The History of Aqaba

Modern history of Aqaba

During World War I, the Jordanian tribes as part of the Arab Army of the Great Arab Revolt, fought against the Ottoman Empire. Supported by the Allies of World War I, and successfully liberated most of the territories of the Ottomans including the region of east of Jordan.


In 1915 the Emirate of Transjordan was created under the Hashemites reign, In September 1922, recognized Transjordan as a state under the British Mandate, and remained under British supervision until 1946.


  Ancient History of Aqaba

Ezion Geber

4000 BC – 1500 BC

During the Stone Age, evidence show that the Edomites built the fist port in Aqaba with the help of the Phoenicians for exporting copper and other good when they were controlling the area and the trade routes from Arabia to Damascus.



During the Iron Age and the Pre-biblical times, Aqaba Was called Ezion Gaber, according to the Bible's Old Testament; King Solomon built a naval base at Ezion Geber, in the land of Edom just 3km from where the modern town of Aqaba stands today.



735 – 600 BC

Aqaba was under the control of the Assyrians for a short period and it was the actual time of economic prosperity, then controlled by the Babylonians and witnessed more and more prosperity and good economic times.



539 – 333 BC

Persia defeated the Babylonians and took control of the city, with continuation of gruth of the economy, until the time of the Greeks who took over and made it one of the most important trading cities among the Arab world at their time.


The Nabateans fight and took control of the city from the Greeks, sense it was their part of their inheritance from the Edomites.



64 BC

The Romans invaded the area, and the city was named Ayla, and witnessed its best times and when the Roman emperor Trajan connected Ayla with the what was called Via Traiana Nova, the great network of Roman roads that connects Gaza, Petra, Madaba, Amman, Jerash, Bosra, Damascus and Palmyra.


300 AD

The Byzantine Empire came after Romans and appointed the Arab Christians from South of Arabia to control the city on their behalf, and built a church at Ayla, and believed to be the world oldest purpose- built church.



630 AD

The Muslims took control of Aqaba and built another city (Islamic Ayla), next to the Roman city to serve the Muslim pilgrims, until 1068 AD when a powerful Earthquake destroyed the city, and lost its economic importance.



1116 AD – 1250 AD

.In the 12th century, the crusaders captured the city. They built a fort on Faroun Island, known then as Ile de Graye, 7 km off shore. Ayla and the island was controlled by the Ayyubids and by Saladin and the fort became known as Saladin's Castle, then in 1250 AD, the Mamluks took over and built their fort on the Island.




The Ottoman Empire took control of the area, until 1917, the time of the World War I, the great Arab Revolt brook and the city was back to Jordan.



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