chapter  18
13 Pages

Alois Musil in and around the Madaba Plains

ByUdo Worschech

On September 16, he started at 5:38 am moving up the steep slope of Nwei’me in a northerly direction. From the top of the hill they were impressed by the spectacular view they had across the Dead Sea towards the hills of Judah and the shore of the Dead Sea below. At 5:55 am they came to a square building called ‘Arsa Suleiman Ibn Daud. According to Musil this building commemorated a famous sheikh of the Mamluk or Ayyubid period. The place is holy to the Hamide who bury their dead outside the building, and place offerings inside the yard where the large tomb (ca. 7 x 1.60 m) of the sheikh can be seen. The Hamide also kill sheep inside the yard, pour oil on the stones of the tomb, and spread blood on the four corners of the tomb. At the south side of the yard is a broad room with a mihrab in the southern wall.