Qanawat Archeological Bathhouses Narrate Stories of Unique Architectural Civilization Dating Back to the 2nd Century

Qanawat archeological town in Sweida province is distinguished by its Roman, Greek, Nabataean and Islamic monuments.

Qanawat has been known throughout history for its social, economic  and religious progress as it was ruled in a way similar to the Greek cities.

The ancient bathhouses  in Qanawat town in Sweida  are of  a unique architectural  design and a vivid witness  to the region's civilization and a miniature model of the Roman bathhouses  in both Shahba and Bosra.

Archeologist ,  Hassan Hatoum, who is specialized in the region’s antiquities  told SANA  that the bathhouses , which are located in the lower western part of Qanawat consist of  several buildings which  were  built  according to the Roman imperial style in the first half of the second century AD and they include several buildings,  where they used to  accommodated about  500 persons. 

Hatoum pointed out  that the bathhouses  consist of a number of sections  and halls, which are distinguished from each other in terms of their  temperature,  as the visitors of the  bathhouses were moving from  the hot hall to the warm one  ending up with the cold hall.

The  heating channels at the bathhouses  were built with high technique  within the walls to allow the ascending   hot air to warm up the hall , in addition to  small basins for the elite figures thus providing privacy away from the eyes of other visitors. 

Qanawat bathhouses also include other halls which were allocated for playing and reading , in addition to a library, restaurant , market and smaller bathhouses.

The  archeologist Hatoum indicated that  the channels which transfer  water to the bathhouses  and  distribute it to the halls have been discovered through excavations carried out by the national excavation expedition which is affiliated to Sweida  Antiquities Department  over the past years.

The national excavation expedition   managed to identify the hot water hall and warm water hall and the steam bath section in addition to finding parts of channels near the discovered halls which draw water from the ancient reservoir or "tank" on  the top of a hill  , which used to supply the ancient  city with drinking water, while other parts from  the bathhouses are still located under the current municipality building and the mosque building adjacent to these bathhouses.

It is worth mentioning that there is an archaeological  hotel near  the bathhouses in  the southern side, which consists of  two floors and a large courtyard. It was used to the accommodation of passengers   and pilgrims  who used to come  to visit the temples and churches of “Qanawat” and “Si’a”  . The ancient hotel  dates back to the first half of the second century AD..

 

Rawaa Ghanam