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Roman army camps almost 2,000 years old discovered

In the Arabian Desert, three Roman army camps that date back to almost 2,000-years old have been found.

Researchers from the University of Oxford traced the bases of the military on Google Earth first.

Now, they suggest that the camps may serve as evidence for a Roman invasion of Saudi Arabia through the southeast Jordan in the second century.

Researchers said that the preservation of fortifications may indicate they were built during the Roman occupation of the Jordanian Nabataean kingdom in 106 AD.


The first person to identify the camps was Dr Michael Fradley. He said, “We are almost sure they were built by Roman soldiers, given the playing card shape with opposing entries along each side.”

According to Dr Fradley, the Romans built the camps as barracks for their Arabian conquest. They were only used for “a few days or weeks”.

Picture: APAAME

Professor Andrew Wilson who wrote the report for the journal Antiquity believes that the fact that the western camp is larger than the other camps gives clues as to the nature of military campaign.

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Professor Wilson asked: “Why is the western camp twice as big as the other two?” What happened to the other half of the force if the force split?

“Was the camp half-wiped out by a battle or did they stay in the western camps to resupply water to the other camps?”

The team believes that the camps formed the basis of a surprise assault on the Nabataeans after the death of Rabbel II. Soter, their last king.

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img alt=”Roman Camp Found in Arabia (Credit EAMENA).” class=”sdc-article-image__item” intrinsicsize=”768×432″ loading=”lazy” sizes=”(min-width: 1024px) 1024px, 100vw” src=”×432/skynews-roman-camp-saudi-arabia_6134263.jpg?20230426165152″ srcset=”×216/skynews-roman-camp-saudi-arabia_6134263.jpg?20230426165152 380w,×432/skynews-roman-camp-saudi-arabia_6134263.jpg?20230426165152 760w,×900/skynews-roman-camp-saudi-arabia_6134263.jpg?20230426165152 1024w,×1152/skynews-roman-camp-saudi-arabia_6134263.jpg?20230426165152 2048w”/>
Image: The locations of the Roman camps show a degree of surprise in the Roman attack. Pic: EAMENA

Dr Fradley said: “It’s amazing to see this moment of time at such a large scale.”

Roman military expert Dr Mike Bishop said: “These camp are a spectacular find and a new insight on Roman campaigning.

“Roman forts, fortresses, and temporary camps show how Rome controlled a province. But they also reveal how it was acquired.”


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