4.3 Tower height

Because the towers of WF1415 did not survive intact, it is not possible to know for certain the height of the building. However, a comparison with other appropriate structures can be used to create an approximation.

The Limes Arabicus Project conducted a survey exploring the military frontier in central Jordan. This project has documented a well-preserved example of a limes tower, Qasr Abu Rukba, which survives to 7.7m in height (Parker 2006, fig. 2.11). However, Qasr Abu Rukba was a free-standing tower (10x10m) and, in the author's judgement, not an entirely appropriate comparison given that WF1415 was a larger structure. Other scholars have offered estimations of the height of towers that were incorporated into buildings. Hermon and Fabian used the remains of the towers and graffiti that were found on a local building to infer a tower height of 12m at the Avdat military camp (2002, 106). A Roman military fort, Tabus, located in the Euphrates valley, was estimated to have had 15m high towers (Lönnqvist et al. 2005). However, the lack of large traditional military structures in the Faynan suggests that there was no permanent military force in the region, and forts are not the most appropriate examples.

In order to account for the possible variations, a range of heights are modelled to assess the differences. Viewsheds were created with the height of WF1415 set at 8m, 10m, and 12m (human height is included in the totals).


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Last updated: Tue Nov 3 2009