Information about Azraq

Location: Jordan

Azraq is a small town in the province of Zarqa Governorate in central-eastern Jordan, 100km east of Amman. The population of Azraq was 9021 persons in 2004.

Azraq has long been an important settlement in a remote and now-arid desert area of Jordan. The strategic value of the town and its castle (Qasr Azraq) is that it lies in the middle of the Azraq oasis, the only permanent source of fresh water in approximately 12,000 square kilometres of desert.

The town is located on a major desert route that would have facilitated trade within the region. The Azraq oasis has a long history beginning in the Lower Palaeolithic period. Many Palaeolithic sites have been documented in the Azraq Wetlands Reserve. During the Epipalaeolithic period the oasis was also an important focus of settlement. Nabatean period settlement activity has also been documented in the area. Qasr Azraq was built by the Romans in the 3rd century A.D., and was heavily modified in the Middle Ages by the Mameluks. In the Umayyad period a water reservoir was constructed in southern Azraq. During the Arab Revolt in the early 20th century, Qasr Azraq was an important headquarters for T. E. Lawrence