Articles/The layered history of Dumat Al-Jandal

The layered history of Dumat Al-Jandal

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03 FEB 2021

Source: Abeer Al-Amoudi

To truly experience several layers of history in one place, you must visit Dumat Al-Jandal in Al-Jouf region. Its name literally means “Dumah of the Stone” since this was the territory of Dumah, one of the 12 sons of Ismail bin Ibrahim as mentioned in the Assyrian texts from the 18th century BC. The city was also called in the past “Jouf Al-Amr” after its ancient inhabitants, the Al-Amr tribe of Tayya. In addition, the site’s ancient Akkadian name was “Adummatu”. Dumat Al-Jandal was a major intersection of ancient trade routes linking Mesopotamia and Syria with Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula. Its ruins reflect Assyrian and Nabatean architecture. The location has been cited by many historians and poets including Al-Mutanabbi.


The historically significant neighborhood Al Dar'i is located between the Omar Bin Al-Khattab Mosque – a stone building constructed in the 17th year of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) migration – and Mard fortress, one of the most important archaeological castles in the north.
The area’s facilities date back to the middle Islamic ages, while its archaeological sites date back to the mid-first millennium BC.

Mard Castle

Also called Mard Fortress, the castle was built from stone in the second or third millennium BC and features several rooms, four towers used for reconnaissance and two deep wells. Surrounding the castle is a wall with niches for observation, protection and artillery. The fort reflects civilization and architecture in the medieval Islamic era.

Stone buildings 

The neighborhood is characterized by stone buildings and lanes between orchards and streams of water near where residents used to live. The neighborhood is built on the ruins of earlier civilizations; the archaeological site is typically made up of multiple layers, each denoting a particular civilization. In addition, old district roads have been uncovered under existing buildings that are connected to each other with interspersed alleys. The construction of some of the stone houses incorporates arches and two floors.