Al-Karak has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age, and was an important city for the Moabites. In the Bible it is called Qer Harreseth or Kir of Moab, and is identified as having been subject to the Assyrian empire; in the Books of Kings (16:9) and Book of Amos (1:5, 9:7), it is mentioned as the place where the Arameans went before they settled in the regions in the northern of Levant, and to which Tiglath-Pileser III sent the prisoners after the conquest of Damascus. After the conquest of Damascus, for some number of years later the Shamaili kingdom seized power but it is unsure for how long. Little has been recorded about their ruling period. In 1958 the remains of an inscription was found in Wadi al-Karak that has been dated to the late 9th century BC. During the late Hellenistic Period, Al-Karak became an important town taking its name from the Aramaic word for town, Kharkha (כרכא). Al-Karak contains some of the oldest Christian communities in the world, dating as early as the 1st century AD after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
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