Andarin is one of the places that clearly shows how rich is Syria in history and how much are still under ground hidden, to be discovered.
Andarin is a large area, about 3 square km, now there are seen two churches unearthed, a bathroom complex, and some walls of the city. The work is ongoing and information is changed as time passes.
What is found is from Byzantine era. The structures are built in mud brick with the more significant buildings in stone, the local volcanic basalt. Two streets are found from north-south and east-west.
Inscriptions are found from the years 506 to 583 but assumed that a lot of works (e.g. walls) are older, some dating back to the second century AD. Barracks are found on the north-east of the main intersection about 80 m in length. They date from AD 558, late in Justinian’s reign during which he carried out extensive defensive works in northern Syria including Resafe to the east and nearby at Qasr Ibn Wardan.
Justinian’s other built structures, it lies south to Andarin by 20 km, Qasr Ibn Wardan:
Qasr ibn Wardan (قصر ابن وردان in Arabic) is a 6th century castle complex located in the Syrian desert, approx. 60km northeast from Hama.
Preserved pendentive of the churchThe complex of a palace, church and barracks was erected in the mid sixth century by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I as a part of a defensive line (together with Rasafa and Halabiyya) against Persians. Its unique style, “imported” directly from Constantinople and not found anywhere else in the present day Syria, was probably chosen to impress local Beduin tribes and to consolidate control over them. Basalt was brought from somewhere far north or south from the site and marble columns and capitals are supposed to be brought from Apamea.
Nothing remains of the barracks today. The palace was probably the local governor’s residence as well. Its best preserved part is the southern façade of alternating bands of basalt black and brick yellow. There are remains of stables in the northern and a small bath complex at the eastern part of the palace with a central courtyard. Function of each room was indicated by a carved stone.
The church (square shaped with a central nave and two side aisles) is standing just west of the palace and is architecturaly similar to it, but a bit smaller. Originally it was covered by a large dome (only a pendentive remains till today) and shows an example of a Byzantine early dome building technique.
Originally three sides (only northern and southern remain) had upper floor galleries reserved for women. The fourth side is concluded by a typical Byzantine semicircular and half domed apse.
At a later date these shots from another visit to the place: