Khirbat al-Mana‘iyya: an early Islamic-period copper-smelting site in south-eastern Wadi ‘Araba, Jordan

Ian W.N. Jones*, Erez Ben-Yosef, Brita Lorentzen, Mohammad Najjar, Thomas E. Levy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Recent excavations in south-eastern Wadi ‘Araba in Jordan have revealed the first early Islamic-period copper-smelting site known in the eastern side of the valley, which extends south of the Dead Sea to the Gulf of ‘Aqaba. Five test pits were excavated in 2012 at Khirbat al–Mana‘iyya, a prominent copper-smelting camp in south-eastern Wadi ‘Araba, Jordan. The results of these excavations demonstrate that the site was primarily active in the seventh–ninth century AD. Its distance from the copper sources of south-west ‘Araba suggests that its location was chosen based on proximity to wood and water resources, rather than copper ore deposits. The discovery that the site dates to the early Islamic period has implications for previous and future work in south-east ‘Araba. In particular, it challenges the common—until now—view of the region as virtually devoid of settlement during this period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-314
Number of pages18
JournalArabian Archaeology and Epigraphy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2017


FundersFunder number
Katzin Family Foundation
Kershaw and Katzin Family Foundations
National Science FoundationDGE-0966375, -0966375
FP7 People: Marie-Curie Actions334274
Palestine Exploration Fund
Seventh Framework Programme


    • Jordan
    • copper
    • early Islamic
    • mining
    • smelting
    • southern ‘Araba
    • ‘Abbasid


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