Detection of the lower parts of the western wall of the ancient city of Shahba

The National Exploration Mission of the Department of Antiquities of Sweida discovered the lower parts of the western wall of the archaeological city of Shahba. By this discovery they were able to show more buildings and dams that were not known before.

In a statement to SANA, Dr. Nashaat Kiwan, head of the Sweida Department, explained that during the current excavations in Khirbet Al-Juba area, they discovered that the fence of the archaeological city of Shahba contains parts of double wall.  Along the fence there is a corridor which was gradually supported by the earth's inclination towards the rock cliff.

Kiwan explained that the stone wall that surrounds Shahba was built during the reign of Emperor Philip the Arab between 244 and 249 AD to protect and fortify the city because of its geographic and geological nature. It has an irregular rectangolar form with about 1200 meters length and 1000 meters width, it is considered as the longest one in the southern region .It is penetrated by four main gates with large corridors and some defensive towers. Many parts of the fence are doubled.

Kiwan pointed out that these discoveries demonstrate the greatness of building techniques used in the past. He added that there are more archaeological monuments in Shahba, which is considered one of the most important classical cities in southern Syria and witnessed prosperity during the reign of Emperor Philip the Arab in the third century AD as it was his birthplace. So he wanted to make it an ancient city rivaling the greatest cities of the West, especially Rome. He called it the “Philippopolis”.

Some of the most prominent monuments that are still present in our days in the city, are Shahba Roman Theater and the great archaeological baths and " Philipion" cemetry which is an imperial square-shaped mausoleum built of harsh basalt stone as a funerary temple for Emperor Philip family. Among discoveries, there are the Roman Imperial Temple and the Shahba Museum which contains many Mosaic paintings.