Salkhad (Arabic: صلخد) a Sirian ceety that is locatit in the As-Suwayda Govrenorate. It is the caipital o the Salkhad Destrict, ane o the govrenorate's three destricts. It haes a population o 15,000 inhabitants.
It is locatit at 1350 metres abuin sea level in the central Jabal el Druze heichlands.
History[eedit | eedit soorce]
Mentioned several times in the Bible as "Salcah", as a settlement in biblical Bashan. Durin the seicont century BC Salcah wis a flourishin Nabataean ceety, where the gods Dushara an Allat wur worshiped. Efterwards it wis incorporatit intae the Roman province o Arabie, it wis ane o the important ceeties in Hauran durin Roman an later Byzantine epochs, Salkhad is indicatit in the Madaba mosaic map o the saxt century AD.
Due tae the strategic position o the ceety owerleukin Hauran plains tae the wast, the Ayyubid dynasty built a fortress in Salkhad atween 1214 - 1247 tae coonter a possible attack o the Crusades intae inner Hauran. It haes an aa been said that Al-Afdal wis exiled here bi his uncle an brither.
The importance o the ceety decreased efter the Crusades, an it wis occasionally owerrun bi Bedouins seekin pasture in the simmer for their flocks.
A number o Greek orthodox Christians, o Ghassanid ancestry, successively remained in the region. Salkhad an the adjacent region wut re-inhabitit bi Druze families frae Munt Lebanon in the late 17t, 18t an 19t centuries.
Durin Ottoman times the ceety enjoyed a feudal-type autonomy like muckle o the Jabal el Druze aurie unner the chieftaincy o Al-Hamdan family an later Al-Atrash family, mony battles against Ottoman Turks teuk place in this region bi the locals tae maintain their autonomy.
In the early 20t century the ceety wis pairt o the 1921-1936 Druze state unner the French Mandate o Sirie, the state wis gradually incorporatit intae Sirie efter the Great Sirian Revolt o 1925-1927 led bi Sultan Al-Atrash.
The ceety nou is the centre o Salkhad destrict o As Suwayda govrenorate, it is the soothmaist destrict in Sirie.
Airchaeology[eedit | eedit soorce]
The fortress o Salkhad is the maist important monument locatit in a hill inside the ceety , built atween 1214-1247 bi the Ayyubid dynasty as a pairt o their defences against the crusades. It is said that this fortress wur built in the site o aulder Roman fortifications. A hexagonal basalt minaret still staundin intact in the ceety’s main square. Mony Roman auld time hooses, still partially inhabitit bi locals. Nabatean, Roman an Ayyubid Tombs are an aa there wi decorative motifs.