byzantine ages and in the Islamic reign, noting that the pond was established in Rimat al-Lahaf during the reign of Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al- Malik as well as Salkhad pond are the best evidence on that.

Kiwan added that it is more likely that the two ponds of al-Zeitoun were built in the Roman era, pointing out that the one of them was used for collecting water and it was named al-Makin, from which water is flowing to the neighboring pond after the water stagnates and the impurities are removed from it.

It is worth mentioning that Um al- Zeitoun village is located to the north of the volcanic hill of Shihan, 6km away from Shahba city and 24 km away from Sweida city about, and it is considered one of the villages which is established by demobilized soldiers from the Roman Army.

The village contains archeological monuments dating back to Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine and Arab-Islamic eras, the most famous of which is the building of “sacred Kalybe” which is a place of worship dating back to the 3rd century AD, in addition to facilities for water storage carved in the rock.

Hybah Sleman/ Ruaa al-Jazaeri

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