02 May, 2013

Ajloun Castle Museum

Within Ajloun Castle (Qal'at Ar-Rabad), is a small, but interesting museum: the Ajloun Archaeological Museum (founded in 1993) which exhibits an extensive, excavated collection of pottery, ceramics, glass bottles, stone tools, metalwork, coins, fragments of buildings with intricate drawings and inscriptions, and other artifacts dating from 1000 BC to 1918 AD. I have noticed that most of those visiting the Castle ignore the museum. Any one visiting the Castle, should visit the museum to have a much better understanding of the Great Salah al-Din Al Ayyubi, the history of the Castle and the people who lived in it and around it through thousands of years.
The entrance of Ajlun castle museum - within the Castle. The Museum is very clean and well organized.
Storage jars with holes for hanging (3500 BC to 1200). On display in the Museum are collections excavated within and around the Castle, and from in and around Ajlun.
Small bowl, storage jar and jugs (Roman Period).
Steatite, pottery pipes; clay spindle whorls; and grinding stones. Most of the artifacts on display in the Museum are still intact and have been well preserved.
Grinding stones. These were used to grind seeds and other dry stuff for food, for medicine etc..
Storage jar and large jug (Ayyubid and Mamluk Period).
Nobody knows what these cone-shaped vessels made of dark grey or black pottery were really used for. Were they for perfumes or other form of liquids or were they used for military purposes, as grenades?
A bowl from the Ayyubid/Mamluk Period. And a storage jar from the 6th Century AD.
Storage jars and bowls with decorations from the Ayyubid/Mamluk period dating back from 1174 AD to 1516 AD.
Small perfume jars from the Early Bronze Age (3500 BC to 1200 BC). Bronze, silver, stones and clay were the most used during those ancient periods.
Water jugs and bowls.
An oil lamp.
Bowls, jugs and other clay artifacts.
Jars, vases, bottles, bowls and other vessels were also made of glass or marble.
Glass bottles and vases used in the Byzantine Period. Some were used in churches and during funerals.
Lamps and jug.
Jugs, bowls and plate.
Jugs made of clay of different shapes.
Jugs from the 3rd Century BC. As you move through the Museum, there are placards with descrptions and a summary of what is/are displayed. Should you need more details, the attendants can assist you.
Silver necklace. Rings made of bronze, silver and glass. Glazing beads. A belt buckle, copper bracelets, copper spoons and tongs.
Byzantine Fils used from the Byzantine to the Omayyad Period.
Grinding stones.
Projectile stones used for warfare. The average weight of each of these 'missiles' is about 50kg. and had a range of about 50 meters. The heaviest 'missile' used by Muslims, in the 12th/13th Century AD - had a weight of about 230kg. with a range of about 300 meters.
Within the museum are several old parts of buildings. The large stone on the lower right is inscribed in Arabic.
There are also several mosaics. Within the Museum, just as it is within the whole Castle - is clean and well maintained.
Through time and the ages, many people and cultures occupied and ruled Ajloun and this castle. All have left their marks.
Many of these old parts were finely, and intricately curved; or had wonderful inscriptions on them.
Being here, one can only reflect back at those very old periods and wonder at how people then, using simple tools, could create all these wonderful items.

Within the magnificent Castle, we are taken back in time to view the old and ancient: the pottery, the vases, the bottles, the jars, the jugs, the mosaics and the many old parts are an excellent reminder of how glorious this old Castle's past was and how advanced, creative and ingenious the people who lived here were.

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