Al-Rabatha (Arabic الربذة) is a settlement in Saudi Arabia located some 200 km to the north-east of Medina on the pilgrim route from Kufa to Mecca, known as Darb Zubaydah. The archaeological excavations directed by the King Saud University, have shown that, Al-Rabadha yields important information for the early phases of Islamic culture.[1][2] The town is also known as the place Abu Dharr al-Ghifari spent his last years and died at.

The excavations at Al-Rabadha give a good insight into urban housing in the Early Islamic Period. The site is dominated by a palace structure, consisting of 13 rooms all with doors opening on a central courtyard.[3] Each room is likely to have served a different purpose, with evidence for ovens, grain storage and a furnace for glass-making found in separate areas.[4] A more typical house from the site is similar in its design, but smaller in area, with divided rooms averaging 3x2m.[5] In contrast with Western Europe, timber is not used in construction, with all houses being made from sun-dried mud brick, with stone foundations.


  1. ^ Brief description[permanent dead link] of Al- Rabadha at a website at the King Saud University.
  2. ^ Entry for "Al-Rabadha" in the book "A dictionary of archaeology, by Ian Shaw and Robert Jameson", pages 190-191
  3. ^ Rashid, S. 1986 Al-Rabadhah: Portrait of early Islamic Civilisation in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh: King Saud University. p.26
  4. ^ Rashid p.28
  5. ^ Rashid p.31

Coordinates: 24°37′55″N 41°17′26″E / 24.6319°N 41.2906°E / 24.6319; 41.2906