Dhiban is a modern town in
Jordan, approximately 70 kilometers south of Amman and east of
Ancient Dhiban with modern settlement
in the background, looking south
Previously nomadic, the modern community
settled the town in the 1950s. Today, Dhiban is approximately 15000
members strong, with many working in the army, government agencies,
or in seasonal agricultural production. A number of young
people study in nearby universities in Karak,
Madaba, and Amman.
inhabitants belong to the Bani Hamida
tribe and practice Islam
The ancient settlement lies adjacent to the modern town.
Excavations have revealed that the site was occupied intermittently
over the past 5,000 years, its earliest occupation occurring in the
Early Bronze Age in the third millennium BCE. The site's extensive
settlement history is in part due to its location on the King's Highway
, a major commercial
route in antiquity.
stopped at Dhiban during
. The Bible mentions "Divon" (
), or "Divon Gad" (דִּיבֹן גָּד) because the city was said to have
been occupied by the Gad
. The name in
Biblical Hebrew means wasting
According to the Mesha Stele
the site, Mesha
, a Moabite king, expelled the
Israelites and established ancient Dhiban as an important
settlement in the kingdom of Moab
Ancient Dhiban was also occupied in the Roman
, and Middle Islamic
- Porter, Benjamin et al. “Tall Dhiban 2004 Pilot Season:
Prospection, Preservation, and Planning.” Annual of the
Department of Antiquities of Jordan 49 (2005): 201-216.
- Tushingham, A. Douglas The Excavations at Dibon (Dhiban) in
Moab: The Third Campaign (1972).
- Winnett, Fred and William Reed The Excavations at Dibon
(Dhiban) in Moab: The First and Second Campaigns (1964).