LOCATION: the ridge on the western side of the complex
DIMENSIONS: ca. 7 x 6 m
INTERPRETATION: a room belonging to a large structure (see Trench
K) which existed at the site in the Nabataean-Roman times, i.e.,
before the monastic/pilgrimage complex was built. The function of the
room during the Byzantine period is unknown.
DESCRIPTION: the excavations exposed a large, well-built room
with 3 arches, which features several phases of occupation. Its original
walls were built of large ashlars, in Nabataean style. Probably, the
room was originally two-story high, the lower one supported by arches.
Only a floor buildup is evidenced for this phase. Following a (seismic?)
disaster, the room was rebuilt. The arches received supportive walls,
and a new floor was laid out which consisted of layers of mortar, flat
stones and a plastered top surface. Another disaster ended this phase
of occupation but the room was again rebuilt, including the arches and
their supporting installations. A new mortar floor was laid out ca 30
cm higher than the earlier one. In the center of the room a pit was
dug, probably a storage place for food or valuables. After another damage
the room was gradually abandoned.