Qasr al-Radhm

The Qasr al Radhm (قصر الرضم) is a sixth century BCE palace in al Mubbayat, Tayma prbably built by King Nabonidus. Tayma served as a residence of the Babylonian king Nabonidus in the mid-6th century BCE. While his stay here at Tayma Nabonidus built several structures, including Qasr al-Radham, whose remains are these. Tayma was an important oasis, from where lucrative Arabian trade routes could be controlled. The Assyrians before him had already attempted to do the same. The earliest remains of settlement consist of the remains of a silex-industry for the production of beads (probably of the 4th millennium BCE).

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circa 550 CE

Nabonidus was the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, reigning from 556-539 BC. He took the throne after the assassination of the boy-king Labashi-Marduk. These are believed to be the remains of Nabonidus' palace (Qasr al Radhm) at al Mubbayat, Tayma. During his stay, Nabonidus adorned Tayma with a complex of royal buildings, most of which have come to light during recent excavations.

circa 550 CE

The palace is located on the western side of Taima. It is rectangular in shape with a length of 34 × 25 meter, and the height of its walls goes up to 3.5 meters. The thickness may reach up to two meters. These walls were supported by pillars of stones in the corners, middle and outside. The building of the palace dates back to the Iron age in the first half of a sixth century BCE. The Palace (Qasr) complex had its own well (inspect) in the the central courtyard.

circa 550 CE

Built out of dressed basalt stone, today the stones have been defaced with a large number of graffiti.

circa 550 CE

circa 550 CE

It is not clear yet why Nabonidus stayed in Tayma for so long. One reason for going there, is that Tayma was an important oasis, from where lucrative Arabian trade routes could be controlled. The Assyrians before him had already attempted to do the same. However, why Nabonidus stayed for so long (probably about ten years, perhaps from 553–543 BC) and why he returned when he did remain unresolved questions. It has been proposed that this was because he did not feel at home in Babylon, which was opposed to his emphasis on Sîn.

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