LOCATION: the ridge on the western side of the complex
DIMENSIONS: ca. 7 x 7.5 m
INTERPRETATION: a part of a large structure which existed at
the site in the Nabataean-Roman times, i.e., before the monastic/pilgrimage
complex was built. The function of the structure during the Byzantine
period is unknown.
DESCRIPTION: the excavations of the central space exposed
a large structure, well-built with very large sandstone ashlars of
a type not observed anywhere at the site. The interior of the structure
was completely filled up with stones carefully laid out in layers.
Two separate systems of steps and landings led up to the top of this
structure and the adjacents ones. Possibly, the structure represents
a monumental podium for a non-preserved superstructure. An extensive
clearance of the area in front of the structure also took place exposing
a paved courtyard with two flagstone floor levels and a bench.
FINDS: Nabataean ceramics (1st century A.D.), ceramics dated
to the 4th-6th and probably 7th centuries A.D., coins, decorated marble