Damiya Dolmen Field – Jordan - Atlas Obscura

Damiya Dolmen Field

This ancient stone necropolis is in danger of disappearing. 


The megalithic tombs are known as “dolmen” can be found in countries across the world, and in each case, the delicate standing stones are in danger of being toppled. 

This has never more true than in the case of the Damiya Dolmen Field in the Jordan Valley, if only thanks to the sheer number of structures. Consisting of around 300 dolmen dating back to between 3600 and 3000 BCE, the arid fields are being encroached on all sides by the march of progress. The average dolmen at the site stands around one meter tall and between three and seven meters long, depending on the size of the massive rocks they are made of.  The cut-stone burial sites are under attack from various quarrying operations whose destructive practices threaten to wipe the historic graves from the face of the Earth. Given the age and rudimentary construction of the squat tombs, they are quite fragile and collapse easily.

The constant threats to the Damiya Dolmen Field have attracted the attention of preservation organizations as the World Monuments Fund who placed the site on their 2010 watch list, resulting in a planned archeological park at the site. Unfortunately, the protective undertaking would require a great deal of funds and support, and to this end, the fields were placed once again on the Fund’s 2014 watch list. After centuries of protecting the dead, this site may not be able to protect itself.   


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