La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le 'frontiere' del Mediterraneo medievale 9781407309781, 9781407339566

Volume 1 of a new BAR series entitled 'Limina/Limites: Archaeologies, histories, islands and borders in the Mediter

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le 'frontiere' del Mediterraneo medievale
 9781407309781, 9781407339566

Table of contents :
75-144
145-260
Front Cover
Title Page
Copyright
Limina/Limites: Archaeologies, histories, islands and borders in the Mediterranean (365-1556): A new BAR International Subseries
Il logo della collana Limina/Limites
Logo de la série Limina/Limites
Dedication
Convegno InternazionaleFirenze, Palazzo della Signoria, Palazzo Strozzi, 6-8 Novembre 2008
PRESENTAZIONI
Guido Vannini: Professore Ordinario di Archeologia Medievale, Università di Firenze
SALUTI
INDICE
IL ‘TEST’ SUD-GIORDANO: THE SOUTHERN JORDAN ‘TEST’
UNA FRONTIERA MEDITERRANEA: A MEDITERRANEAN FRONTIER
LE COMUNITA’ CRISTIANE NELLA TRANSGIORDANIA MERIDIONALE DEI SECOLI X-XIII
ARCHEOLOGIA DI UNA FRONTIERA MEDITERRANEA
LE FRONTIERE ORIENTALI DELL’IMPERO ROMANO E LE TRIBÙ ARABE
ROMANS, GHASSANIDS AND UMAYYADS AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE LIMES ARABICUS: FROM COERCIVE AND DETERRENT DIPLOMACY TOWARDS RELIGIOUS PROSELYTISM AND POLITICAL CLIENTELARISM
FRONTIERE GEOSTORICHE, FRONTIERE CULTURALI
UN’ANTICA ‘TERRA DI FRONTIERA’: AN ANCIENT ‘FRONTIER LAND’
THE CRUSADERS IN PETRA – THE EXAMPLE OF THE WADI FARASA EAST
THE ABANDONMENT OF PETRA REMAINS OF THE INVISIBLE: POST-BYZANTINE ARCHAEOLOGY OF PETRA’S NORTH RIDGE
LA DIFESA DEL LIMES ARABICUS IN EPOCA ROMANA, BIZANTINA E CROCIATA. OSSERVAZIONI SULL’USO DEI MATERIALI LAPIDEI E ALCUNE TECNICHE COSTRUTTIVE
LIMES ARABICUS AND STILL-STANDING BUILDINGS
PATTERNS OF SETTLEMENT IN TRANSGIORDANIA BETWEEN THE MUSLIM CONQUEST AND THE CRUSADES
TESTIMONIANZE PREISTORICHE NEL SITO DI WU’EIRA
L’ETÀ CROCIATO - AYYUBIDE E LA NASCITADI UNA FRONTIERA MEDIEVALE: THE CRUSADER-AYYUBID AGE AND THE BIRTH OF A MEDIEVAL FRONTIER
SHAWBAK: STRUTTURE MATERIALI DI UNA FRONTIERA
RINALDO DI CHÂTILLON, SIGNORE DELL’OLTREGIORDANO
KARAK CASTLE IN CRUSADER OULTREJOURDAIN (AD 1142-1188) AND ITS LEGACY IN THE EUROPEAN CARTOGRAPHIC TRADITION THROUGH THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY
FROM JERICHO TO KARAK BYWAY OF ZUGHAR: SEAFARING ON THE DEAD SEA IN THE 12TH-13TH CENTURIES
BIOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF MIGRATION AS EVIDENCED BY SKELETONS FROM THE TWELFTH CENTURY FRANKISH CASTELLUM VALLIS MOYSIS, JORDAN (AL-WU’AYRA)
RURAL SETTLEMENTS IN SOUTHERN TRANSJORDAN PRIOR AND THROUGHOUT THE AYYUBID –MAMLUK PERIODS
L’INDUSTRIA DELLO ZUCCHERO NEL MEDIOEVO
JABAL HAROUN IN THE CRUSADER, AYYUBID AND MAMLUK PERIODS
LA PRIMA ETÀ MAMELUCCA E IL CONSOLIDARSIDI UNA TRADIZIONE: THE EARLY MAMLUK AGE AND THE STRENGTHENING OF A TRADITION
TRANSJORDAN AS THE MAMLUK FRONTIER: IMPERIAL CONCEPTIONS OF AUTHORITY AND SPACE
THE CASTLES OF AQABA
THE CULTURAL ROLE OF SHOUBAK CASTLE DURING THE MEDIEVAL PERIODS
QAL’ATAL-SHAWBAK: STUDIO DEI DATI EPIGRAFICI DI EPOCA ISLAMICA
TROISCAMPAGNES DE PROSPECTIONS DANS L’HINTERLAND DE SHAWBAK DE LA MISSIONARCHÈOLOGIQUE DE LE L’INSTITUT FRANÇAIS DE PROCHE ORIENT (IFPO)
NOTE SUL MAUSOLEO DI ABU SULAIMAN AL DARANI
UN MEDITERRANEO ‘MEDIEVALE’: A ‘MEDIEVAL’ MEDITERRANEAN
ARCHEOLOGIA DEI CASTELLI DELL’ORIENTE MEDITERRANEO: ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE CASTLES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN ORIENT
MONTFORT CASTLE PROJECT: A NEW RESEARCH AND CONSERVATION PROJECT AT THE SITE OFTHE TEUTONIC CASTLE IN THE WESTERN GALILEE
BORDERS, FRONTIERS AND MEDIEVAL DEFENSE
HARIM: UN CASTELLO DI FRONTIERA TRA CROCIATI E MUSULMANI
IL CASO DI SHAYZAR, SIRIA: ‘CASTELLO’ O CITTÀ FORTIFICATA
I CASTELLI SUL CONFINE SETTENTRIONALE DEL PRINCIPATO DI ANTIOCHIAIN RAPPORTO ALLA VIABILITÀ
LINES OF RESEARCH FOR THE SITE OF MONTFORT WESTERN GALILEE – ISRAEL
CASTELLI E FRONTIERE MEDITERRANEE: ARCHEOLOGIA, STORIA, ARCHITETTURA: MEDITERRANEAN CASTLES AND MEDITERRANEAN FRONTIERS: ARCHAEOLOGY, HISTORY, ARCHITECTURE
THE FRONTIER IN MEDIEVAL SPAIN: A CULTURAL HISTORY
MASTIO, MOTTA E CINTA, ARCHETIPI DEI CASTELLI CROCIATI
RILIEVO E DOCUMENTAZIONE ARCHEOLOGICA: UN GIS BASATO SULLA FOTOGRAMMETRIAPER L’ANALISI STRATIGRAFICA DEGLI ELEVATI
ALCUNE CONSIDERAZIONI SULRESTAURO DEI CASTELLI: IL CASO DI SHAWBAK
GREAT AND LITTLE TRADITIONS OF TRANSJORDAN: THE VIEW FROM TALL HISBAN DURING MEDIEVAL TIMES
SOME NOTES ON THE MEDIEVAL SHAWBAK: HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE IN ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
THE CONCEPT OF LOCAL OWNERSHIP AS A MEAN OF CONSERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICALSITES. TELL HESBAN PROJECT
CONSIDERATIONS ON POSSIBLE CULTURAL PROMOTION OFTHE “AIN AL RAGAYE”: A SPRING EXPLOITATION TUNNEL IN SHAWBAK CASTLE (JORDAN)
UMM AL JIMAL
INSEDIAMENTO E CONFINI: UNA CASISTICA ARCHEOLOGICA DELL’ITALIA MEDIEVALE: SETTLEMENT AND BORDERS: ARCHAEOLOGICAL CASE STUDIES FROM MEDIEVAL ITALY
LA SICILIATRA XII E XIII SECOLO: CONFLITTI “INTERETNICI” E “FRONTIERE” INTERNE
IN CONFINIO IUDICATUS TURRITANI, ET ARBOREAE …ARCHEOLOGIA E STORIA DELLE FRONTIERE DEL GIUDICATO DI TORRES NELLA SARDEGNA MEDIEVALE
LA CORSE DU HAUT MOYEN AGE: UNE MARCHE-FRONTIERE AU COEUR DE LA TYRRHENIENNE
L’ABRUZZO QUALE FRONTIERA POLITICA E CULTURALE DAL VI AL XIV SECOLO
LE FRONTIERE DELL’ITALIA CENTRO- SETTENTRIONALE IN ETA’ BIZANTINA. LE AREE COSTIERE
I CASTELLI NORMANNI DI FRONTIERA TRA IL DUCATUS APULIAE E IL PRINCIPATUS CAPUAE NELLA CONTEA DI MOLISE
QUANDO IL LIRI NON SEPARA: PASSI, VIABILITÀ E STRUTTURE DI DIFESA DI UNA ‘FRONTIERA MEDIEVALE’ NEL LAZIO
IL CONFINE MEDIEVALE COME STRUTTURA STORICA: THE MEDIEVAL BORDER AS HISTORICAL STRUCTURE
IL CONFINE E LA SUA SCRITTURA NELL’ITALIA COMUNALE
SPAZI CONFINATI TRA SIGNORIE FONDIARIE E TERRITORIALI NELLA TOSCANA MERIDIONALE
UNO SPAZIO DI CONFINE. LA ROMANIA APPENNINICA DALLE RADICI BIZANTINE ALLA SIGNORIA COMITALE DEI GUIDI
NASCITA DI UNA FRONTIERA ALPINA. IL COLLE DEL PICCOLO SAN BERNARDO (VALLE D’AOSTA/HAUTE-TARENTAISE)
FORTIFICAZIONI URBANE DI FRONTIERA IN ASIA MINORE: LE DIFESE DI IASOS DI CARIA IN ETÀ BIZANTINA
L’ARCHEOLOGIA DEL LIMITE: UNA RIFLESSIONE FILOSOFICO-GIURIDICA
TAVOLA ROTONDA: ROUND TABLE
“Da Petra a Shawbak. Archeologia di una frontiera” :“From Petra to Shawbak. Archaeology of a Frontier”
DAL PROGETTO MUSEOLOGICO ALLO STUDIO SUI VISITATORI. LA MOSTRADA PETRA A SHAWBAK: UN CASO DI ARCHEOLOGIA PUBBLICA
LA TRANSGIORDANIA NEI SECOLI XII-XIIIE LE ‘FRONTIERE’ DEL MEDITERRANEO MEDIEVALE : TRANSJORDAN IN CENTURIES 12-13 AND THE ‘FRONTIERS’ OF MEDIEVAL MEDITERRANEAN

Citation preview

BAR  S2386  2012  

VANNINI & NUCCIOTTI (Eds)

LA TRANSGIORDANIA NEI SECOLI XII-XIII

B A R

Limina / Limites Archeologie, storie, isole e frontiere nel Mediterraneo (365-1556) 1

La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le ‘frontiere’ del Mediterraneo medievale a cura di

Guido Vannini Michele Nucciotti

BAR International Series 2386 2012

Published in 2016 by BAR Publishing, Oxford BAR International Series 2386 Limina / Limites: Archeologie, storie, isole e frontiere nel Mediterraneo (365-1556) 1 La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le ‘frontiere’ del Mediterraneo medievale © The editors and contributors severally and the Publisher 2012 The authors' moral rights under the 1988 UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act are hereby expressly asserted. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied, reproduced, stored, sold, distributed, scanned, saved in any form of digital format or transmitted in any form digitally, without the written permission of the Publisher.

ISBN 9781407309781 paperback ISBN 9781407339566 e-format DOI https://doi.org/10.30861/9781407309781 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library BAR Publishing is the trading name of British Archaeological Reports (Oxford) Ltd. British Archaeological Reports was first incorporated in 1974 to publish the BAR Series, International and British. In 1992 Hadrian Books Ltd became part of the BAR group. This volume was originally published by Archaeopress in conjunction with British Archaeological Reports (Oxford) Ltd / Hadrian Books Ltd, the Series principal publisher, in 2012. This present volume is published by BAR Publishing, 2016.

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Limina/Limites

Archaeologies, histories, islands and borders in the Mediterranean (365-1556) A new BAR International Subseries The Series management structure is articulated in a simple but dynamic form: * a group of Series Editors, who have conceived the series and who will take on the tasks of overseeing the production of the varied voumes, through transparent procedures of selection, negotiation, and peer review. Our group comprises the international scholars gruppo è composto da Miguel Angel Cau, Christine Delaplace, Demetrios Michaelides, Philippe Pergola, Helen Saradi, Guido Vannini, and Enrico Zanini, who interests and expertises span late antique to medieval settlement, urbanism, trade, religion, economics and society. * a Scientific Committee, composed of mainly young scholars given the honour of proposing themes, authors and texts for publication. The Scientific Committee is formed by Khairieh Amr, Ignacio Arce, Josipa Baraka, Thaddeusz Baranowski, Fabrizio Benente, Dario Bernal Casasola, Adrian Boas, Nathaniel Cutajar, Kristoffer Damgaard, Cedric Devais, Mario Gallina, Daniel Istria, Giuseppe Ligato, Paolo Liverani, Juan José Larrea, Elisabeth Malamut, Rossana Martorelli, Alessandra Molinari, John Moreland, Etlveni Nallbani, Michele Nucciotti, Giuseppe Palmero, Carmelo Pappalardo, Hamlet Petrosyan, Konstantinos Politis, Albert Ribera i Lacomba, Laurent Schneider, Pier Giorgio Spanu, Bruno Vecchio and Giuliano Volpe. * a group of Referees, comprising internationally recognised scholars, who will assure, in anonymous form, a peer review evaluation of manuscripts proposed for publication. So far, the following scholars have accepted to become part of the group of referees: Josep Amengual, Agustin Azkarate, Hugo Blake, Charles Bonnet, Henri Bresc, Andrzej Buko, Franco Cardini, Rosa Maria Carra Bonacasa, Neil Christie, Giovanni Curatola, Michel Fixot, Maria Vittoria Fontana, Josep Maria Gurt, Richard Hodges, Hugh Kennedy, Attilio Mastino, Rheinhold Mueller, Margarita Orfila, Paolo Peduto, Natalia Poulou, Paul Reynolds, Gisela Ripoll López, Stephan Schmid, Carlo Varaldo and Chris Wickham.

The title, subtitle, and chronological span of this new series require a few words of explanation by the editors. Firstly, ‘Limina/limites’ flags obvious assonances of the root of two Latin words that indicate respectively ‘thresholds’, ‘borders’, and thus ‘frontiers’, with that of the Greek word meaning ‘port’, which, for an island – and more broadly any city facing the sea – is both a point of connectivity and a boundary of isolation. Islands and borders are two of the many possible keys through which we can study the post-classical Mediterranean. From the time that the Mediterranean ceases to be a great Roman ‘lake’, that same Sea becomes an often uncrossable border that both separates and protects many worlds that developed with different forms and rhythms and along its extensive coasts. At the same time, however, the Mediterranean continues to be an element of unity: it provides a shared identity to communities that were culturally and geographically distant; and it can still be crossed to go to, and beyond, other frontiers. Islands and borders, forming connecting lines and lines of separation, offering unified identities yet socio-cultural diversities, from this point of view can become spaces for reflection by disciplines seeking to understand the past but which aim to make much more widely available the tools with which to interpret some of the basic needs of the contemporary world, solving, for example, in terms of ‘Public Archaeology’, ideas, results and outcomes of both pure and applied research. The subtitle – with all nouns in the plural - alludes to the need for a multiplicity of different approaches. History and archaeology – especially in the Mediterranean – are disciplines that today can only be defined in a plural form; these search much less for an a priori monolithic specific definition, but for an exploration of the limits to be overcome and the intersection points to be exploited. The points of contact between disciplines must surely be the territory, to be seen as a product of the interaction between culture and nature and forming the smallest unit of observation of historical change and of contextualization of the archeological traces. The chronological range, providing a ‘long-term’ vision, is seen by the editors as essential to explore in time-depth the multiple themes of study. AD 365 – or, more precisely, the 21st July, 365, the day of the most violent tsunami documented in the literary sources – marks the moment at which, in the midst of transformation of the ancient world, the Mediterranean reclaims, almost by metaphor, its physical centrality, made up of waves and winds, giving life to an epoch-making phenomenon, through its devastating effects and above all for its global visibility, as evident from the many different witnesses and voices from Eastern and Western shores describing the same event with different voices and languages. 1556 – more precisely January 16th, 1556, the day of the coronation of Philip II of Spain – symbolically marks the date on which the Mediterranean enters contemporary historiography through the major textual vision of the historian Fernand Braudel, by his rewriting of the rules of historiographical analysis, pursuing directions that have so many points of intersection with archaeology. The Limina/Limites series seeks to invite editors of proceedings of conferences and workshops, authors of individual monographs and collective studies which, regardless of their discipline, are targeted at the integration of diverse data sources and systems oriented at a global reconstruction, and geared to long-term trends and to Mediterranean-wide spatial dimensions.

Limina/Limites

Archéologies, histoires, îles et frontières de Méditerranée (365-1556) Titre, sous-titre et arc chronologique d’une nouvelle collection éditoriale ont besoin que leurs responsables s’en expliquent. Le titre joue à l’évidence autour de l’assonance des racines des mots latins qui indiquent à la fois des lieux de passages et des limites, donc des frontières, come pour le mot grec qui indique le port, lequel représente, pour une île -et plus largement pour toute ville qui donne sur la mer- un lieu de connexion et à la fois une limite qui isole. Iles et frontières sont deux des innombrables clés de lecture pour tenter d’ouvrir les portes de l’étude de la Méditerranée post antique. A partir du moment où elle cesse d’être un grand lac romain, la Méditerranée devient une frontière parfois insurmontable, qui sépare et protège réciproquement les nombreux mondes qui se développent à des rythmes et sous des formes différentes le long de ses côtes. Au même moment, la Méditerranée continue à être un élément d’unité : elle fournit une identité partagée par des communautés culturellement et géographiquement distantes ; elle peut être traversée pour aller vers, et au-delà, d’autres frontières. Iles et frontières sont à la fois des lignes qui unissent et qui séparent, des identités unitaires et des multiplicités socio culturelles. Elles deviennent ainsi de vastes espaces de réflexion pour des disciplines tournées vers la connaissance du passé, mais qui entendent mettre à la disposition des collectivités des instruments pour interpréter certaines exigences fondamentales du monde contemporain, en résolvant, par exemple, en des termes d’‘Achéologie publique’, des pistes, des résultats et des issues pour les recherches proposées, ou du moins pour une part d’entre elles, entre recherche pure et recherche appliquée. Le sous-titre, entièrement au pluriel, est une allusion à la nécessité d’une multiplicité d’approches différentes. Histoire et archéologie -à plus forte raison en Méditerranée- sont les disciplines qui apparaissent devoir être aujourd’hui déclinées au pluriel, non pas à la recherche a priori d’une définition disciplinaire monolithique, mais qui doivent explorer les limites à dépasser et les points de rencontre à exploiter. Le lieu de rencontre entre els disciplines ne peut qu’être le territoire, entendu comme le produit de l’interaction ente cultures et nature , à savoir des unités minimales où contextualiser les traces archéologiques. Les dates de référence se situent dans une optique de longue durée et se sont imposées comme l’une des conséquence logiques possibles de notre postulat de départ, pour rendre plus explicite encore notre projet. L’année 365 -et pour être plus précis, le 21 juillet 365, jour du raz-de-marée le plus violent qu’aient jamais rappelé les sources littéraires- marque le moment où, au beau milieu de la transformation du monde antique, la Méditerranée reconquiert, de manière quasiment métaphorique, sa centralité physique, faite de vagues déchaînées et de vents violents, pour donner vie à un phénomène qui marque cette époque par ses effets désastreux et surtout par la visibilité globale qu’il acquiert, comme le prouvent le grand nombre des témoins qui décrivent les dévastations de ce même phénomène, depuis les rives orientales et occidentales, en des langues et avec des voix différentes. L’année 1556 -et pour être plus précis, le 16 janvier 1556, jour du couronnement de Philippe II d’Espagne- marque symboliquement la date retenue pour l’entrée de la Méditerranée dans l’historiographie moderne à travers la grande leçon de Fernand Braudel, en réécrivant les règles du jeu historiographique dans une direction qui a de nombreux points d’intersection avec l’archéologie. Limina/Limites entend accueillir des actes de congrès et colloques, de séminaires, des monographies et des études collectives lesquelles, indépendamment de leur discipline d’origine, aient pour objectif l’intégration de sources et de systèmes, autour de données différentes, en focntion d’une reconstruction globale, orientée vers la longue durée et la dimension de l’espace méditerranéen.

 

Limina/Limites Archeologie, storie, isole e frontiere nel Mediterraneo (365-1556)

Titolo, sottotitolo e ambito cronologico di una serie editoriale richiedono qualche parola di spiegazione da parte dei curatori. Il titolo gioca evidentemente sull’assonanza della radice delle parole latine che indicano rispettivamente soglie e confini, dunque frontiere, con quella della parola greca che indica il porto, che per un’isola – e in senso lato per ogni città che si affacci sul mare – è al tempo stesso una soglia di connettività e un confine di isolamento. Isole e frontiere sono due delle tante possibili chiavi di lettura per provare a studiare il Mediterraneo postantico. Da quando cessa di essere un grande lago romano, il Mediterraneo diviene una frontiera spesso invalicabile, che separa e protegge reciprocamente i tanti mondi che si sviluppano con ritmi e forme diversi lungo le sue coste. Al tempo stesso però il Mediterraneo continua ad essere un elemento di unità: fornisce una identità condivisa a comunità culturalmente e geograficamente distanti; può essere attraversato per spingersi verso, e al di là di, altre frontiere. Isole e frontiere, linee di connessione e linee di separazione, identità unitarie e molteplicità socioculturali divengono da questo punto di vista spazi di riflessione per discipline volte alla conoscenza del passato ma che intendono mettere a disposizione della collettività strumenti per interpretare alcune esigenze fondamentali della contemporaneità, risolvendo, ad esempio, in termini di ‘Archeologia Pubblica’ spunti, risultati ed esiti delle ricerche proposte o almeno di alcune di esse, fra ricerca pura e ricerca applicata. Il sottotitolo, tutto al plurale, allude alla necessità di una molteplicità di approcci diversi. Storia e archeologia – a maggior ragione nel Mediterraneo – sono discipline che appaiono oggi declinabili solo in forma plurale, alla ricerca non di una monolitica definizione disciplinare a priori, ma di un’esplorazione di limiti da superare e di punti di intersezione da sfruttare. Luogo di incontro tra le discipline non può che essere il territorio, inteso come prodotto della interazione tra culture e natura: unità minima di osservazione del fenomeno storico e unità minima di contestualizzazione delle tracce archeologiche. Le date di riferimento, in un’ottica di ‘lungo periodo’, sono sembrate ai curatori una possibile conseguenza logica delle premesse e possono quindi rendere più esplicito il progetto. Il 365 – per la precisione il 21 luglio del 365, giorno del più violento maremoto narrato dalle fonti letterarie – segna il momento in cui, nel bel mezzo della trasformazione del mondo antico, il Mediterraneo riconquista, quasi per metafora, la sua centralità fisica, fatta di onde e di venti, dando vita a un fenomeno epocale, per i suoi effetti disastrosi e soprattutto per la sua visibilità globale, come dimostrano i tanti testimoni diversi che dalle sponde orientali e occidentali descrivono lo stesso evento con lingue e voci differenti. Il 1556 – per la precisione il 16 gennaio 1556, giorno dell’incoronazione di Filippo II di Spagna – segna simbolicamente la data in cui il Mediterraneo entra nella storiografia contemporanea attraverso la grande lezione di Fernand Braudel, riscrivendo le regole del gioco storiografico in una direzione che ha molti punti di intersezione con l’archeologia. Limina/Limites intende accogliere atti di convegni e seminari, singole monografie e studi collettivi che, indipendentemente dalla loro origine disciplinare, si propongano come obiettivo l’integrazione di fonti e sistemi di dati diversi in funzione di una ricostruzione globale, orientata alla lunga durata e alla dimensione spaziale mediterranea.

Il logo della collana Limina/Limites Elementi Il mare che entra nelle città e nei porti del Mediterraneo; fa riferimento al Maremoto dell’anno 365 e alla connettività marittima delle comunità culturali del Mediterraneo Le porte monumentali; sono riferite al paesaggio del Mediterraneo tardo antico e medievale, connotato da fenomeni di urbanizzazione e monumentalizzazione di porti e città fortemente connotati dalla presenza di edilizia in pietra (al contrario di quanto avviene ad esempio sul Baltico e nei mari del nord) Il cavallo che spicca un salto; rappresenta il passaggio attraverso il mare delle società continentali, caratterizzate dall’uso del cavallo. Nel Mediterraneo il mare non mette in comunicazione solo le comunità marittime ma, attraverso esse, veicola il trasferimento temporaneo o permanente delle componenti sociali degli entroterra europeo, mediorientale e nordafricano La legenda “Limina Limites”; riprende nella scelta grafica il riferimento al Mediterraneo come ‘mare caldo’ per antonomasia nella storia dell’Europa continentale utilizzando la legenda come rappresentazione di un sole al centro del mare.

Autore: Riccardo Polveroni, artista e designer internazionale è autore di progetti logo per enti pubblici e privati. Il Sig. Polveroni si è offerto di sviluppare gratuitamente il concept del Logo per la collana Limina/Limites nel quadro dei progetti di Archeologia Pubblica che l’Università di Firenze sta svolgendo con il programma UE ENPI Liaisons for Growth Italy | Jordan | Armenia. Consulenza scientifica: Guido Vannini (Cattedra di Archeologia Medievale dell’Università di Firenze), Michele Nucciotti (Coordinatore Scientifico di Liaisons for Growth), Laboratori Archeologici San Gallo soc. coop. (spin-off dell’Università di Firenze nel settore della comunicazione e valorizzazione dell’archeologia).

Logo de la série Limina/Limites Elements La mer qui entre dans les villes et les ports de Méditerranée REFERENCE au raz-de-marée de l’année 365 et aux conenxions maritimes des communautés culturelles de Méditerranée Les portes monumentales REFERENCE au paysage de la Méditerranée tardo antique et médiévale, marqué par des phénomènes d’urbanisation et de monumentalisation des ports et des villes fortement caractérisés par des édifices de pierre (à la différence de la situation des Mers du Nord et Baltique) Le saut du cheval REFERENCE à la traversée des société continentales qui s’effectuait à cheval. En Méditerranée la mer ne met pas seulement en rapport les seules communauté maritimes, mais par leur biais elle permet des transferts temporaires ou permanents des composantes sociales de l’intérieur des terres, en Eurpoe, au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique du Nord. Légende “Limina Limites” REFERENCE qui reprend dans le choix graphique l’allusion à la Méditerranée, comme mer chaude, par antonomase, de l’histoire de l’Europe continentale en utilisant la légende comme une représentation d’un soleil au centre de la mer. L’auteur: Riccardo Polveroni, artiste designer international è l’auteur de projets et de logos pour des institutions publiques et privées. M. Polveroni nous a offert ici gratuitement le concept de ce logo pour la collection Limina/Limites dans le cadre des projets d’Archéologie Publique que l’Université de Florence développe avec le programme UE ENPI Liaisons for Growth Italy | Jordan | Armenia. Expertise scientifique: Guido Vannini (Chaire d’Archéologie Médiévale de l’Université de Florence), Michele Nucciotti (Responsable de la Coordination Scientifique de Liaisons for Growth), Laboratori Archeologici San Gallo soc. coop. (spin-off de l’Université de Florence dans le domaine de la comunication et de la mise en valeur de l’archéologie). Logo for the series ‘Limina/limites’ Elements The sea entering the cities and harbours of the Mediterranean REFERENCE TO the seaquake of AD 365 and to the maritime connectivity of the cultural communities of the Mediterranean Monumental gates REFERENCE TO the transformation of the Mediterranean from late antiquity to the Middle Ages, which was connoted by phenomena of urbanisation and embellishment of harbours and cities characterised by the presence of masonry architecture (differently from what happens, for example, in the Baltic and in Northern seas) The jumping horse REFERENCE TO the passage across the sea by continental societies, characterised by the use of the horse. The Mediterranean sea does not only connect maritime communities, but, through them, it also allows the temporary or permanent transfer of social components from continental Europe, the Near East and north Africa “Limina Limites” REFERENCE TO (graphically) the Mediterranean as the ‘warm sea’ par excellence in the history of continental Europe; the disposition of the text reminds of the sun in the middle of the sea. Author: Riccardo Polveroni, an international artist and designer, who has designed logos for public and private organisations. Mr Polveroni offered to develop the concept of the logo for the series Limina Limites within the framework of the Public Archaeology initiatives that the University of Florence is undertaking as part of the project EU ENPI ‘Liaisons for Growth’ Italy | Jordan | Armenia. Scientific supervision: Guido Vannini (Chair of Medieval Archaeology of the University of Florence), Michele Nucciotti (scientific coordinator of ‘Liaisons for Growth’), Laboratori Archeologici San Gallo soc. coop. (spin-off of the University of Florence, working in the sector of communication and enhancement of archaeology).

A Padre Michele Piccirillo, francescano, archeologo, indimenticato amico

Michele Piccirillo mentre porta ai laboratori della ‘base’ sul Monte Nebo il ‘suo’ Karuf, da lui stesso appena rinvenuto in S. Stefano di Um-er-Rasas (agosto 1987; da dx ‘Abuna Michel’, Francesco Bandini, Riccardo Berretti, Franco Cardini. Foto di A. Marx Vannini)

Convegno Internazionale Firenze, Palazzo della Signoria, Palazzo Strozzi, 6-8 Novembre 2008

*ORGANIZZATORI:

Università di Firenze, SUM, Comune di Firenze

*PATROCINI:

Provincia di Firenze, Regione Toscana, Ministero degli Esteri, Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca

*Collaborazioni:

Diritto alla Studio, Frescobaldi, Ataf

Comitato scientifico: Khairieh Amr (Jordan Museum), Marco Bini (Università di Firenze), Franco Cardini (SUM), Letizia Pani Ermini (Università ‘La Sapienza’, Roma), Oystein La Bianca (Andrews University), Michele Nucciotti (Università di Firenze), Paolo Peduto (Università di Salerno), Michele Piccirillo (Studium Bibiblicum Franciscanum, Jerusalem), Jorge Lopez Quiroga (UAM), Pietro Ruschi (Università di Udine), Stephan Schmid (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Guido Vannini (Università di Firenze) Cura scientifica: Guido Vannini, Michele Nucciotti Segreteria scientifica e organizzativa: Chiara Molducci, Elisa Pruno Editing del volume: Rosita Bellometti Staff Sito: Alfonso Fiorentino Elaborazioni video: Guido Guidi, Guido Melis, Paolo Boanini (Csiaf) Interpreti: Elena Di Concilio, Vittoria Garofalo Laboratorio di Archeologia Medievale: Maddalena Bidi, Elisa Broccoli, Sara Collesi, Francesca Cheli, Arianna De Falco, Laura Mancini, Chiara Marcotulli, Alessandro Neri, Daniele Palagi, Michele Pisaneschi, Marta Ricci, Roberta Sciortino, Mariangela Serra, Lapo Somigli, Laura Torsellini, Rubina Tuliozi, Elena Vannacci -

Limina / Limites Archeologie, storie, isole e frontiere nel Mediterraneo (365-1556) - 1

LA TRANSGIORDANIA NEI SECOLI XII-XIII E LE ‘FRONTIERE’ DEL MEDITERRANEO MEDIEVALE

a cura di Guido Vannini e Michele Nucciotti

presentazioni

S. E. Zaid Al Lozi Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the Republic of Italy The land of ancient Jordan is considered to be the cradle of civilizations, and has always played an essential role as a theatre of charming cultural mixtures during the different historical eras. The abundant archeological sites in the region give an evidence that this land was heavily inhabited ever since man began settling down to establish the onset of wonderful cultures that greatly influenced the human race. The Archeological sites that witness this historical wealth enrich the whole country from north to south, beginning from the ancient city of Umm Qais ( known as Gadara) with its marvelous ruins from different historical periods ending by the roman period. Moving southwards to the wonderful roman city of Jerash (known as Gerasa), the best preserved roman city in the Middle East region, passing to Amman with its castle and roman theatre, to the breathtaking city of Petra with its Nabatean origins, one of the new seven wonders of the world . The same is applied to the Crusade-Ayyubid period, which left a very important legacy of architectural evidence, mainly through building their great famous Castles. The mutual cultural influence was surprisingly outstanding and the archeological sites and findings provide tangible evidence of this remarkable combination. The mission of the University of Florence under the direction of Professor Guido Vannini with its meticulous work of excavation illustrated in this book and presented during the International Congress “The Transjordan of the 12th and 13th centuries and the borders of the medieval Mediterranean” which was held in Florence at the end of 2008, is a relevant contribution to the identification and recognition of the extraordinary heritage of this region and offers a valuable scientific and archeological research to be used as a base for further studying projects. This book gives the readers the opportunity to explore the superb Jordanian region with its archeological wonders. It’s another step to support the efforts of our societies to reach harmony and peace through sharing knowledge and rich common heritage toward taking the past as an example for the future of acceptance, comprehension , as well as coexistence between different cultures and religions in our region.

S.E. Francesco Fransoni Ambasciatore d’Italia presso il Regno Hashemita di Giordania È con particolare piacere che saluto la pubblicazione degli atti del convegno “La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le frontiere del Mediterraneo medioevale”che, nel novembre 2008, contribuì ad assicurare adeguata diffusione a 20 anni di ricerche condotte dalla missione archeologica dell’Università di Firenze in Giordania e a gettare le basi per nuove proficue collaborazioni nel campo degli studi sul Mediterraneo. A partire dalla prima missione di esperti italiani nel Regno Hashemita, avviata nel 1927, i lavori, l’impegno e la professionalità dei nostri archeologi hanno concretamente contribuito a riportare alla luce testimonianze di un Paese denso di storia. In tale contesto, l’attività dell’équipe dell’Università di Firenze ha svolto un ruolo essenziale e viene oggi riconosciuta come uno dei simboli più significativi dei profondi e suggestivi legami culturali tra Italia e Giordania. La “specialità” del contributo della missione diretta dal Prof. Guido Vannini, che ho avuto più volte il piacere di incontrare nel corso della mia missione a Amman, risiede, a mio avviso, in due principali aspetti. Il primo è rappresentato dalla visione di archeologia “aperta”, “condivisa” con gli operatori culturali, economici, ma, ancora più importante, con tutti i giordani, di cui si è fatta portatrice l’Università di Firenze. Tale approccio ha creato una rete dinamica e innovativa di collaborazioni con istituzioni e operatori locali e ha guidato una serie di qualificate iniziative mirate a valorizzare nel modo più ampio possibile i risultati delle ricerche - evitando così di limitarne la fruizione ai soli addetti ai lavori - e, soprattutto, ad avviare virtuosi processi di crescita auto-sostenibile. Più in particolare, penso all’esposizione internazionale realizzata a Palazzo Pitti nel 2009 “Da Petra a Shawback. Archeologia di una frontiera”, che ha registrato un’affluenza di circa 200.000 spettatori e che viene ancora oggi ricordata, con apprezzamento e gratitudine, dalle autorità giordane. Dal 2010 inoltre la missione è impegnata nella concreta “utilizzazione” dei risultati delle ricerche per stimolare lo sviluppo del turismo e della filiera economica delle attività collegate

(patrimonio culturale, infrastrutture, comunicazione) nella regione di Petra e Shawback. La visione di archeologia pubblica consente così di assicurare continuità ai lavori della missione - integrando in un circuito virtuoso dimensione culturale e economica - e, soprattutto, di restituire ai giordani gli strumenti per poter apprezzare la profondità storica del proprio passato e trarre semi di sviluppo per il benessere futuro. Un secondo merito parimenti importante che va riconosciuto all’équipe dell’Università di Firenze è quello di aver contribuito a riscoprire e portare alla luce i “sorprendenti tratti comuni e coincidenze di tempi fra mondo musulmano e euromediterraneo (…) la condivisione di comuni riferimenti di civiltà, radici, valori e sensibilità fra contesti apparentemente distanti quando non addirittura contrapposti”. Il recupero di elementi comuni tra civiltà occidentale e islamica, esemplificato dalla trasformazione di Shawback da castello crociato a città islamica ayyubide, rappresenta un apporto prezioso all’approfondimento delle relazioni di amicizia tra i popoli e al superamento di clichés e barriere interculturali. Mi piace ricordare che il 14 agosto 1949, Pierluigi La Terza, il primo diplomatico italiano destinato ad Amman, presentò le proprie credenziali a Re Abdallah I stabilendo così ufficialmente le relazioni diplomatiche tra i due Paesi: “Vedo con molta simpatia il consolidamento delle relazioni con l’Italia – disse in quell’occasione il Sovrano hashemita – perché il vostro Paese è come la Giordania: Paese mediterraneo. Ed i Paesi mediterranei sono oggi forse più di ogni altro chiamati a fare da ponte tra Oriente ed Occidente”. All’Università di Firenze, impegnata nella costruzione di un tassello significativo e prezioso di questo ponte, rivolgo oggi il mio apprezzamento per l’elevato profilo dell’attività svolta e i migliori auguri per la prosecuzione dei lavori.

Nayef Al Fayez Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Because of its geographical location on the world map, Jordan has always served as a conduit for civilizations connecting different cultures together, acting as a bridge builder between the west and the east, south and north. The present volume underpins this fact as evidenced from the proceedings of the interational symposia on “Transjordan in the 12 and 13 Centuries and the Frontiers of the Medieval Mediterranean” that was held in Italy, and is now being produced into this valuable, insightful book. The fact 88 speakers, researchers and academics from 43 scientific institutions in 13 countries presented papers and archaeological findings show the stark similarities between the importance of the area then and now, bordering on the Mediterranean and looking towards the Middle East region and beyond. In the idea of the frontier developed complex relationships that saw the interplay of the empires, Islam and Christianity, economic development, urbanization and farming, architecture and traditions. These globe in a very important area of Jordan, Petra, Shoubak and Karak as they then were. Today of course, they are major centers of activity in modern Jordan. Ancient Petra, dubbed as the rose red city, is a world-famous archaeological hub and a global touristic resort, visited by hundreds of thousands from al lover the world yearly. They bring their culture to interact with ours in a positive, sustainable manner whilst travelling to other touristic areas like Aqaba, Madaba and Jarash. The frontier and border opened up further still, no longer confined by technologies of the past but underlined by a multifaceted process of globalization and openness that brought trade, commerce, and people together in an intricate way. We need to understand our past in order to understand our present. The researchers and academics that presented papers meticulously dwelled on an age that has become part of our human history. Through their excavation and discovery they unearthed the splendors of the archaeology of the area, its structures, and the fortress castles that continue to offer a valuable glimpse of the environs of society developed from that crucial period onward. I wish to thank the Archaeological Mission of the University of Florence, Institute of Human Science and the Municipality of Florence for organizing this international symposium in cooperation with our Department of Antiquities in Jordan.

Alberto Tesi Magnifico Rettore dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze Il presente volume raccoglie gli atti del convegno “La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le frontiere del Mediterraneo medievale”, svoltosi a Firenze nei giorni 6-8 novembre 2008. Si è trattato di un convegno scientifico di assoluta rilevanza internazionale, per il quale sono convenuti a Firenze studiosi provenienti da ogni parte del mondo, che ha visto la presenza di tutti i paesi dell’area mediterranea. Durante il convegno è stata anche presentata la mostra “Da Petra a Shawbak – Archeologia di una frontiera”, svoltasi successivamente nel periodo dal 13 luglio – 11 ottobre 2009, che ha visto un grande successo di critica e pubblico con una vasta eco sui mezzi di informazione. Il convegno si inserisce pienamente nella grande tradizione delle aree di ricerca archeologica e storica dell’Università di Firenze, dimostrando ancora una volta la grande capacità dei colleghi di tale aree, e più in generale dell’area umanistica, di promuovere iniziative scientifiche e culturali di assoluta eccellenza nel panorama internazionale. Il convegno ha anche dimostrato quanto sia fondamentale il dialogo continuo e la collaborazione concreta fra l’Università, il Comune e le altre istituzioni della nostra città per rendere ancora più visibile Firenze come centro di attrazione di iniziative scientifiche e culturali di grande risonanza internazionale. Desidero esprimere un sentito ringraziamento al Prof. Guido Vannini e ai suoi collaboratori per l’organizzazione del convegno, alle istituzioni per la loro collaborazione, ai relatori per i loro interventi e a tutti i partecipanti. Sono certo che il successo del convegno e la pubblicazione del presente volume serviranno a rafforzare sempre di più la vocazione internazionale della nostra Università ed a consolidare la collaborazione fra tutte le istituzioni che hanno a cuore la promozione di attività culturali di grande pregio nella nostra città.

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Guido Vannini Professore Ordinario di Archeologia Medievale, Università di Firenze Frontiera: dalla storia all’archeologia. ‘Frontiera’ è un termine che evoca confronti, conflitti, ma anche osmosi, condivisione; costituisce una di quelle catogorie antropologiche, prima che politiche (e amministrative, economiche, culturali), che da qualche decennio alcuni storici hanno assunto come chiave di lettura per definire identità, epoche, condizioni culturali in vario modo contigue; ma anche un tema al quale l’archeologia può contribuire in modo spesso determinante e peculiare, soprattutto quando considera ambienti articolati ed ‘estesi’ o eventi di lungo periodo. Un tema, tuttavia, ‘nelle corde’ della tradizione culturale della disciplina archeologica, che ha sempre ‘preteso’, nelle sue migliori e più incisive espressioni, di ‘spendersi’ nella propria contemporaneità: e cosa c’è di più attuale – sia nel senso già della storia (da Valmy a ieri), sia in quello ancora della cronaca recente – di temi quali appunto ruolo e funzioni delle frontiere (o la loro stessa esistenza o significato, come nell’Europa dopo l’89), ma anche altri temi ampiamente connessi, come il ruolo dell’urbanesimo nel più ampio quadro delle ‘gestioni’ dei territori storici; un argomento che ci porterebbe lontano. Il Convegno ha rappresentato l’occasione, per studiosi dell’area ‘delle archeologie’ (e, in contrappunto, delle ‘storie’), di fare il punto, in una prospettiva tendenzialmente innovativa, anche sul piano del metodo come dello stesso approccio culturale, sullo stato delle ricerche, soprattutto ma non solo archeologiche, appunto sul poliedrico – come i contributi presentati hanno potuto dimostrare – tema della frontiera come elemento di visibilità di radici identitarie di regioni e culture in un quadro mediterraneo assunto come paradigma, oltre cesure anche disciplinari classiche (storici, archeologi, orientalisti, architetti, antropologi…) e che rappresenta peraltro esso stesso una ‘frontiera’. ‘Fra Pirenne e Braudel’, si potrebbe dire, il ‘mare fra le terre’ costituisce uno scenario in cui, come in un crogiuolo, si ridefiniscono ruoli e funzioni, autonomie e identità territoriali, che spesso si manifestano connotandone fondativamente il ‘lungo’ medioevo. E tuttavia, se questo volume prende le mosse dall’esperienza, prima di progettazione poi di sviluppo, di questo Convegno, esso non ne rappresenta solamente gli ‘Atti’ ma costituisce una prima riflessione complessiva su di un tema che rappresenta un’autentica ’struttura’ storica del Mediterraneo nel lungo periodo (certo con una focalizzazione al ‘medioevo’), maturata e dipanatasi anche oltre i tre giorni fiorentini; ciò sia, in molti casi, con contributi che costituiscono riflessioni successive all’evento (utilizzando magari proprio le more dei tempi che una pubblicazione di tale complessità e dimensione si è preso), sia con apporti di colleghi, spesso giovani che, presenti al Convegno ed alla discussione che, nella sede del SUM, lo ha concluso, hanno potuto arricchire le esperienze non solo archeologiche presentate, con un’ulteriore articolazione di scenari storici ed ambientali, magari spesso ancora abbozzati. Questa è la ragione per la quale abbiamo pensato di mantenere memoria (il programma riportato a conclusione del volume) ed apporti (abstracts che fanno riferimento alla videoregistrazione presente sul website del Convegno) di quanti non hanno potuto inviare in tempo i loro scritti. Questa è anche la ragione per la quale questo volume apre una nuova collana, generosamente ospitata nelle Series dei BAR di Oxford e promossa da un gruppo di archeologi e storici di varia estrazione (molti dei quali protagonisti degli incontri in ‘Palazzo Vecchio’), appunto dedicata all’analisi, condotta eminentemente con gli strumenti dell’’archeologia storica’, delle strutture materiali e delle diverse ‘frontiere’ che connotano la ‘lunga’ storia ed il comune ambiente di un Mediterraneo colto fra tardo antico ed albori della modernità (‘Limina/Limites). Nello stesso senso va inteso, con approccio culturale e metodologico condiviso, il Convegno Archeologia dei castelli nell’Europa angioina (secoli XIII-XV) programmato dall’Un. di Salerno nei giorni a seguire (10-12 novembre). In altri termini, un autentico settore di attività non solo aperto a contributi, di merito e di metodo, peraltro già percepibili negli interventi raccolti sia nella prima parte del volume (dedicata al quadro giordano, scelto come campione) sia nelle prospettive mediterranee tratteggiate, su di una pluralità di registri, nella seconda parte; ma già ora una precisa area di ricerca in atto. Il caso transgiordano ha costituito occasione per comunicare il quadro dei risultati sul piano storico di 20 anni di ricerche del Progetto Petra ‘medievale’ dell’Un. di Firenze, proponendo così di assumere – con un preciso punto di vista culturale, un consapevole approccio metodologico medievista e come chiave di lettura storica - un concetto di frontiera estensivamente inteso; l’invito è a riflettere sui contributi soprattutto archeologici (e storico-territoriali), considerati in senso diacronico (dal tardoantico alle soglie dell’età moderna), in ambito mediterraneo e in diverso significato (geo-topografico, cronologico, culturale, antropologico, religioso etc). Le relazioni hanno riguardato la tematica del Convegno da molteplici punti di vista, dalle più recenti acquisizioni archeologiche relative all’evolvere storicamente definito del concetto di frontiera e delle sue evidenze materiali nell’area sud della Giordania, tra i periodi postbizantino e postcrociato, all’emergere delle diverse posizioni delle frontiere nel Mediterraneo medievale - dalla Spagna della Reconquista alla Grande Siria ed alle 13

terre dell’Impero bizantino - sino ad una casistica italiana e ad alcuni specifici casi-studio e di come il concetto di confine nel medioevo possa essere letto come struttura storica, alla luce delle fonti scritte e archeologiche. Ma un Convegno come questo, che ha coinvolto qui, a diverso titolo, energie e intelligenze di quasi 300 persone che, in 3 giorni, ha saputo catalizzare un impegno di oltre un anno e mezzo, in fondo possiamo considerare che rappresenti anche una sorta di comunità, le cui varie articolazioni hanno dato luogo ad un evento, culturale direi prima ancora che scientifico, che si è speso su diversi registri. Certo in primo luogo i relatori, che hanno portato un complesso di dati sul tema per la prima volta disponibili ed una serie di letture rese possibili dal fatto che si tratta di studiosi che, in varia misura ed in tempi anche diversi, hanno spesso variamente condiviso temi, approcci (a volte metodi) di ricerca ed avuto frequenti opportunità di confronto, anche sul campo. Non si tratta cioè di presenze accomunate soltanto dall’interesse di scambiarsi idee su di un tema astratto, ma di scuole di ricercatori che, alla naturale coesione ‘interna’, hanno saputo aggiungere una rete di rapporti anche personali (citerò volentieri il ruolo straordinario dell’ACOR di Amman, con le direzioni di Bert De Vries, Pierre Bikai, Barbara Porter o il costante appoggio, incoraggiamento e sostegno della Principessa Wijdan F. al-Hashemi, Ambasciatore del Regno di Giordania in Italia, che hanno appunto costituito l’humus condiviso dell’incontro in Firenze, così eccezionalmente partecipato (86 studiosi provenienti da 43 Istituzioni scientifiche di 13 Paesi, con una ‘selezione’ di tutte le principali missioni archeologiche operanti in Giordania). Adesioni a questo incontro scientifico che, vorrei rimarcarlo, testimoniano un interesse sempre più diffuso, anche dal punto di vista metodologico, per l’archeologia postclassica anche orientale (bizantina, islamica, “crociata”) e per i contributi che essa può dare allo studio del Mediterraneo medievale nel suo complesso, ad una parte importante delle radici delle sue attuali comunità rivierasche. Ma vorrei anche almeno accennare ad altre componenti, naturalmente oltre i preziosi sostegni istituzionali, che hanno contribuito ad uno dei maggiori eventi archeologici tenuti a Firenze negli ultimi lustri. Si è trattato di una collaborazione intensamente partecipata da parte di vere ‘squadre’, almeno come spirito, con lo scopo di condividere al meglio un obbiettivo comune e con risultati che hanno ottenuto ampi riconoscimenti. In primo luogo il personale per logistica e servizi del Comune di Firenze e della Regione Toscana che, con la Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi srl, ha organizzato la splendida cena di accoglienza presso il castello di Nipozzano, che ha contribuito ad instaurare un caldo clima di colleganza fra i convegnisti. Quindi vorrei dare atto allo staff di giovani colleghi e ricercatori attivi presso il Laboratorio di Archeologia Medievale del DSSG della qualità, oltre che dell’intensità, dell’impegno, dei singoli e del collettivo, che hanno profuso per l’organizzazione, sia scientifica che logistica del Convegno ed in particolare vorrei ricordare Michele Nucciotti, che negli ultimi anni ha condiretto la Missione archeologica in Giordania, curatore con me non solo di questo volume ma dello stesso progetto, scientifico e, prima ancora, culturale che ha ispirato questa iniziativa. Infine un pensiero ancora per Padre Michele, il caro prof. Piccirillo, docente di archeologia presso lo Studium Biblicum Franciscanum di Gerusalemme, amico di una vita, con la cui prima stesura e sua ultima, redatta appena dieci giorni prima del suo ritorno alla casa del Padre, si apre il Convegno che, come questo volume, gli dedicammo, con un commosso attimo di silenzio, in piedi nella solennità del Salone dei ‘500 in Palazzo Vecchio. Anni di generosi consigli ed anche burberi, affettuosi rilievi di Padre Michele. Mancheranno anche quelli, certo con la sua impareggiabile, calda scienza archeologica, alla nostra Missione come alla gente della sua amata terra di Giordania.

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Indice - Summary

LA TRANSGIORDANIA NEI SECOLI XII-XIII E LE ‘FRONTIERE’ DEL MEDITERRANEO MEDIEVALE

INDICE Presentazioni: S. E. Zaid Al Lozi, Ambasciatore del Regno Hashemita di Giordania presso la Repubblica italiana; Alberto Tesi, Magnifico Rettore dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze; Guido Vannini, Professore Ordinario di Archeologia Medievale, Università di Firenze p. 8

Saluti: Eugenio Giani (Assessore alla Cultura del Comune di Firenze), Sandro Rogari (Prorettore Università di Firenze), Adnan Alsawair (Vicepresidente della commissione parlamentare Esteri e per il Turismo del Regno di Giordania), Ugo Caffaz (Dir. Attività Culturali, Regione Toscana), Franca Pecchioli (Preside Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia dell’Università di Firenze), Giovanni Cipriani (Dipartimento di Studi Storici e Geografici dell’Università di Firenze) p. 20

Il ‘test’ sud-giordano Una frontiera mediterranea *Michele Piccirillo Gli Arabi cristiani a difesa dei confini di Arabia e di Palestina

p. 29

Guido Vannini Archeologia di una frontiera mediterranea

p. 35

Ariel S. Lewin Le frontiere orientali dell’impero romano e le tribù arabe

p. 49

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean

Ignacio Arce Romans, Sarracens, Ghassanids and Umayyads. Transformation of the ‘Limes Arabicus’ from the 4th throughout the 8th C. AD. The case study of Qasr Hallabat in context

p. 55

Franco Cardini Frontiere e insediamenti vicino orientali fra documento e monumento

p. 75

Un’antica ‘terra di frontiera’ Stephan Schmid From the Nabataeans to the Crusaders. The Transformation of the Wadi Farasa East at Petra

p. 81

Patricia Bikai The Abandonment of Petra. Remains of the Invisible: Post-Byzantine Archaeology of Petra’s North Ridge

p. 95

Luigi Marino-Massimo Coli Il ‘Limes’. I condizionamenti delle risorse locali nella difesa dei confini

p. 100

Roberto Parenti-Piero Gilento Il ‘limes arabicus’ e le strutture materiali

p. 111

Hug Kennedy Patterns of Settlement in Transgiordania between the Muslim Conquest and the Crusades

p. 125

Contributi: Mario Frau Testimonianze preistoriche nel sito di Wu’ayra

p. 126

L’età ‘crociato-ayyubide’ e la nascita di una frontiera ‘medievale’ Guido Vannini-Michele Nucciotti Shawbak: strutture materiali di una frontiera

p. 135

Giuseppe Ligato (Soc. for the Study of the Crusades and Latin Est) Rinaldo di Châtillon, signore dell’Oltregiordano

p. 145

Robin Brown (Ind. Scholar) Karak in the Crusader Period: The Premiere Castle of Oultrejourdain

p. 159

Joseph Greene (Università di Harvard) From Jericho to Karak by Way of Zughar: Seafaring on the Dead Sea in the 12th-13th Centuries

p. 176

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Indice - Summary

Jerome Rose (University of Arkansas)-Ali Khwaleh (Yarmuk University) Biological Consequences of Migration as Evidenced by Skeletons from the Twelfth Century Frankish Castellum Vallis Moysis, Jordan (Al-Wu’ayra)

p. 177

Basema Hamarneh (Università ‘Kore’ di Enna) Rural Settlements in Southern Transjordan Prior and Throughout the Ayyubid-Mamluk Periods

p. 181

Contributi: Khaled Nashef (DoA) L’industria dello zucchero nel medioevo

p. 189

Zbigniew Fiema, Jaakko Frösén (Università di Helsinki) Jabal Haroun in the crusader, ayyubid and mamluk periods

p. 193

La prima età mamelucca e il consolidarsi di una tradizione Bethany Walker (Grand Valley State University) Transjordan as the Mamluk Frontier: Imperial Conceptions of Authority and Space

p. 201

Johnny De Meulemeester (Università di Ghent)-Reem Al-Shqour (Islamic Aqaba Project) The Castles of Aqaba p. 209 Hani Falahat (Dept of Antiquities of Jordan) The Cultural Role of Shoubak Castle during the Medieval Periods

p. 220

Francesca Dotti (Ecole Pratique Des Hautes Etudes, Paris) Qal’at al-Shawbak: studio dei dati epigrafici di epoca islamica

p. 225

Cedric Devais, Ludovic Decock, Sylvain Vondra, (IFPO) Trois campagnes de prospections dans l’hinterland de Shawbak de la mission archèologique de l’Institut Français de Proche Orient (IFPO)

p. 226

Mohamed Al-Marahleh (DoA of Jordan) Il memoriale di Abu Sulaiman Al Darani

p. 227

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean

Un Mediterraneo ‘Medievale’ Archeologia dei castelli nell’Oriente mediterraneo Adrian Boas (University of Haifa) Montfort Castle Project: Developments and Future Objectives

p. 231

Ronnie Ellenblum (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) Borders, Frontiers and Medieval Defense

p. 234

Sauro Gelichi (Università ‘Ca’ Foscari di Venezia) Harim: un castello di frontiera tra Crociati e Musulmani

p. 235

Cristina Tonghini (Università ‘Ca’ Foscari di Venezia) Il caso di Shayzar, Siria: ‘castello’ o città fortificata

p. 252

Stella Patitucci Uggeri (Università di Cassino) I castelli di frontiera del Principato di Antiochia

p. 253

Contributi: Cecilia Luschi, Laura Aiello (Università di Firenze) Linee di ricerca per il sito di Montfort (Galilea Ovest – Israele)

p. 265

Castelli e frontiere mediterranee: archeologia, storia, architettura Juan José Larrea (Università del Paese Basco) Des barbares de Dar al-Islam : le rôle d’al-Andalus dans la structuration des sociétés chrétiennes périphériques (VIIIe-Xe siècles)

p. 277

Josè Enrique Ruiz Domenec (Università Autonoma di Barcellona) Considerazioni sulla frontiera nella Spagna medievale

p. 289

Marco Bini-Cecilia Luschi (Università di Firenze) Motta e chemise, due archetipi dei castelli crociati

p. 293

Pierre Drap-Julien Seinturier-Gilles Gaillard-Massimiliano Casenove (CNRS-LSIS, Marseille) Rilievo e documentazione archeologica: un GIS basato sulla fotogrammetria per l’analisi stratigrafica degli elevati

p. 307

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Indice - Summary

Pietro Ruschi (Università di Pisa) Il ‘castello’ di Shawbak, fra restauro e conservazione

p. 313

Oystein La Bianca (Andrews University) Great and Little Traditions of Transjordan: The View from Tall Hisban during Medieval Times

p. 317

Amer Bdour (Dept of Antiquities of Jordan)-Mansur Shquirat-Saad Twaissi (al-Hussein Bin Talal University) Some notes on the medieval Shawbak: historical and archaeological evidence in anthropological perspective p. 319 Contributi: Maria Elena Ronza-Oystein la Bianca The concept of local ownership as mean of conservation of archaeological sites p. 315 Ezio Burri (Università dell’Aquila) Alcune considerazioni sulla possibile valorizzazione culturale della galleria di adduzione alla sorgente “Ain al ragaye” nel castello di Shawbak (Giordania) p. 325 Ali Al-Khatib (DoA) Restauri a Umm el-Jimal p. 330

Insediamento e confini: una casistica archeologica dell’Italia medievale Francesca R. Stasolla (Università ‘La Sapienza’ di Roma) Attraverso le frontiere: gli itinerari di pellegrinaggio per la conoscenza del Mediterraneo medievale p. 339 Alessandra Molinari (Università ‘Tor Vergata’ di Roma) La Sicilia tra XII e XIII secolo: conflitti “interetnici” e frontiere interne p. 345 Marco Milanese-Franco G.R.Campus (Università di Sassari) Archeologia e storia delle frontiere del Giudicato di Torres nella Sardegna medievale

p. 361

Philippe Pergola-Daniel Istria (CNRS) La Corse du haut Moyen Age: une marche-frontière au coeur de la Tyrrhénienne

p. 365

Fabio Redi (Università dell’Aquila) L’Abruzzo come frontiera culturale dal VI al XIV secolo. Fra Goti e Bizantini, Spoleto e Benevento, Normanni e Papato

p. 366

Contributi: Rosangela De Acutis (Università dell’Aquila) Le frontiere italiane in età bizantina. Alcuni casi costieri p. 381 Gabriella Di Rocco (Università di Cassino) I castelli normanni di frontiera tra il Principatus Capuae e il Ducatus Apuliae nella Contea di Molise p. 391 19

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean

Sabrina Pietrobono (Università dell’Aquila) Quando il Liri non separa: passi, viabilità e strutture di difesa di una “frontiera” medievale nel Lazio

p. 395

Il confine medievale come struttura storica Francesco Salvestrini (Università di Firenze) La scrittura del confine. Alcuni esempi dall’Italia comunale

p. 405

Giovanna Bianchi (Università di Siena) Spazi ‘orientati’ e confinati tra signorie fondiarie e territoriali nella Toscana meridionale p. 408 Chiara Molducci (Università di Firenze) Uno spazio di confine: la Romania appenninica dalle radici bizantine alle origini della signoria comitale dei Guidi p. 419 Andrea Vanni Desideri-Nathalie Dufour-Patrizia Framarin (Régione Autonome Vallée d’Aoste) Nascita di una frontiera alpina. Il Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo Contributi: Michele Cornieti (Università di Firenze) Fortificazioni urbane di frontiera in Asia Minore: le difese di Iasos di Caria in età bizantina Filippo Ruschi (Università di Firenze) L’archeologia del limite: una riflessione filosofico-giuridica

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p. 432

p. 449 p. 458

Indice - Summary

Tavola rotonda - Round table

p. 471

Chairman: Mario Citroni (SUM) Guido Vannini (Università di Firenze), Khairieh Amr (Museo Nazionale della Giordania), Lech Lecejewicz (P.A.N, Breslavia), Dennys Pringle (Università di Cardiff), Jorge Lopez Quiroga (UAM), Elisa Pruno (Università di Firenze)

Presentazione della Mostra Internazionale

p. 475

‘Da Petra a Shawbak. Archeologia di una Frontiera’ Chiara Bonacchi (Università Di Firenze)

Programma del Convegno

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p. 483

Saluto i partecipanti al convegno e mi presento nella mia veste di Assessore alla cultura del Comune di Firenze in rappresentanza del Sindaco Leonardo Domenici, del quale porto i saluti. Ritengo questa una importantissima occasione per la città e sono particolarmente onorato di essere qui a rappresentare l’Amministrazione Comunale. Esprimo profonda soddisfazione per la scelta della città di Firenze come luogo di un così importante convegno e in modo particolare la scelta di Palazzo Vecchio come occasione e luogo di confronto, che ritengo essere una occasione a livello internazionale e mondiale dove studiosi si confrontano, persone che hanno lavorato sugli scavi e sull’ambiente, dal punto di vista archeologico, della Transgiordania, di Petra e di luoghi anche meno conosciuti ma ugualmente interessanti anche sul piano delle recenti scoperte. Ringrazio il Professor Guido Vannini, ordinario di archeologia medioevale presso la Facoltà di Lettere e interlocutore del Comune di Firenze per l’organizzazione del convegno, che sottolineo il Comune di Firenze ha fortemente voluto in Palazzo Vecchio, la cui prima pietra fu posata nel febbraio 1299 e riprende in qualche modo quell’ambiente della Firenze che stava, dal periodo medioevale, entrando nella fase rinascimentale della sua storia, la Firenze di Dante e di Giotto ma anche la Firenze che usciva dalle lotte tra Guelfi e Ghibellini, per diventare una realtà che trovava nella sua espansione motivi di crescita e sviluppo non solo territoriale ma della finanza e della mercatura; già dal 1252 quando fu coniato il fiorino d’oro, era la Firenze che si dava degli ordinamenti che erano più liberi e democratici. Intorno al 1293 Giano Della Bella riuscì a fare emanare gli Ordinamenti di Giustizia facendo ritrovare alla città quella vitalità che avrebbe posto le basi per la crescita del suo ruolo internazionale. Riconosco nel convegno sulla Transgiordania la Missione che ha visto impegnata l’Università di Firenze, qui rappresentata dal Professor Rogari, che ringrazio per la costante attenzione che pone nei rapporti tra l’Università e il Comune; affermo con orgoglio la stretta collaborazione tra l’Amministrazione e l’Università che ha messo in primo piano l’impegno della realtà fiorentina attiva e presente sul piano degli scavi e degli studi in un paese che è molto legato alla nostra città; cito il professor Franco Cardini, con il quale ho avuto modo tante volte, in diverse occasioni, di riflettere sull’approccio della città e dei fiorentini su quella che fu la realtà, incredibile, del periodo delle crociate, in questione nello studio oggi nella nostra epopea e che racconta di Pazzino dei Pazzi e dei fiorentini alla prima crociata, documentazioni storiche che il Professor Cardini ha portato in maggior evidenza e che rilevano le prime presenze storicamente importanti a partire dalla terza crociata. Anche all’interno nel sistema delle tradizioni storiche della città di Firenze, basti pensare allo “scoppio del carro”, festa popolare di grande richiamo nel periodo di Pasqua, il pensiero della città di Firenze ricorre a quella stagione, cita questo periodo per dire che fa parte della nostra storia e memoria collettiva, con la partecipazione dei fiorentini a tutto ciò che spinge verso l’Oriente, evocando il senso di partecipazione, del desiderio di viaggi, di contatti e rapporti; la storia ci consegna questo e l’archeologia da il senso di attualità a quello che è un percorso di memoria e di identità collettiva. Sono particolarmente compiaciuto che oggi Firenze si trovi al centro di questo confronto tra studiosi che sicuramente rivelerà delle opportunità nuove di conoscenza che arricchiranno ciascuno dei partecipanti. Il fatto che i tre giorni dedicati al convegno siano stati inseriti nella cornice della città di Firenze lo ritengo motivo di orgoglio e soddisfazione. Ringrazio tutti i partecipanti e rinnovo il saluto dell’Amministrazione Comunale di Firenze, con la speranza di una lieta permanenza per questi giorni in città che non vuole e deve essere solo approfondimento e studio ma incontro nel contesto della città stessa. Con questo spirito lascio la parola al Professor Cardini, conduttore dei lavori del convegno e auguro buon lavoro e buona permanenza a Firenze. Eugenio Giani Assessore alla Cultura del Comune di Firenze

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In qualità di prorettore alla didattica e di delegato del Rettore ho avuto l’onore, il 6 novembre 2008, di portare il saluto dell’Università degli studi di Firenze al congresso internazionale di studio del quale vengono raccolte le relazioni in questo volume. Fu un motivo di orgoglio, allora, per me aprire i lavori in un momento, che peraltro dura ormai da troppo tempo e perdura ancor oggi, di crisi dell’Università perché un convegno di questa portata con oltre ottanta relatori, più di quaranta istituzioni universitarie di tutto il mondo coinvolte, assumeva in quel contesto un significato particolare. Erano, due anni fa, il Congresso e la mostra che l’accompagnò, e sono, oggi, questi atti, testimonianza di una vitalità straordinaria oltre che della capacità dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze di posizionarsi come leader internazionale nell’ambito degli studi dell’archeologia medievale dell’area mediterranea. E’ una posizione guadagnata grazie ad una missione internazionale che la vede impegnata da vent’anni e che, come per tutte le grandi imprese, si avvale di due condizioni. La straordinaria competenza scientifica e la dedizione al lavoro organizzativo dei suoi migliori docenti - nel caso specifico il collega Guido Vannini, vera anima e motore di questo complesso di iniziative – e l’entusiasmo di tanti giovani ricercatori che nel lavoro di scavo e di ricerca dedicano passione ed un amore sconfinato per l’oggetto dei loro studi. E’ inutile che aggiunga che lo fanno nelle condizioni peggiori soprattutto per quanto riguarda le prospettive del loro futuro e quindi il loro merito è a maggior ragione da apprezzare. Ritengo anche che chi non ha potuto essere presente ai lavori del convegno e ammirare la splendida mostra sui resti di Petra avrà la possibilità, prendendo in mano questi atti, di apprezzare due aspetti che balzano subito agli occhi anche a chi, come me, è ben lungi d’essere uno specialista del settore. La prima riguarda il taglio interdisciplinare per il quale studi di stretta natura storiografica si affiancano a contributi di natura archeologica. L’approccio storicistico avvicina le due metodologie di ricerca che fanno emergere intersezioni utili e feconde ai fini della migliore conoscenza del tema. Mi pare che anche sotto questo profilo, l’avere oltrepassato i confini disciplinari abbia fatto compiere un decisivo salto di qualità agli studi archeologici e, di rimando, a quelli storici. Il secondo aspetto che vorrei sottolineare è tematico. La questione delle frontiere è un grande tema storiografico che sta avendo un enorme sviluppo negli studi contemporaneistici. L’età della globalizzazione che stiamo vivendo sta modificando alla radice la pregnanza semantica del termine di frontiera e di confine. Questo vale a maggior ragione in un’Europa nella quale la costruzione dello stato nazionale ha avuto uno dei suoi momenti chiave nella definizione dei confini. La crisi dello stato nazionale ha comportato una profonda revisione della questione. Il concetto di cittadinanza non passa più attraverso il richiamo all’identità nazionale e il principio del diritto assume una accezione universalistica che supera ogni barriera di confine, di pari passo con l’indebolimento dello stato nazionale come fonte giuridica. Certo, parlando di spazio mediterraneo e di frontiere nel XII e nel XIII siamo ben lontani da questa realtà. Ma, per certi aspetti, i contributi raccolti in questo volume offrono spunti di riflessione interessanti su cicli storici lontani, ma che tornano ad essere assai più vicini a noi di quanto non possa parere. Se compariamo il corrente approccio universalistico con quello dimensionato sullo spazio mediterraneo, che nel XII e XIII coincideva o quasi con la civiltà conosciuta, come emerge dagli studi qui raccolti, scopriamo gli inediti risvolti di una storia che ha tanto da insegnarci.

Sandro Rogari Prorettore dell’Università di Firenze

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Quando mi è giunta la richiesta del Prof. Vannini di rappresentare il mio Paese al Convegno sull’archeologia delle frontiere mediterranee ho accolto l’invito con soddisfazione e sono orgoglioso di far parte di un evento importante per tutti gli studiosi del settore ma soprattutto per noi giordani. Sono intervenuto a Firenze con grande piacere personale ma anche nella doppia veste istituzionale di membro della Commissione Turismo della Camera dei Deputati e in quanto presidente dell’associazione di amicizia parlamentare italo-giordana. Ho aperto il mio intervento con i saluti del Presidente della Camera giordana che ha ringraziato il governo italiano per il sostegno offerto nella ricerca, restauro e conservazione del patrimonio archelogico del nostro paese. Di fronte ad una illustre platea di colleghi del compianto Padre Piccirillo, è stato doveroso ricordare l’encomiabile dedizione al suo lavoro che ha portato lustro all’Italia offrendo l’intera esistenza ai mosaici del Medio Oriente. Ho rinnovato la storica amicizia tra i nostri due paesi sottolineando la crucialità della posizione geografica del regno Hashemita. Crocevia di popoli e terra di frontiera ai tempi delle Crociate. Oggi protagonista e intermediatore nel conflitto arabo-israeliano che ha segnato l’esistenza di intere generazioni di questi territori. Con la città di Firenze, l’Italia e parte dell’Europa, condividiamo periodi storici che, pur trovandoci su fronti diversi, hanno arricchito entrambe le nostre civiltà e hanno contribuito a far incontrare diversi popoli. Ringrazio infine lo staff della missione archeologica dell’Università di Firenze per la straordinaria opera di scavo e restauro del sito di Shobak. Il popolo giordano è grato agli italiani per aver contribuito a preservare una parte dell’immensa ricchezza archelogica del nostro paese per permettere alle generazioni future di conoscere le proprie radici.

Adnan Al-Sawair Vicepresidente della commissione parlamentare Esteri e per il Turismo del Regno di Giordania

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Grazie prof. Cardini, ma io non farò una introduzione così come ha fatto l’amico Eugenio Giani che è sempre brillante quindi mi favorisce e non ho bisogno di fare citazioni storiche che peraltro in questa veste non mi competono.   Ho seguito anch’io i lavori preparatori,diciamo così,in tanti colloqui con il professor Vannini. Ero presente anche all’incontro che preannunciava l’attività di questi giorni e sono particolarmente contento, come succede a volte, di rappresentare la regione e il presidente, perchè ciò mi consente, sia pure brevemente, di seguire i lavori de visu.   L’emozione è dovuta al fatto che io ho, come molti turisti, visitato qualche anno fa (in un momento particolarmente felice per quelle terre: il capodanno del 2000, quando sembrava che i venti di pace prevalessero definitivamente su quelli di guerra) Petra, che è un luogo magico. Uno può andare a visitare Petra 10, 100 volte, ma quando entra in quel wadi e gli si apre la città proverà ogni volta una emozione unica: credo sia davvero uno spettacolo divino, se così si può dire. Si potrebbe ragionare a lungo di quei luoghi, di quella parte del mondo a me particolarmente cari. Incontri come questo hanno ovviamente un valore culturale ma non dobbiamo trascurare l’importanza turistica ed economica. E’ però interesse nostro mostrare anche le nostre meraviglie come questo palazzo Comunale che non è Petra; penso che di luoghi come questo ‘Salone dei 500’ ce ne siano pochi al mondo e vi assicuro che ogni volta che ci passo (in questi anni qualche migliaio di volte nella veste di consigliere comunale) mi emoziono e mi soffermo a guardare particolari sempre diversi.   Accanto al valore turistico (reciproco) e culturale vedo anche un valore politico. Insomma donne e uomini di cultura quando si incontrano non pensano alle guerre, alle tragedie, pensano al loro interesse, alla loro passione, magari studiano le guerre di una volta, i luoghi dove sono avvenute cose magari orribili, ma che nel tempo acquistano invece un significato completamente diverso e quindi anche questi incontri aiutano, a mio modo di vedere, il dialogo fra i popoli. In questo caso le città della Giordania incontrano Firenze che è per antonomasia la città della pace. Possiamo ricordare, con Eugenio Giani ne abbiamo parlato proprio in questi giorni, i Colloqui Mediterranei di Giorgio La Pira che verranno rinnovati e questa per noi è una notizia importante. Firenze ricorderà quei giorni non per celebrare l’anniversario, ma per riproporre un metodo e un percorso di pace. In quella occasione i popoli di questo mare meraviglioso, il Mediterraneo appunto, si rincontreranno e spero che in quella occasione, rovesciando il problema, non si parli solo di politica, ma di cultura e di economia.   Ugo Caffaz Direttore generale per le politiche formative e beni culturali per la Regione Toscana

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Nel corso del convegno che si è tenuto a Firenze, a Palazzo Vecchio e a Palazzo Strozzi, nei giorni 6-8 novembre 2008, “La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le ‘frontiere’ del Mediterraneo medievale”, dal sottotitolo significativo “Fra archeologia e storia”, studiosi provenienti da tutto il mondo hanno discusso del concetto di frontiera come struttura archeologica; ne hanno discusso con particolare riferimento alle evidenze presenti nell’area del Mediterraneo orientale, dove grandi civiltà si sono succedute e sovrapposte nel corso del tempo, dal mondo cuneiforme, e ancora prima, dalle civiltà protostoriche fino all’età contemporanea, e dove anche la cultura latina dominante ha recepito le influenze locali lasciando delle testimonianze uniche nel suo genere. Questo convegno, a cui era connessa la mostra “Da Petra a Shawbak – Archeologia di una frontiera”, tenutasi a Palazzo Pitti, Limonaia del giardino di Boboli, 13 luglio - 11 ottobre 2009, che ha avuto un grandissimo successo di pubblico e di critica, è stato promosso da istituzioni fiorentine (Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Studi storici e geografici; Istituto italiano di Scienze Umane-SUM; Comune di Firenze) e si è avvalso della collaborazione di 42 istituzioni scientifiche appartenenti a 12 paesi diversi. Mi preme qui richiamare il significato per un paese come il nostro della presenza fra questi di tutti i paesi dell’area mediterranea. Come preside della Facoltà di Lettere ho portato un caloroso saluto ai convegnisti e ai colleghi impegnati nella realizzazione di questo incontro; un saluto particolare è andato all’amico Guido Vannini e ai suoi collaboratori, uno splendido gruppo di giovani entusiasti, che hanno lavorato e lavorano in modo veramente intenso. Guido Vannini e i suoi collaboratori, a mio avviso, meritano un saluto ed un sostegno particolare da parte delle istituzioni pubbliche e statali, perché hanno dato una risposta limpida ed efficace a chi, anche ai massimi livelli istituzionali, sostiene che l’Università in Italia non funziona, spreca risorse, non è competitiva a livello internazionale. Chi dice così, credo non dica la verità o per lo meno non dice tutta la verità e, quando parla di eccellenze e di graduatorie internazionali, non dice nemmeno in base a quali parametri vengono stilate dalle diverse agenzie le graduatorie delle università del mondo. Quando il nostro ministro dice che nessuna università italiana è fra le prime 150 università del mondo, si dimentica di dire che la ricerca dell’area umanistica non rientra fra quelle prese in considerazione; rientrano le ricerche di ambito tecnologico, di ambito medico, di ambito scientifico, quelle cioè che funzionano quando ci sono risorse a disposizione. E’ chiaro che se vuoi una università italiana fra le prime 150 devi dare risorse, altrimenti è difficile che si possano raggiungere posizioni di eccellenza. Credo che i nostri colleghi che hanno lavorato per la realizzazione di questo convegno siano un esempio molto chiaro di ciò che l’Università produce realmente in termini di ricerca scientifica, di collaborazione internazionale, di confronto e di dialogo fra sponde del Mediterraneo che sono opposte, io credo, solo in termini geografici. Franca Pecchioli Preside Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia dell’Università di Firenze

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A nome del Dipartimento di Studi Storici e Geografici dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze, rivolgo un vivo saluto. La Storia è la testimonianza delle alleanze e dei conflitti che hanno caratterizzato il cammino umano nei secoli. E’ una fonte preziosa ed eloquente che dovrebbe guidarci nelle nostre decisioni e nei nostri passi facendoci comprendere gli errori, o la lungimiranza di quanti ci hanno preceduto. La Storia è però muta senza le testimonianze che l’hanno accompagnata e l’Archeologia è il miglior alleato per mettere in luce lo spessore degli eventi e la loro influenza politica, economica e culturale nel corso del tempo e nelle aree più disparate. Questo convegno e la costante attività del Prof. Guido Vannini rendono tutto questo di straordinaria evidenza e fanno comprendere come la reciproca conoscenza renda i popoli più vicini, più uniti, alla luce di una profonda verità: l’uomo è sempre stato animato da bisogni, esigenze, idealità che hanno assunto forme e aspetti diversi ma che restano sempre specchio di un comune modo di sentire, di una dimensione naturale che sempre riaffiora e che ci fa sentire fratelli. La riscoperta del passato, attraverso ricomposizioni e fratture, è la via maestra per giungere alla comprensione reciproca, nel rispetto di ogni diversità ed ogni piccolo passo in questa direzione è importante e significativo, nella prospettiva di una pace duratura.

Giovanni Cipriani Giunta del Dipartimento di Studi Storici e Geografici

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

IL ‘TEST’ SUD-GIORDANO THE SOUTHERN JORDAN ‘TEST’ UNA FRONTIERA MEDITERRANEA A MEDITERRANEAN FRONTIER

LE COMUNITA’ CRISTIANE NELLA TRANSGIORDANIA MERIDIONALE DEI SECOLI X-XIII Michele Piccirillo Studium Bibiblicum Franciscanum di Gerusalemme L’esploratore J.L. Burchardt, primo degli occidentali a raggiungere in epoca moderna le rovine di Petra, dopo aver descritto la sorgente di Ain Musa all’ingresso di Wadi Musa, ricorda di aver visto subito dopo le rovine delle case abbandonate del villaggio di Badabdeh. Aggiunge: “(Il villaggio) era abitato fino a qualche anno fa da circa venti famiglie di Cristiani Greci (ortodossi) che in seguito si spostarono a Kerak”(Burchardt 1822, 420). Una notizia che certamente aveva raccolto durante la sua sosta a Kerak ospite della comunità cristiana e che ricorda con molti dettagli interessanti (Burchardt 1822, 381s): “Kerak è abitata da circa 400 famiglie Turche e da 150 famiglie Cristiane...I Cristiani in gran parte sono discendenti di rifugiati provenienti da Gerusalemme, Betlemme e Bet Jala (che egli scrive Beit Djade). Sono esenti da qualsiasi tassa e hanno gli stessi diritti dei Turchi”. “I cristiani di Kerak sono famosi per il loro coraggio’ -scrive inoltre l’esploratore - raccontando il motivo di questa fama legato alla vittoria schiacciante di 27 di loro contro 400 Rawalla che avevano assalito e derubato il loro accampamento, di Domenica durante la loro assenza. Poi aggiunge: ‘Per giustificare il successo di questa eroica impresa, debbo ricordare che gli abitanti di Kerak sono eccellenti tiratori (marksmen); non c’è un ragazzo tra di loro che non conosce come usare una fionda (firelock) a 10 anni!...I Cristiani di Kerak hanno anche due individui che reputano (style) loro Shaikhs e che, insieme con il sacerdote, dirigono gli affari della comunità”. A conferma di quanto detto, racconta il tentativo fallito di Ibn Sa‘ud di imporre loro la tassazione o jizyah (testatico o tassa annuale): “Da quattro anni la polazione di Kerak è diventata Wahabita, ma essi non hanno mai pagato tutto il tributo a Ibn Saud; e sembra che questi conosca abbastanza di politica per non tentare di imporre con la forza ciò che è

seriamente dubbioso di ottenere con quei mezzi...Ha anche scritto ai Cristiani esortandoli a pagare la tassa pro capite (jizyah) ma finora senza risultato”. Un secolo dopo, il tenente colonnello F. G. Peake, noto come Peake Pasha, fondatore della Legione Araba, nella sua History of Jordan and Its Tribes, raccoglie l’informazione che gli al-Maqateesh e gli al-Oweisat del Jabal Ajlun residenti a Anjara e nei villaggi della montagna a nord di Jerash prendono il loro nome da due fratelli Miqtish e Oweis provenienti da Wadi Musa. Dopo una permanenza a Kethrabba nel distretto di Kerak, per motivi di una faida di sangue, fuggirono e si stabilirono sul Jabal Ajlun. Famiglie imparentate con gli Akasha e i Hijazin di Kerak con parenti a Khirbet al-Wahadneh e Dibbin sempre sulla montagna di Ajlun e a Jenin in Palestina (Figura 2). Inoltre, stando alla testimonianza raccolta da Peake Pasha, se gli al-Mheirat di Iraq al-Amir, un ramo del gruppo dei Fqaha di origine cristiana, si rifanno storicamente ai Tanukh che, secondo lo storico ibn Musab al-Wazir, si chiamavano anche al-Abbad (del gruppo dei Tayy), diverse famiglie delle altre comunità cristiane sparse nel territorio diventato Regno Hashemita di Giordania, tengono tradizionalmente a legare la loro origine con i Banu Ghassan, la potente confederazione araba cristiana che raggiunse la preminenza nel VI secolo al tempo dell’Imperatore Giustiniano. Una storia gloriosa degli Arabi Preislamici diventata mitica e idealizzata anche dagli scrittori musulmani di epoca posteriore (Peake 1958, 180). Gli Al-Imeishat, al tempo presenti a Suf sulla montagna a nord di Jerash, a Husn e nei villaggi intorno a Irbid nella regione detta al-Kura, non solo si dicevano discendenti dai Banu Ghassan provenienti dal Hawran, ma quelli di al 29

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Husn mostravano con orgoglio un vecchio sigillo sul quale era inciso: “Ibrahim Imeish al-Ghassani”. Una pretesa radicata tra i cristiani della Balqa nel territorio del villaggio di Fuhais, a ovest di Amman, e tra le tribù di Kerak dal 1880 traferitesi a Madaba, come i Ma‘aya‘, gli al-Haddadin della montagna di Ajlun, i Numura di alHusn, gli al-Qabaana, gli al-Qaawara e gli Azeizat. Questi ultimi raccontavano di provenire dal territorio di Kerak e precisamente da Muta, il luogo della prima battaglia tra le forze musulmane inviate dal Profeta Maometto e l’esercito bizantino, scontro che si risolse con la vittoria dell’esercito imperiale e la morte dei tre condottieri musulmani. A Peake Pasha raccontarono che al tempo della battaglia, due fratelli degli Azizat diedero assistenza all’esercito musulmano aprendo loro le ‘porte del villaggio’ e dando cibo e acqua. In seguito uno dei due fratelli divenne musulmano. Lo stesso Profeta dell’Islam, venuto a conoscenza del fatto, in ringraziamento diede ordine che essi e i loro discendenti fossero esenti dalle tasse. Una esenzione, che durò fino al 1811 anno della rivolta contro i Turchi, testimoniata da Burchkardt che la spiega con la loro combattività e con l’alleanza con i Majali musulmani di Kerak. Anche se Peake preferisce metterla in relazione con Saladino e l’assedio di Kerak e perciò non nel VII ma nel XII secolo. Gli Al-Nassar del gruppo degli Al Qabaana di es-Salt raccontavano di provenire da Qastal e di aver preso il nuovo nome di an-Nassar durante la loro pemanenza a Kufrinja sulla montagna di Ajlun. Una appartenenza ai Banu Ghassan con provenienza da Qastal raccontata anche dagli Al Qaawra le cui famiglie (Shukeirat, Oleimat, Sumeirat) si spostarono al-Dayr nel territorio di Fuhais e a Nablus in Palestina in particolare nel villaggio di Nusf Jbile. Verso il 1745 Mansur dei Sumeirat con i tre figli Mutanis, Mikhail e Elias andarono a Nazaret dove Mansur fu conosciuto come Qawar, nome che restò alla famiglia fino ai nostri giorni.

preciso di identità ad indicare la popolazione araba, la cui origine etnica aveva dato il nome alla Provincia Arabia. I componenti delle tribù per lo più sedentarizzate e parte integrante della comunità nelle città e nei villaggi della Provincia, da tempo dedite all’agricoltura, come all’artigianto e al commercio, conservavano, ciò nonostante, nomi, usi e costumi insieme con il tradizionale autogoverno tribale basato sulle famiglie rette dai loro shaikh, nell’ambito dell’amministrazione provinciale. Tribù che normalmente si riunivano in confederazioni, ciò che accresceva la loro forza e il loro prestigio con il controllo di un territorio che variava proprio in ragione del numero delle famiglie che ne facevano parte. La tradizione conservata dagli scrittori arabi (Hamza alIsfahani e al-Mas‘udi) afferma che, al tempo dell’imperatore Aureliano, furono le tribù arabe confederate dei Tanukh guidate dal re Gadhima, ad opporsi allo strapotere dell’esercito di Zenobia di Palmira dei Banu Odhana, ai quali l’imperatore Aureliano diede il colpo finale liberando Roma da uno dei grandi pericoli corsi dall’Impero d’Oriente dopo Antonio e Cleopatra. L’alleanza di Aureliano con le tribù dei Tanukh non fu un caso isolato, perché aveva avuto dei precedenti e ebbe un seguito importante nei secoli successivi. L’iscrizione di Ruwwafa nella penisola arabica con il ricordo di un tempio in onore degli imperatori romani Marco Aurelio e Lucio Vero fatto costruire nel terzo secolo dalla confederazione dei Thamud al tempo di Claudio Modesto governatore della provincia Arabia, costituisce una testimonianza preziosa delle relazioni amichevoli intrattenute dall’autorità romana con le tribù arabe per il controllo del territorio. Per il periodo costantiniano, il documento più importante è l’iscrizione in lingua araba ma in caratteri nabatei scoperta da R. Dussaud a Namara, a est del Jabal al-Druz, una località della Provincia Arabia e oggi conservata al Louvre a Parigi. E’ l’epitaffio di Mar’alqays o Imrualqays, re di tutti gli Arabi, sepolto nel 328. “Questa è la tomba di Mar’alqays, figlio di ‘Amr, il re di tutti gli Arabi che cinse il diadema, che ha assoggettato i due Asad, Nizar e i loro re, che ha vinto i Madhhig in battaglia aperta – davvero! e senza difficoltà passò l’ingresso di Zarban davanti a Najran, la città di Shammar, che ha assoggettato i Ma‘add, che suddivise i suoi figli alla testa delle tribù, e affidò questi ai Persiani e ai Romani. Nessun re ha ottenuto tanto potere quanto lui – davvero! E’ morto nell’anno 223 (della Provincia), il 7mo giorno del mese di Kesloul. Bene (discenda) sulla sua discendenza!” Tenendo presente che i due Asad fanno riferimento a tribù della regione di Al-Qatif e di Riyad, ricordati nel II secolo da Tolomeo, (Asatenoi e Thanouitai) come presenti nella penisola arabica, che i Nizar sono da mettere in relazione con i Tanukh, che i Ma‘add abitavano nell’Arabia centrale e i Madhhig e Najran si trovavano nell’Arabia meridionale, risulta che il territorio controllato da Mar’alqays re di tutti gli Arabi si estendeva dal golfo arabico fino a Namara nel Hauran, dallo Yemen fino a Hira in territorio persiano. Un potere suddiviso tra i figli posti a capo delle tribù confederate, al di qua e al di là dell’Eufrate, in territorio

I geografi Romani conoscevano tre territori ai quali davano il nome di Arabia, il territorio nel sud della Siria unificato dai re nabatei che divenne la nuova provincia romana di Arabia (Arabia Adquisita), l’Arabia in Egitto con capitale Facusa nel Delta orientale del Nilo, e l’Arabia in Mesopotamia il territorio a nord e a sud del fiume Khabur con le due città di Hatra e Edessa (Urhai). Tutte e tre le Arabie divennero province romane. La più nota fu la Provincia Arabia che sotto la protezione dei legionari della Legio III Cyrenaica e degli ausiliari arabi dell’esercito romano raggiunse nel II-III secolo uno sviluppo alla pari con le altre province dell’impero. Nella Passio dei Martiri della Balqa, al tempo della persecuzione di Diocleziano, il governatore della Provincia Arabia Massimo chiede ai martiri: ‘Di che lingua siete? Greci, Romani o Arabi?’ In un mondo dove la cultura greca e romana da secoli aveva provato a unificare e a livellare civilmente e culturalmente popolazioni diverse, la domanda acquista un significato 30

M. piccirillo: Le comunità cristiane nella Transgiordania meridionale dei secoli X-XIII divenne felice e ricca in uomini, e che essa fece paura ai Persiani e agli altri Saraceni” (Sozomeno, HE, VI, 38). Nell’episodio, oltre che all’intervento dei monaci nella conversione degli Arabi, che seguono il loro shaikh nel farsi battezzare in massa, un motivo che ritorna spesso nelle vite degli asceti dell’antichità cristiana, è accennato anche al fatto che Zokomos con la sua tribù passò al servizio dei Romani nella difesa del confine contro i Persiani e le altre tribù. Come se l’alleanza politica con Roma andasse di pari passo con la cristianizzazione della tribù leader del gruppo tribale.

persiano e in territorio romano, evidentemente con una propria indipendenza e libertà di azione all’interno delle tribù dell’immenso territorio. Per alcuni storici, Imrualqays e i suoi figli, sono forse da identificare con i soli tre re cristiani dei Tanukh ricordati dalle fonti arabe, cioè an-Nu‘man con i due figli ‘Amr e al-Harawi, ciò che spiegherebbe meglio la presenza della tomba di un re arabo nel territorio della provincia romana di Arabia. Lo scrittore ecclesiastico Rufino di Concordia e gli altri scrittori ecclesiastici che ne scrivono con un certo compiacimento, raccontano l’exploit della regina araba Mawiya (Moavia in greco) insorta contro Valente nel territorio meridionale della Provincia, finché l’imperatore romano non acconsentì a far consacrare come vescovo degli Arabi un santo eremita, Mosè che viveva in solitudine nelle vicinanze. Quando nel 378, dopo la morte di Valente e la disfatta di Valentiniano ad Adrianopoli, i Goti posero l’assedio a Costantinopoli, la regina inviò le sue truppe in aiuto della capitale dell’impero cristiano. Le relazioni si deteriorarono al tempo dell’imperatore Teodosio fino alla rivolta della confederazione domata con le armi. La sconfitta significò la fine della supremazia dei Tanukh. Stando alle fonti arabe, alcune tribù dei Tanukh restate nel territorio dell’impero, furono al fianco dell’imperatore Eraclio nella campagna senza esito da lui intrapresa per la riconquista dell’Oriente dopo la pesante sconfitta subita dall’esercito bizantino nella battaglia dello Yarmuk nel 636. Pur restando cristiani, famiglie Tanukh servirono tra le truppe ajnad al servizio dei califfi omayyadi. Nel 780 furono però costretti ad accettare l’Islam dal califfo abbaside al-Mahdi che decapitò il loro capo Layth ben Mahatta, in un incontro drammatico nel nord della Siria.

Il nome del capo Zokomos, che rimanda a Du’jum (il Potente), come soprannome di Hamata figlio di Sa’ad e nipote di ‘Amr-Salih delle genealogie arabe, è un dato importante riguardante la tribù dei Banu Salih che successe ai Tanukh del IV secolo nella supremazia tra gli Arabi federati di Bisanzio. Di questa dinastia le fonti arabe ricordano i due figli di Du’jum, ‘Amr e ‘Awf e alcuni loro successori. L’assassinio del nipote di ‘Amr, Sabit figlio di Mundhir, ucciso dal filarca Jabala (o Tha‘laba?) nel 502, significò l’inizio della supremazia dei Banu Ghassan al tempo dell’imperatore Anastasio. Della linea di ‘Awf, lo storico musulmano Hisham al-Kalbi si sofferma su Dawud, (figlio di Habula, figlio di ‘Amr, figlio di ‘Awf), che fu un pio re cristiano: “Era un re aduso a intraprendere spedizioni di razzia. Diventato cristiano, si pentì, aborrì il versamento di sangue e intrapprese una vita pia. Costruì un monastero e lo si vide portare sulle sue spalle l’acqua e la calcina dicendo: Non voglio che nessuno mi aiuti, così che i suoi vestiti si bagnarono e fu soprannominato al-Lathiq (l’inzaccherato). Quando aborrì il versamento di sangue e le uccisioni, la sua posizione si indebolì e divenne egli stesso bersaglio di razzie finché non fu ucciso da Tha’laba ibn ‘Amr al-Akbar (della tribù dei Kalb) e da Mu’awiya ibn Hujayr (della tribù di al-Namir ibn Wabara)”. La morte del re fu ricordata in poesia da un’elegia, di cui resta un verso solo, composta dalla figlia di Dawud, e da due versi di Tha’laba il regicida. Dalle stesse fonti arabe sappiamo che alla corte di re Dawud, visse anche un poeta, ‘Abd al-’As della tribù Iyad. Negli scritti di Teodoreto di Ciro, che ne fu testimone oculare, leggiamo il racconto del ruolo importante che ebbe San Simeone Stilita nella conversione di quelli che il vescovo teologo chiama Ismaeliti, utilizzando un termine biblico di onore che fu ripreso successivamente dal Corano e dalla tradizione musulmana che fa di Ismaele l’antenato abramitico degli Arabi. Al vescovo di Ciro dobbiamo anche un testo sulla natura degli Arabi non più barbari saraceni ma membri della Chiesa e ausiliari dell’impero cristiano: “Per quanto riguarda i nostri vicini, i nomadi (parlo degli Ismaeliti che vivono nel deserto e che non hanno la pur minima cognizione delle lettere greche), essi sono dotati di una intelligenza viva e penetrante e hanno un giudizio capace di discernere il vero e rifiutare il falso” (nella Graecarum Affectionum Curatio). Degli ultimi anni dell’impero di Leone (457-474), è l’episodio ricordato con disappunto e disapprovazione dallo storico Malco di Filadelfia. Amorkesos (Imrulqays/

L’episodio più notevole, all’inizio del V sec. al tempo dell’imperatore Arcadio (395-408), è il ricordo conservato dallo storico palestinese Sozomeno della conversione di un capo saraceno seguito dalla sua tribù dovuto all’intervento miracoloso di un monaco. “Poco prima del regno presente (di Valente, di cui ha parlato prima, o di Teodosio II, quando Sozomeno scriveva?) i Saraceni cominciarono a diventare cristiani. Condivisero la fede in Cristo grazie alla frequentazione dei preti e dei monaci delle vicinanze che meditavano nei deserti circostanti, menando una vita buona e compiendo dei miracoli. Si dice anche che a questa epoca, tutta una tribù si volse verso il cristianesimo perché il suo filarco, Zokomos, era stato battezzato. Trovandosi senza figli, attirato dalla fama di un monaco, venne ad incontrarlo e sfogò il suo dispiacere. Infatti è di grande importanza procreare un figlio tra i Saraceni e io so che è lo stesso tra tutti i Barbari. Questi dunque, avendogli raccomandato di avere fiducia, gli fece coraggio e lo rimandò a casa sua dopo avergli promesso che avrebbe avuto un figlio se avesse avuto fede in Cristo. Siccome Dio fece passare la promessa nei fatti e gli fu accordato un figlio, Zokomos fu iniziato e trascinò i suoi sulla stessa strada. Si dice che da quel giorno, questa tribù 31

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Mar’alqays), un intraprendente e deciso capo arabo, probabilmente del gruppo emergente dei Banu Ghassan, dal territorio persiano si mosse verso il sud della penisola arabica, facendo razzie in territorio romano. Riuscì anche ad impossessarsi con la forza dell’isola di Iotabe nel golfo di Aqaba, cacciandone i funzionari di dogana bizantini per il controllo delle vie commerciali e carovaniere che via mare e via terra portavano i beni dell’oriente in territorio romano. Da questa posizione di forza Amorkesos inviò nel 473 il vescovo della tribù Pietro presso l’imperatore con proposte di alleanza. La missione ebbe esito positivo, tanto che Amorkesos fu invitato dall’imperatore Leone a Costantinopoli dove ricevette il titolo di filarca e fu perfino fatto sedere con i senatori, con grande disappunto della nobiltà cittadina. Per il fisco imperiale fu certamente una perdita, in quanto le entrate per 25 anni andarono non all’erario ma a Amorkeseos e alla sua tribù. Per il cristianesimo bizantino fu una porta aperta sull’oriente. Dopo la missione di Theophilus Indus nell’Arabia del sud, sua terra di origine, al tempo dell’imperatore Costanzo, come raccontato dallo storico Filostorgio, al tempo dell’imperatore Zenone, gli storici ricordano la missione del mercante Sopatros presso il re di Ceylon, e, al tempo di Anastasio, la missione del vescovo Silvano in Himyar nello Yemen.

conosciuto della confederazione tribale dovunque i suoi membri abitassero, e nello stesso tempo, come filarca riconosciuto dall’autorità romana, era il comandante delle truppe ausiliarie che affiancavano il dux nel controllo militare della frontiera della provincia, con un’autorità limitata territorialmente. A Tha‘laba successe Jabala che era capo capo della confederazione nel 519 quando fu scritta la lettera di Simeone di Beth Arsham sui martiri hiemariti a Simeone abbate di Gabbula: “Noi abbiamo scritto questa lettera alla Vostra Carità – si legge nel desinit - dal campo di Jabala, re dei Ghassanidi, nel luogo detto Gbita (Jabiyah sul Golan) nel mese di Tammuz di questo anno 830 di Alessandro (secondo l’era seleucida, luglio 519)”. La lettera mette al corrente della persecuzione dichiarata contro i cristiani nel 523 dal re di Himyar Yusuf As’ar Yath’ar detto anche Dhu Nawwas di religione giudaica, iniziando dalla capitale Zafar. Dopo aver promesso un salvacondotto ai cristiani etiopi, 300 di loro con a capo l’arcipresbitero Ababut che si fidarono di lui furono messi a morte durante la notte. Un editto estese la persecuzione a tutto il regno, pena la morte e la confisca dei beni anche per chi avesse dato rifugio ad un cristiano. Le prime vittime illustri furono dei sacerdoti nell’Hadramut il prete Mar Elia con sua madre e suo fratello, Mar Toma che precedentemente aveva già subito il taglio della mano sinistra per aver confessato Cristo, Mar Wail e Mar Toma di Najran che si trovava nella regione. La strage si ripeté a Najran, come si legge nella lettera: “La strage fu seguita dall’incendio della chiesa e dei 200 fedeli che vi avevano cercato rifugio. I Giudei portarono tutte le loro ossa insieme nella chiesa e le accatastarono al centro della chiesa; e poi portarono i preti, i diaconi, i suddiaconi, i lettori, i figli dell’alleanza e le figlie dell’alleanza (monaci e monache), e i laici, uomini e donne; e riempirono tutta la chiesa da una parte all’altra, con circa 2000 cristiani... Poi portarono legna e circondarono la chiesa all’esterno e gettarono fuoco all’interno e la bruciarono insieme con tutto quello che vi stava dentro...”. Ultimo venne sacrificato il vecchio Shaikh al-Harith, di cui si racconta la passione. La strage per la sua efferatezza e per il messaggio forte di fede incrollabile fu ricordata anche nel Corano (85,4ss): “Furono massacrate le genti di Ukhdud, bruciate nel fuoco che si alimentava da solo mentre vi si trovavano seduti attorno in circolo testimoni di ciò che subivano i credenti. Non gli rimproveravano se non l’aver creduto nel Dio potente e degno di lode”.

Verso la fine del V secolo, si registra una insorgenza delle scorrerie delle tribù arabe all’interno del territorio romano che, dalle fonti arabe, sappiamo affidato alla confederazione federata dei Banu Salih. Gli storici, alla luce anche di quanto raccontato nelle fonti arabe posteriori, vi vedono una lotta tribale per il predominio territoriale, con i due gruppi emergenti dei Banu Ghassan e dei Kinda intenzionati a soppiantare i Banu Salih. Nel VI secolo, infatti, il gruppo tribale emergente, diventa la tribù dei Banu Ghassan del gruppo tribale Azd provenienti dal sud dell’Arabia, cristiani ma di confessione monofisita. Tra le condizioni di pace, dopo uno scontro vittorioso con i Banu Salih, i Banu Ghassan praticamente si imposero come interlocutori alleati di Roma. Lo storico arabo Hisham ibn Muhammad al-Kalbi precisa: “Questo avvenne durante un periodo di ostilità tra Roma e la Persia. Il re dei Romani temette che essi (i Ghassan) potessero allearsi con la Persia contro di lui. Perciò scrisse loro e cercò di tirarli dalla sua parte. Il loro capo allora era Tha‘laba ibn ‘Amr, il fratello di Jidh‘ ibn ‘Amr. E le due parti stipularono un accordo secondo il quale se un pericolo avesse minacciato i Ghassan da parte degli Arabi (Lakhmidi, alleati dei Persiani), il re dei Romani sarebbe intervenuto con quarantamila soldati romani; se invece un pericolo avesse minacciato l’impero, i Ghassan sarebbero intervenuti con ventimila soldati”. Probabilmente il foedus fu siglato nel 502/3 alla vigilia della guerra contro i Persiani che durò fino al 506. Tha‘laba è quasi sicuramente il padre di Jabala, ed è lui che sigla il patto che sancisce la supremazia dei Banu Ghassan. Sul piano pratico giurisdizionale, il filarca alleato dei Romani, da una parte, come shaikh tribale, era il capo ri-

I Banu Ghassan nella tradizione islamica e cristiana sono Yamaniyah, cioè originari dal sud della penisola arabica, legati perciò ai cristiani perseguitati nel luogo di origine che a loro si rivolsero per chiedere l’intervento dell’esercito bizantino. Nei successi imperiali delle campagne militari di Giustiniano contro Alamundaros il Kindita in Mesopotamia, un giusto merito andò alla partecipazione dei Banu Ghassan a fianco dell’esercito romano. Fu dopo queste vittorie che l’imperatore Giustiniano innalzò Areta lo shaikh dei Banu 32

M. piccirillo: Le comunità cristiane nella Transgiordania meridionale dei secoli X-XIII anche dagli edifici sacri costruiti in questo periodo con fondi pubblici e privati decorati con mosaici come segno del benessere raggiunto. Testimonianze monumentali ed epigrafiche con i nomi di Areta, di Alamundaros e del figlio Nu‘man, sono state finora riportate alla luce nel territorio siriano e giordano, come nel villaggio di Nitl alle porte di Madaba. Qui nel mosaico pavimentale della chiesa di San Sergio si possono ancora leggere i nomi di Areta figlio di Areta e del filarca Tha‘laba. La conversione al cristianesimo dei membri delle confederazioni tribali arabe, di antico o di nuovo arrivo nel territorio della Provincia con l’alleanza siglata con i Romani, costituì sul piano militare un fattore di stabilità all’origine del benessere delle popolazioni. Il venire meno del foedus verso la fine del secolo, creò un pericoloso varco attraverso il quale passò prima l’esercito di Cosroe II che occupò per due decenni il territorio della Siria-Palestina, seguito un decennio dopo dalle truppe del Profeta Maometto il nuovo unificatore delle popolazioni arabe della Penisola. Chiese mosaicate e datate al periodo omayyade primo periodo abbaside scoperte nel territorio giordano (a Rihab, Amman al-Quwaysmeh e Khilda, a Ma‘in, a Umm alRasas, a Madaba e sul Monte Nebo, testimoniano della continuità di vita della comunità cristiana sotto governo musulmano almeno fino al IX-X secolo (Figura 2). Quando nel 750 i califfi abbasidi spostarono la capitale dell’impero musulmano da Damasco a Baghdad, anche il commercio internazionale prese la strada del Golfo Persico. La regione siro-giordana perse progressivamente importanza. La strada, da cui era dipeso lungo i secoli la prosperità di questa regione, nota in arabo con il nome di Darb al-Hajj Strada del Pellegrinaggio), fu percorsa soltanto dalle carovane di pellegrini musulmani che annualmente si recavano al santuario della Mecca nel Hijaz. La regione spopolata e abbandonata, con l’eccezione di pochi centri urbani (al-Qura del nord e del sud tra cui Petra e Kerak), restò in mano alle tribù beduine fino alla seconda metà del XIX secolo. Alla rinascita di queste regioni parteciparono nel XX secolo diversi gruppi tribali cristiani presenti nel territorio che ancora oggi danno il loro contributo allo sviluppo delle nazioni di Siria e di Giordania eredi del territorio della Provincia Arabia di epoca romano-bizantina. Qualche raro cenno si trova nelle fonti di epoca medievale. Nel 1107 re Baldovino I, penetrato ancora una volta nella regione a est del fiume, si imbatte in certi “Syri Christiani” che lo aiutano come guide nella cacciata dei soldati damasceni giunti a fortificare l’area della ‘Valle di Mosé’. (Alberto di Aquisgrana, IV, 644-645) Maestro Thitmar che nel 1217 fa un lungo giro che dal nord lo porta fino a Baghdad, al Sinai e al Cairo, scrive che nelle vicinanze del castello di “Shaubak che in francese è detto Montreal” vi abitano i Saraceni e i Cristiani. Dove evidentemente questi ultimi dovrebbero essere i discendenti delle popolazioni crociate, come risulta anche dal fatto che fu ospitato da una vedova francese “che mi istruì sul viaggio e sul modo di viaggiare per il deserto fino al Monte Sinai”. Giunto a Petra, dopo aver attraversato il Siq, scrive di essere giunto al monte Or dove morì Aronne.

Ghassan al rango di Re degli Arabi, gratificandolo del titolo di Patricio, il primo degli Arabi a ricevere un simile onore che comportava di essere chiamato dall’imperatore ‘padre mio’. Teofane riporta la titolatura ufficiale: jArevtaı oJ patrivkioı kai; fuvlarcoı tw`n Sarakhnw`n. Il Patrizio riceveva il titolo di paneufemos, glorioso. Lo storico Procopio da alla decisione imperiale, certamente inusuale e forse inaspettata nei circoli della capitale, una motivazione di strategia politico-militare: “Alamundaros, detenendo la posizione di re, regnava da solo sui Saraceni in Persia, e in qualsiasi momento era in grado di portare un attacco con tutto il suo esercito dovunque desiderasse in territorio romano. E né i capi delle truppe romane che chiamavano duci, né alcun capo saraceno alleato dei Romani, che chiamavano filarchi, era così potente con le sue truppe per opporsi a Alamundaros; perché le truppe stazionate nei diversi distretti non c’erano avversari alla pari dei nemici. Per questa ragione, l’imperatore Giustiniano pose alla testa del più grande numero possibile di tribù Areta figlio di Jabala, che già regnava sui Saraceni di Arabia, e gli diede la dignità di re, cosa che non era mai stata fatta prima dai Romani”. Senza urtare le suscettibilità dei filarchi delle altre province ai quali restava l’autorità territoriale, e pur mantenendo la sua autorità di filarca di Arabia e di capo della confederazione dei Banu Ghassan, Areta verso il 530 ricevette dall’imperatore un’autorità che lo poneva a capo di tutti gli arabi federati dei Romani, in grado perciò, in caso di necessità, di fronteggiare adeguatamente la potenza dei Banu Lakhm guidati da Alamundaros al servizio dei Persiani. Per quasi tutto il secolo, i Banu Ghassan costituirono la migliore difesa del confine orientale dell’impero, dal Mar Rosso all’Eufrate. Una iscrizione sulla diga di Marib ricorda ambasciatori inviati da Areta e da suo fratello Abukarib nello Yemen tra il 539 e il 543. Una spedizione armata del re di Axoum Ella Atsbeha contro l’ebreo Dhou Nowas persecutore della comunità cristiana di Najran nel regno di Saba, aveva portato sul trono Sumayfa. Questi, a sua volta, era stato detronizzato da Abraha, l’estensore dell’iscrizione: “allora arrivarono l’ambasciata del re romano e una delegazione del re di Persia e un inviato di Mundhir, e un inviato di Harith ben Jabala, e un inviato di Abikarib ben Jabala”. Anche qui i due filarchi di Arabia e di Palestina sono presentati come alleati e sostenitori dell’impero romano in un intervento diplomatico in difesa della comunità cristiana minacciata. La confederazione svolse il suo ruolo a difesa del confine orientale dell’impero per tutto il VI secolo guidata dai suoi shaikh/re, prima Areta/al-Harith bin Jabala, seguito dal figlio Alamundaros/Al-Munthir bin al-Harith finito in disgrazia, imprigionato e inviato in esilio in Sicilia. Inutilmente Papa Gregorio nel 603 intervenne presso l’imperatore Maurizio per la sua liberazione. Nel VI secolo, la Provincia raggiunse, dopo un periodo di decadenza, un nuovo sviluppo economico e un livello di sedentarizzazione urbano mai eguagliato né prima né dopo, grazie ad un benessere generalizzato testimoniato 33

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean “Sulla sua sommità fu costruita una chiesa in cui abitano due monaci greci cristiani: quel luogo si chiama Musera”. La mancanza di fonti scritte impedisce di approfondire la storia di una presenza di arabi cristiani dalle origini antiche che riemergono alla storia all’arrivo degli esploratori moderni.

occidentaux, IV. Paris 1879 Burchkardt, J. L. 1822. Travels in Syria and the Holy Land. London. Graecarum Affectionum Curatio. Theoderet (Bishop of Cyrrhus) in B. G. Teubneri (ed), 1969. Peake, F. G. 1958. History of Jordan and Its Tribes. Miami. Sozomeno. Histoire Ecclésiastique, text grec J. Bides e B.Grillet, G . Sabbah e A. J. Festugière (eds). Paris 1983.

BIBLIOGRAFIA Alberto di Aquisgrana. Historia Hierosolymitana, in “Recueil des historiens des croisades”, Historiens

Figura 1 Kerak

Figura 2 Carta delle Province di Arabia, con alcuni dei luoghi citati dall’Autore

Fig. 3. Pannelli pavimentali a mosaico dalla basilica del Monte Nebo

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

ARCHEOLOGIA DI UNA FRONTIERA MEDITERRANEA Guido Vannini Università di Firenze Abstract (2008) Archaeology of a Mediterranean frontier Archaeological study and revise, with historical results of great consequence, of the “Medieval” situation of South Transjordan, seen from the stage of one of the most fascinating archaeological/monumental areas of East Mediterranean: the castle site of Shawbak, key-place of a real territorial ‘system’ of Crusader epoch that centred in the valley of Petra – as realised in the past years by the mission of the University of Florence – and protagonist of the ‘new’ role regained by that region: frontier as identity root and part of a common Mediterranean culture. The Crusader conquest of lands between the Dead and Read Sea, carried out by Baldwin I of Jerusalem between 1100 and 1115, resulted for that site and, in terms of re-establishing a real longperiod historical structure of the area, beyond the immediate intentions and necessities of the protagonists, the whole Transjordan, in a turning point, which outlived the short Crusader time. After nearly five centuries from the Persian invasions and the Arab-Islamic conquest of the region of Petra, a frontier arose again on the east of the Wadi Arabah, and Shawbak was its main strong point, with its strategic – as well as political, economic and territorial – function of linking the ‘extraordinary’ (but also ‘classical’) castle system of Petra to the great regional road network (‘Kings’ Way’ and even farther). Although, on the one hand, the Medieval frontier often seems to occupy the same positions of fortified settlement belonged to the ancient Roman and Byzantine Limes, mostly defending, actually, long-distance road network, springs and arable soils before the desert, on the other, its political, institutional, military and economic features were very different from the old border. The seigniory system brought in from Europe in the 12th century, in fact, entailed that the new fortified villages were at the same time defensive strong points, populated centres, and places where juridical acts were issued. The structural weakness of central powers within the Medieval ruling system let most of these castles become real ‘rural capitals’; moreover, real territorial systems originated (‘border zones’ established like ‘road areas’, as may emerge from recent European Medieval studies), which were mainly (or at least considerably) based on even material local frameworks, and resulted, in the long term, in autonomy of rules and, eventually subregional, identity process. Surprisingly, such settlement and administrative pattern of Latin Transjordan, although simplified and anyhow standardised, was not really maintained but deeply ‘re-interpreted’ in the Ayyubidid time and also during the Mamluk period, although more slightly from a political and administrative point of view. The region of Shawbak and Petra, which had from AD 630 become almost ‘no man’s land’ between Egypt and Syria, and apparently as such yet under the ‘fickle’ Omayyadid and (even more) Abbasidid and Fatimide administration, regained as ‘Medieval frontier’ role, identity and specific importance that will have never been lost from that moment onward. However – and here the understanding of the material situations of the site of Shawbak, a real archaeological archive, emerges as essential step as regards the comprehension of the historical scenery of the region – forms and planning that come out by these means appear as innovative to a large and conclusive extent, compared with the Crusader period, wherefrom a certain continuity can be in any case traced (well attested to stratigraphically, for instance by their relations with the Crusader palace buildings): the extraordinary planning (especially that after the ruinous earthquake of 1212) and the Ayyubidid ‘administrative’ edifice, the textile ‘industrial’ workshop, public buildings and military structures of the early Mamluk time, just to mention some examples, which emerge from stratigraphic ‘light’ surveying and conclusively confirmed by excavations carried out in the last three campaigns, bear evidence of a town, which was intended and framed as such, diversely conceived from the populated centre that really was well defined in the last Crusader period (a protected borough with a well nucleated surrounding built-up area): a settlement which, on the other hand, finds clear comparisons with the successful ‘castles’, featuring the feudal system of the European Mediterranean scenery). A strictly archaeology-based analysis that seems to match what comes from Arab literary sources about Shawbak; comparisons with the gardens of Damascus and the amount of several thousands of people between the late 13th and early 14th century now appear neither that incredible nor flattering, but, besides some ‘poetic licence’, may at the same time reflect the real situation of two different contexts of equal consequence: exactly an autonomous local ‘capital’, however, not a castle anymore (according to a continental European feudal culture), but a real town (following a local but, in the long term, Mediterranean heritage).

In tale quadro, il caso transgiordano – fra limes arabicus e frontiere ‘medievali’, fra Regno latino ed ‘impero’ islamico prima e fra Siria ed Egitto poi – rappresenta un paradigma archeologicamente ben leggibile, ampiamente parte di una condizione che appare costitutiva di una comune cultura mediterranea, anche dialettica, di cui può essere considerata una metafora. In sintesi, si tratta di proporre un approccio decisamente storicistico - oramai consolidato nella pratica dell’archeologia medievale europea - alle prassi della tradizione archeologica proprie delle missioni operanti nel Vicino Oriente, peraltro provenienti da alcune delle più prestigiose Istituzioni universitarie e di ricerca

Se l’archeologia può essere considerata una delle modalità di lettura dei processi storici, condotta attraverso le testimonianze materiali delle attività dell’uomo nell’ambiente, per un verso il territorio nel suo complesso, per un altro l’interazione con le altre ‘tracce’ (quindi scritte, iconografiche, etc.) costituiscono (particolarmente per i connotati delle ‘tracce’ – tutte – che il Medioevo ci ha restituito) altrettanti ‘strumenti’ che, tramite opportuni approcci metodologici, possono consentirci di attingere direttamente la categoria delle ‘strutture’ storiche, nel breve e, meglio, nel lungo periodo: in una parola la dimensione della storia. È in questo senso che, se si vuole, il caso specifico al centro della missione dell’Università di Firenze Petra ‘medievale’ – la Transgiordania fra crociati, ayyubidi e primi mamelucchi – può offrire uno spunto concreto per riflettere su di una struttura storica di lungo periodo che costituisce una delle radici identitarie di una molteplicità di altre aree regionali mediterranee e del Mediterraneo in quanto tale: la frontiera medievale.1 1

con DoA, e l’appoggio di MAE e MIUR) Petra ‘medievale’. Archeologia degli insediamenti di epoca crociato-ayyubide in Transgiordania, opera da una ventina di anni nella Giordania meridionale, nel quadro del ‘Progetto strategico di Ateneo’ La società feudale mediterranea: profili archeologici. Apogeo e declino, alle origini dell’Europa moderna, condotto dalla Cattedra di Archeologia Medievale e dedicato allo studio archeologico della Signoria territoriale di matrice feudale, tramite l’analisi delle forme di insediamento e delle strutture materiali in ambiti culturali comparati, in area mediterranea.

La missione archeologica dell’Università di Firenze (in collaborazione

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean del mondo.2 Il senso di un possibile contributo della missione dell’Università di Firenze può consistere nell’offrire l’occasione per una tale riproposizione metodologica, a cui anche le ampie adesioni a questo Convegno sembrano dovute, rispondendo ad autentiche esigenze di messa a punto di un oramai esteso ed articolato interesse per un’archeologia postclassica orientale (bizantina, islamica, ‘crociata’)3 in un’ottica mediterranea ‘medievale’. In sintesi, obbiettivo ed attività della missione sono volte ad impostare una rilettura archeologica, con esiti storici sorprendenti, della vicenda ‘medievale’ della Transgiordania meridionale, vista dall’ ‘osservatorio’ di una delle più intriganti aree archeologico-monumentali del Mediterraneo orientale: il sito incastellato di Shawbak, interpretato come chiave di un vero ‘sistema’ territoriale crociato centrato sulla valle di Petra e protagonista del ‘nuovo’ ruolo recuperato dalla regione: la frontiera come radice identitaria e parte di una comune cultura mediterranea (Figura 1).4 Il programma di indagini stratigrafiche si è proposto, in prima battuta, di analizzare connotati e forme dell’incastellamento latino nei territori corrispondenti alla Signoria di Transgiordania nel secolo XII, nei suoi aspetti strutturali e come ‘osservatorio’ sulla frontiera crociato-musulmana di Terrasanta, in rapporto con il coevo modello insediativo ayyubide e della stessa ‘tradizione lunga’ di tale funzione di terra di limite. È qui infatti, meglio che altrove, che si può ancora cogliere, nei resti materiali delle infrastrutture di popolamento e nella stratificazione dei paesaggi storici, il punto di svolta di questo processo di lunga durata. Le condizioni stratigrafiche degli insediamenti crociati in Transgiordania (in modo particolare nella zona di Petra), peraltro, consentivano di indagare su quei caractères originaux che il successivo sviluppo - anche e, direi, soprattutto concernente aspetti materiali dell’insediamento e della difesa - nella Palestina del sec. XIII non permette invece più di cogliere con la precisione stratigraficamente ‘congelata’ d’Oltregiordano.5 Il ‘secolo crociato’, insomma, riattivò un’antica vocazione di questa terra, la sua funzione di frontiera; una vera struttura storica che, in termini di diacronia per così dire ‘intermittente’ rappresenta, non solo nelle fortune, un elemento costituivo della cultura profonda di questa regione,

particolarmente percepibile nella Trangiordania meridionale, fra Mar Morto e Mar Rosso. Un ruolo, quello di baricentro di un’intera regione che, nel sec. XII, la valle di Petra ed il suo ‘sistema’ territoriale transgiordano, attraverso la documentazione archeologica raccolta, è risultato con ogni evidenza avere riassunto dopo secoli e che è stato possibile delineare in termini sorprendenti - dopo un sostanziale abbandono risalente forse alle incursioni persiane del 628 d.C.6 e prima dell’inserimento della regione (630) in una compagine ‘imperiale’ che andava da Oceano (Atlantico) a Oceano (Indiano) raggiungendo, nell’arco dei primi tre lustri del secolo, una densità insediativa senza paragoni nella regione. (Figura 2) Un assetto che, da Ahamant ad Ayla, è emerso in specie dal riconoscimento di un incastellamento feudalmente ‘classico’ a Petra, di cui è stato possibile dimostrare il ruolo di punto di appoggio strategico, gravitante tatticamente intorno al castello di Li Vaux Moises/Wu’ayra, chiave di lettura, storica e archeologica, di tutto il sistema7 (Figura 3); un modello interpretativo che, attribuendo scopo e logica insediativa al controllo logistico della valle come punto di appoggio per il governo dell’intera regione, è recentemente stata puntualmente confermata da ritrovamenti di insediamenti riferibili al solo ‘secolo crociato’, il XII, sia interni (a Wadi Farasa (Schmid 2005; 2006) che esterni (a Beidha (Bikai et alii, 2005) a Petra. Si è qui anche potuto documentare come i crociati abbiano ricorrentemente rioccupato siti fortificati bizantini abbandonati da secoli (come attestato anche in Palestina: Ellenblum 1998), certo in un contesto demografico ed economico assai più fragile di quello tardoantico, ma ugualmente funzionali al controllo delle risorse agricole e della viabilità; una sorta di condizionamento ‘archeologico’ che si manifestò sia nella dimensione ‘tattica’, con la scelta di soluzioni funzionali, militari e strutturali, adattate alla natura fisica ed ambientale dei siti, sia ‘strategica’ sul piano dell’insediamento territoriale ed al riattivarsi di alcuni ‘meccanismi’ riferibili al riemergere della funzione di frontiera nella regione (Vannini 2005). Quando le indagini ‘leggere’ dal territorio sono giunte ad affrontare il sito chiave di Shawbak e le sue stratigrafie del secolo XIII, hanno potuto dimostrare con evidenza come la regione non fosse tornata alla collocazione periferica in cui si trovava all’arrivo degli europei, finendo per acquisire - come concreto esito storico - una precisa identità culturale, ben rappresentata dalla continuità di funzione autonoma, sia amministrativa che militare, mantenuta dagli ayyubidi e non più perduta, appunto ai due centri egemoni, fra i quali sembra essere proprio Shawbak ad emergere più della stessa antica città di Kerak, pur con il suo grande

2

L’opzione metodologica di fondo consiste nel ruolo strategico affidato all’ ‘archeologia leggera’, una lettura codificata sperimentale che integra a sistema le diverse archeologie non invasive (paesaggio, ambiente, elevati, archeoinformatica; saggi mirati), consentendo un uso – in termini economici, in rapporto ai fini - direttamente storico delle documentazioni e della stessa analisi archeologica delle ‘strutture’ culturali del passato. Sotto questo specifico aspetto il Progetto ha fornito un significativo contributo, particolarmente sul problema della fusione e gestione di dati anche tipologicamente eterogenei, sviluppando un efficace modello di rappresentazione e gestione dello ‘spazio-tempo archeologico’ basato su di un uso calibrato anche delle ‘nuove tecnologie’ (sul tema in generale Lucas 2005). 3 Per tutti, si possono ricordare Boas 1999; Curatola e Scarcia 2001; Zanini 1994. 4 Del tema si sono occupati storici di varia tendenza ed anche con interessi mediterranei (per tutti Abulafia and Berend (eds) 2002); tuttavia le categorie interpretative sono deducibili dagli studiosi del territorio medievale; spunti di grande interesse, in tale ottica, sono anche presenti nella letteratura giuridica (si veda infra il contributo di Filippo Ruschi). 5 Il programma e le sue prime verifiche furono date in diverse sedi (AA. VV., 1987,; Vannini 1990; Vannini et alii 1990).

6

Si veda, in questi stessi Atti, il contributo di P. Bikai, con la quale ho avuto piacevoli occasioni per discutere proprio questo che credo vada considerato un autentico problema storico: l’abbandono di Petra, modalità, cronologie, cause e condizioni. 7 Vannini e Vanni Desideri 1995; Vannini e Tonghini 1997. Una lettura storica di tale realtà archeologica, nella naturale ottica ‘orientalista’ degli studi fin qui condotti, non era emersa, dal classico Dechamps, alla pur eccellente sintesi di Kennedy 1994. Per una contestualizzazione della breve stagione di frequentazione del sito (ma dopo il suo completo decastellamento e per un breve periodo) nel nuovo quadro politico ayyubide cfr ora Milwright 2006.

36

G. Vannini: Archeologia di una frontiera mediterranea castello ‘urbano’, il Crac de Moab. Il sito incastellato di Shawbak, parte integrante dello stesso sistema e ‘politicamente’ più longevo, in seno alle dominazioni ayyubidi e mamelucche ed ora un vero archivio archeologico, interpreta infatti con straordinaria fedeltà le fortune, come le eclissi, di un’intera regione che si delinea di rilevo ben maggiore di quanto fin qui ritenuto negli equilibri diacronici e di lungo periodo nel Vicino Oriente ‘medievale’ (Figura 4). (Ri)fondato da Baldovino I nel 1115 – sulle rovine di un sito fortificato romano-bizantino abbandonato, per la prima volta archeologicamente documentato (Vannini e Nucciotti 2003), posto sul limes arabicus e riferibile alla vicina Udruh/Augustopoli (Figura 5) - lungo il percorso della ‘strada dei Re’ nei pressi del diverticolo viario che, in antico come nel medioevo, controllava il raccordo fra sistema di Petra, direttrici Siria ed Egitto, piste carovaniere del deserto arabico e Mediterraneo, costituisce uno dei pochissimi insediamenti fortificati crociati conservato in età islamica; ma, lungi dal rappresentare una generica ‘eccezione alla regola’ nell’intera regione, ciò è accaduto per una precisa, sorprendente ragione che la ricerca ha recentemente potuto documentare con precisione.8 Certamente, infatti, il destino del nuovo castello appare subito legato a dirigere un territorio che, prima di tutto come tale (presto il successo farà evolvere la regione in Signoria feudalmente autonoma dalla stessa corona di Gerusalemme9), svolgerà la propria funzione di frontiera al limitare del deserto arabico: in altri termini il ruolo di una vera capitale. In questo senso depongono la stessa architettonicamente aggiornata monumentalità (Bini 2004, 57). della chiesa di S. Maria (Figura 6) ma, su altri piani, il denso quartiere che, aperto dalla seconda chiesa absidata, si espande nel ‘borgo’ meridionale fino alla cappella templare rinvenuta inserita in una torre limitanea (Figura 7) a copertura dell’accesso a quello che, coerentemente a quanto consueto in occidente, doveva essere un quartiere socialmente ed economicamente dinamico; ma soprattutto il palazzo comitale,10 centro del potere anche della Signoria di Transgiordania, le cui monumentali strutture sono state parzialmente identificate e che sono attualmente in corso di scavo. Ma è con la riconquista musulmana che, diversamente da quanto consueto e, ad esempio, accaduto con i castelli di Petra, Shawbak non viene demolito ma, al contrario, risulta mantenere una connotazione di fondo: il ruolo territoriale e la funzione di frontiera che, in tutt’altro contesto politico, aveva conseguito nella breve (tre quarti di secolo!) stagione crociata. E tuttavia, le forme architettoniche e la progettualità urbana della Shawbak ayyubide risultano assumere un senso

significativamente innovativo rispetto all’epoca crociata, verso la quale pure è evidente una continuità consapevolmente programmata dagli eredi del Saladino; e stratigraficamente ben documentabile, ad esempio proprio, significativamente, nei rapporti con le strutture palaziali crociate (Figura 8).11 Solo per esemplificare:12 - innanzi tutto il contesto che dà ragione della qualificazione (e dello stesso senso politico ed amministrativo) delle scelte costruttive di fondo degli edifici che progressivamente dovettero letteralmente trasformare il volto del maniero abbandonato dai suoi primi costruttori: la straordinaria pianificazione urbanistica impostata con ogni probabilità ai primi del ‘200, con datazione archeosismica precedente al 1212 (Nucciotti 2007,44) (Figura 9), allo stato attuale delle ricerche rappresentato da un autentico asse generatore urbanistico che collega la principale porta d’accesso alla seconda cinta (CF3) al rinnovato centro politico, confermato all’estremita’ nord dell’abitato (Figura 10) e da una ‘zonizzazione’ del nuovo tessuto ‘urbano’ della cittadella, articolato in aree residenziali, produttive, di servizio o di difesa, la cui esplorazione sistematica impegnerà la missione, prevedibilmente, per i prossimi anni (Figura 11); - il magnifico palazzo ‘governativo’ ayyubide, che costituisce certamente il maggiore monumento del genere costruito dalla dinastia in tutto il vicino oriente :13 una presenza che, lungi dal rappresentare un episodio provinciale (come comprensibilmente interpretato al momento del suo primo rinvenimento negli anni ‘80), una dettagliata analisi stratigrafica degli elevati (e specificamente in seguito alla sua contestualizzazione topostratigrafica per un verso e di analisi sistematica delle fasi e metodologie costruttive per un altro) ne ha confermato l’attribuzione (Brown 1988, 240242; Brown unpublished, 110) e precisato la datazione fra il secondo ed il terzo decennio del ‘200. Una presenza questa, che testimonia, da sola, il ruolo dell’intero insediamento in un territorio di riferimento e la dimensione politico-amministrativa della struttura (Figura 12); - uno straordinario impianto produttivo ‘industriale’ tessile������������������������������������������������������� (Molduci e Pruno 2007, 56-58; Dotti, Nucciotti e Walker 2009, 128-131), il maggiore (che io sappia) rinvenuto in scavo nel Mediterraneo medievale (Figura 13), che può rappresentare bene la notevole dimensione della struttura economica assunta dal sito e che, con gli edifici palaziali civili e le strutture militari dotati di epigrafi monumentali a carattere pubblico e di esplicito significato politico, testimonia il successo della rifondazione ayyubide con lo 11

Il rapporto fra la nuova progettualità ayyubide e le pur monumentali strutture del vecchio centro del potere comitale è ad esempio ben percepibile nel raccordo, di alto livello sia funzionale sia di rappresentazione formale, realizzato con la scala, recentemente rinvenuta (2007), dai caratteri di una raffinata monumerntalità, che ricollega il grande ambiente voltato di età crociata (CF35) con gli ambienti, probabilmente in esterno, del nuovo palazzo ‘sultanale’ di Al Mu’azzam ‘Isa (Cfr. Ligato e Vannini,; Hamarneh e Nucciotti, 2009, 90-91, 110-115, 120-121). 12 Si veda anche il contributo infra di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti. 13 Rugiadi 2009,120-121. Depone a favore della centralita’ di Shawbak (contrariamente a quanto pensa Milwright 2006), ad esempio, il confronto con il palazzo analogo di Kerak, analogo per redazione progettuale e funzione, ma inferiore per dimensioni, tecnico, qualita’ formale.

8

Sul Progetto Shawbak cfr Vannini (ed) 2007. Già dopo un lustro dalla fondazione vi sono i primi segni che condurranno all’inizio degli anni ‘40, alla fondazione della Signoria: Romano di Puy, tiene per un decennio il feudo della regione di Shawbak per concessione regia e può considerarsi il primo signore della terra di Oultre Jourdain ( Faucherre 2004, 46). 10 L’epigrafe incisa sulla perduta architrave che sormontava il portale della navata maggiore della chiesa superiore e trascritta nel 1818 (Pringle 1993, 308-309), recita ‘UGO VICE ... QUI ... MCXVIII’, ove ‘vice...’ potrebbe ragionevolmente integrarsi con ’comes’: un vicario di Baldovino per l’Oltregiordano? 9

37

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean sviluppo che continuò anche nella prima età mamelucca,14 sia pure in un complesso contesto politico-militare di cui anche i momenti contraddittori15 che dovette attraversare testimoniano in effetti la rilevanza territoriale oramai riassunta da Shawbak (Figura 14). Un quadro ben documentato dalle indagini stratigrafiche ‘leggere’ - e puntualmente confermato dalle campagne di scavo conseguentemente impostate - che, complessivamente, disegna il sorgere di una ‘città’ sentita, prima ancora che eretta, come tale, concettualmente diversa dal pur consistente centro demico dell’ultima stagione crociata (con un borgo difeso e un denso abitato circostante: con notevoli confronti con i ‘castelli’ di successo, negli assetti territoriali della feudalità mediterranea europea). Ma forse il senso storico più rilevante che ne consegue sta nella esplicita valenza ‘regionale’ dell’urbanizzazione di Shawbak che, da fortezza abbandonata prima della ‘fondazione’ del 1115, evolve ora, a partire alla dominazione ayyubide, in un insediamento/regione, centrale nelle politiche di governo e gestione dell’intero, nuovo ‘impero’ islamico, in un certo senso ponendosi come erede di fatto, dopo secoli, delle giurisdizioni romana e bizantina di Augustopoli e, se si vuole, della stessa Petra, almeno per un’ampia parte della regione compresa fra Kerak ed Aqaba. Una lettura, su stretta base archeologica, in grado di reinterpretare anche quanto su Shawbak ci raccontano le fonti scritte arabe; i riferimenti ai giardini di Damasco,16 le cifre riportate di migliaia di abitanti fra tardo XIII e primo XIV secolo,17 ci appaiono ora molto meno retoricamente iperboliche: non più un ‘castello’ (secondo la cultura feudale europea continentale) ma appunto una vera ‘città’ (riprendendo una cultura locale ma, nel lungo periodo, mediterranea).18 Specchio di una regione che risulta così interpretare innovativamente la funzione di frontiera – recuperata dalle profondità della sua storia, ma questa volta ‘interna’ al mondo musulmano, fra Il Cairo e Damasco – secondo canoni, come testimoniato per via archeologica, che coniugano il proprio ruolo nel contesto territoriale di appartenenza con una dimensione culturale più ampiamente mediterranea (Figura 15). Sarà solo con la conquista ottomana e con l’abolizione della frontiera politica tra Egitto e Siria che il ruolo economico di questo insediamento decade progressivamente e, sul modello dei siti incastellati mediterranei, si trasformerà in un villaggio di pastori e agricoltori (Lo Jacono 2003).

Ciononostante, il processo di coagulo di un’identità collettiva che si era manifestato nei secoli medievali con la fortuna politica, militare e commerciale del castello-città di Shawbak sarà tutt’altro che annullato e andrà anzi a costituire una delle radici storiche della Giordania contemporanea (Figura 16). A questo proposito vale forse la pena notare che il primo palazzo reale della Giordania Hashemita sarà quello di Ma’an, il centro carovaniero che aveva soppiantato il vicino Shawbak come stazione di pellegrinaggio e centro commerciale lungo l’asse siro-egizianomeccano (Figura 17). Uno dei punti emersi come focali da due decenni di indagini sulla Transgiordania ‘medievale’ sta quindi proprio nell’avere potuto proporre, nelle vicende e nei conseguenti nuovi assetti territoriali intervenuti nel secolo compreso fra i decenni centrali dei secc. XII-XIII, la definizione di una ‘età crociato-ayyubide’ che, al di là delle intenzioni contingenti dei protagonisti, orientali come occidentali, poté dare luogo, pure nel solco di un’antichissima tradizione - si potrebbero citare gli Egizi, gli Hittiti e la giornata di Qadesh19... (accanto a quella di Hattin)20 -, ad una vera nuova stagione storica dell’intera regione, nella quale può legittimamente essere riconosciuto uno specifico e rilevante contributo alla radice degli stessi assetti culturali attuali. La funzione di una frontiera interpretata non come barriera ‘tecnica’, militare, sostanzialmente lineare (nel senso dei limites imperiali) ma come forgiatrice di connotati identitari a carattere regionale, viene quindi a costituire un punto di visibilità per l’appartenenza anche di quest’area ad una comune cultura propria del Mediterraneo medievale tutto intero.21 Un’appartenenza che ci testimonia di quale rapporto speciale, certo anche dialettico o conflittuale, unisse l’Europa della societas christiana e questo Oriente islamico domestico: certamente un’altra faccia, ma della stessa medaglia, si potrebbe concludere.22 Il sistema signorile importato dall’Europa nel XII secolo implica, infatti, che i nuovi villaggi fortificati siano contemporaneamente presidi difensivi, centri di popolamento e luoghi di emanazione della giurisdizione.23 La strutturale debolezza dei poteri centrali nei sistemi di governo 19

Sul celebre episodio, ‘la prima battaglia della storia’, si veda ora il catalogo relativo alla bella mostra di Firenze: Pecchioli Daddi e Guidotti (eds) 2002. 20 Riley Smith 1997, 129-132; Hattin può essere ritenuto uno dei rari ‘avvenimenti’ (politici, militari, istituzionali), appartenenti alla braudeliana “crosta” della storia, che visibilmente hanno tuttavia contribuito in modo decisivo a determinare un mutamento radicale e rapido nelle sue strutture ‘profonde’, come sul carattere insediativo ed in alcune delle peculiari conseguenti connotazioni culturali, di una regione, di una comunità, di un’epoca: precondizioni per costituire la formazione di stratigrafie ‘sigillate’ e quindi ben leggibili con gli strumenti dell’archeologia; varrà notare che si tratta di una delle categorie (“villages desertes”) metodologicamente fondanti della stessa archeologia medievale ai suoi albori, negli anni ’50-‘60. 21 Si possono emblematicamente citare le Marche, regione che nel loro stesso nome, come noto, mantiene il ricordo della sua funzione di frontiera fra impero carolingio e Langobardia minor: per altri comparabili casi ‘classici’, la Romagna bizantina a fronte del regno longobardo e la Spagna della ‘reconquista’, si vedano infra i contributi di Chiara Molducci e Juan Llarrea. 22 Fra i molti possibili suoi scritti sul tema si veda Cardini 2003; 1999; 1972; 2005,39-46. 23 Per un’efficace, aggiornata, agile sintesi cfr Albertoni e Provero 2003.

14

Cfr anche Ligato e Vannini 2009, 94-95. Si veda infra il contributo di Bethany Walker. 16 Le espressioni di Ibn Shaddad (cit. da Faucherre 2004, 65: ‘Egli (alMu’azzam Sharf al-Din ‘Isa) la fortifica (Shawbak) e la abbellisce. Vi fa piantare alberi portati da tutte le contrade, finchè essa eguaglia Damasco per il suo carattere verdeggiante, per l’abbondanza delle sue acque e per la purezza della sua aria’), trovano riscontri archeologici anche di altra natura, come l’uso di analoghi strumenti e finiture negli edifici delle due “città”. 17 Il viaggiatore tedesco Ludolf di Sudheim segnala che Montreal ha 3 cinte murarie e che 7000 cristiani vivono ai suoi piedi (cit. in Dechamps 1939, 74). 18 L’episodio di Shawbak ayyubide potrebbe essere riferito ad un fenomeno più generale, presente in quel periodo nella regione (si veda il contributo in questi stessi Atti di Cristina Tonghini, con la quale abbiamo più volte avuto occasioni di parlare del tema). 15

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G. Vannini: Archeologia di una frontiera mediterranea Lucas, G. 2005. The Archaeology of Time. London. Molducci, C. e Pruno, E. 2007. Lo scavo dell’area 6000, in G.Vannini (ed), Archeologia dell’insediamento crociatoayyubide in Transgiordania: la valle di Petra ed il castello di Shawbak, Biblioteca di Archeologia Medievale, 56-69. Firenze. Nucciotti, M. 2007. Analisi stratigrafiche degli elevati. Primi risultati, in G.Vannini (ed), Archeologia dell’insediamento crociato-ayyubide in Transgiordania: la valle di Petra ed il castello di Shawbak, Biblioteca di Archeologia Medievale, 27-55. Firenze. Pecchioli Daddi, F. e Guidotti, M.C. 2002. La battaglia di Qadesh: Ramesse II contro gli Ittiti per la conquista della Siria. Firenze. Riley Smith, J. 1997. Breve storia delle crociate. Milano. Rugiadi, M. 2009. Il palazzo ayyubide a Shawbak, in G.Vannini e M. Nucciotti (eds), Da Petra a Shawbak.. Archeologia di una frontiera. Catalogo della Mostra, (Firenze, Palazzo Pitti, Limonaia di Boboli, 13 luglio-11 ottobre 2009), 120-121. Firenze. Schmid, S.G. 2005. The international Wadi-Farasa project (IWFP) preliminary report on the 2004 season, “Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan”, 49/2005,71-80. Schmid, S.G. 2006. Kreuzritteralltag in Petra. Das Beispiel des Wadi Farasa, in AAVV, Die kreuzzüge. Petra-Eine spurensuche, 45-59. Herausgegeben von der Ritterhausgesellschaft Bubikon. Vannini, G. 1990. Insediamenti di età crociata in Transgiordania, “Liber Annuus”, XL, 476-478. Vannini et alii, G. 1990. Petra crociata, “Archeologia Viva”, IX, n. 11, 34-51. Vannini, G. Vanni Desideri, A. 1995. Archaeological ������������������ research on Medieval Petra: a prelimitary report, “Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan”, XXXIX/1995, 509-540. Vannini, G. e Tonghini, C. 1997. Mediaeval Petra. The stratigraphic evidence from recent archeological excavations at al-Wu’ayra, in Studies in the History and the Archaeology of Jordan VI, 371-384. Amman. Vannini, G. 2005. Il periodo crociato nel Levante, in Il mondo dell’archeologia (‘Enciclopedia Archeologica’ Treccani), Asia, vol. V, 327-336. Roma. Vannini, G. e Nucciotti, M. 2003. Fondazione e riuso dei luoghi forti nella Transgiordania crociata. La messa a punto di un sistema territoriale di controllo della valle di Petra, in R. Fiorillo e P. Peduto (eds) III Congresso Nazionale di Archeologia Medievale, 2-5 ottobre 2003,Vol. 1, 520-525. Firenze, All’Insegna del Giglio. Vannini, G. (ed ) 2007. Archeologia dell’insediamento crociato-ayyubide in Transgiordania: la valle di Petra ed il castello di Shawbak, Biblioteca di Archeologia Medievale. Firenze. Sergi, G. (ed) 1996. Luoghi di strada nel medioevo. Fra il Po, il mare e le Alpi Occidentali. Torino. Zanini, E. 1994. Introduzione all’archeologia bizantina.

medievali fà di molti di questi castelli delle vere e proprie ‘capitali rurali’; di più: si costituiscono anche veri e propri sistemi territoriali (definibili ‘aree di frontiera’, nel senso delle ‘aree di strada’ proposte da una recente medievistica europea (Sergi 1996) che si reggono sostanzialmente (o almeno significativamente) su basi, anche materiali, locali, ‘producendo’, nel lungo periodo, autonomia di ruoli e processi identitari, anche subregionali, appunto come accaduto nella regione di Shawbak. Più in generale, quanto la regione transgiordana ha rivelato agli archeologi, fornisce un esempio illuminante e fin qui, sotto tale profilo, poco osservato, della densità e complessità del rapporto storico tra Europa e Vicino Oriente da cui emerse, tra il XII e il XIII secolo, il rinnovamento di quel duplice ruolo di un Mediterraneo ‘frontiera/cerniera’, che tuttora ci appartiene; ma anche – tenendo presente quanto di peculiarmente ‘contemporaneo’ insistentemente propone la stessa storia dell’archeologia come disciplina a chi decida di praticarla - evidenziando la responsabilità intensa delle nostre scelte e delle nostre azioni, politiche come culturali, anche individuali ed oltre le intenzioni ‘razionali’ o fattuali, come il caso della – pure, in sé, quanto mai effimera - ‘Signoria di Transgiordania’, nei suoi stessi imprevedibili esiti successivi, sembra suggerirci. BIBLIOGRAFIA Dechamps, P. 1939. Les châteaux des croiseés en Terre Sainte. Paris. Ellenblum, R. 1998. Frankish Rural Settlement in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 141-2. Cambridge. Faucherre, N. 2004. La forteresse de Shawbak (Crac de Montreal). Une des premieres forteresses franques sous son corset Mamelouk, in N. Faucherre, j. Mesqui, N. Prouteau (eds) , La fortification au temps des Croisades (Actes du colloque Parthenay 2002), 43 – 66. Rennes. Kennedy, H. 1994.Crusader Castles. Cambridge. Hamarneh, B. e Nucciotti, M. 2009. Shawbak e la Transgiordania meridionale in epoca Ayyubide, in G.Vannini e M. Nucciotti (eds), Da Petra a Shawbak.. Archeologia di una frontiera. Catalogo della Mostra, (Firenze, Palazzo Pitti, Limonaia di Boboli, 13 luglio-11 ottobre 2009), 110-115. Firenze. Milwright, M. 2006. Central and Southern Jordan in the Ayyubid Period: Historical and Archaeological Perspectives, «Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society», Series 3, 16, 1, 1-27. United Kingdom. Ligato, G. e Vannini, G. 2009. Fra Petra e Shawbak: la Transgiordania latina (1100-1189), in G.Vannini e M. Nucciotti (eds), Da Petra a Shawbak.. Archeologia di una frontiera. Catalogo della Mostra, (Firenze, Palazzo Pitti, Limonaia di Boboli, 13 luglio-11 ottobre 2009), 88-95.Firenze. Lo Jacono, C. 2003. Storia del mondo islamico (VII – XVI secolo). I. Il Vicino Oriente da Muhammad alla fine del sultanato mamelucco. Torino.

Roma, N.I.S.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean

Figura 1 La Transgiordania crociata: rinascita di una frontiera e il ruolo di Petra

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G. Vannini: Archeologia di una frontiera mediterranea

Figura 2 L’incastellamento di una valle: Petra, chiave della transgiordania crociata - Wu’ayra, la porta di Petra - Shawbak, fulcro del sistema territoriale

Figura 3 Il castello di Li Vaux Moises, Al-Wu’ayra: osservatorio stratigrafico di Petra (foto A. Marx)

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Figura 4 Il castello di Shawbak, il Crac de Montréal di Baldovino I re di Gerusalemme: una straordinaria collocazione strategica ed un’eccellente scelta tattica (foto M. Foli)

Figura 5 L’imponente area archeologica del campo legionario di Augustopoli (Udruh) sul limes arabicus a cui doveva fare riferimento l’impianto fortificato antico rinvenuto a Shawbak (Google Earth)

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Figura 6 La chiesa di S. Maria a Shawbak (foto A. Marx)

Figura 7 La cappella ‘templare’ rinvenuta in scavo, riutilizzata come prefurnio nel complesso produttivo mamelucco (foto M. Foli)

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Figura 8 Shawbak. Strutture del palazzo crociato in scavo (foto M. Foli)

Figura 9 Indagini archeosismiche: ricostruzione della porta fortificata CF3 della seconda cerchia di Shawbak ayyubide, dopo il terremoto del 1212 (rilievo fotogramm. P. Drap)

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Figura 10 Shawbak, la rifondazione urbana ayyubide: asse generatore urbanistico della nuova città (foto M. Foli)

Figura 11 Shawbak, da castello a ‘città’: la zonizzazione (borgo/opificio, asse urbanistico, area pubblica, area palaziale crociato-ayyubide)

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Figura 12 Shawbak, nuova capitale della Giordania del sud. Sala delle udienze del ‘Palazzo Ayyubide’ (1208 ca): continuità e innovazione di un potere territoriale (foto M. Foli)

Figura 13 Shawbak, l’impianto ‘industriale’ tessile di età mamelucca (fine sec. XIII-XIV) rinvenuto in scavo (foto M. Foli)

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Figura 14 Shawbak, strutture militari mamelucche: le epigrafi, rivolte verso il territorio amministrato

Figura 15 La Transgiordania in età crociato-ayyubide e le sue ‘frontiere’ (Google Earth)

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Figura 16 Shawbak: cittadella e resti del tessuto urbano esterno, le radici del presente (foto Jim Korpy)

Figura 17 Banconota da 5 dinari del 2002 che raffigura il primo re Hashemita di Giordania (Abdallah I) e il palazzo reale di Ma’an

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

LE FRONTIERE ORIENTALI DELL’IMPERO ROMANO E LE TRIBÙ ARABE Ariel S. Lewin

Abstract (2008) The eastern borders of the Roman Empire and the Arab tribes The meaning of the Roman province of Arabia met interesting changes during the period between the conquest of the Nabatean territory by the Emperor Trajan and its loss due to the Arab offensive in the 7th century. A number of documents shows how the empire ran the control of these lands that were part of the Fertil Crescent. There are reasons to believe that during the 2nd and the beginning of the 3rd century the Arab populations living within the province, but also beyond the territories controlled by the Romans, constituted a threat of some weight on the provincial territories. A significant change is produced, instead, with the rise to power in Persia of the Sassanian dinasty that displayed an extremely threatening enemy on the stage of East. It was probably precisely because of the rise of this new power that the Arab population role in the peninsula changed considerably. This situation gave arise to a number of complex relationships, made by conflict, but also by forging alliances between Rome and Arab populations. All this puts the basis for the Christianization of various tribes following one after the other as allies of Rome and contributing to the creation of a fascinating civilization at the borders of the empire. The most important role was played by the Ghassanidis or Jafnidis.

Il significato dell’impegno romano nella provincia di Arabia andò incontro ad interessanti mutamenti nel periodo compreso fra la conquista del territorio dei Nabatei all’epoca dell’imperatore Traiano e la sua perdita dovuta alla offensiva araba nel VII secolo. Una serie di documenti rivela le modalità attraverso cui l’impero gestì il controllo di queste terre che facevano parte dell’arco della Mezzaluna fertile. Non vi sono motivi per ritenere che nel corso del II secolo e all’inizio del III le popolazioni arabe che vivevano all’interno della provincia, ma anche al di là dei territori controllati dai Romani, abbiano costituito una minaccia di qualche peso all’ordine provinciale. Un mutamento significativo si produsse, invece, con l’ascesa al potere in Persia della dinastia dei Sassanidi che presentò sulla scena dell’Oriente un nemico estremamente minaccioso. Fu verosimilmente proprio a causa dell’apparire di questo nuovo potere che anche il ruolo delle popolazioni arabe nella penisola mutò considerevolmente. Ne derivò il sorgere di una serie di rapporti complessi, formato da conflitti, ma anche dal forgiarsi di alleanze fra Roma e le popolazioni arabe. Ciò fondò i presupposti per la cristianizzazione di varie tribù che si susseguirono nel ruolo di alleati di Roma e che contribuirono alla creazione di un’affascinante civiltà ai bordi dell’impero. Il ruolo più importante fu rivestito dai Ghassanidi o Jafnidi. La provincia di Arabia venne formata in seguito all’annessione, avvenuta nel 106 d.C., del regno alleato dei Nabatei. I Romani vennero così a prendere il possesso diretto di un territorio assai ampio che comprendeva, oltre che il cuore del regno e cioè il settore vicino a Petra, anche il Negev, il nord della Giordania intorno all’altra polarità emergente, la città di Bostra, e la Giordania centrale. Vari motivi inducono a ritenere che la nuova provincia dovesse estendersi anche a sud fino alla città di Hegra – Meda in Salih (Negev 1977, 520-686; Sartre 1982, 17-75; Bowersock 1983, 76-109). Hegra aveva fatto parte del dominio nabateo ed era stata una città che nel corso del I secolo d.C. si era adornata di una serie di costruzioni monumentali che richiamano subito alla mente il prestigioso apparato architettonico di

Petra (Healey 1993). Pare impossibile ritenere che i Romani all’epoca di una politica improntata ad un potente slancio imperialista si fossero limitati ad assumere il controllo solo di una parte del regno escludendone la sezione meridionale. Inoltre occorre ricordare che il commercio via terra dell’incenso proveniente dalla Arabia Felix non era venuto meno in seguito al grande sviluppo del commercio marittimo promosso da Augusto. Di conseguenza i Romani sentirono l’esigenza di prendere possesso delle località più vicine alla fonte del prodotto. Plinio il vecchio ricordava come ai suoi tempi il prezzo dell’incenso dallo Yemen fino al porto di Gaza aumentasse enormemente a causa dei pedaggi che dovevano essere pagati in varie stazioni, controllate in ordine di marcia prima da varie popolazioni arabe e poi dagli stessi Nabatei (Plin. NH XII, 32,63). La temperie imperialista non si esaurì dopo l’età traianea: una interessantissima iscrizione latina è stata rinvenuta nelle remote isole Farasan, un arcipelago situato leggermente a nord del confine fra l’Arabia Saudita e lo Yemen. Si tratta di una dedica all’imperatore Antonino Pio, da datarsi al 144 d.C., che mostra come in quelle isole fosse stazionato in quel tempo un distaccamento della legio II Traiana, la cui base madre si trovava in Egitto, a cui era preposto un praefectus portus Ferresani. È lecito ritenere pertanto che questa occupazione dell’arcipelago fosse dettata dall’interesse per il controllo commerciale che doveva essere protetto dagli attacchi dei pirati del Mar Rosso. In effetti il retore Elio Aristide accenna in una sua celebre opera, l’eis Romen, composta proprio nei medesimi anni, a dei problemi causati dalla follia delle popolazioni che abitavano le rive del Mar Rosso, ma anche all’estensione del controllo dei commerci in queste terre da parte dei Romani. Pare, dunque, lecito concludere che l’iscrizione ed il testo di Elio Aristide si integrino bene in un contesto di una felice attività militare e di una più radicata occupazione del settore. Il praefectus del portus Ferresanus doveva essere anche preposto all’esazione delle tasse derivanti dal commercio (Villeneuve, Philipps, Facey 2004, 143-192; 229-232; Villeneuve 2007, 13-27). Per quanto riguarda il controllo dell’entroterra nell’Hedjaz, 49

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean particolarmente avvertito in quelle zone marginali ove la conformazione stessa del territorio e la presenza di popolazioni seminomadi creavano i presupposti per il nascere di frizioni. Il banditismo ed i seminomadi erano comunque elementi presenti sia all’interno della provincia che al di là di essa. Di conseguenza è del tutto erroneo ritenere che i Romani avessero approntato un sistema fortificato atto a respingere gli attacchi delle popolazioni del deserto (Isaac 1990, Graf 1989, 341-400). È lecito ritenere che le varie tribù avvertissero il peso della presenza romana e che gli episodi conflittuali si dovessero generalmente ricomporre nel quadro più generale di un controllo esercitato da parte dell’esercito imperiale. All’interno della provincia dall’età traianea in poi i quadri dirigenti locali e la popolazione nel suo insieme si vennero ad integrare con il sistema politico e culturale dell’impero, ferma restando la problematica riducibilità di alcuni elementi marginali. Nel complesso, tuttavia, si riuscì ad attrarre un numero importante di nomadi vuoi favorendone la sedentarizzazione grazie all’espansione degli insediamenti e allo sviluppo dell’agricoltura vuoi con l’arruolamento nelle unità militari, fossero esse quelle regolari o, come nel caso visto nell’iscrizione di Ruwwafa, di corpi speciali (Sartre 1982; Macadam 1986; Graf 1994, 265311). In generale va detto che può avere un senso la valutazione proposta da vari studiosi secondo cui la presenza militare romana non fosse dettata essenzialmente da preoccupazioni difensive. Almeno per quanto riguarda alcune aree specifiche dovremmo allora prendere in considerazione il fatto che il ruolo dei militari avesse a che fare con lo sfruttamento ed il controllo del territorio (Isaac 1990). La provincia di Arabia, dunque, era venuta a costituire un tassello di grandissima importanza nello scenario del vicino Oriente. Essa deteneva, infatti, una posizione privilegiata per il controllo dei commerci, con il porto di Aela (Aqaba) sul Mar Rosso, la pista carovaniera che raggiungendo Hegra si snodava attraverso Tabuk fino a Petra, l’asse del wadi Sirhan che raccordava la provincia con l’oasi di Jawf. Accanto alla variegata Giudea che non aveva uno sbocco ai confini dell’impero essa rappresentava il complemento alla grande provincia di Siria per il controllo delle zone in cui era possibile la pratica dell’agricoltura fino ai territori aridi della steppa dall’Eufrate al Mar Rosso. L’ulteriore tappa dell’imperialismo romano fu rappresentata dalla fine del II secolo dalla occupazione di ampi territori oltre il fiume Eufrate, con la creazione di due nuove provincie, la Osrhoene e la Mesopotamia. Questa euforia espansionista ebbe però vita breve dal momento che l’avvento al trono di Persia nei primi decenni del III secolo della bellicosa dinastia dei Sassanidi creò le condizioni per la nascita di un nemico potente che per secoli avrebbe tenuto in apprensione l’impero romano. Il III secolo fu un periodo di autentica crisi dell’impero romano in cui il governo centrale non fu in grado di organizzarsi in modo solido per custodire intatte le frontiere e le provincie dalle penetrazioni nemiche. Ne seguirono un’insicurezza più o meno generalizzata ed un marcato decadimento economico.

è di grande rilievo un celebre testo epigrafico bilingue, in greco ed in nabateo, rinvenuto a Ruwwafa, datato all’epoca di Marco Aurelio e di Lucio Vero. In questo testo insieme a dei Thamudeni, forse appartenenti ad una unità militare al servizio dell’impero, sono menzionati due governatori romani che ebbero parte nella costruzione di un tempio dedicato agli imperatori. Il carattere di tale attività e la presenza stessa dei governatori romani rendono chiaro che il sito in questione faceva parte della provincia di Arabia (Bowersock 1975, 513-522; Macdonald 1995, 93-101). Sono anche note varie iscrizioni rinvenute ad Hegra in cui viene menzionata la presenza in quel sito di unità militari romane, il che rappresenterebbe una conferma dell’ipotesi che i Romani avessero preso sotto il loro controllo e quindi provincializzato anche il settore più meridionale del regno nabateo (Bowsher 1986, 23-29). Una prova decisiva in tal senso giunge ora da una nuova iscrizione latina scoperta nella stessa Hegra che deve essere datata al regno di Marco Aurelio fra il 175 ed il 177. Nel testo viene ricordato che la civitas Hegrenorum ricostruì a proprie spese una struttura, verosimilmente il vallum della città, che col tempo era andato in rovina. Viene anche detto che la costruzione avvenne all’epoca del governatorato di Iulius Firmanus e che ebbero un ruolo nei lavori due centurioni della legio III Cyrenaica mentre la supervisione fu svolta da un notabile della città, Amrus (al-Takhi, al-Dire 2005, 205-217). Per un caso fortunato conosciamo con precisione quale fosse l’impegno militare che i Romani avevano deciso di assumere nella provincia di Arabia nel II secolo. Un documento ufficiale datato all’epoca di Antonino Pio, più precisamente al 145, ci fa sapere che nella provincia oltre alla legione III Cyrenaica erano stanziate due alae e sette cohortes. Avremmo così un totale di circa diecimila uomini, la metà dei quali o poco più legionari. Il 20 % degli uomini erano cavalieri (Weiss, Speidel 2004, 253-264; Lewin 2008, 12; 16). La legione III Cyrenaica fu stanziata a Bostra che ben presto assurse al ruolo di capitale della provincia soppiantando Petra. Il campo legionario è stato identificato e nuove ricerche condotte dagli studiosi francesi sono in corso. Dobbiamo comunque ritenere che solo una parte di questa unità rimase nel campo base; la presenza di vari distaccamenti della legio III Cyrenaica è attestata, oltre come abbiamo visto ad Hegra, a Humayma, ad Umm el-Quttain nella Giordania settentrionale e forse anche ad Azraq all’imbocco del wadi Sirhan (Kennedy 2000). La provincia era stata organizzata avendo come suo perno un asse stradale la via nova Traiana lungo la quale erano stati costruiti vari forti miliari. Tuttavia non dobbiamo assolutamente ritenere che questo fosse un limes fortificato: si trattava, infatti, solo di un’arteria che serviva al transito militare e alla circolazione commerciale. C’erano postazioni militari ed anche villaggi situati ben al di là di questa strada e d’altro canto non esistono nemmeno i più lontani presupposti per farci pensare che esistesse un nemico attivo oltre i confini provinciali capace di incutere un serio timore. È invece vero che i problemi per l’autorità romana derivavano dal controllo del banditismo, un elemento peraltro presente ovunque nell’impero romano, ma 50

A. S. Lewin: Le frontiere orientali dell’Impero Romano e le tribù arabe i Saraceni, un nome col quale ormai dal III secolo gli Arabi sono comunemente designati. In questa ottica la disposizione degli eserciti plasmata da Diocleziano e dai suoi colleghi acquisisce un senso: egli riorganizzò la strada, già valorizzata nel I secolo dagli imperatori flavi, che da Sura sull’Eufrate conduceva a Palmira. In quest’ultima città fu installata una legione, la I Illyricorum. Dove invece l’attività di Diocleziano risultò innovativa fu nella realizzazione a sud del Jebel Rawaq di un nuovo asse lungo il quale erano scaglionate una serie di strutture militari di numero e di dimensioni comunque modeste. Si trattava della cosiddetta “Strata Diocletiana”, un nome questo che compare in alcuni miliari che sono stati rinvenuti lungo il percorso (Lewin 1990, 141-165; Lewin 2002, 91-101; Lewin 2008). I soldati dovevano vivere qui in condizioni estremamente proibitive dal momento che, a differenza di quanto verificato dagli studiosi lungo il tratto fra Sura e Palmira, non sorsero dei vici popolati da civili accanto ai fortini. Non c’è traccia del fatto che l’agricoltura fu praticata in questo settore, né i fortini sono intervallati da strutture minori. Il tutto orienta, dunque, a ritenere che si sia trattato di un allestimento dal carattere straordinario, forse in qualche modo eccessivo (Bauzou 1989, 219; Bauzou 2000, 87-88). Nelle terre di Giordania possiamo apprezzare particolarmente bene i tratti dell’attività di Diocleziano. Nel nord est fu rivitalizzata la presenza militare allo sbocco del wadi Sirhan, con la rioccupazione del forte di Azraq e di Umm al-Quttain, oltre che di altre strutture minori. La documentazione epigrafica rivela la portata dell’intervento di questo imperatore. Sono state rinvenute iscrizioni monumentali che ricordano la costruzione di forti a Deir el Kahf nel nord est della Giordania, a Qasr Bshir nell’Arabia centrale e ora ad Udruh più a sud nella zona di Petra. A questi testi occorre con ogni probabilità aggiungerne almeno un altro da Umm al-Rasas. L’occupazione militare di questi siti che si trovano oltre la via nova Traiana in direzione del deserto avvenne verso la fine della Tetrarchia, intorno al 300 d.C. Un elemento interessante della riconfigurazione della presenza militare in Giordania è rappresentato, come penso di avere dimostrato in una pubblicazione di qualche anno fa, dall’attivazione di un asse militare che legava Umm al-Rasas con Qasr el-Thuraya fino alla discesa nel wadi Mujib, per proseguire più a sud a Qasr Bshir e all’accampamento legionario di Lejjun (Bethorus) (Lewin 2001, 293-304). Nel complesso guardando alla organizzazione amministrativa civile e militare messa in cantiere da Diocleziano notiamo una serie di distretti militari, quasi sempre coincidenti geograficamente con le province, che da nord a sud erano dotati ciascuno di due legioni, oltre che di numerose unità ausiliarie. È fondamentale notare che intorno al 300 il Negev e la parte meridionale della Giordania che precedentemente avevano fatto parte della provincia di Arabia furono trasferiti nella Palaestina (Tsafrir 1986, 77-86; Sipilä 2004, 317-348; Sipilä 2007, 209). Fu così che in Arabia si vennero a trovare due legioni, la III Cyrenaica a Bostra, e la IV Martia a Lejjun (Bethorus), mentre la

Anche la provincia di Arabia non fu risparmiata da questa vera e propria crisi. Abbiamo, infatti, prove piuttosto evidenti del fatto che la sua economia fu sconvolta: l’indagine archeologica ha rilevato che la cosiddetta via delle spezie fra Petra ed il Mediterraneo fu abbandonata e che nella stessa città venne meno la produzione di manufatti atti a contenere oli lavorati (Lewin 2007, 252-254). L’ambito della conflittualità romano persiana si allargò a dismisura coinvolgendo le tribù arabe che divennero pedine importanti nello scacchiere del vicino oriente. I Sassanidi, almeno dagli anni sessanta del III secolo, si valsero dell’appoggio della potente tribù dei Tanukh che entrò in rotta di collisione con il mondo romano, anche se pare probabile che questa tribù almeno in qualche tempo oscillò verso un accordo coi Romani. Una valutazione degli eventi è resa più complicata dal fatto che per un breve tempo la crisi dell’impero favorì l’emergere di un potere in qualche verso alternativo: si trattò dell’usurpazione della città di Palmira guidata dalla regina Zenobia. (270-272). Palmira era una città che apparteneva a pieno titolo all’impero romano e che si era arricchita enormemente con il controllo dei commerci e con l’organizzazione di carovane. Le ramificazioni di questa autentica potenza commerciale del medio Oriente giungevano fino all’Egitto ed al Golfo Persico. Con un potente esercito, dunque, i Palmireni sbaragliarono le forze militari romane e Zenobia prese il controllo del vicino Oriente fino a quando l’imperatore Aureliano la sconfisse ripristinando la piena autorità del governo legittimo. La tradizione rivendica un ruolo di rilievo ad un re dei Tanukh, Jadima, che sarebbe entrato in conflitto coi Palmireni e che sarebbe stato ucciso da Zenobia. Sarebbe toccato poi ad un altro capo arabo, Amru, vendicare Jadima che era suo zio. Amru, infatti, avrebbe in qualche modo contribuito alla rovina della regina di Palmira (Bowersock 1975, 132-136). Ora occorre mettere in luce che una serie di documenti svela che Amru era il sovrano dei Lakhmidi, una confederazione che come vedremo continuò per secoli a costituire l’alleato arabo fondamentale dei Sassanidi. Sappiamo poco di questo personaggio, ma è quasi certo che egli rimase in sella per almeno un quarto di secolo (Lewin 2007, 244-246). L’imperatore Diocleziano nel suo lungo regno (284-305) intraprese una formidabile opera di riorganizzazione dell’apparato militare romano dotando il vicino oriente di una serie di strade militari e di fortezze che ridonarono all’impero un senso di solidità. Gli archeologi hanno notato i tratti caratteristici delle tipologie di questi forti: essi erano molto robusti, con mura assai spesse ed erano dotati di torri in forte aggetto esterno atte ad essere proficuamente utilizzate dall’artiglieria (Lander 1984, 168-193; Parker 1986; Parker 2006; Reddé 1995, 91-124; Gregory 19951997; Kennedy 2000). L’epoca di Diocleziano vide un ripresentarsi di una situazione di grande conflitto con i Persiani che sfociò in due epocali battaglie nel 297. Le fonti ricordano anche delle preoccupazioni date al mondo romano dalle tribù arabe che sconvolgevano le frontiere dall’Eufrate al Mar Rosso. Diocleziano è accreditato di un successo importante contro 51

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Palaestina ebbe di stanza la VI Ferrata ad Udruh e la X Fretensis ad Aela sul Mar Rosso (Kennedy, Falahat 2008, 150-169). La storia dei rapporti fra i Romani e le popolazioni arabe che vivevano al di là dell’impero dovette essere improntata a guerra e diplomazia allo stesso tempo. Di interesse straordinario è la figura di un capo arabo, Imrul’qais la cui iscrizione funeraria datata al 328 è stata rinvenuta a Nemara ai bordi della steppa in Siria. Il testo in arabo, ma scritto in caratteri nabatei, rivela il raggio di attività e del potere acquisito da questo personaggio (Lewin 2007, 245). Per la prima volta sappiamo in modo esplicito che anche i Romani impiegarono le tribù arabe in funzione antipersiana da un panegirico indirizzato all’imperatore Costanzo II, elogiato per esser riuscito a trasformare nel 338 delle tribù arabe da ostili a Roma ad alleate contro il tradizionale nemico. Tuttavia, vi sono validi motivi per ritenere che questa non fosse stata la prima volta che i Romani forgiavano tali alleanze con le tribù arabe allo scopo anche di rivolgerle contro l’altra superpotenza dell’epoca (Lewin 2007, 245-246). Il grande storico Ammiano Marcellino che scrisse le sue res gestae al limite estremo del IV secolo in un suo excursus geografico dedicato alle provincie del vicino oriente ricorda una caratteristica del tutto particolare della provincia di Arabia: lo scrittore afferma, infatti, che questa era ricca per varietà di commerci, piena di salde fortezze e castelli costruiti dagli antichi su rilievi adatti e sicuri per respingere gli attacchi delle popolazioni vicine. La provincia aveva città grandi come Bostra, Gerasa e Filadelfia protette da mura assai robuste. Questa descrizione, a mio avviso, rispecchia bene il carattere aspro e militarizzato di queste terre ove sorgevano forti e torri di guardia situati in un’ambientazione suggestiva. Basti pensare a Qasr Aseikhin nel nord della Giordania, o alle strutture che vennero costruite oltre il Djebel Druz o ancora ai forti che presidiavano il desolato wadi Mujib. Ammiano Marcellino era un alto ufficiale dell’esercito e doveva avere ben chiara la peculiarità di questi paesaggi (Amm. XIV, 8, 13; Lewin 2008, 155-173). Nell’anno 377 un’importante rivolta di una potente tribù araba guidata a una donna, la regina Mavia, causò serissimi problemi ai Romani; un esercito imperiale fu, infatti, quasi sgominato in battaglia e significativamente le nostre fonti enfatizzano il carattere di estrema gravità dell’evento. La pace fu siglata nell’arco di pochi mesi e la figlia di Mavia andò in sposa al potentissimo generale Victor, un uomo secondo d’importanza al solo imperatore. Si trattò sicuramente di un matrimonio diplomatico e ne consegue che l’alleanza con questa grossa tribù era fondamentale per i Romani. La trama che la diplomazia romana cercava di tessere era dunque, similmente a ciò che accadeva con le popolazioni germaniche, quella di forgiare un sistema di alleanze privilegiando il rapporto con capitribù che avrebbero tratto giovamento da una ridefinizione del loro ruolo grazie appunto all’appoggio e ai doni dei Romani (Lewin 2007, 246-250). Nel corso del V secolo la presenza militare romana lungo l’arco fra l’Eufrate ed il Mar Rosso ebbe una visibile fles-

sione. In particolare per quanto riguarda i siti ai margine del deserto nella Giordania centrale è stata osservata l’assenza di ceramica del V secolo e possiamo ritenere dunque che vari forti furono abbandonati. Dietro questo fenomeno vi furono due motivi fondamentali: in primo luogo vi fu la quasi totale cessazione del conflitto romano persiano che attenuò di molto la possibilità che grosse coalizioni arabe potessero essere impiegate per attaccare le province romane; dobbiamo poi ritenere che gli imperatori abbiano privilegiato l’utilizzazione di arabi alleati per compiti di polizia alle frontiere in modo da poter anche risparmiare sulle alte spese necessarie per il mantenimento delle strutture militari e dei soldati stessi (Fisher 2004, 49-60). La rinascita del conflitto romano persiano all’epoca dell’imperatore Anastasio è troppo strettamente connessa con vari noti episodi di attacchi di confederazioni arabe contro il territorio romano per essere casuale. Nell’ambito di una situazione siffatta emerse alla fine la potente tribù dei Ghassanidi che eliminò altri concorrenti al ruolo di alleati privilegiati dei Romani. Essi ebbero un elemento di spicco nel re Arethas che nel 529 o 530 fu infine insignito da Giustiniano del titolo di filarco in capo di tutti gli Arabi alleati. Il motivo di questa decisione fu, secondo lo storico Procopio, quello di inalzare Arethas ad una posizione di particolare rilievo per poterlo così contrapporre al formidabile re dei Lakhmidi Al Mundhir che si era reso autore di ripetute devastazioni nelle provincie romane (Sartre 1982, cit., 153 segg.; Shahid 1995, 3-130; Robin 1996, 665-714; Whittow 1999, 207-224). Procopio esprime forti riserve sul fatto che Arethas avesse conseguito dei buoni risultati, ma probabilmente la sua visione negativa è eccessiva. È da notare invece che, contrariamente a quanto detto da molti studiosi, l’elevazione di Arethas al rango di filarco in capo non comportò che la difesa delle frontiere fosse ormai affidata nella quasi totalità agli alleati arabi. Al contrario, un esame attento della documentazione mostra che alla fine degli anni ’20 del VI secolo Giustiniano cercò parallelamente di rafforzare la presenza militare in vari settori di confine del vicino oriente promuovendo anche l’urbanizzazione di alcuni centri importanti. Viceversa la Strata Diocletiana che era stata abbandonata nel corso del V secolo non venne mai rioccupata dall’esercito romano e rimase quello che era per vocazione, una zona deserta attraversata solo dai greggi dei beduini (Lewin 2008, 109153). Una crepa nel disegno giustinianeo e in generale nella compagine imperiale si verificò con il devastante attacco di Cosroe nel 540 e con la successiva sconvolgente epidemia di peste. È quasi certo che l’esercito nel vicino Oriente risentì di questa situazione fortemente negativa. La flessione nella presenza militare ai bordi del deserto dovette essere netta e questa volta senza ritorno. Ciò non vuole dire però che siamo autorizzati ad accogliere in pieno l’affermazione di Procopio negli Anekdota secondo cui Giustiniano avrebbe sciolto il corpo dei limitanei, i soldati di frontiera. Vi sono infatti tracce del fatto che alcune località in Giordania fossero ancora occupate da soldati, come evidenziato dai papiri di Petra per quan52

A. S. Lewin: Le frontiere orientali dell’Impero Romano e le tribù arabe Bowersock, G.W. 1975. The Greek Nabataean Inscription at Ruwwafa, Saudi Arabia. Le monde grec: Hommages à Claire Preaux, 513-522. Brussels. Bowersock, G.W. 1983. Roman Arabia. Cambridge, Mass. Bowsher, J. 1986. The Frontier Post of Medain Saleh, in Ph. Freeman and D. Kennedy (eds.), The Defence of the Roman and Byzantine East, 23-29. Oxford. Fiema, Z.T. 2002. The Military Presence in the Countryside of Petra in the 6th Century. Limes XVIII. Proceedings the XVIIIth International Congress of Roman Studies, 131136. Oxford. Fiema, Z.T. 2007. The Byzantine Military in the Petra Papyri. A Summary, in A.S. Lewin and P. Pellegrini, (eds.), The Late Roman Army in the Near East from Diocletian tothe Arab Conquest, 313-319. Fisher, G. 2004. A New Perspective on Rome’s Desert Frontier. BASOR 336, 49-60. Genequand, D. 2006. Some Thoughts on Qasr-al-Hayr alGharbi, its Dam, its Monastery and the Ghassanids. Levant 38, 78-79. Graf, D.F. 1989. Rome and the Saracens: Reassessing the Nomadic Menace. In Th. Fahd Leiden (ed.), L’Arabie préislamique et son environnement historique et culturelle, 341-400. Gregory, Sh. 1995-1997. Roman Military Architecture on the Eastern Frontier. Amsterdam. Hamarneh, B. 2003. Topografia cristiana ed insediamenti rurali nel territorio dell’odierna Giordania nelle epoche bizantina ed islamica V-IX secolo. Città del Vaticano. Healey, J.F. 1993. The Nabataean Tomb Inscriptions of Mada’ in Salih. Isaac, B. 1990. The Limits of the Empire. The Roman Army in the East. Oxford. Lander, J. 1984. Roman Stone Fortifications. Variations and Change from the First Century A.D. to the Fourth, 168-193. Oxford. Lander, J. 2006. The Roman Frontier in Central Jordan. Final Report on the Limes Arabicus Project1980-1989. Washington. Lewin, A.S. 1990. Dall’Eufrate al Mar Rosso: Diocleziano, l’esercito e i confini tardo-antichi, Athenaeum 78, 141-165. Lewin, A. S. 2001. Kastron Mefaa, the equites promoti indigenae and the Creation of a Late Roman Frontier. LA 51, 293-304. Lewin, A.S. 2002. Diocletian: Politics and limites in the Near East. Limes XVIII. Proceedings the XVIIIth International Congress of Roman Studies, 91-101. Oxford. Lewin, A.S. 2007. ‘Amr Ibn Adi, Mavia, the Phylarchs and the Late Roman Army: Peace and War in the Near East, in A.S. Lewin and P. Pellegrini (eds.), The Late Roman Army in the Near East from Diocletian to the Arab Conquest, 244-246. Lewin, A.S. 2007. Da Mada in Salih alle isole Farasan, ovvero Roma nell’Hijaz e nel Mar Rosso. Appunti di storia polico-economica, in P. Desideri, M. Moggi e M. Pani (eds.), Antidoron. Studi in onore di Barbara Scardigli Forster, 252-254. Pisa. Lewin, A.S. 2007. The Impact of the Late Roman Army, in L. de Blois and E. Lo Cascio, (eds.), Palaestina and Arabia.

to riguarda siti come Zadacathon ed Admatha. Allo stesso tempo bisogna ricordare che le fonti segnalano la presenza di un esercito a Bostra ancora verso la fine del secolo ed ugualmente la ricerca archeologica ha notato tracce di continuità nell’occupazione dei forti fra Sura e Palmira (Fiema 2009, 131-136; Fiema 2007, 313-319; Konrad 2000, Ioh. Eph. Hist. Ecclesiastica, 177). A dispetto del pessimismo di Procopio, Arethas riuscì ad ottenere una prestigiosa vittoria contro i Lakhmidi nel 554. Egli vinse, infatti, in battaglia Al Mundhir e lo uccise. Tuttavia anche uno dei figli di Arethas morì in seguito alle ferite e fu sepolto in un martyrion (Michael Syr. Chron. II, 269). Ciò ci introduce necessariamente ad un altro grande tema, quello della cristianizzazione dei Ghassanidi, che, tuttavia come è noto, aderirono al monofisitismo, causando così le apprensioni degli imperatori custodi dell’ortodossia (Shahid 1995). A Resafa in una bella iscrizione nell’abside di un palazzo o chiesa situato fuori dalle mura cittadina è posta un’iscrizione in cui viene acclamato il figlio di Arethas, Al Mundhir – da non confondersi con l’omonimo re lakhmide. Questo Al Mundhir, era succeduto al padre nel 569. L’iscrizione attesta la comune devozione verso San Sergio, il santo che aveva a Resafa il principale luogo di culto, da parte della popolazione locale e dei Ghassanidi (Key Fowden 1999; Genequand 2006, 78-79). La presenza dei Ghassanidi è testimoniata con estrema chiarezza anche nella Giordania centrale, a Nitl, un luogo che probabilmente era stato occupato da un forte romano all’epoca di Diocleziano, ma che forse era stato abbandonato anch’esso nel V secolo. La chiesa di San Sergio fu dotata all’epoca della sua costruzione alla metà del VI secolo di un mosaico in cui erano incorporati dei medaglioni con iscrizioni. Due di queste menzionano personaggi della casata ghassanide, uno dei quali fu sepolto nella cripta della stessa chiesa. Furono i Ghassanidi dunque e non l’esercito romano a rivitalizzare Nitl e verosimilmente anche la vicinissima Umm al-Rasas ove all’interno del forte dioclezianeo abbandonato nel V secolo sorse ora un villaggio adorno di chiese che si espanse poi al di là delle mura (Piccirillo 2001, 267-284; Shahid 2001, 285-292; Hamarneh 2003; Lewin 2007, 474480). Le contingenze storiche avevano così creato i presupposti per un focolare di civiltà e di consistenza pacifica che si sviluppò ai bordi del deserto, a riprova del fatto che le frontiere non testimoniano solo di conflitti, ma anche di processi di arricchimento culturale ed umano. BIBLIOGRAFIA Bauzou, Th. 1989. Les routes romaines de Syrie, in J.M. Dentzer and W. Orthmann (eds.), Archéologie et histoire de la Syrie II, 219. Saarbrücken. Bauzou, Th. 2000. La “Strata Diocletiana”, in L. Nordiguian and J.F Salles (eds.), Aux origines de l’archéologie aérienne. A. Poidebard (1875-1955), 87-88. Beyrouth. 53

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Shahid, I. 1995. Byzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century, I, 2. Washington. Shahid, I. 2001. The Sixth century Complex at Nitl, Jordan. The Ghassanid Dimension. Liber Annus 51, 285-292. Sipilä, J. 2004. Roman Arabia and the Provincial Reorganisations of the Fourth century. Mediterraneo Antico 7,317-348. Sipilä, J. 2007. Fluctuating Provincial Boundaries in Mid4th Century Arabia and Palestine, in A.S Lewin and P. Pellegrini (eds.), The Late Roman Army in the Near East from Diocletian to the Arab Conquest 209 L’-Takhi, D. and al-Dire, M. 2005. Roman Presence in the Desert: A New Inscription from Hegra. Chiron 35, 205217. Tsafrir, Y. 1986. The Transfer of Negev, Sinai and Souther Transjordan from Arabia to Palaestina. Israel Exploration Journal 36, 77-86. Villeneuve, F. 2007. L’armée romaine en Mer Rouge et autour de la Mer Rouge aux IIème siècles apr. J.-C.: à propos de deux inscriptions latines découvertes sur l’archipel Farasan. The Late Roman Army in the Near East from Diocletian to the Arab Conquest, 13-27. Oxford. Villeneuve, F. , Philipps, C., Facey, W. 2004. Une inscription latine de l’archipel Farasân (sud de la mer Rouge) et son conteste archéologique et historique. Arabia 2. Weiss, P., Speidel, M.P. 2004. Das erste Militädiplome fur Arabie. ZPE 150, 253-264. Whittow, M. 1999. Rome and the Jafnids: Writing the History of a Sixth Century Tribal Dinasty. In Humphrey, J.H. (ed.), The Roman and Byzantine East II, R.I., 207224. Portsmouth.

The Impact of the Roman Army, 474-480 .Amsterdam. Lewin, A.S. 2008. Popoli terre frontiere dell’impero romano. Il vicino Oriente nella tarda antichità I: il problema militare. Catania Kennedy, D. 2000. The Roman Army in Jordan. Amman. Kennedy, D.L., Falahat, H. 2008. Castra legionis VI Ferratae: a Building Inscription from the Legionary Fortress at Udruh near Petra. Journal of Roman Archaeology 21, 150-169. Key Fowden, E. 1999. The Barbarian Plain. St. Sergius between Rome and Iran. Princeton M. Konrad, M. 2000. Der spätrömische Limes in Syrien. Archaeologische Untersuchungen an der Grenzkastellen von Sura, Tetrapyrgium, Cholle und Resafa. Mainz. Macadam, H.I. 1986. Studies in the History of the Roman Province of Arabia. Oxford. Macdonald, M.C.A. 1995. Les Saracènes, l’inscription de Ruwwafa et l’armée romaine. In Présence arabe dans le Croissant fertile avant l’Hégire. Paris. Negev, A. 1977. The Nabataeans and the provincia Arabia. ANRW II.8 (1977), 520-686. Parker, S.T. 1986. Roman and Saracens. Winona Lake Parker S.T., 2006. The Roman Frontier in Central Jordan. Final Report on the Limes Arabicus Project 1980-1989. Washington D.C. Piccirillo, M. 2001. The Church of Saint Sergius at Nitl. A Centre of the Christian Arabs in the Steppe at the Gates of Madab. LA 51, 267-284. Reddé, M. 1995. Diocletien et les fortifications militaries de l’antiquité tardive, quelques considerations de method. AnTard 3, 91-124. Robin, Ch. 1996. Le royaume Hujride, dit “Royaume de Kinda” entre Himyar et Byzance. CRAI, 665-714. Sartre, M. 1982. Trois études sur l’Arabie romaine et byzantine. Bruxelles.

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

ROMANS, GHASSANIDS AND UMAYYADS AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE LIMES ARABICUS: FROM COERCIVE AND DETERRENT DIPLOMACY TOWARDS RELIGIOUS PROSELYTISM AND POLITICAL CLIENTELARISM Ignacio Arce. Director, Spanish Archaeological Mission to Jordan. Heritage for Development Programme (AECID), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation; Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute (IPCE), Ministry of Culture. Abstract (2008) Romans, Ghassanids and Umayyads and the transformation of the Limes Arabicus: from coerciveand deterrent diplomacy towards religious proselytism and political clientelarism. The lands of Trans-Jordan have been throughout History a border area, a frontier in different political, social and cultural aspects, between mighty empires, and different cultures. Furthermore, in the case of the final phases of the existence of the Limes Arabicus (the border between Rome and Persia spanning from the Eufrates to Aqaba), we are dealing not only with a frontier in geographical and political terms, but also in academic terms. As a result of this, the study of such an essential transitional period in this key region has been neglected in the preceding archaeological and historical studies (with some outstanding exceptions, like the work of fr. Michele Piccirillo, Prof. Svend Helms and Prof. Irfan Shahid to whom this article is dedicated, and whosework has illuminated our interpretation of the material evidence analyzed): Thus classical archaeologist have not taken sufficiently into account the Ghassanid period because considered as part of a barbarian take over of the control of the Empire, even if carried out by Christianised Arabs; similarly, Islamic archaeologists have considered this period as the final decadence decades of Late Antique in Oriens before the advent of Islam, and consequently it has been also neglected, considered as an “spurious” period. This negative consideration and the consequent neglecting attitude derived from it, has deprived historical analysis from one of the key elements to understand the transition from Late Antiquity to Islamic period. Our research in the area and especially on Qasr Hallabat has provided an ideal opportunity to save the gap of this “academic frontier” by studying the physical transformation and the changes of use of a Roman fort from the 2nd-3rd Century, enlarged in Tetrarchic period, and latter transformed into a monastery and palatine structure by the Ghassanids, before being refurbished in Umayyad period. The comprehensive analysis of the material evidences has led us to the conclusion that the Limes was not only the political border between two mighty empires, but also a social and cultural “internal border” between the deeply Hellenised settled populations living in towns and villages and the semi-nomadic pastoralists inhabiting the semi-deserted steppe known as the Badiya, a border area into which new groups of Arab tribes migrated from Yemen and the Hijaz during Late Antique period. The interaction of these Arab groups with the divided society that they found in Oriens, and the patterns of social relationship they developed, are essential to understand the socio-political context and the period. Besides, they represent a clear antecedent of those developed later in Umayyad period, and as a whole they are essential to understand the changes that occurred in the Region from this period onwards, especially those related to its character as “frontier”. The aim of this paper is to present a broad picture of this context, unfolding the diachronic evolution from the 3rd throughout the 8th century, using as material evidence those provided by our case study, presenting the clues to understand many of the changes that will take place in the following centuries.

1. INTRODUCTION The lands of Trans-Jordan have been throughout History a border area, a ‘frontier’ in different political, social and cultural aspects, between mighty empires, and different cultures. This confrontation gained momentum with the conflict between Rome and Persia (first with the Parthian and afterwards the Sassanian empires) that gave birth to the Limes Arabicus, the border that stretched from the Euphrates to Aqaba,1 which would cease to exist with the advent of Islam. But this region has also been the theatre of complex patterns of relationship between different groups of population that inhabited the region, defining its own “border” which determined the evolution itself of these different geopolitical frontiers, and in particular the mentioned Limes Arabicus and the related conflict between Rome and Persia.

torical studies, a situation that recent studies have started to reverse2. Our research3 on Qasr Hallabat (beside the comparative 2 Classical archaeologists and historians had not taken in the past sufficiently into account this period because considered as part of a barbarian takeover of the control of the Empire (even if carried out by Christianised Arabs like the Ghassanids -or Jafnids). Similarly, Islamic archaeologists have considered this period as the final decadence decades of Late Antique in Oriens before the arrival of Islam, and consequently it has been considered alien to their area of interest and also neglected. This negative consideration and the consequent lack of attention derived from it, has deprived historical analysis from key elements to understand the transition from Late Antiquity to Islamic period. 3 The results presented are part of the research conducted within the

framework of the excavation and restoration project of Qasr Hallabat complex (funded by the Spanish Agency for International Co-operationAECID / Heritage for Development Programme) ongoing since 2002, and the research project entitled “Analysis and Documentation Project on Building Techniques and Architectural Typologies in the Transitional Period from Late-Antique to Early Islamic Period in Jordan”, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture through the grants for archaeological research abroad (ongoing since 2004), both directed by the Author. This latter project is offering further scientific support to the former, allowing the study of similar cases in the region, enriching thus the knowledge gained and giving answer to questions raised during the restoration of several Umayyad monuments carried out by the Author during the last 14 years within the frame of the AECID’s Heritage for Development Programme. These issues were related, firstly, to the origins of Umayyad architecture and its visual culture and to the evolution of the material culture (especially to the building processes) that gave birth to it. Nevertheless, the fact that some of these structures had in many cases a

Furthermore, in the case of the final phases of the existence of the Limes Arabicus (in the turn from Late Antiquity towards Medieval Islamic period), we are dealing not only with a frontier in geographical and political terms, but also in academic terms. As a result of this, the diachronic study of certain issues of this transitional period for the region have been partly neglected in the archaeological and his1 It was actually the southern section of the Limes Orientalis that stretched

between the Black and the Red seas. The northern stretch was the Limes Armenicus, see below).

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean analysis that we are carrying out on many other related structures like Deyr el Kahf, Bshir, Deyr el Qinn, Qasr el Baij, Umm el Surab, Khirbet Khaw etc.) has provided an ideal opportunity to save the gap of this “academic frontier” studying diachronically the physical transformation and the changes of use of these structures. The study of the building techniques, the stratigraphic sequences and the typological transformations and changes of use of some of the quadriburgia (Qasr Hallabat, Qasr Bshir & Deyr el Kahf, as starting point) of the Limes Arabicus within the broad context of the socio-political changes operated in the region in Late Antiquity, has helped to clarify not only the changes of use they underwent and the technology involved, but also has shed light on their historical context itself during this transitional period from Late Antiquity to Early Islam.4 These structures bear witness of these historical periods, offering an ideal and diversified catalogue of building techniques, architectural typologies, and what is more important, a recurrent pattern of physical transformations and changes of use from the 3rd throughout the 8th century AD, that involves the transformation and re-use of these military structures into religious (monasteries), civil and palatine ones.5 According to it, some Severan period square forts without towers were transformed into quadriburgia in Tetrarchic period. These would be eventually abandoned with the dismissal of the limitanei troops by Justinian and the change of defence strategy of the Limes, when the Ghassanids were entrusted with that task. These Arab Christian foederati would transform most of those abandoned forts into monasteries and palatial venues according to their new role as Phylarch and kings of the federate Arabs and to their political agenda and their defensive strategies: the Ghassanids’ aim of creating a new

order in religious and political terms, closer to their Arab tradition and culture (and away from the deeply ‘Hellenized’ culture and tradition of the urban centers loyal to the Chalcedonian or Diophysite church) stood behind those policies. We can trace in them the attempt to create a new political and religious establishment of their own, in the tradition of their Byzantine masters, yet with its own idiosyncratic character. This ��������������������������������������� political and religious agenda implied an ambitious building program of which we had up to now more written records than actual material remains. The intense building activity of the Ghassanids, (according to which they deserved being called “philoktistai” i.e. building-lovers), was a clear symbol of their new political status, but would might imply that this building activity would have been devoted to the construction of palatial and religious structures, more than military ones. These phases would correspond to three main phases of the Limes Arabicus and its final collapse: the first one would correspond to the incorporation of Oriens to the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. This phase witnessed the construction of the Via Nova Trajana, the Via Diocletiana, and the first related military structures (square forts, watchtowers, etc) of the limes Arabicus to protect them from the threat posed by the Persian army and the raids of the nomads pastoralists. The second phase corresponds to the overhaul of this eastern limes and its defensive system by Diocletian, with the construction of quadriburgia, intended mainly to host auxiliary cavalry units, and the refurbishment and enlargement of other structures already existing from the first phase. The third one would correspond to period between the overhaul of the defences by Justinian till the demise of the limes under Heraclius. In this third phase, the Ghassanids were entrusted with the task of the defence of the limes Arabicus (to which corresponds this area and these forts), being bestowed on their leaders the titles of “Archiphylarch” and “Basileus”, of all the federate Arabs. During this phase these forts changed drastically their use losing their previous military value, being transformed into monasteries and watch-posts to take care of strategic points nearby like crossroads and water sources, or even as palatine reception halls: they acted as meeting points for the local pastoral population and travelers, merchants and pilgrims, where they could be eventually sheltered and fed, becoming thus an ideal place for performing both policies of political persuasion, and religious proselytism.6

Roman origin, made necessary to better understand the transformation and re-use they underwent during the transitional period from Late Antiquity to Early Islamic period. It is a major aim of the project to understand which were the precise elements and merging processes that gave origin to these “Umayyad buildings”, and their historical and cultural context. As a result, the study of the material evidences started to offer new insights of this evolution of the architecture and the construction techniques from Late Antiquity to Umayyad period. But simultaneously, it is providing a more coherent and complete view of its historical and cultural context (based in those material evidences) for an historical gap of more than 100 years, poorly documented from archaeological sources. In this case, the information provided by the material culture has been of paramount importance, opening new lines of research related to the historic events that took place in the Near East from the 3rd to the 8th Centuries and especially during the 6th AD. The information retrieved (technical and historical) offers a new insight to some key issues of the historical periods involved: these two sources of information clarify the technical improvements and transformations operated in the buildings, as well as the historical significance that can be elicited from these changes. 4 For a more detailed approach on the analysis of the material culture

Finally after the political take-over by the Muslim forces, the Umayyads would adopt the same strategy used by the

of these structures that drive the present conclusions, see Arce 2008 (in press). 5 The case of Hallabat is certainly the most relevant (and the better studied

6 The Ghassanids did not required big kastra, but towers protecting strategic points (like crossroads of water sources) and other means of logistic support like permanent buildings for their seasonal camps according to that mobile character of their army and their peripatetic courts: Hamza al-Isfahani uses the terms “Sayyarat” and “Jawwab” (itinerary king who wanders from one palace to another), something that as Shahid points (Shahid 2002) does not mean they were nomads, but that they had an itinerant court. The Chronography or Annals of Hamza al-Isfahani (Tarik sini muluk al-ard wa al-anbiya) is a chronology of pre-Islamic and Islamic Arab dynasties, and one of the most important sources for the study of the Ghassanids (see Shahid 2002, 306-341)

one): a 2nd-3rd century AD Roman fort, that was enlarged in Tetrarchic period, and latter transformed into a monastery and palatine structure in the 6th century AD, before being finally refurbished by the Umayyads in the 7th-8th century AD also as a palatine venue. The changes carried out in the 6th century AD, were carried out most probably by the Ghassanids (or Jafnids), the Christian Arab foederati tribe entrusted with the task of the defence of the Limes Arabicus as a result of the change of the defensive strategy operated by Justinian (see Arce 2006, 2007, 2008).

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I. Arce: Romans, Ghassanids and umayads and the transformationof the limes arabicus ture), and on the other hand, the transformations occurred in the patterns of social relationship and diplomacy between these social groups, that took place in parallel to the political changes,7 firstly, as a result of the changes in the defensive strategies of the “Limes Arabicus” in the 5-6th century AD (when Arab Tribal groups were entrusted with the task of its defense); and secondly, as a result of the ultimate disappearance of that “external frontier” with the political and military takeover by the Umayyads in the 7th century AD. In both situations, the Ghassanids and the Umayyads as “Tribal newcomers” played a similar game to reinforce their power using for their benefit the existing social division marked by that “internal border”, seeking the support of the Arab Tribal groups inhabiting the steppic areas (against the settled, Romanized and Dyophysite Christian population) attracting them by means of policies of political clientelarism (through alliances and pecuniary subsidies) and religious proselytism (spreading Christian Monophysitism and Islam respectively). A radical change from the coercive policy carried out by ‘Roman Diplomacy’ in the first centuries, towards a clientelar policy, which nonetheless would continue to take place in the same places and venues. The main difference is that the “state” that up to that moment had been beside the settled population (which were citizens [‘cives’] of that state), and confronted to the Semi-nomad tribes (seen as foreigners -Araboi Barbaroi), is about to change hands and will soon be hold by a new power closer culturally to these Tribal groups: The attempt of the Ghassanids to play a political and religious role, which went further that the merely military one assigned by the Empire (seeking political support among the Tribal nomads and spreading their Monophysite faith) could be seen as a first attempt of this shift (it was certainly seen by Rome as an attempt of Tribal Arab takeover, similar to that attempted by Palmyra centuries earlier, aimed to the creation of an Arab and Monophysite ‘state within the state’). At the end this ‘takeover’ wich took place with the raise of a new Arab and Islamic power, will mean the establishment of a new state based on a new creed and an egalitarian ethos, the sources of which can be found in these Tribal traditions.

Ghassanids (and even the same venues) to achieve the effective political and military control seeking support in the same Tribal groups. The comprehensive and diachronic analysis of the material evidences linked to the written sources has led us to the conclusion that the stretch of land where the Limes Arabicus stood, was not only the political border between two mighty empires, but also the area where a socio-political and cultural “internal border” had existed for centuries between settled populations living in towns and villages and the semi-nomadic pastoralists inhabiting the semi-deserted steppe known as the ‘Badiya’ (term related to ‘bdw’, bedu, Bedouin): a border area in which these groups would have interacted since prehistoric period, and towards where new groups of Arab tribes migrated regularly from Yemen and the Hijaz, joining those that from the 6th millennium BC onwards would have inhabited these steppic areas. The interaction of these new waves of Arab tribes (specially the migrations occurred from the 4th century AD onwards) with the ‘dual’ society that they found in the Levant (already ‘split’ between sedentarized and semi-nomad peoples), and the patterns of social relationship they developed, are essential to understand the socio-political context of the last stages of the Late Antiquity in the region. Some of these patterns represent a clear antecedent of those developed later in Umayyad period, and as a whole, they are essential to understand the changes that occurred in the region from this period onwards. We have to consider, that this area has been a theatre of interaction in between those groups of settled and nomadic peoples, and consequently of processes of sedentarization (and reversion to nomadic practices whenever the conditions determined it), since the 6th millennium till almost one century ago. Recent archaeo-ethnographic studies have allowed a better understanding of this socio-cultural component, concluding that the interaction process in between these groups of population has been actually a continuum. Consequently, the analysis of still surviving practices has also shed light on patterns of relationship in the past, allowing to better interpret the material culture remains from Late Antiquity. The continuity of several determinant cultural, social and geopolitical factors during this important span of time, together with the particular changes operated in key transitional periods, offer the main reference framework that helps to unfold and interpret the results of our research in historical and cultural terms: these conclusions constitute one of the major outcomes of our analysis of the material culture, associated to the evolution of these built structures.

As a consequence, in these latter cases the diplomacy would not be played between the social groups divided by the “internal border” (with the “State” seeking military support to defend the “external border” and to keep peace in the “internal” one) but between akin Tribal groups. In this case the new Tribal ‘Establishment’ will look for political support among the Tribes already living the region in detriment of the majority of the Christian urbanite population, reluctant firstly to the increasing power of the Tribal federation leaded by the Ghassanids, and openly hostile later, to the new Muslim power (seen by them as an invader).

The aim of this paper is to present a broad and general picture of this context, unfolding the diachronic evolution from the 3rd throughout the 8th century AD, using as material evidence those provided by our case study, presenting some clues to understand the changes that took place in the preceding and following centuries. Among them the most relevant ones would be, on the one hand, the existence of this ‘double and superimposed frontier’ (in many occasions difficult to distinguish in terms of material cul-

7 Better identifiable in the transformation and change of use of the related structures and meeting places.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean The 3rd century AD meant for Oriens major political changes and great instability: the new Sassanian dynasty in Persia posed a major and renewed menace to a weakened Roman Empire. It also witnessed the humiliating defeat and capture of Valerian by Shapur and the subsequent initiative of Palmyra under Odenathus to revenge this defeat, overtaking the defence of the region on behalf of Rome. This initiative soon degenerated into Zenobia’s attempt to create a Palmyrean Empire of her own, ambition that Aurelian brought to an end.

2. THE LIMES ARABICUS AND ITS HISTORICAL CONTEXT8 The Levant entered the area of influence of Rome in 63 BC when Pompei annexed Syria as a Roman province and transformed the other regional states into Roman clients. In AD 106 the Nabatean kingdom was annexed by Rome, and as a result, major reorganization of the Roman territories in Levant took place with the creation of the Provincia Arabia, that incorporated the entire former Nabatean kingdom. The defence and logistic infrastructure of the territory were the first to be tackled with the construction of the Via Nova Traiana (between AD 111 and 114), running from Bosra to Ayla (Aqaba), and a series of military structures that defined the so-called Limes Arabicus, that were built to the East of it. The defence strategy (certainly inherited from pre-existing cultures) relied not on a continuous vallum nor a wall, but on forts and legionary camps, visually interrelated (in many occasions with the help of small intermediate watchtowers, and usually connected by roads), and strategically located beside water sources or important crossroads, which hosted from small garrisons to complete legions that were mobilised according to the scale of the menace. These structures lie at the eastern edge of the region suitable for farming. They were suited to protect the agricultural zone to the west, as well as to project force into the desert to the east (Parker 2006, 114). They were intended to serve the defence of the settled territories to the West of the Limes, both from the Persians’ attacks and the raids of the pastoralists that periodically ravaged the villages and towns under direct Roman control. The reuse of pre-existing roads (like King’s Highway that became the Via Nova Trajana) and of many forts and structures from Iron Age and Nabatean period that were incorporated9 in this chain of military structures, stand as proof of the existence of a border (or borders) in this region for centuries before the arrival of Rome, that as we will see, responded not only to political reasons but mainly to the peculiar socio-economic and environmental context of the region.

Diocletian’s Tetrarchy offered, by the end of the century and especially to the Levant, a very much needed stability and security. Important military and administrative changes took place in the region under Diocletian reign: the lands south of Wadi el-Hasa were detached from Provincia Arabia and transferred to Provincia Palestina, while the acknowledgment of the increasing threat of the Persian armies led to the built up of the defences of the Limes Arabicus during the whole Tetrarchic period (even after the victory of Co-emperor Gaius Galerius over the Sassanians in 297 AD). It meant the urgent construction of several new military structures (mainly quadriburgia devoted to cavalry units and big legionary camps) and the refurbishment of several other forts built in the precedent centuries to tackle this menace. The rough building techniques employed (especially in the numerous new quadriburgia built in this period) bear witness to this pressing need, and the speed of construction involved (Arce 2008 in press). The 4th and 5th centuries AD meant the incorporation of Arab tribes to the armies of both rival Empires,10 and the shift towards a new strategy and warfare, in which the heavy armoured cavalry would give way to light cavalry units with greater mobility: the increasing use by the Persians of mobile Arab troops from the Lakhmid tribes based at Hira (near present-day Kufa) posed a new risk to the Roman provinces of the diocese of Oriens from the 4th century AD onwards. The existing strategy of defense was transformed to cope with this new threat.11 The deep changes operated in the defensive strategies of the Limes Orientalis in the 6th century AD under Justinian (with the dismissal of the limitanei and the appointment of Christian Arab tribes –mainly the Ghassanids - as foederati who were entrusted with the defense of the Limes), meant the abandonment and transformation of several of these forts into monasteries and palatial compounds. The mobile character of this army did not rely on garrisons and forts, but on seasonal encampments (hira or hirta), located in

This building activity was continued vigorously under Septimius Severus, regaining strength when a road was built in AD 208/10 up to Azraq and several military structures were added to the Limes Arabicus. Most of the identified structures from the 2nd-3rd century AD were carefully built using opus quadratum masonry (in limestone or basalt), with precise jointing and middle size ashlars (see Arce 2008 in press). In most cases, the forts were smallmedium size square structures without towers (see the cases of Hallabat and Deyr el-Kahf: Figures.1-5).

10 The enrolment by the Sassanians of the Arab tribe of the Lakhmids as

a spearhead of their offensives against Roman Levant proved to be very effective, being Rome forced to react and adopt a similar strategy with the enrolment of Christian Arab tribes (the Tanukh and the Salihids) as foederati. Maurice’s military manual, the Strategikon, was aware of the need to beat enemies by understanding, and if necessary by mastering, their style of warfare (Maurice Strategikon. Ed. and trans. Dennis and Gamillscheg -1981- quoted in Lavan 2006, xxiii). This would be evident not only with the adoption of Persian lance-bearing heavy cavalry in an early moment, but also with the use later, of these mobile Arab armies of “foederati” that would imply a complete change of defensive strategy. 11 See Arce 2007 in press

8 To better clarify these transformations in general and the changes in detail that took place in the region during the periods we are dealing with, it is advisable to review the socio-political and military context. We summarize here those aspects that are of major interest for our discussion using as main sources, Parker 2006, Kennedy 2004 and Shahid 2002. 9 In many cases they were kept as they were, in other cases they were rebuilt a fundamentis in the same strategic places.

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I. Arce: Romans, Ghassanids and umayads and the transformationof the limes arabicus The limitanei, garrisoned in their forts, had been performing static guard duties, distinct from the duties of a mobile field army.16 This might have become monotonous and affected their combat preparedness, leading to inefficiency. This, together with the increasing risks posed by the raids of the ‘Sarracens’ (nomad pastoralist Tribes) and the threat of the Sassanian army (and specially that posed by their respective Arab allies, the Lakhmids) led to such a radical change in the defence strategy. This involved the final dismissal of the limitanei by Justinian, who was dissatisfied with their performance, and the total reorganization of the limes orientalis.

strategic places, in some cases the same ones where Romans had built their structures, now transformed in many cases into monasteries (that played thus a complex role as focus of religious proselytism and political propaganda, and stations of logistic support for their defensive policy). Consequences of the new frontier defence strategy under Justinian. The military reorganization of the frontiers of the Byzantine Empire carried out by Justinian had a direct effect on the limes Orientalis that stretched from the Black Sea to the Red Sea. It involved the diocese of Oriens, and the Armenian provinces of the diocese of Pontus. The limes Orientalis was divided into two major segments, Armenian and Arab: the first, running from the Black Sea to the Euphrates, was put under the control of Sittas as magister militum per Armeniam; similarly, in the southern segment (the limes Arabicus), Justinian placed as many tribes as possible under the command of Arethas ibn Jabala, who ruled over the Arabs, bestowing on him the dignity of king (see Shahid 2002, 21). In both cases the intention was to unify the �������������������������������������������������� command under a single officer of all the territories and military forces of the respective circumscriptions, in order to optimize resources and guarantee maximum efficiency against the increasing military threats.

Only a unified army of all the Arab foederati, under a single command and using similar strategies and tactics to those of the attackers (nomadic pastoralists who used to raid the region), could shield the region against those threats. This was the role played by the Ghassanids as phylarchs of all the Arabs in the Roman provinces since 502 AD (a role that had been played before them by the Tanukh and the Salih tribes in the 4th and the 5th century AD respectively). The conclusion of a new foedus with the banu Ghassan after the death of Jabala, marked a new era: The basileia (kingship) and the archiphylarchia17 conferred on Arethas in 529 AD, meant a major change, in the political and military role assumed by the Ghassanid kings. This change would determine the historical events to come, which would illuminate those that occurred at our sites.18

In the Armenian section, the enrolment of indigenous forces12 was decided on because of their better knowledge of the territory. In the Arabian sector, the change was more radical as the limitanei of the regular army were withdrawn from their garrisons on the external frontier (the Limitrophe),13 as this area was assigned directly to the Arab Tribes under Ghassanid command. A major distinction is that the magister militum of the Armenian sector was commander-in-chief of all the Roman forces at his disposal (both stratiotai – regular Roman troops – who were Roman citizens, as were their commanders, and also indigenous troops – scrinarii), while the Ghassanid phylarcs were in command of only the foederati (indigenous allies) of Oriens14. In Arabia and Palestina, the regular Roman soldiers (the stratiotai), under the command of a Roman/Byzantine dux, kept control of major cities and their hinterland. Meanwhile, the Arab foederati took over military duties in the area (limitrophe) occupied up to that moment by the limitanei (frontier guard forces), becoming de facto limitanei themselves.15

The gradual dismissal and replacement of the limitanei by the Ghassanid foederati for the defence of the limes, meant thus a radical change in the Diocletianic defence system which consisted of comitatenses in the interior and limitanei in the external lines of defence (Shahid 2002, xxxii) and thus a completely new strategy that changed dramatically the political, military (and even religious) face of the region. Gradually, the forts that had hosted the garrisons of the regular Roman Army for centuries were emptied and reused in different ways, in many cases as monasteries. In other cases they became extensions intramuros of the vicus that had previously grown extramuros in the shadow of the military forts. of troops are mentioned in the Provincia Palestina in the 6th century: foederati, limitanei and stratiotai. 16 According to the accounts of Sozomen, the limitanei had the task of

watching over the movements of the Arab tribes. When a major attack occurred they were to ask for assistance from the regular army, the comitatensis, but they were supposed to take part in the battles as well (Lewin 2007, 247). 17 Phylarchos originally meant the commander or chief of a phyle, a

12 See Malalas, Chronographia, quoted by Shahid 2002, 23.

13 Limitrophe literally means the lands set apart for the support of the troops on the frontier, and thus describes the zone, the borderland occupied by the Ghassanids (Shahid 2002, xxxiii). In fact, it corresponds to the so-called Badiya, the steppe area inhabited by the bedw, bordering the actual desert (sahra) between it and the cultivated lands were cities were set. 14 Unlike the Nabateans and the Palmirenes, whose territories were

tribe, later it meant also foreign chief or lord in treaty relationship to Byzantium (Shahid 2002, 10). He was also nominated patricius and stratelates, which is the Greek equivalent of magister militum (Shahid 2002, 26). 18 The previous foedus of 502 AD established with Jabala (Arethas’

annexed, and who became assimilated as citizens and Rhomaioi Arabs, the Ghassanids were allies (foederati), not Roman citizens (cives), something that according to Shahid helped to keep their strong Arab identity and established according to Shahid the basis for the Arabization of the region (Shahid 2006, 116). 15 Apparently due to the slow pace of replacement, the three categories

father), did not contemplate such a broad scope in political terms, as the consecration of Arethas as “king” did in the one of 529 AD. This would have a clear reflection also in the sort of architecture demanded by these new monarchs that certainly would require a theatre for the performance of their new role as kings of all the federate Arabs, and to receive allegiance from their subjects and clients.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean The detailed description by Procopius of the fortifications built under Justinian as part of this reorganization of the limes presents a gap between Palmyra and Ayla, the area the defence of which was entrusted to the Ghassanids.19 In my opinion this silence of Procopius on the construction of new fortifications under Justinian in this region, might relate to the fact that those fortifications would have been useless for a mobile field army, like that of the Ghassanid foederati (not garrisoned in forts but set temporarily or seasonally in camps – hira/hirta in Syriac). Consequently, no new substantial and proper fortification would have been built ex-novo in that period in this southern stretch of the Limes (at least in the limitrophe under their control), as there was no need for them. Besides we must take into account that the Ghassanid Army was partly a frontier force and partly a mobile field army. Therefore, it depended much on the control of sources of water as bases of their logistics (something that would explain the location and use of some of the fortifications – towers – built or refurbished by them). As a frontier force, they had participated long before in the Persian wars with its mobile army, but now with the new foedus they added to that the duty of watchmen of the frontier. For that reason, their strategy and tactics (especially under Mundir) responded to a new style in frontier wardenship, not static and defensive but mobile and aggressive (Shahid 2002, 49-50). Some towers (in cases associated with a monastery, as at Burqu) would have been built to protect strategic points like crossroads or water sources (wherever there was not a previous Roman structure fulfilling that function that could be re-used). Logically, the structures abandoned by the dismissed limitanei would have been refurbished, changing function, becoming in some cases monasteries (like Hallabat, Deyr el Kahf, Fudayn, probably Deyr el Qinn, etc.). These could have protected perennial water sources and exert a role of control posts on behalf of the foederati (that could have been camped nearby occasionally), or even play a more complex role like at Hallabat. Otherwise they would be directly abandoned if not of strategic value (like the kastra of Lejjun and Udruh, huge and difficult to manage), or transformed into true cities (like Kastron Mefa’a).

function and not merely (or primarily) military, could be those of Usays, and Dumeyr (that although with a fort-like appearance, would have been more likely palatial (Lenoir 1999) – and perhaps monastic – compounds. As we can see, from this “building enterprise” emerges a complex image of buildings fulfilling more than one function, but all of them serving to a common aim: that of the political and religious agenda of the Ghassanids (which, as we will see, on some occasions responded to the Byzantine interests, but on others resulted in open conflict). Monasteries as defensive elements According to this scheme, monasteries played a key role by themselves as a defensive element of the limitrophe, once the limitanei of the regular Roman Army were replaced in this duty by the Ghassanid foederati. These fortified monasteries (and their towers) would act as vanguard watch posts that could alert nearby military stations and confront an eventual attack (thanks to their fortifications), acting as a vigilarium of the Roman Army would have done in the past.20 Some of these monasteries (whether or not built on former Roman forts) were associated with temporary or permanent camps (hira), and accordingly, we could consider them as part of their supporting “logistic network”. Failure of the Roman diplomacy and collapse of the Limes The effectiveness of this scheme was obscured by the mistrust that led to several episodes of confrontation, mutual accusations of betrayal (the Ghassanids were for instance, blamed for the defeat at Callinicum in AD 531), revolt and cancellation of the foedus. Ghassanids withdrew several times from their alliance with Rome, firstly under Jabala (who had signed the first foedus with Emperor Anastasius) from AD 519 to 527 (due to the edict prescribing the compulsory adhesion to Diophysitism); and again under Mundhir, first from AD 572 to 575 (due to the prosecution ordained by Emperor Justin II against the Monophysites when Justin II ordered him murdered); and secondly, when he was betrayed, captured and send to Constantinople under Tiberius21 and later exiled to Sicily (by the new Emperor Mauricius an even fiercer enemy of the Ghassanids). In revenge, his son, Nu’man, withdrew from the alliance and declare war to Rome ravaging the region. These withdrawals had disastrous consequences for Rome: the first one led to the Lakhmid-Sassanian attack of AD 573 which met no resistance, while with the revolt of the Ghassanids in AD 584 following the imprisonment and the exile of Mundir, Palestine was plundered and sacked.

Other new constructions (or refurbishments) would have had this mixed character, half religious, half palatial that denote the complex political and religious agenda of the Ghassanids (like at Hallabat). They range from audience halls with religious use (or vice versa) like Mundhir’s Praetorium in Resafa; monasteries with towers, for the defence of the monastery, but also used as watch towers to protect roads and/or strategic water sources (small scale like Burqu, or larger ones like Haliorama/Qasr al-Hayr al Gharbi), or hostels (xenodocheion) that could offer help and rest to travellers, and comfort to their bodies and souls, thus combining religious, military and “philanthropic” functions. Other more complex options, always with a multilayered

Emperor Maurice destroyed the Phylarcate and suppressed the role of the Ghassanids, but he was obliged to restore it 20 Lassus 1847, 269 and note 2 (quoted in Shahid 2002, 205). 21 After conquering the Lakhmid capital Hira, Tiberius invited him to the capital in AD 580 covering him with honours and bestowing on him the royal crown, but the mistrust grew: The failed campaign that same year against Ctesiphon, for which he was blamed, plus the suspicion of a hidden agenda to establish a Arab state, led to his capture and deportation.

19 This gap would be, according to Shahid, a further expression of the animadversion of Procopius towards the Arabs (a “vested and premeditate silence would have deprived historians from an accurate and neat picture of the military and political situation of the region”, Shahid 2002, 27-37)

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I. Arce: Romans, Ghassanids and umayads and the transformationof the limes arabicus because he could not do without the shield that had protected Oriens for fifty years. Nonetheless it was restored downgraded and diminished. The weakness due to this ‘diminished’ restoration of the Ghassanids that meant less power and less subsidies and resources would be one of the reasons for the success of the Persian invasion of AD 610.

to seek political and social support they established links with the pastoralist population of the Badiya by means of this clientele policy and an intense campaign of religious proselytism (Arce 2007a&b in press; Arce 2008 in press). The importance of the alliances with the Tribal was essential for the Umayyads and their army. For this reason the privileges and economic subsidies provided by the latter to the former were crucial and very relevant (this was essential also to operate the monetarised Umayyad economy). Accordingly, the fall of the Umayyad power meant the collapse of the Economy in the Levant as these subsidies ceased (see Kennedy in this volume). The subsidies had fed the markets of Levant from the first agreements with Tribal groups during Roman period being notably increased during the Umayyad Caliphate. The Abbasids would use also subsidies, but to pay the new Turkish troops (which substitute the Tribal ones), camped in the new settlements in Iraq, shifing thus not only the center of political power but also the economic one towards East.

The 7th century that had started with the death of Maurice, the great opponent of the Monophysites and the Ghassanids in AD 602 (assassinated by Phocas who liberated Mundir), evolved into a disastrous sequence of events, firstly with the plague that ravaged Syria (and especially the Hawran), that was followed by the Monophysite insurrection of Antioch in 608 (brutally suppressed by Phocas), and few years later by the Sassanian invasion (610-629) and the ultimate Muslim invasion in AD 636 (just seven after Heraclius had regained Syria from the Sassanians). It is noteworthy that almost simultaneously, the Lakhmids had fallen from grace and abandoned by their Sassanian patrons in AD 600 (being his last king, Nu’man, murdered by Chosroes). This meant also that the role of the Ghassanids was confined to containing Arab tribes on the border of Roman territory, being diminished their military activity that was accompanied by an unprecedented splendour which gave impetus to arts, music poetry and architecture with the continuous construction and refurbishment of palaces, churches and monasteries.

This sequence of events briefly listed above, can be seen reflected in the physical transformations of the structures analyzed. Together, historical records and material culture evidences, allow to understand that the socio-political and cultural contexts of the region is much complex than the mere confrontation of two main military superpowers. The presence of different socio-cultural groups interacting in parallel to the “geostrategic confrontation” of the two superpowers deserve more detailed attention: The material evidences points to the continuity of certain pattern of relationship between two main groups of population interacting in an area that marks the limit between areas suitable for agricultural exploitation and those steppic areas devoted mainly to pastoralist activities, and between the ‘pastoralist’ groups of population and the “established power” controlling the settled areas.������������������������ The fact that the traces of nomadic occupation of a certain territory are usually as subtle and deleterious as scarce are the written record devoted to them, makes that the analysis of these traces particularly difficult. Nonetheless the survival of many of their cultural practices and ways of interaction with the “established power” till nowadays, has offered a reliable source of information and key elements for comparative analysis that permit to elicit this continuity, basic for these new interpretative approaches.22 The ethnological and economic continuity as an interpretative framework for understanding the role of these tribal elements proposed is consequently an essential element for our analysis.

The desertion of the Christian Arab tribes under the command of the Ghassanids in the battle of Yarmouk (that sealed the Muslim victory in Levant in AD 636), and the ultimate change of ranks of the last Ghassanid phylarch himself, Jabla ibn al-Ayham, had a great repercussion among other Christian Tribesmen due to his rank and charisma. The victory of the Umayyads over the Sassanian and Byzantine Empires, meant the disappearance of the frontier between these two long-lasting rival empires (it was kept in the N of Syria against the Byzantines), but the social context of the region and the internal conflicts between the different social groups remained almost the same. In this moment, many of the former Roman structures (previously turned into monasteries and palatine venues) were further reused and refurbished by the Umayyads as part of their political strategy of clientele relationship with the Tribes that inhabited the semi-desertic steppe (Badiya) in their quest for political and military support. Both, the Ghassanids and especially the Umayyads were seen by the deeply Hellenized/Romanized settled population living in the verdant areas as foreigners (Araboi Barbaroi), an alien and undesired presence, closer culturally to the inhabitants of the Badiya and, accordingly, they were never gladly accepted. This led the Ghassanids phylarchs and Umayyad caliphs to look for political and military support among these pastoralists for their own agendas, with similar strategies (that explains the use of the same venues). In order

3. THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXTS: THE CONCEPT OF THE TWO SUPERIMPOSED FRONTIERS The natural environment, the social and cultural context of the different groups of inhabitants of the region, and the exact character of this “frontier” and the related social and political interactions that took place in it, are key issues 22 In this sense the studies carried out by Helms in the Jordanian Badiya two decades ago, are essential (see Helms 1990).

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean to analyse and interpret correctly the material culture we are dealing with. As stated, this area has been for centuries not only a political border (more properly a “buffer zone”) between major empires in Antiquity (what could be call the geopolitical or “external” border), but also between two different groups of population inhabiting two different natural environments (what could be defined as the “internal” or socio-economic border). These two different ‘cultural landscapes’ correspond on the one hand to settled population living in villages and cities the economy of which rely primarily on agriculture (Ahl al-madar, the inhabitants of houses of adobe or masonry), and on the other hand to the nomad or semi-nomad pastoralists that live in tent encampments (Ahl al-wabar).23 The geographical distribution of these two cultural landscapes is defined mainly by rainfall rate and consequently by the feasibility of agricultural exploitation (the 200mm/year rainfall rate define the difference between the semi-desertic steppe, the so-called Badiya24 to the East, and the fertile plains westwards). The almost exact correspondence25 of the limit between these two different worlds with the so-called “external” or geopolitical border between the major political superpowers (defined by the military structures of the Limes Arabicus) is not a mere coincidence, being essential to understand and properly analyse such a complex context, preventing misleading interpretations. These superimposed borders and the different groups that they divide/ relate have interacted for ages determining their respective history, being impossible to understand each of them without this interaction.

of which would be traced in southern Arabia. Those who arrived earlier to the fertile areas of the Levant settled and evolved (or reverted) into a sedentarized culture,26 interacting and receiving an increasingly stronger influence from other neighbouring cultures. In this way two main groups would start to be defined: those settled in the cultivated areas, and those nomad pastoralists inhabiting the steppic periphery.27 Perhaps one of the major socio-cultural differences that could be pointed out between both ways of life would be the egalitarian ethos of Tribal nomadic society (still surviving nowadays) contrasting with the social stratification associated with villages and sedentary societies, a difference which could be at the base of the ideological and physical confrontation between both social groups. Successive newcomers (in some cases sedentarized people from southern Arabia that had become temporarily wanderers due to necessity) moved into the region throughout the following centuries. In some cases they re-sedentarized again in the Levant or Mesopotamia due to the adequate conditions to do so, meanwhile other remained as nomads or semi-nomads. Little by little, the settled populations would be influenced and later assimilated by the successive dominant powers (being in our case first Hellenized and later Romanized).28 Many of them would become even Roman citizens after the Edict of Caracalla (Araboi Rhomaioi) as is the case of the Nabateans and the Palmyrenes meanwhile those newcomers not assimilated were considered “foreigners” (Araboi Barbaroi), towards which a policy that combined diplomacy and coercion was addressed (like in previous centuries other ‘states’ had done). This relationship, ruled by diplomacy and clientelar ties can be identified in the region for centuries (with different patterns of interaction) even until recent times.29 Nowadays when modern borders have become truly impassable, and the lifestyle of the pastoralists unsustainable, this relationship that would seem apparently to be disappearing, might offer nonetheless new expressions, transformed and adapted to the new social and natural contexts. Social symbiosis

In our case, both groups divided by this “internal border” are actually composed by Semitic populations, the origins 23 Nonetheless, we have to take into account that the difference in between pastoralists and sedentarized farming populations in many cases do not correspond necessarily to intrinsic cultural differences, but to extrinsic circumstances, among them, the changes operated in the physical context where they are living in a certain moment. Thus, sedentarized people living in villages can, due to the changes of that environmental context (or due to political circumstances), become “nomad” or vice-versa, being possible to revert the change operated if the context changes again. Something similar can be said regarding their respective economies that are more complex that the terms employed in the discussion would indicate. 24‘Badiya’ is the steppe land where human beings can live, as opposed

The intercourse in between these two groups must not be seen just in terms of conflict: on the contrary, we have to take into account the obvious social interdependence (a true so26 Actually this has been a major theatre of the sedentarisation (or resedentarisation) process throughout history. 27 Helms (Helms 1990, 35) suggests, although cannot be proven, that

to ‘Sahra’, the uninhabitable desert. Etymologically Badiya is related to badw (Arabic for nomad pastoralist, i.e.: bedouin). In a clear case of metonymy, the term Badiya was used to describe some of the compounds and qusur used or built by the Umayyads in this steppic area (and still is used by many authors in this sense). This latter meaning derives from second-hand sources of the Abbasid period describing the Umayyad court (see Lammens 1910, Herzfeld 1921, Gaube 1974a, 100 and Helms 1990, 27-9). Gaube comments on Burqu, indicate that this concept would include political (diplomatic) and ideological (cultural identity) aspects, being both but especially the first one (diplomacy) essential for our discussion. These sites and the diplomatic practices associated to them (that reached a complex architectural configuration in Umayyad period), that are key for our analysis, would be part of the continuum of idiosyncratic social practices that Helms suggests. For this reason Helms uses the, otherwise obscure, term of “Badiya concept”, to describe these diplomatic practices associated to different sites and buildings located in this environment. 25 Some of the semi-nomad Tribal groups (many Christianized) were

pastoralism may have been adopted by steppic populations, who then adopted it successfully to their environment in the 6th millennium BC. In this moment is when this duality between settled and nomad groups of population in the societies of the region (the “internal border”) would have started its existence, and consequently when the interaction and the incipient ‘State’-Bedouin relations started. It is interesting to point out that it would be also in this moment when the first divisions at larger scale, between the different agricultural zones within the “Green Crescent” would start (that would evolve throughout centuries into major empires, giving birth to the basis of what we have called the “external” borders). 28 Similarly the influence of Persian culture on the Lakhmids is remarked by historical sources. 29 The close alliance of the Hashemites with the Bedouins would be its latest expression, in which however we can identify the invariants of this social intercourse that we have defined “the internal border”.

living within the frontiers, or in the neighboring area (limitrophe).

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I. Arce: Romans, Ghassanids and umayads and the transformationof the limes arabicus The fact of being Levant, because of its geographical location, the hub of the main trade routes that connect and relate those confronting superpowers and empires,33 was the reason of the prosperity and wealth of the people in control of these “buffer zones” and periphery territories, being the Nabateans and the Palmyreans probably the most outstanding examples of it; but it was simultaneously, the unfortunate reason of their decline and ruin, caused by the avidity for control of that commerce (source of the riches but also ultimate reason for conflict and invasion) by any of the big empires separated by this same buffer zone.

cial symbiosis) that exists between “sedentarised” people and “semi-nomads pastoralists” due to their economic and social inter-relationship: Lattimore30 states that the pure nomadism is impoverishing, while the agricultural settlements are a source of wealth also for the nomad, and its destruction harms and impoverish the nomad as well as the sedentary population. This symbiosis is more evident when dealing with long distance commerce: the control of commerce and the security in the routes depended on the pastoralists tribes. These tribes, trying to find an ideal balance between a policy of protection and pillage, get benefit from that sedentary world of peasants and artisans, which feeds commerce as well as offers booty for pillage. Simultaneously, sedentarised villagers cannot trade their surplus production without the support and collaboration of the pastoralist nomads. Accordingly, movement of trading caravans through the steppe and the dessert required more formalized and secure routes, which various governments have tried to control through history (always with the co-operation of the Bedouin, as a guarantee of success). Among many examples, can be mentioned the reference of Herodotus (III 5, 91 and 88) on the Achaemenid government relations with the Arabs, and their special status: Arabs were localized in an ‘Arab district’ and not a Satrapy, they were exempt from normal taxation, they were called ‘friends’ of the king of Persia, and had only to contribute ‘gifts’ (Helms 1990, 18). This is an indication of how diplomacy ran always in parallel with coactive and repressive policies, as alternative or simultaneous ways of persuasion, whenever a proper ‘state’ was in control of the settled areas of territory neighboring the steppe controlled by the pastoralists. The tribe-state relationship (and consequently between settled and pastoralist groups) oscillated thus historically between diplomacy and confrontation/repression trying to reach a balance that was always shifting and rarely stable. It has been debated if the pastoralists represented a true risk before the engagement of the Lakhmid tribe as spearhead of the Sassanian attacks against the Roman territories in the Levant. The existence of systems of defence with sophisticated built structures in these areas (certainly against a threat coming from the desert, that would have been posed more logically by the raids of the pastoralists), already from the Iron Age, would give an answer to this question,31 reinforcing this idea of continuum in the relation of “conflict/symbiosis” between both groups of population (no matters who was the nominal power in charge of the settled areas). The fact that many of these structures were re-used by the Romans, as part of their own line of defence of the Limes would reinforce this hypothesis.32 Trade and Cities

Long-distance trade would give birth also to cities in the main commercial hubs where markets were set (at the end of these long-distance routes or in strategic intermediate places or crossroads). In many cases these were established by these same Arab tribes responsible for the caravan trade34, demonstrating once more the compatible and shifting nature of the concepts “sedentarized” and “nomad”. This apparently contradiction does not exist because cities cannot survive without trading, and in the desert landscape of Arabia and Syria, trade cannot exist without caravans. Trade and cities would become thus inseparably linked, and would define the regional economy and social landscape. Nabatean and Palmyrene architecture and cities are a clear proof of how Arab people, theoretically belonging to a culture of “wanderers and desert navigators”, were able to create the most splendid cities of the Middle East: based on their deep South-Arabic cultural roots, assimilated Persian, Mesopotamian, Hellenistic and Roman influences, giving as a result a unique mingled culture of their own; Arab and Classical at the same time, and firmly urbanite (in spite of that “nomadic” image, that Westerners still have of them). The control of that trade was probably the ultimate reason of the Roman expansion in the region. Some authors state that Roman military units deployed along desert roads provided road security, something that confirms that the roads (and consequently the trade) predated the forts and were, together with the fertile lands westwards, the strategic element to be protected (as the case of the Via Nova Trajana following the steps of the Kings’ Highway proves).35 33 We have to keep in mind that’ political’ borders are usually areas of intense commercial interchange in between these confronted worlds. 34 Like Medina, Mecca, Petra, Bosra or Palmira, among others. 35

Nevertheless, according to the opinion of Ben Isaac, there would be no system organized to defend against an external enemy, and the threat posed by the Bedouins would be on the scale of normal banditry, something that is more debatable, as the rest of the evidences show, and he himself admits, but just for the Late Antique period: he acknowledge for this period the importance of the threat posed by the Tribal confederations, as well as the existence of military systems in which the roads were a secondary element, developed to serve the military structure, as they were built to connect these bases (See Isaac 1998 and Lewin 2007, 243). Ammianus explicitly affirms in the Res Gestae that Arabia was “optima varietate commerciorum, castrisque oppleta validis et castellis, quae ad repelendos gentium vicinarum excursus sollicitudo pervigil veterum per opportunos saltus erexit et cautos. Haec quoque civitates habet inter oppida quedam ingentes, Bostram et Gerasam atque Philadelphiam, murorum firmitate cautissimas”. This text reveals on the one hand the prosperity of the Provincia Arabia in Late Antiquity

30

This approach is defined in Lattimore’s Theory on the Reciprocation between Civilization and the Environment: In An Inner Asian Approach to the Historical Geography of China (1947), Lattimore explored the system through which humanity affects the environment and is changed by it, and concluded that civilization is molded by its own impact on the environment. 31 Mavia’s revolt demonstrate how the ‘Sarracens’ were a more dangerous force along the Limes Arabicus than often supposed by scholars. See Lewin 2007 and Lewin in this same volume) 32 The Iron Age forts of Qasr Kharaqa and Qasr el-Al, placed between the Roman Quadriburgium of Qasr Bshir (Castra Moebeni Praetorii) reused and incorporated as part of the same stretch of the Limes, are a good sample of this (see Arce 2008 in press).

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean The link between long distance trade and cities (and the territorial control gained by means of them), would explain, later, the deeply urban dimension of Islam as religion and the almost compulsory demand to settle population in new cities36 (something that can be seen as a blatant proof of the influence of this Tribal/Bedouin culture on the new Islamic societies). Some of the Islamic religious prescriptions are a clear translation into specific commandments of this social need: firstly the enhancement of the sense of community and the need of social aggregation (with the refusal of individualism, both in social and religious life37) which was primarily cast in the concept of “Umma”, the community of the faithful; furthermore, the obligation for the periodical (weekly) congregation of all the male population of an area surrounding a city or urban settlement for the communal Friday pray in the congregational mosque, represents an unique and magisterial example of “social engineering” by which all the population is gathered not only for religious purposes, but with social, political and commercial aims: in the Friday pray are read, together with the religious khutba or preach, the political and administrative decrees and announcements, that are made public to the community in this occasion (as a reflection also of the intimate link between politics and religion in Islam). The gathering of all this population become also the best opportunity to set the market, usually located physically beside the congregational mosque.38 In this way the economic and social sustainability of the city as entity is guaranteed through a mixed religious and political commandment.

are located the markets and production centers linked by those routes. This concept of territorial control is key to understand the maintenance of the urban culture in Islamic period till medieval ages, as the instrument to guarantee not only the economic wealth (Kennedy 1985), but also the military and political control of the land. Meanwhile in Europe cities had almost disappeared and the feudal model for controlling the territory made that hundreds of castles and forts were built, trying to control the land “till the place where the sword of the lord would arrive”. The survival of this “urban and trade model” of territorial control in the Levant till medieval period cannot be understood without this economic approach, and is essential when trying to understand the “re-discovery” of this “urban culture” by the crusaders. It would be interesting to know how much the influence of what the crusaders found (in terms of territorial control) when they arrived to the Levant in the 11th century AD, affected they own policies when back in Europe; and vice versa, how much their ‘feudal model’ had an impact in the increasingly fragmented political scenario of the Medieval Islamic Levant, when the unified power of the Caliphate was already a mirage that would be vanished completely with the Mongol invasions at the beginning of the 13th century. The models of sedentarization (and those for the setting of new cities) dictated by Islam might be, accordingly, deeply influenced by Tribal traditions (being the khatta or partition of the land one of the most relevant).40 In his study on ar-Risha, Helms points how the plausible early date (c. 650 AD) for its establishment would place the ‘bedouin station’ of ar- Risha alongside the establishment of the amsar (‘camp cities’: sing. misr) which began under the Orthodox Caliphate and formed the structural and symbolic foundations of many great Islamic cities. Some underlying principles of the amsar would be thus probably Bedouin in origin since pre-Islamic examples may be recognized in the Lakhmid establishment of al-Hira in Iraq (Rothstein 1899; TalbotRice 1934 quoted in Helms 1990). But perhaps most significantly, ar-Risha would shed light on a much discussed but rarely confirmed aspect of the early Islamic period. This concerns the steppic or nomadic-pastoralist/Bedouin component in the formation of the early Islamic state and the architectural expression of a new socio-economic and philosophical consciousness in both the religious and secular ambit. On its own then, humble steppic settlements like ar-Risha would represent an important insight not only into aspects of the architecture of the early Islamic period but also into one of its most significant facets: State-Bedouin (or state-tribe) politics and respective polities. Particular attention would deserve the relation between these encampment-like settlements and the cities created ex-novo: it would illustrate some aspects of the origin of the cities founded by Arabs. Actually, the evolution of the concept behind these encampments was at the base of several pre-Islamic Arab cities, and certainly was a recognizable concept in the establishment of the new cities in

These policies are aimed and related not only to economic issues, but also to the effective control of these vast territories. Tribal Arab traders had become acquainted long time ago before the arrival of Islam39 with the idea that the control of these immense and deserted territories cannot be achieved manu militari through the direct control of each single corner of this territory, but through the control of the (trade) caravan routes that cross it and of the cities where as a result of a thriving commerce, and on the other hand the existence of a system of military forts to defend and guarantee that prosperity from ravaging incursions. It makes explicit reference to walled cities as Bosra, Gerasa and Amman (Philadelphia), but also to castra & castella that reveal the importance of this defensive system to guarantee that economic prosperity. 36 Prophet Muhammad himself was member of a relevant family of merchants from Mecca. 37 For this reason monasticism was refused by Islam. This is still recognizable in the ideals of an egalitarian social ethos among modernday Bedouin that were famous also in the early Islamic period as symbols of identity of the new state. Actually the adoption by the Umayyads of royal ostentation and pomp was seen as treason to those egalitarian values of Islam of clear Bedouin origin. Similarly the Ghassanid phylarchs had become a sort of kings of the Tribal Arab foederati (Justinian nominated Arethas “Archiphylarch” and “Basileus”), something that would put them, also in socio-political terms, as forerunners of the Umayyads 38 For this reason (but also due to the fact that the maintenance of the mosque will be done with the benefits of renting the market booths, in a regime of waqf, that would become standard in later period in all the Islamic world) that the market’s shops are of public domain and not the property of private traders (once more a reflection of that sense of social and religious community of Islam). 39 Sabeans, Qatabanis, Hymiarites, Nabateans and Palmyreans among others

The resulting plots of land were the ‘khittat’ or districts which originally divided the various Arab tribes which made up the Muslim army. See Akbar 1990. 40

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I. Arce: Romans, Ghassanids and umayads and the transformationof the limes arabicus Early Islamic period (misr / pl: amsar). Sizable Arab tribal cantonments were by no means unknown in the Region at that time. Al-Hira was a seasonal nomad settlement that had evolved into a poly-nuclear urban center serving as the capital of the Lakhmid dynasty and a permanent base for tribes of the Tanukh federation. Another city that had grown from similar origins was Bosra, which eventually became the Northern capital of the Nabatean kingdom and from AD 106 administrative seat of the Roman province of Arabia. (Wheatley 2001, 269). In early settlements the influence of this “Tribal” model is more clear, especially in the urban settlements created from the 4th-5th century AD onwards in the Badiya (like at Umm al-Jimal, for instance). Later in Umayyad period we can detect the shifts towards other models (although basic “tribal” elements would remain unchanged). Certainly the increasing number of individuals to be settled forced the new Muslim rulers to seek efficient and tested models (like the Roman camps) that would gave birth to cities like Ayla or Aanjar.

doned while other ones, like Kastron Mefaa, evolved into small urban settlements in the coming centuries43. Something similar occurred with many small and intermediate forts and quadriburgia: those at Khirbet Samra, Khirbet Khaw, Umm al Jimal, evolved into villages or small towns, others like Hallabat, Kahf, Fudain, would be reused also as monastic settlements, especially during the 6th century AD, and afterwards reused by the Umayyads (but even in these cases can be found traces of proto-urban settlements surrounding the forts). In many cases these camps might have been the development of a vicus already existing in Roman times. In other cases these camps would be created after the abandonment by the limitanei of the Roman forts and their subsequent occupation by Arab federate tribes (foederati like the Tanukh, the Salih and the Ghassanids, respectively in the 4th, 5th and 6th century AD). The cases of Kastron Mefaa (Umm ar-Rassas [Figure 7]), Khirbet es-Samra, Umm el Quttein and even Umm al-Jimal shows the Roman fort as nucleus of the Urban development, even if in many cases traces of an older settlement pre-existing the fort is evident, like at Umm al-Jimal. In the case of Hallabat the complex of houses near the fort would be another interesting case.

But it is even more relevant to explain the use of the “parallactic” model of settlements carried out systematically by Arab settlers whenever arrived to an already existing city: instead of building atop (or within) the existing one according to the usual “palimpsest” model, they settled usually beside the existing city creating in many cases a separate neighborhoods or even a separate city, that once merged with the existing one would give birth in some cases to the so-called double-cities (“al-madain”). This is a recurrent case in Islamic urbanism: the cases can be found throughout History and in all the areas conquered: Fustat with Babylon (and even later Al-Askar, Al-Qatai, and finally Al-Qahira); al-Basra with Khuraiba; Kufa with al-Hira; Resafa-Hisham with Resafa-Sergiopolis; Bagdad with Ctesifonte (also known as “Al-Madain”) ;“Raqqattan” (‘the two Raqqas’, created as the result of the fusion of the old Raqqa and the new Rafica); and even later like in the case of Fez, with the fusion of the old Maghrebi quarter and the new Andalusi one, etc.

The economic factor would be determinant in the cases where these camps were established nearby existing cities (as their economic role as part of the net of caravan routes would be more determinant and clear than in the precedent cases). Actually, in many ‘classical’ cities like Aleppo or Damascus there were ‘Arab’ camps outside the city walls. Such camps are frequently described as transient assembly points for the great commercial caravans, and their inhabitants described as Bedouin organized as caravaneers. Irfan Shahid suggests that these camps soon became established settlements with permanent architecture, called parembolais in Greek and hadir in Arabic. The hadir was in this case an ethnic suburb inhabited by Arab tribesmen. The relationship between these suburbs and their adjoining cities seems similar to the association of Islamic urban foundations with an older pre-Islamic city, that we have mentioned and would be thus a clear influence of this Tribal traditions A working hypothesis for the success of this “parallactic” model of establishing new urban settlements

This leads us to study with more detail the creation of camps outside Roman forts as a specific case of our interest. By the end of the 5th century or mid 6th century AD, and as a result of changes in warfare and military strategies41, apparently most of the forts and legionary camps had been abandoned or transformed into monasteries or small villages42. ������������������������������������� Some of them, like Lejjun, were aban-

in many cases it could be also associated to commercial activities, and specifically to that of the caravans and the camps (hira-hirta/ parembolai) of the Arab Tribes established in these areas. Alternatively they could have been originated as military camps around monasteries that would have offered them logistical support (se the chapter on the monasteries as part of the strategic defence in Ghassanid period). 43 Furthermore, the transformations operated by many of these abandoned

41 This situation recalls the shift that took place from 1st WW to 2ndWW,

when the static warfare based on trenches gave way to a new and mobile strategies (like the “blitzkrieg”), that overrun and made obsolete all the infrastructures built for that sort of confrontation (like the “Maginot line” built in the immediate previous years with an outdated strategy in mind). 42 De munitionibus castorum 21; De Vries 1987a, 313; Parker 2006, 16;

forts (in functional and material terms), would eventually give birth to new architectural types on their own, that can explain the relationship and physical similarity between some Roman Military structures and later architectural types as those from the Umayyad qusur. This would be the case of the type derived from the construction of churches in the middle of the courts of abandoned Roman forts. The cases of Kahf and that of Khirbet al Kerak (identified by Whitcomb with Sinnabra -see Whitcomb 2002) are very representative. The result of this casual combination would give birth to a clear and new architectural type represented by the “civilian fort” from Andarin, or the so-called “barracks” of Qasr Ibn Wardan.

Hamarneh 2006, 91-95. The fate of these structures is also related to the issue of whether the legions of the limitanei evolved at a certain point into a sort of peasant militia before their dismissal from their duties in the Limes. These settlements can be found inside or outside the former forts (apparently the pattern of evolution would be, firstly the occupation extramuros, and later the occupation inside the walls upon the final abandonment). They could have been originated as a vicus for the families of the limitanei (once the ban to marry for Roman soldiers was lifted), but

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean therefore, “to adjust our perception of ‘Bedouin’ and ‘Bedouinity’ by proposing a generalized definition which fits recent and modern paradigms. In the course of analysis, we are able to add two aspects to the study of unsettled folk of the Near East; one is that the reliance on a multiresource economy compels ‘Bedouin’ to maintain the kind of symbiotic relationship (that Lattimore already explained decades ago –note of the author) with the populations of the verdant zones and, therefore, the state. A second aspect concerns the antiquity of ‘Bedouin’, and here we have been able to present a hypothesis of continuum which begins even before the adoption and adaptation of pastoralism in the steppic zones of the Near East. It begins in hunter-gatherer societies before the 6th millennium BC and is still recognizable in the ideals of an egalitarian social ethos among modern-day Bedouin. Bedouin, or tribally organized pastoralists, be they nomadic, semi-nomadic, sedentarized, or whatever, can be said to appear in the 6th millennium BC, and can be found in the relatively sparse textual references to ‘tribes’ from the 3rd millennium BC onwards (if not earlier: i.e. close to the beginning of writing in the fourth millennium), up to the appearance of the word ‘Aribi (‘rab)” (Helms 1990, 169-70).

beside the existing ones (that would become a standard in Islamic urbanism contrary to the “palimpsest” stratified model) is that the Tribal Arabs first and the Muslim conquerors later, avoided the alien, classical cities and settled in these hadir among fellow Arabs.44 The resulting settlements developed into cities of a distinctly Arabian type; the incipient Islamic city may be recognized in this urban form. The hadir became a madina (the traditional term for city) in a land where there had been little Byzantine building and an overall stagnation of urban life (see also Whitcomb 1989). An alternative hypothesis (or even a similar case that might have been used also as a model reinforcing the success of this pattern), would be that of the CentroAsian cities where the same “parallactic” model can be detected in pre-Islamic and Islamic period (the case of Merv would be a clear sample of this, see Arce 2007a in press). The importance and social entity of these Arab settlements (paremboleis, hadir/hirta), whether established extramuros of big cities or forts from the Limes, can be elicited from the 4th and 5th century AD onwards with the references to the Arab population converted to Christianism living in them: Sozomen mentions in his Historia Ecclesiastica the conversion of these Arab population and the participation of the ‘bishop of the Arabs’ in the Counsels of Seleucia (AD 359) and Antioch (AD 363). Is also very illuminating how Euthymius, the founder of Palestinian monasticism, would later become ‘Bishop of the paremboleis’ (named ‘castra sarracenorum’). Furthermore, the use of this term denotes the defensive, almost military character of some of these settlements, according to the role played by these Arab foederati in the strategic defence of the Limes.

The acknowledge of this continuum is very relevant for our analysis of the material culture of the period between the 3rd and the 8th century AD, that would confirm this continuity at the same time helps to unfold the complex picture of the social, political, military, cultural (and religious) relationship between these groups of population during Late Antiquity. It helps also to further understand the influence of ‘urban’ cultures from the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia on the one hand, and on the other hand, the cultural practices of Arab tribal populations from the Arabian Peninsula, and what Helms would call ‘Bedouin consciousness’. All these are key issues to analyze the basis of idiosyncratic ‘Arab’ culture with independence of the religious creeds adopted from the 4th millennium BC till the advent of Islam.

Continuity of Social patterns of relationship: the need of spaces and architectures for diplomacy Based on recent archaeo-anthropological data which allow us to see tribe-state relationships in a new perspective, Helms put forward two decades ago the hypothesis of ethnological and economic continuity as an interpretative framework for tribal elements in the Near East from the development of steppic pastoralism or pastoral nomadism in the 6th millennium BC up to the present.45 We have,

This “Bedouin consciousness” would permeate increasingly the social, political and architectural (and even aesthetic in our opinion) thinking of the times, through the decisive role in political and military role that the tribes will play from the 4th century AD onwards. A process that will witness acceleration during the Ghassanid period and that will gain momentum with under the Umayyads. The constant need for diplomacy at all levels is the best indicator of this process and the transformation and evolution of architecture, cities and territory itself the best material evidence to support this hypothesis. Helms supposes that the venues for diplomacy shifts from the traditional places near or within the limit of in the limitrophe,46 just outside by the border, towards apparently

44 This segregation from alien and aggregation with the akin (common among any human group), would in the case of the Umayyad rulers, respond as well to security issues derived from the concern of possible upheaval of the predominant and hostile Christian population. This would explain the urban settings within important cities like Amman formalised in also segregated Citadels (see Arce 2006b in press) 45 “The basic premise is that if we can prove the presence of a ‘pre-

camel’ pastoral population in the steppe (which now we can), then we should regard (successful) management of their environment as eliciting similar responses. Conversely, we should be able to use appropriately more recent data and relations across the steppic-verdant interface. And, if we can match several characteristics across time, we can reasonably suggest a continuum, rather than a revolutionary change from nonBedouin to full-Bedouin. Similarly, if we can demonstrate that social and economic systems in the verdant regions are more similar through time and space than dissimilar, we may argue that relations between our Bedouin and the settled sectors also represent a continuum. And, finally, we might cite hypothesis regarding the origins of Semitic languages in connection with Afro-Semitic and the migration of the language and

presumable also people at least as early as the Neolithic period, if not the Natufian. Should this be so then we can confirm our hypothesis in yet another most basic way which particularly parallels the social and ethnic situation in the Umayyad era: that of a common language in both state and the badiyah” (Helms 1990, 36-7). 46 Limitrophe literally means the lands set apart for the support of

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I. Arce: Romans, Ghassanids and umayads and the transformationof the limes arabicus unmarked places in the steppe (like it would be the site at ar-Risha)

ralist tribes remained always a major threat to the peace and the commerce, as periods of crisis would break this delicate balance: pressure of newcomers tribes, periods of draught and famine or internal struggles would shake the existing status quo, leading to periods of sacking and accordingly, to shifts in the balance and the existing agreements between Rome and the phylarchs of the “foreign Arab” (Araboi barbaroi) tribes.

According to Helms, there would be four basic locations in which these Bedouin stations or camps ( parembolai or hadir-hirta) would be established and diplomacy could be practiced: on or near the frontiers of states (i.e. next to military installations of the state); near important cities or towns near the verdeant zone (i.e. within the state’s boundaries); near oases or nodes in trans-steppic communications networks; or away from all of these, out in the ‘anonymous’ steppe (of these the last has been the least understood and documented, and yet it may contain the purest expression of the ‘badiya’ concept and thus furnish a key to the Bedouin content of early Islamic architecture, see Helms1990, 39). We must focus in a particular case, like the monasteries and pilgrimage sites (like ResafaSergiopolis),47 as they represent a further step in the evolution of this patterns of relationship by linking politics and religion creeds, something that will determine strongly socio political and religious characteristics of the new Islamic state.

This was in many cases a policy that oscillated periodically between the contentment and the open repression: these foederati Arabs not being Roman citizens, were seen as unwanted “foreigners” (barbaroi) by the settled urban population (but necessary for their defence). Aware of this rejection and of their increasing political role in the region (Arethas was nominated “Basileus” and “Archyphylarchs” of the Arab foederati by Justinian) and of their military strength, the Ghassanids started to unfold their own political agenda of religious proselytism and political clientelarism towards the inhabitants of the Badiya (a policy in which monasteries and palatine venues played an essential role48). This led them to a intense building activity (according to which they deserved being called “philoktistai” –“building-lovers”) becoming a clear symbol of their new political status. The Ghassanids realised (exactly as the Umayyads would do one century later) that they needed to seek support among the “outsiders” (the pastoralists) of that urbanite society to gain a sound social support for their aspirations. The “internal” border became thus apparent once more, firstly, in the open confrontation between two opposed conceptions of Christianity (the Monophysite creed of the Ghassanids preached to the pastoralists through their monasteries,49 and the Diophysite one of the “Hellenised” urban population), and secondly, in the differences between the strong cultural identity of the Ghassanids (an Arab culture of Yemenite origin, closer to that of the Arab pastoralists) in conflict with that of the Hellenised Roman urban world. Through the implementation of this political clientelarism and religious proselytism based on their deep Arab identity, they paved the way for the “Arabization” and the shift towards Islamic “pure monotheism” of the region that would be carried out by the Umayyads (that in so many aspects followed the footprints traced by the Ghassanids). What we will further demonstrate, is that the theatres for all these policies remained almost the same for centuries, despite the changes in those policies, due to

The formation of Early Islamic Architecture (and that built by the Christian Arab tribes like the Ghassanids/Jafnids) would be thus deeply determined by this context. As we have already seen, the development of certain architectural and urban concepts (aiming an effective and symbolic territorial control) would be the result of this influence. According to that character of continuum in the essential pattern of social relationship in the region, the discussion must be carried out diachronically to properly understand and identify the elements of continuity (determined mainly by that cultural continuum defined by the ‘internal border’ between sedentarized and pastoralist populations, between ‘State’ and ‘Bedouin tribes’) and those of change determined mainly by the conditions of the ‘external border’ between the major superpowers and the relative relationship of the corresponding confronted ‘States’ and their clientele tribes. These changes will gain momentum once more with the advent of Islam, in which both states (Persia and Rome) would disappear as actors in the region and with them would disappear also the “external border”, becoming the Tribal Arab groups part of the ‘State’ itself. In this moment the traditional diplomacy will change drastically, becoming even more relevant for the political and military issues at stake.

48 This political and religious agenda was seen with deep mistrust by the

Political clientelarism and religious proselytism

Romans, concerned with the idea of the establishment of another ‘Arab’ Empire (like the “Palmyrene adventure” centuries earlier). 49 The social and political importance of monasticism for the

During Late Antiquity, the occasional raids of the pasto-

Monophysites can be traced in the attempt by Jacob Baradeus to create a separate parallel Monophysite hierarchy, with new rival sees based on monasteries, in opposition to those from the Diophysite Church that had their sees named after the main cities. This dichotomy between urbansettled population with their city-based religious hierarchy, loyal to the Diophysite or Chalcedonian “orthodox” church, in contrast with the nomad and pastoralist “parishes”, related to Monophysite monasteries, that can be elucidated from this episode, is of great importance to understand the dynamics of the fierce internal struggles of the Christian Church in pre-Islamic times, and the disruptive effect in the sociopolitical lives of these territories.

the troops on the frontier, and thus describes the zone, the borderland occupied by the Ghassanids (Shahid 2002, xxxiii). In fact, it corresponds to the so-called Badiya, the steppe area inhabited by the bedw, bordering the actual desert (sahra) between it and the cultivated lands were cities were set. 47 Justinian extended the power of the Ghassanids till Sergiopolis, that was also raised to a bishopric see because the shrine of S. Sergius. On occasion of the religious festivity and the related peregrination and to hold audiences with the tribes that had been seasonally dispersed.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean their original strategic location: Thus, Roman military forts (set on previous Nabatean or earlier settlements) would be transformed, once abandoned by the Roman Army, into monasteries and palaces by the Ghassanids and afterwards into Umayyad “qusur”, as part of this shift of policies and political actors operated in Late Antiquity.

The strategic location of these places at crossroads, near often travelled routes51 or perennial water sources, that had made of them compulsory meeting points firstly for the local pastoral populations and for travellers, merchants or pilgrims (that could be occasionally sheltered and fed in the monasteries) would explain this pattern of reuse. In many cases monks took advantage of the abandoned Roman forts (like at Hallabat) because they had the same strategic location they needed (combining ascetic isolation and contact with the pastoralists). Actually, the Romans had carried out a policy, between contentment and repression of the local nomadic tribes, but similar in territorial strategic terms, establishing their forts in areas of gathering, access or transit used by them. But as we will see, this transformation into monasteries does not mean as we have seen, that they did not play any further role in the defensive strategy of the Ghassanids for the limitrophe, but that the means and the approach were radically different. This location of some monasteries in important crossroads or difficult stations of harsh routes would explain for instance the use of these buildings and their towers as watch posts and simultaneously as reference landmarks that would help travellers to orient themselves52; towers that during the night would become lighthouses (phanarion in Greek, or manara in Arabic), a fact that is frequently mentioned in pre-Islamic poetry.

During Late Antiquity the role played by monasteries in the Christianization of the Arab tribes, would be very relevant. In this case, diplomacy would be linked to an increasing pro-active policy of conversion. This is crystalclear especially when we realize the strong support given by the Ghassanids to monasticism as a way of spreading Christian Monophysitism among the Bedouin population of the steppe (intended as a further step to reinforce that support to their political agenda with religious motivations). In this way, the alliance would be not only in political but also in religious terms, confronted with the Byzantine central power and that of the Diophysite creed of the ‘State’. Once more, this would be the model that would follow the Umayyads, seeking political support and the subsequent conversion of these Tribal groups. In many cases the religious conversion did not come automatically alongside with the political support provided (actually this was not an obstacle for Christian tribes like the Kinda to join the Muslim army to fight Byzantium, gaining in many cases higher ranks than other converted-to-Islam tribes). This, together with the change of ranks of many of the federate troops under Ghassanid command during the conquest of the Levant prove that the socio-cultural affinity was more determinant than a religious difference in political and military terms.

Religion and Politics After the defeat of the Salihids (the Arab federate tribe that had hold up to that moment the phylarchy), the Ghassanids received from the Byzantines the responsibility for the defence of the limes, but also the role of regional political leaders as phylarcs of the federate tribes53. They demonstrated their religious zeal in promoting the monastic institution (that had determined so much their own conversion), not only as an expression of their Monophysite faith, but also as part of their political strategy for the effective control of the region that we have detailed (including the Hellenized cities and not only the fringes of the desert). After ten years of the foedus of 529, that made Arethas king, he succeeded in his efforts to resuscitate the Mo-

Monasteries as instruments of propaganda fide & territorial control A deeply-rooted and diverse monastic culture was developed in the region during the 5th to the 7th century AD: there are innumerable references to monasteries, hermits, stylites, and different congregations of monks in the region, especially in the fringes of the desert. Many of these monasteries (as it is the case for Hallabat) were established on former Roman forts from the Limes Arabicus. A pattern of re-use, that implies more than just the mere re-occupation of abandoned buildings by religious communities, can be elicited. Monasteries were essential for the conversion policy, due to territorial and living conditions of the region. As a matter of fact, Arabs became acquainted with Christianity through their contact with monks living a contemplative life in the desert: Syriac missionaries played an essential role in conversion, while the construction of monasteries played a pivotal role in their missionary activity. The contemporary accounts of their activities show the close ties between pastoral communities and monasteries, a relationship very relevant to understand its social role and influence among nomadic or recently settled population, essential to interpret the evolution underwent by these sites in general and by Hallabat in particular.50

Fowden & Fowden 2004. 51 In our case, besides the abundant sources of water in the vicinity, can be mentioned the nearby Via Nova Traiana connecting Bosra and Amman, and the routes towards Azraq and wadi Sirhan. 52 This stands again (as in the case of the hydraulic and agricultural infrastructures, or the logistic and medical support offered by monasteries) as a sample of that philantropia (intended to the benefit of the people living in the desert) that helped to the spread of the Christian faith among the pastoralist nomads of the region. Wayfarers and caravaneers would thus rely in these monastic structures that were created in traditional stations or in difficult places, which would offer them improved and well kept traditional resources beside new ones, together with spiritual relief and guidance. 53 Under Emperor Anastasius the Byzantine world shifted towards Monophysitism. The first foedus with the Ghassanids was signed under his reign (in 502 AD) something that has been indicated to explain their attachment to Monophysite creed, while Tanukh and Salihids (the previous federate tribes that were bestowed with the phylarchate in the 4th and 5th century AD respectively) were Diophysites.

50 For a more in depth review of these issues see Arce 2006a in press, and

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I. Arce: Romans, Ghassanids and umayads and the transformationof the limes arabicus nophysite Church54. It was further empowered with the nomination of Theodore as presiding Bishop of the entire Arab federate Church in Oriens, who besides Jacobus Baradeus reinforced and promoted the Monophysite faith. The close relationship between phylarch and Bishop was the base for a political and religious strategy of reciprocal support, with the common aim of expanding the Monophysite Christianism among the pagan inhabitants of the Badiya/limitrophe, and by doing this, gaining political and military support for the Ghassanids. This policy was accelerated under Harith ibn Jabala: Actually the Monophysite creed almost took over the East by 535 AD, with the exception of the Diophysite strongholds, namely Jerusalem and Antioch.

the phylarchs from camp to camp. Bosra was chosen as its see and the venue for the cathedral consecrated some years earlier (513 AD). His jurisdiction extended to the countries south of Edessa and west of the Tigris and all the Arabian Desert until Jerusalem. Both bishops were ordained by the Monophysite patriarch of Alexandria, Theodisius, in exile in the capital under the protection of Empress Theodora, who supported the event. Jacob Baradeus could not regain his seat in Edessa (as it was the seat of the Orthodox bishop). He remained in the rural area and attempted to establish a new organization, based not on the urban parishes but on the monasteries in the steppe and the rural areas where the support of the Ghassanids was guaranteed against the prosecution of the state. This rebellious attitude towards the Orthodox Diophysite Church and the central power worsened with the support to “Black Paul” who was nominated bishop of Antioch (also in the hands of the Diophysites), and later tried to take over the seat of the defunct patriarch of Alexandria. By 535 AD Monophysite creed had almost taken over the Levant except the Orthodox strongholds of Antioch and Jerusalem.

The social and political importance of monasticism, especially among the Monophysites can be traced in the already mentioned attempt by Jacob Baradeus to create a separate parallel Monophysite hierarchy, with new rival sees based on monasteries, in opposition to those from the Diophysite Church that had their sees named after the main cities. This dichotomy between urban-settled population with their city-based religious hierarchy, loyal to the Diophysite or Chalcedonian “orthodox” church, in contrast with the nomad and pastoralist “parishes”, related to Monophysite monasteries, that can be elucidated from this episode, is of great importance to understand the dynamics of the fierce internal struggles of the Christian Church in pre-Islamic times, and the disruptive effect in the socio-political lives of these territories.55 This patronage was thus an essential element of their policies as new rulers of Bilad as-Sham (although still on behalf of the Byzantine emperor). The discovery of a complex like Hallabat, that gathers in the same premises a Ghassanid palatine establishment and a monastic one, is especially illuminating of their strategy based on their religious zeal and their political agenda, expressed in this support to the construction of churches and monasteries.

Epilogue. Ghassanids & Umayyads. The pursue of power of the Arab elites Under this perspective, is easy to see the Ghasanids as forerunners of the Umayyad strategies for political and territorial control: these ‘Bedouin politics’ and the related clientelar policy of subsidies and alliances were actually of capital importance for the Umayyads: firstly, the Marwanid Caliphate was supported by the Kalbi chief, Ibn Bahdal (who was related by marriage) and others, when Marwan was acknowledged as the candidate of the Umayyad party (at a meeting which, significantly, was not held in Damascus but at Jabiya, the former Ghassanid stronghold). This would demonstrate how without Bedouin support - in this case both Yamani and Qaysi factions - the succession could probably not have been took place. Similarly, ‘Abd al-Malik’s succession in AD 685 was ‘smoothly managed by the Yamanis’. Secondly, it fell to the caliphate to maintain ‘peace’ in the steppe, specifically between the two main factions in Syria: the Yamanis (Kalb, Tanoukh, Judham, and Taghlib); and the Qaysi (Sulaym, Kilab, and ‘Uqayl), who continued their tribal rivalry (‘asabiyya) throughout the Umayyad period. In order to achieve this pacification, ‘Abd al-Malik tied himself by marriage to the Qaysi side, while other members of the Marwanid family were more closely related to the Yamanis. During the second Fitna (AD 680-692), therefore, must have been a period of intense diplomacy and the development of a specific clientelar policy with regard to the Bedouin of the Syrian steppe, which was basic for guarantee the control of power by the Umayyads (Helms 1990, 50-51). In this context we can conclude that the Ghassanids set the paths that would be followed by the Umayyads one century later in terms of political and territorial control strategies (adapted of course, to the new political and religious context).

The making of an Christian Arab kingdom The breakaway church that Harith ibn Jabala helped to establish and of which he became the head, was a sort of “national” Arab church (the Monophysite Aramaic and Arabic churches were set apart with separate bishops and hierarchy, but both under the Ghassanid control), a basic pillar for a “Syrian kingdom”. Jacob Baradeus was nominated Bishop of the Aramaic Church, while Theodore was nominated Bishop for both the Rhomaic Arabs (living in cities and towns) and for the Tribal Arabs (living in the camps hirta/hadir [castra sarracenorum]), thus following 54 After his visit to Constantinople c. 540 AD. 55

The suspicion of the Byzantines about the Ghassanids’ aims, using they influence over the federate tribes and their support and links with the Monophysite cause to create an Arab empire not subjected to Rome (as Oedenatus and Zenobia had attempted long time ago) was not a groundless one. The dichotomy the Byzantines faced was between their dependence on the Ghassanids for the defence of the Limes Arabicus, and their increasing lack of trust in them, as Byzantine Emperors were not ready to allow them to go further in their political ambitions.

We can conclude that from the 6th through the 8th century 69

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean AD many military structures from the Limes Arabicus underwent a process of transformation and re-use that took advantage of their strategic location, and that in many cases follow a recurrent and similar pattern. The final aim in all the cases, despite the different approaches, was that of achieving an effective control of the territory and the population that inhabited it, on the basis of the exploitation of these strategic locations and their peculiar conditions. The setting where the Ghassanids deployed their palatine protocol and their patronage of the monastic institution, happened to be in many cases the same where the clientele policy carried out by the Umayyads with the Bedouin population of the Badiya (from which they obtained also political and military support, as the Ghassanids had done before) would take place years later, but also the same where the Romans had carried their own coactive strategy to control the same region and population centuries earlier. Eventually, the reoccupation by Umayyad qusur of these venues demonstrates the socio-economic and political role that they played, and the continuity of certain strategies of control of these territories from Roman to Islamic period with a shifting from coercive policies towards more persuasive and clientelar ways of relationship between the successive lords of the territory and the population that inhabited it. These new ways of relationship respond to a new political approach to the management of the “internal border” between the urban world of the settled population and that of the pastoralist inhabitants of the Badiya, carried out firstly by the Ghassanids and afterwards by the Umayyads, that contrarily to the policy of the Roman rulers, sought support among those who were culturally akin to them.

Archaeology of Jordan IX (Proceedings of the 9th International Conference ICHAJ hold at Petra in May 2004). Department of Antiquities, Amman. Arce, I. 2009a. Hallabat: Castellum, Coenobium, Praetoriun, Qasr. The Construction of a Palatine Architecture under the Umayyads (I). In Residences, Castles, SettlementsTransformation Processes from Late Antiquity to Early Islamic Times, (Proceedings of the Colloquium on Late Antiquity and Early Islamic Archaeology in Bilad alSham Damascus, November 2006). Orient Archäologie. Band 17. DAI. German Archaeological Institute, 153-182. Damascus. Arce, I. 2009b. “The Palatine City at Amman Citadel”. The Construction of a Palatine Architecture under the Umayyads (II)” In Residences, Castles, SettlementsTransformation Processes from Late Antiquity to Early Islamic Times, (Proceedings of the Colloquium on Late Antiquity and Early Islamic Archaeology in Bilad alSham Damascus, November 2006). Orient Archäologie, Band 17. DAI. German Archaeological Institute, 179-212. Damascus. Arce, I. 2009c. Coenobium, Palatium & Hira: The Ghassanid Complex at Hallabat. In F.Al-Khraysheh (ed.), Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan X (Proceedings of the 10th International Conference ICHAJ –Washington, May 2007). Department of Antiquities, 937966. Amman. Brands, G. 1988. Der sogenannte Audienzsaal des alMundir in Resafa. Damaszener Mitteilungen 10, 211235. DAI. Damascus. Bujard, J. 1995. La fortification de Kastron Mayfa’a/ Umm ar-Rasas. Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan 5, 241–249. Fowden, G., Key Fowden, E. 2004. Studies on Hellenism, Christianity and the Umayyads. Athens. Gaube, H. 1974. An Examination of the Ruins at Qasr Burqu. ADAJ, 1993-100. Hamarneh, B. 2006. Settlement Patterns in Provincia Arabia from Diocletian to the Arab Conquest. Archaological Evidence, in A. Lewin and P. Pelegrini, (eds.), Settlements and Demography in the Near East in Late Antiquity. Istituti Editoriali e Poligrafici Internazionali. Pisa Roma. Helms, S., Betts, A., Lancaster, F., Lenzen, C. J. 1990. Early Islamic Architecture of the Desert: A Bedouin Station in Eastern Jordan. Edinburgh, University Press. Herzfeld, E. 1921. Mshatta, Hira und Badiya. Die Mittelander des Islams und ihre Baukunst. Jahrbuch der Königlich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen 42, 104-46. Isaac, B. 1998. The Eastern Frontier, in. Cameron, A and Garnsey, P. (eds.) The Cambrigge Ancient History Vol. XIII, 437-460. Cambridge. Kennedy, D. 2004. The Roman Army in Jordan. CBRL. London. Kennedy, H. 1985. From Polis to Madina: Urban Change in Late Antique and Early Islamic Syria, Past & Present 106 (Feb 1985), 3-27. Krautheimer, R. 1981. Arquitectura Paleocristiana y Bizantina. Madrid. Lattimore, R. 1947. An Inner Asian Approach to the His-

BIBLIOGRAPHY Akbar, J. 1990. Khatta and the Territorial Structure of Early Muslim Towns. Muqarnas, 6, 22-32. Arce, I. 2008 (in press). Qasr Hallabat, Qasr Bshir & Deyr el Kahf. Building Techniques, Architectural Typology and Change of Use of three Quadriburgia from the Limes Arabicus. Interpretation and Significance. In Proceedings of the workshop ‘Archeologia della Costruzione II: I cantieri edili dell’Italia e delle provincie Romane orientali’. Siena Certosa di Pontignano 13-15 November 2008. Archivo Español de Arqueología. Madrid. Arce, I. 2006a. Qasr Hallabat (Jordan) Revisited: Reassessment of the Material Evidence. In H. Kennedy (ed.), Muslim Military Architecture in Greater Syria, 26– 44. Leiden. Arce, I. 2006 b. Umayyad Building Techniques and the Merging of Roman-Byzantine and Partho-Sasanian Traditions: Continuity and Change, in I. Jacobs, A. Sarantis and E. Zanini (eds.), Technology in Transition: AD 300–650, Late Antique Archaeology 4.1, 491-537. Leiden. Arce, I. 2007. Qasr al-Hallabat: Continuity and Change from the Roman-Byzantine to the Umayyad Period. In F. Al-Khraysheh (ed.), Studies in the History and 70

I. Arce: Romans, Ghassanids and umayads and the transformationof the limes arabicus torical Geography of China. London. Lavan, L. 2007. Explaining Technological Change: Innovation, Stagnation, Recession and Replacement, in I. Jacobs, A. Sarantis and E. Zanin (eds.), Technology in Transition: AD 300–650, Late Antique Archaeology 4.1. xv-xl .Leiden. Lassus, J. 1947. Sanctuaries Chrétiens de Syrie. Paris. Lewin, A.S. 2007. Amr Ibn ‘Adi, Mavia, The Phylarchs and the Late Roman Army, in A.S. Lewin and P. Pellegrini (eds), The Late Roman Army in the Near East from Diocletian to the Arab Conquest. BAR International Series 1717. Oxford. Lenoir, M. 1999. Dumayr, faux camp romain, vraie residence palatiale. Syria 76, 227–236. Monferrer Sala J.P. 1999. Documento fundacional en Árabe del Monasterio de Santa Catalina en el Monte Sinaí. Anaquel de Estudios Árabes X, 79-95. Madrid.

Parker, S.T. 2006. The Roman Frontier in Central Jordan. Final Report on the Limes Arabicus Project, 1980-1989. Dumbarton Oaks Washington D.C. Shahid, I. 2001. The sixth-century church complex at Nitl, Jordan. The Ghassanid dimension. Liber Annus 51, 285– 292. Shahid I. 2002. Byzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century, Vol. 2, Part 1: Toponymy, Monuments, Historical Geography and Frontier Studies. Washington D.C. Wheatley, P.2001. The Places Where Men Pray Together. Chicago. Whitcomb, D. 2002. Khirbet al-Karak Identified with Sinnabra. Al-‘Usur al-Wusta. The Bulletin of the Middle East Medievalists 14.1, 1-6. Whitcomb, D. 1998. Discovering a new city in Syria: Hadir Qinnasrin. Chicago.

Figure1. Qasr Hallabat. Reconstruction of the complex in the second half of the 6th century AD. After being abandoned and destroyed by an earthquake in AD 551, the Roman fort was refurbished into a monastery and a palatine structure by the Ghassanid phylarchs.

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Figure 2. Qasr Hallabat. Phasing Plans.

Figure 3. Hallabat. View of the complex from the North. Notice, to the right, the traces of the first Severan fort (transformed into a monastery in the 6th century AD) embraced by later structures (the 6th century AD palatine complex that replicate, in plan, the lay-out of the Tetrarchic quadriburgium, most of it destroyed in AD 551 by an earthquake- of which survive the southern wall, seen in the background, and the entrance hallway to the left of the image). The different building techniques can be identified in the next figure.

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Figure 4. Qasr Hallabat. Building Techniques’ Sequence. (a): Severan Fort (Phase.I), NE wall. Note the well squared and finely jointed ashlar masonry of the original lower courses (the upper ones are refurbishments of later period –mainly Tetrarchic); (b): Tetrarchic quadriburgium (Phase.II). Surviving SE wall. Internal elevation. Note the roughly hewn blocks and traces of the thick mortar jointing; (c): Ghassanid palace and monastery (Phase.III). NW wall & N tower. External elevation. Notice at the base of the walls the remains of the crude Tetrarchic quadriburgium masonry reused as foundation. Notice also the courses of basalt headers combined with limestone and basalt stretchers; (d): Ghassanid palace and monastery (Phase. III). Main court. Palace partition walls. Notice the same building technique used in (c) with headers’ courses placed each five courses of stretchers (all of them built with basalt in this case). Orthorectification by Ignacio Moscoso & Andrea Sbardellati.

Figure 5. Deyr el Kahf. General Plan. Note the similarities with Qasr Hallabat, in its physical transformation and pattern of change of use: A first Severan fort without towers, is embraced by a Tetrarchic Quadriburgium, and later transformed into a monastery with the construction of a chapel in the courtyard (the latest use of the building is preserved in the present Arab name, literally “the monastery of the cave”)

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Figure 6. Deyr el Kahf. Aerial view showing the layout of the first Severan fort embraced by the Tetrarchic Quadriburgium.

.Figure 7. Umm ar-Rassas (Kastron Mefaa ): Note the extramural neighbourhood (probably born as a vicus during the military use of the fort, or alternatively as a hirta/hadir once the fort had lost its original military use), and the transformation of the interior of the Roman fort into a urban complex. Similar samples can be seen at Khirbet Samra, Umm al-Jimal, Khirbet Khaw, etc. (see Hamarneh 2006).

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

FRONTIERE GEOSTORICHE, FRONTIERE CULTURALI Franco Cardini Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane

Abstract (2008) Middle Eastern frontiers and settlements between document and monument Frontier is a question to deal with under two aspects: geo-historically, as transit, boundary, meeting/clash place; and anthropologically, as exchange, confrontation,’tradition/traslation’ place. The Middle Eastern area between the River Jordan, Oronte, Euphrates and Sinai was a land crossed as early as the Antiquity by merchant roads (‘Kings’, ‘Spices’, ‘Silk’) and holy routes (Hebrew ‘aliah’, Muslim ‘haj’, Christian ‘peregrinatio’). Within such a diachronic context, the Crusading experience defied and tackled problems and necessities of the territory by means of integrating the new Latin components on the one hand (feudal princedoms, strong points managed by the Military Orders, trade requirements of merchants, especially from the coastal centres), with the inconstant scenery of Muslim potentates, characterised by strong internal dynamics, on the other. As a consequence, the unity of the two frontier line on the east and west of the River Jordan, but also their flexibility and changeability, and the experimental nature that emerge throughout the time from the ways of territory control and management. Within such context and problems, the real “turning point” is actually represented by the conquests of Saladin at the end of the 12th century and the resettling of the coastal area of the Crusader Kingdom during the Acco period.

Chiunque abbia visitato la vasta area vicino-orientale compresa tra Turchia meridionale, Siria, Libano, Palestina e Giordania nonché l’altra, situata tra Aragona, Castiglia, Estremadura e Andalusia, non può non essere rimasto colpito da una strana, anzi impressionante e quasi inquietante serie di somiglianze e di analogie, che sembrano quasi partire addirittura dal clima e dal suolo: l’aridità del deserto di pietra dai toni cangianti dal bruno all’ocra al nero, i pochi e avari corsi d’acqua, il cielo che sembra quasi sempre d’un profondo azzurro smalto. O meglio: che sembrava tale, dal momento che la politica di regolamentazione idrica portata avanti con coraggio, ostinazione e successo dal governo spagnolo tra Anni Cinquanta e Anni Settanta, con i numerosi bacini artificiali sparsi nel centro della penisola iberica, ha provocato un profondo mutamento nel paesaggio e nel microclima spagnolo realizzando perfino l’impossibile o quale che fino a ieri sembrava tale, cioè che i contadini della Mancha hanno visto vagare sempre più spesso nel loro cielo ardente grosso nubi bianche, e talvolta perfino nere di pioggia. Ma, accanto alla analogie climatiche, geofisiche e idrologiche, un’altra risulta impressionante: quella dei numerosi castelli. Ai margini nord-ovest e sud-est del Mediterraneo, due terre lontane sembrano aver sviluppato scenari profondamente simili. Né tutto ciò stupirà più di tanto, quando si consideri che i protagonisti di quell’antica costruzione di paesaggi lontani erano in una qualche misura provenienti dallo stesso nido. Templari e Ospitalieri di San Giovanni, ad esempio. Le reliquie archeologico-monumentali sembrano a prima vista parlare un linguaggio compatto e omogeneo: quello di due ampie fasce irregolari disseminate di fortezze, tanto nelle penisola iberica quanto nell’area l’asse latitudinario della quale è costituito dalla catena del Libano, dal Giordano e dal Mar Rosso. Ma le esperienze stratigrafiche di tipo archeologico-filologico fanno parlare a quei nobili resti un ben diverso linguaggio: quello degli insediamenti militari più volte contesi, distrutti, restaurati, passati di mano in mano. E la fascia statica di castelli si trasforma sotto i nostri occhi nel ‘film’ d’una sequenza variabile di

luoghi che la documentazione storica aiuta a coordinare tra loro in linee e in fasce confinarie, in un contesto limitaneo cangiante, permeabile, persistente senza dubbio ma all’interno d’una mobilità continua, che lo rende tutto sommato perfino ambiguo. La vera protagonista del nostro discorso è una ‘frontiera’ cangiante, un no man’s land drammatico e reciprocamente permeabile fatto di scontri e di colpi di mano, di raids inattesi e crudeli (le algarades spagnole), di tregue e di scambi di prigionieri. Sino dai primi del XIX secolo si affacciò in alcuni studiosi la tesi che il concettoguida e il primo nucleo originario di quelle istituzioni che noi siamo abituati a definire come ‘gli Ordini religiosomilitari nascesse in qualche modo dal modello del ribat, la ridotta militare e al tempo stesso religiosa che s’insediava alla frontiera con lo ard al-Harb, la ‘terra della guerra’ (cioè quella abitata dai non-musulmani) per farne un caposaldo del jihad e nel quale per un certo tempo dimoravano dei volontari che venivano a vivervi dei periodi contemporaneamente di ritiro spirituale e di addestramento alla guerra: i murabitun, appunto. Nonostante tale tesi non sia mai stata del tutto corroborata da prove certe, e non manchino anzi le contraddizioni, essa ha nella sostanza retto soprattutto dal punto di vista storico-antropologico, vale a dire da quello della circolazione d’influenze reciproche (Demurger 2002, 300-5). Tutto il secolo XI ci fa assistere al risveglio delle genti euro-occidentali e al loro riversarsi sul Mediterraneo e sulle aree limitrofe per conquistarlo, contendendone il possesso a Bisanzio e all’Islam. Tra VII e X secolo, l’avanzata musulmana aveva determinato una quantità di nuove frontiere mobili dalla Siria alla Mesopotamia all’Eritrea al Maghreb ai Pirenei. Nella seconda metà del X secolo, le incursioni ungare, normanne e arabo-africane che avevano tormentato l’Europa e i suoi litorali mediterranei sembrarono acquietarsi, mentre dal Settentrione francese dov’erano insediati i normanni d’origine svedese e dalle città marinare italiche del Tirreno partiva un dapprima incerto, poi sempre più forte e sicuro movimento che parve – e qualcuno l’ha interpretato così – la ‘risposta’ occidentale 75

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean (diciamolo in termini cari ad Arnold Toynbee) alla ‘sfida’ asiatica. Mentre Genova e Pisa si liberavano dell’ipoetca costituita dall’emirato balearico di al-Mujahid che le minacciava all’inizio del secolo e intraprendevano una serie di campagne navali contro le basi saracene in Corsica, in Sardegna, in Sicilia, nel Nordafrica, che avrebbero condotto alle epiche tappe della conquista del porto di Palermo nel 1063, di al-Mahdiyya nel 1087 e delle stesse Baleari nel 1113-5, si andava configurando un movimento di riconquista del territorio iberico promosso dal regno asturiano, ma sostenuto da cavalieri provenienti dalle terre poste a nord dei Pirenei. Come terminus a quo del movimento di riconquista sia sul mare, sia nella penisola iberica, si potrebbe forse prendere l’episodio della cattura di Maiolo abate di Cluny, nel 972, da parte dei saraceni del covo corsaro di Fraxinetum - situato presso l’odierna Saint-Tropez -; egli, liberato solo dietro versa­mento di un gravoso riscatto, era il consigliere ascoltato dei più grandi principi della Cristianità. Fu soprattutto Guglielmo conte di Provenza che lo vendicò, infliggendo ai saraceni una crudele lezione; e furono, con lui, i signori della valle del Rodano a ripulire dai corsari la zona di Fraxinetum e a spartirsi i proventi di quell’impresa.

la morte santa ed esemplare. Solo negli ultimi istanti della sua vita, sui campi di Roncisvalle - e non diversamente in fondo da quei cavalieri che si facevano monaci in punto di morte -, Rolando abbraccia la conversio: non è la sua vita, ma la sua morte a giustifi­carlo dinanzi a Dio. Non meno del pellegrinaggio intrapreso dai pubblici peccatori, la spedizione militare intrapresa contro i musul­mani è un iter poenitentiale: ed è per questo che la morte in battaglia contro i nemici di Dio è un martirio. Non meno che sulla Spagna contesa fra Cristianità ed Islam, un nugolo di cavalieri di modesto rango e d’incerta fortuna si rovesciò sull’Italia meridionale lacerata dalle contese fra bizantini, principati longobardi, città marinare desi­derose di autonomia. Non tutti erano normanni: se gli Altavilla provenivano in effetti da un modesto lignaggio dei dintorni di Coutances, tra i cavalieri che a partire dal 1030 si riversarono nel sud della penisola in cerca di fortuna o almeno di un ingaggio come mercenari ve n’erano di provenienti dal Maine, dall’Anjou, dalla Bretagna, dalla Fiandra. Era evidente che tutte queste varie situazioni avrebbero trovato uno sbocco obiettivo nel movimento crociato. Dal discorso di Urbano II a Clermont il carattere penitenziale che si vuol attribuire da parte ecclesiastica all’impresa appare chiaro; d’altronde, il papa si riferisce con precisione anche alle necessità dei bellatores, che potranno legittimamente ricavare dalla lotta contro gli infedeli quel che erano abituati ad estorcere ai cristiani. E la crociata fu dal canto suo anche il sintomo di un diffuso malessere che si presentava sotto le spoglie stesse del brigantaggio. In qualche caso -che veniva subito divulgato a scopo paradigmaticoanche nel brigantaggio si trovavano del resto occasioni di conversio. Come quei sei cavaIieri-briganti che, appostati presso la strada maestra, rapinavano tutti i viandanti, mercanti o pellegrini che fossero; e che poi si sarebbero convertiti e presso quello che era stato il teatro delle loro gesta criminose avrebbero fondato il monastero di Affligem nel Brabante. All’appello di Urbano II l’aristocrazia europea rispose dunque, fra 1095 e 1096, in modo inatteso. Oltre e al di sopra dei dérecinés in cerca di fortuna o dei milites che i meccanismi feudosignoriali connessi col mantenimento della coesione dei lignaggi avevano spogliato d’eredità e costretti a correre le vie dell’aventure v’erano i ‘grandi’ che organizzarono la partenza, e ai quali si accodò un imprecisato, certo alto mumero di pauperes desiderosi di proseguire il pellegrinaggio per Gerusalemme. Si trattava di principi come il marchese di Provenza signore di gran parte del sud della Francia, il duca di Normandia fratello del re d’Inghilterra, il fratello del re di Francia, il duca della Bassa Lorena e il conte di Fiandra che controllavano gran parte della popolosa area del basso corso dei grandi fiumi che tra Francia e Germania si gettano nel Mare del Nord, il figlio primogenito di Roberto il Guiscardo. Vero è che si trattava d’un’alta aristocrazia in crisi: o perché avversata da parenti o da scomodi potenti vicini, o perché aveva scelto negli anni precedenti di appoggiare la ‘parte sbagliata’ (cioè quella perdente) nel conflitto tra papato e impero romano-germanico. Un’alta aristocrazia vogliosa

L’episodio di Fraxinetum segnò l’inizio di una lunga serie d’imprese della cavalleria cristiana sotto l’egida di Cluny: imprese nelle quali la volontà di riscossa contro l’infedele e il desiderio di personale riscatto spirituale (sancito dallo stesso carattere penitenzia­le dell’impegno guerriero) si fondevano col desiderio di conquistare terre e ricchezze. Un’aristocrazia posta in crisi economica dall’espan­sione agricola e commerciale di quegli anni cercava così nuovi sbocchi che le consentissero di arricchirsi e al tempo stesso di conservare e anzi di accrescere il proprio prestigio sociale. La Reconquista spagnola, appoggiata da Cluny e dai papi rifor­matori come Alessandro II - il vecchio capo della pataria milanese Anselmo da Baggio -,1 vide in prima linea, accanto ai cavalieri aragonesi e castigliani, quelli provenzali e borgognoni. In quel clima di entusiasmo religioso e guerriero la memoria tornava a Carlomagno che la leggenda voleva anche pellegrino a Costantinopoli e a Gerusalemme, ai ricordi gloriosi della battaglia di Poitiers del 732 (o 733) e della campagna spagnola del 778; e ne scaturiva così la Chanson de Roland. Essa nasceva però - qualunque sia stato sulla sua ispirazione il peso della tradizione - soprattutto dal presente, sulle vie di pellegrinaggio di Santiago (il celebre camino), e traeva vigore dalle lotte per la Reconquista. Rolando, l’eroe cristiano al quale con il tempo si sareb­be dedicato una sorta di culto agiolatrico, era di fatto il modello del miles Christi scaturito dalle ‘leghe di pace’ e dalla riforma gregoria­na: un cavaliere ancora violento e vanaglorioso, la cui vita intera, non irreprensibile, si giustifica e si redime tuttavia attraverso la causa servita e

1

È di Alessandro II la bolla Eos qui in Hispaniam del 1063, promulgata in relazione a un’impresa diretta contro la città di Barbastro in Aragona e modello delle successive Bullae cruciatae (cfr. E. Bernadet, Croisade, bulle de la, in Dictìonnaìre de droit canonique, IV, coll. 77399).

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F. Cardini: frontiere geostoriche, frontiere culturali e bisognosa di cambiar aria per qualche anno o magari per sempre, desiderosa quindi di trovar davvero - secondo l’Apocalisse – “un cielo nuovo e una terra nuova”, di ricostruirsi potere e ricchezza altrove. In tal modo l’esodo della crociata favorì, tra l’altro, il nascere dell’Europa delle grandi monarchie feudali. La folla di guerrieri armati e di pellegrini originariamente seminermi detti cruce signati dal simbolo di pellegrinaggio e di penitenza che Urbano II aveva loro assegnato a Clermont (e ch’era anche il segno visibile dell’indulgenza spirituale e delle prerogative temporali accordate loro dal papa) attraversò Anatolia e Siria in due lunghi anni di marcia, tra peripezie e sofferenze inaudite. Alla fine, si abbatté su Gerusalemme tra primavera e principio del’estate 1099 e conquistò d’assalto la città il 15 luglio di quell’anno. Dopo la vittoria occorreva però consolidarne le strutture istituzional e militari. E’ su questo sfondo che si giunge alla fondazione degli Ordini religioso-militari, nei quali non a caso molti ex-cavalieri briganti recitavano con la loro conversio la palinodia dei crimini consumati nella precedente vita, cioè quelli di spogliare i viandanti: infatti, scopo principale dei Cavalieri di San Giovanni era accogliere i pellegrini, e dei Templari scortarli e proteggerli durante la visita in Terrasanta. D’altro canto, a parte il radicalismo della soluzione religioso-militare, la cavalleria restava prospettiva etica da viversi nel secolo: ma secondo parametri che la subordinavano ai programmi ecclesiastici di pace e di mantenimento dell’ordine.

il problema che alcuni grandi principi (Goffredo duca della Bassa Lorena, Raimondo marchese di Provenza, Boemondo d’Altavilla) e un numero forse notevole di cavalieri e di gente di minor conto si erano bruciati, per così dire, i ponti dietro le spalle: e l’Oltremare doveva ormai essere la loro nuova patria, la terra della loro nuova vita e la base per nuove conquiste o comunque per una vita nuova. In questo variegato insieme di personaggi e di condizioni, un gruppo di particolare interesse doveva essere costituito da gente d’arme di varia posizione, ma accomunata da un forte disagio socioeconomico oppure (e magari, al tempo stesso) da una vocazione al servizio dei pellegrini che si era rivelata in viaggio. Le fonti chiamano questi guerrieri dotati di pochi mezzi - o che, affascinati dall’ideale della conversio al servizio alla Chiesa e ai deboli, si erano disfatti volontariamente dei loro beni - con l’espressione paradossale, quasi ossimorica, di pauperes milites. Ora che la Terrasanta era conquistata, bisognava difenderla: i pellegrini erano minacciati dalla guerriglia musulmana che arrivava alle porte di Gerusalemme, il nuovo regno fondato unilateralmente per volontà di alcuni capi crociati nel 1100, dopo un anno d’incerto governo di Goffredo di Lorena come Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri, ‘procuratore laico’ della Chiesa latina della Città Santa - era insicuro, molti arrivati di fresco dall’Europa si ammalavano e bisognava ospitarli e curarli. Nacquero così sodalizi, fraternitates, di cavalieri che si votavano per un certo periodo o per sempre a una vita comune - sul modello dei canonici regolari o addirittura dei monaci - e all’assistenza dei poveri, dei pellegrini, degli ammalati. La Chiesa guardò a questo fenomeno, in un primo tempo, con una certa inquietudine e non poche riserve: ma di lì a poco si lasciò persuadere a legittimare e ad accogliere come vere e proprie Religiones dotate di relativa Regula questi sodalizi: nacquero così Ordini religiosi nuovi, nei quali il gruppo qualificante era costituito da laici che per il fatto di avere abbracciato una regola non deponevano le armi, ma facevano del loro esercizio in difesa dei cristiani parte integrante della loro esperienza di conversio. Nel centro della Gerusalemme dell’XI secolo, immediatamente a sud della chiesa del santo Sepolcro, un gruppo di questi ‘convertiti’ prese dimora stabile attorno alla chiesa di San Giovanni, adiacente alla chiesa ‘di Santa Maria Latina’. Apparteneva alle strutture protette dai primi del IX secolo da Carlomagno, grazie ai suoi rapporti con il califfo di Baghdad Harun ar-Rashid? Può darsi: ma, al solito, nulla di certo. La croce a coda di rondine che campeggia sia sulle insegne araldiche di Bari sia su quelle dell’Ordine non è casuale, ma non prova nulla: si tratta anche in quale caso di tradizioni radicate più tardi. Dall’ospizio nel quale si erano insediati, a quel che pare originariamente fondato dai mercanti amalfitani, essi assunsero il nome: lo conosciamo infatti come Ordine ospitaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme, divenuto poi ‘di Rodi’ e infine ‘di Malta’. Suo còmpito era ospitare i pellegrini, guidarne e proteggerne il circuito attraverso i Luoghi santi di Palestina, curare quelli di loro che si ammalavano. Le notizie sicure datano dai primi del XII secolo. Fosse

Insistiamo su questo punto. Uno dei primi e dei più gravi problemi che i ‘crociati’ si trovarono a dover affrontare, fu quello del consolidamento delle loro posizioni e della difesa delle loro conquiste. A uno stabile insediamento dei pellegrini-guerrieri in Terrasanta, i componenti della bizzarra spedizione che siamo ormai abituati a chiamere ‘prima crociata’ non avevano in realtà pensato: e non si capisce nemmeno bene quando cominciarono a pensarci. All’indomani della presa della Città Santa, quindi, molti dei pellegrini (armati o no che fossero) ritennero sciolto il loro voto e, dopo aver pregato sulla pietra del Santo Sepolcro, si accinsero a tornare a casa. Ma c’era chi voleva restare e chi riteneva di non poter fare ormai altrimenti. Il circostante mondo islamico, riavutosi dalla sorpresa, si andava riorganizzando: e le notizie relative alla sanguinosa ferocia che aveva accompagnato la conquista di quella che per i musulmani era (ed è) al-Quds, ‘la Santa’, facevano prevedere una controffensiva molto dura. D’altro canto, i principi che avevano guidato la spedizione europea non avevano alcuna intenzione di cedere le loro conquiste all’imperatore bizantino, il solo che dal punto di vista cristiano avrebbe avuto legittimità di governarle; avevano provato a offirne la sovranità eminente al papa, magari per farsele poi ritrasferire a titolo vassallatico (così era accaduto ad esempio nell’Italia meridionale coi normanni). Ma il pontefice non aveva alcuna intenzione di usurpare un palese diritto del sovrano di Costantinopoli, cosa che avrebbe aggravato e reso irreversibile lo scisma allora in corso (e mai, fino ad oggi, sanato). Infine, c’era 77

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean basi del loro futuro strapotere politico ed economico nel regno. Peraltro, essi rispondevano a precise necessità: non solo perché il secondo decennio del secolo era stato particolarmente duro per i principati franchi, ma perché la loro situazione militare era angustiata dalla mancanza di combattenti e dall’insicurezza delle comunicazioni tra città e città. I pellegrini, che arrivavano soprattutto verso la Pasqua, fornivano un esercito stagionale; ma alla fine dell’estate il regno restava nuovamente sguarnito. C’era bisogno di un esercito stabile, che a sua volta trasformasse la lotta agli infedeli in un impegno fisso. Potremmo dire che la ‘crociata permanente’ sia stata lo scopo della fondazione degli Ordini religioso-militari e la ragione del loro successo. Ma, appunto, queste cose potremmo dirle solo con una buona dose di volontà semplificatoria, e non senza prendere atto e tener conto della precisazioni degli specialisti al riguardo. Intanto, il nuovo regno di Gerusalemme si qualificava, paradossalmente, come la prima monarchia feudale ‘laica’ della Cristianità, la prima forzosamente superiorem non recognoscens, poiché per varie ragioni non aveva voluto o potuto diventare vassalla di nessuno. A loro volta, i capi crociati divennero principi di differenti signorie, da antiochia a Tripoli a Giaffa alla Galilea, all’Oltregiordano, fino a Gaza e ad Ascalona. Nelle mani dei crociati non c’era in realtà alcun territorio dotato di una sua organica continuità, bensì una ragnatela di città e di castelli collegati da piste carovaniere. La frontiera, quella limitanea esterna e quella interna, è una delle grandi protagoniste di tutta la bicentenalria storia del regno crociato di gerusalemme. Ma, in crisi di sviluppo, tutta la società occidentale tendeva a proiettarsi aldilà dei suoi confini. La crociata ne è una prova; intanto, per tutta la prima metà del nuovo secolo la lotta contro i Mori procedeva in Spagna specie per merito di Alfonso VII di Castiglia che nel 1147 portò fin sotto le mura di Cordoba la serrata offensiva che aveva iniziato quindici anni prima. Ciò mentre, nel 1137, il matrimonio di Petronilla d’Aragona con Raimondo Berengario IV di Catalogna permetteva la fusione dei due principati in un solo stato, forte soprattutto per la sua marina. La tempesta almohade si andava dal Marocco addensando nel cielo di Spagna, ma non era ancora scoppiata. E siccome lo stesso Ruggero II, re di Sicilia dal 1130, conduceva una politica espansionistica nel Nordafrica a danno dei re-corsari della zona attorno al golfo di Gabes e nel 1146 occupava Tripoli, un osservatore sprovveduto - e quasi tutti gli Europei lo erano per quanto riguardava le vicende che eccedevano dai confini del loro continente - avrebbe potuto ricevere l’illusione ottica d’un attacco serrato di tutta la Cristianità a tutto l’Islam, d’un grande fronte unico dalla Castiglia alla Siria. Naturalmente, così non era: né l’Islam era un blocco monolitico, né gli attacchi cristiani erano collegati l’uno con l’altro. Ma l’illusione era forte, e le illusioni sono spesso promotrici feconde di valori storici. Ciò che accadeva a sud contro i saraceni, sembrava accadere a nord contro i pagani. Naturalmente, anche in quel caso la realtà era molto più complessa delle apparenze. Nobili e contadini in cerca di terre da dissodare avevano portato ad est dell’Elba, verso i primi del secolo, il Drang

o no amalfitano il primo ‘Maestro’, Gerardo, alla storia documentata appartengono tanto l’approvazione da parte di Pasquale II, nel 1113, di un Ordine religioso disciplinato dalla regola agostiiniana e dedito alla cura dei pellegrini e degli ammalati, sia l’immissione in esso per ragioni d’ordine contingente, nel 1121, di alcuni armati, da parte del Maestro Raymond du Puy. In un primo tempo, quindi, si ebbe il volontario riunirsi in fraternitas, attorno a un edificio sacro e a un annesso ospizio, di alcuni laici che fecero voto di assistere pellegrini e ammalati; le condizioni d’insicurezza della Terrasanta, all’indomani della prima crociata, consigliarono d’immettervi anche dei ‘cavalieri’ che fungessero da scorta e protezione; la contemporanea fondazione d’un Ordine a prevalente carattere guerriero, quello del Tempio, indusse anche gli Ospitalieri - che avevano assunto il nome di ‘san Giovanni di Gerusalemme’ - a sviluppare a loro volta sempre di più un carattere militare che li condusse a gestire fortezze a controllare strade e confini, in collaborazione e in concorrenza con i Templari. Anche le notizie sull’origine di questi ultimi non sono certe. Nel 1118 un oscuro cavaliere originario della Champagne, Ugo di Payens, riuscì a farsi cedere da re Baldovino I un’ala dell’ex-moschea di al-Aqsa (situata, come quella della Roccia, sulla spianata del Tempio di Salomone) per alloggiarvi i membri di un‘altra di queste fraternitates, che si era autoaggiudicata il còmpito di mantenere, pattugliandola, sgombra dai briganti la strada che dalla costa conduceva a Gerusalemme. Questo fu il primo nucleo del futuro Ordine religioso che - dalla sua residenza - sarebbe stato detto ‘templare’: e molto probabilmente questo fu l’esempio che indusse gli Ospedalieri di san Giovanni a modificare la loro primitiva struttura assumendo esplicitamente anche l’uso delle armi che forse avevano messo in un primo tempo da parte, com’era ovvio e consueto quando attraverso la conversio si mutava vita. Ma, in quel caso, la necessitas del momento prescriveva che si agisse altrimenti. Non deve stupire che re Baldovino cedesse con tanta facilità la bella moschea meridionale della Spianata del Tempio - che era stata adattata alla meglio a residenza regia - a questi nuovi venuti, presumibilmente abbastanza scarsi di numero e non troppo ben in arnese. Il fatto è che aveva bisogno di armati validi; e poi, si era ormai procurato una nuova reggia più consona alla sua dignità di sovrano e alle necessità militari nella fortezza di Erode, vale a dire nella ‘Torre di David’ all’estremo occidente della città. Né stupirà il nome di ‘templari’ attribuito al nuovo sodalizio, ove si consideri che esso veniva così ad occupare un edificio comunemente noto ai latini come il ‘Tempio di Salomone’ (la vicina Cupola della Roccia veniva chiamata, con curioso sdoppiamento, ‘il Tempio del Signore’): era abituale che Ordini e congregazioni assumessero il nome della località nella quale erano stati primitivamente fondati: si pensi ai cassinesi, ai cluniacensi, ai vallombrosani, ai camaldolesi, ai certosini, ai cistercensi e via dicendo. Gli Ordini religioso-militari (chiamiamoli, non senza qualche approssimazione, così) furono largamente apprezzati e favoriti da Baldovino I e poi da Baldovino II, che fecero loro conferire terre e decime in denaro gettando così le 78

F. Cardini: frontiere geostoriche, frontiere culturali nach Osten germanico. Si facevano grandi reclutamenti di contadini e si bonificava, si disboscava, si arava mentre si convertivano i popoli pagani stanziati tra l’Elba e l’Oder. I nuovi Ordini religiosi, i Premonstratensi e soprattutto i Cistercensi che avevano riportato in auge il primitivo dettame benedettino del lavoro manuale, erano il lievito di quest’offensiva che conquistava nuove terre coltivabili alla Cristianità e nuove anime al Cristo. Le grandi fattorie cistercensi costituitesi in quelle zone erano esemplari, perché vi si praticavano l’agricoltura e l’allevamento mirando non ai limiti curtensi del fabbisogno interno ma alle esigenze dei mercati. Il debole imperatore Lotario di Supplimburgo ebbe, se non altro, il merito di comprendere il valore di questa campagna colonizzatrice. Come in Spagna e come nel nordest europeo, il controllo del territorio e dei suoi confini si organizzò attraverso un sistema d’incastellamento al quale collaborarono signori laici e Ordini religioso-militari. Quello che più da vicino qui ci riguarda, l’incastellamento dell’Oltregiordano, iniziò con la fondazione di Shawbak (Montréal) nel 1115, su un luogo già precedentemente insediato e fortificato, all’incrocio delle carovaniere dirette verso l’Arabia e quindi usate dai pellgrini nel loro haj, l’Egitto e la Siria. A nord di Shawbak, sorgevano Kerak e Tafila; a sud i due enigmatici castelli di Wu’haira e di al-Habis, nell’area della città caropvaniera nabatea di Petra; e la linea difensiva, ch’era anche una linea di vedetta e di sorveglianzxa, continuava verso sud, fino al porto di Aila-Aqaba, fino al castello dell’Isola dei Faraoni su un’isoletta addossata alla costa nordorientale del Sinai. Gli avamposti crociati bagnavano

le loro fondamenta nel Mar Rosso: una considerazione che ci fanno apparire certo non meno feroci, però molto meno leggendari o utopistici i sogni di Rinaldo di Châtillon, che tentò di terrorizzare e di razziare con la sua flotta gli opulenti centri musulmani di quel mare e giunse nel suo ardire al disegno di saccheggiare la Mecca. Un’audacia ai confini con la follia, che la lama del Saladino avrebbe punito all’indomani della tragedia di Hattin. BIBLIOGRAFIA Barbero, A. 2009. Benedette guerre. Crociate e jihad. Roma-Bari, Laterza. Demurger, A. 2002. Chevaliers du Christ. Les Ordres religieux-militaires au Moyen Âge, XI.e-XVI.e siècle. Paris, Seuil. Ligato, G. 2005. La croce in catene. prigionieri e ostaggi cristiani nelle guerre di Saladino (1169-1193). Spoleto, Fondazione Centro Italiano di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo. Marino, L. 1997. La fabbrica dei castelli crociati in Terra Santa. Firenze, Cantini. Menocal, M. R. 2002. Principi, poeti e visir. Un esempio di convivenza pacifica tra musulmani, ebrei e cristiani. Milano, Il Saggiatore. Ruiz-Domènec, J.E. 2007. Mi Cid. Noticia de Rodrigo Díaz. Barcelona, Península. Vanoli, A. 2003. Alle origini della Reconquista. Torino, Aragno. Vanoli, A. 2006. La Spagna delle tre culture. Ebrei, cristianie musulmani tra storia e mito. Roma, Viella.

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La valle di Petra vista dal castello crociato di Al Habis

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

UN’ANTICA ‘TERRA DI FRONTIERA’ AN ANCIENT ‘FRONTIER LAND’

THE CRUSADERS IN PETRA – THE EXAMPLE OF THE WADI FARASA EAST Stephan Schmid Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Abstract (2008) The Wadi Farasa within the city of Petra The modern visitor to Petra passes through the Wadi Farasa East either on his way to the so-called High Place on Jabal Madbah, one of the most remarkable elevations within the site, or coming from there (figure 1). When visiting the Wadi Farasa East nowadays, almost nothing indicates a presence of the Crusaders, most of the visible ruins and ancient remains going back to an intense use of the area during the Nabataean period, mostly in the 1st century AD. Consequently, it were structures of the Nabataean period that attracted the first western visitors of the 19th century and also the first archaeological scholars in the early 20th century to the Wadi Farasa East . The Wadi Farasa is located at the south-eastern periphery of the ancient city centre and it is subdivided in a western and a eastern valley, both ending in steep rocks after a few hundred meters. During the Nabataean period, most of these side valleys were densely covered by water installations, such as retaining walls, basins, channels etc. in relation with the water management of the entire city, and some of the valleys were home to more eye-catching monuments related to funerary, religious and profane uses.

THE WADI FARASA WITHIN THE CITY OF PETRA

nagement of the entire city, and some of the valleys were home to more eye-catching monuments related to funerary, religious and profane uses.

The modern visitor to Petra passes through the Wadi Farasa East either on his way to the so-called High Place on Jabal Madbah, one of the most remarkable elevations within the site, or coming from there (fig. 1). When visiting the Wadi Farasa East nowadays, almost nothing indicates a presence of the Crusaders, most of the visible ruins and ancient remains going back to an intense use of the area during the Nabataean period, mostly in the 1st c. AD. Consequently, it were structures of the Nabataean period that attracted the first western visitors of the 19th century and also the first archaeological scholars in the early 20th century to the Wadi Farasa East1. The Wadi Farasa is located at the south-eastern periphery of the ancient city centre and it is subdivided in a western and a eastern valley, both ending in steep rocks after a few hundred meters. During the Nabataean period, most of these side valleys were densely covered by water installations, such as retaining walls, basins, channels etc. in relation with the water ma-

THE COMPLEX OF THE SOLDIER TOMB DURING THE NABATAEAN PERIOD The Wadi Farasa East can be understood as a pars pro toto for the masterly use of the Nabataean efficiency creating multifunctional structures in relation with the installation and functioning of the city of Petra. This is why in the Wadi Farasa East different elements of Nabataean buildings and structures had different purposes. Besides the already mentioned function as access to the High Place on Jabal Madbah and the water installations2, the Wadi Farasa East features structures related to housing, cultic and funerary practices. Consequently, it is a funerary monument that constitutes the most impressive (visible) structure of the Nabataean period in the area, the complex of the Soldier Tomb. In 1916 a first serious attempt to understand

1

For a compilation of early visitors and scholars in Petra see Brünnow – Domaszewski 1904: 481-510 and especially for the Wadi Farasa ibid. 271-282.

2

On water installations in the Wadi Farasa East see Bellwald 2008; Schmid 2008A; 2008B.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean this multifunctional complex was made by the “DeutschTürkische Denkmalschutzkommando”3 and since 1999 the “International Wadi Farasa Project” (IWFP) is focussing on the excavation and documentation of the complex4. The structures related to the complex are built on two natural terraces of the Wadi Farasa East and, since they form the background for the Crusader presence, we shall briefly present them. On the lower terrace, closer to the city centre, the natural valley that hosted some water installations since the 1st c. BC, was considerably enlarged during the second half of the 1st c. AD in order to offer space for the planned structures (figs. 2. 3). The blocks of sandstone that were quarried away were probably used for the construction of the free built structures. Some particularly important structures, however, were constructed using high quality limestone that can be found in quarries further away. This is the case, for example, of the massive wall that is a kind of barrage for the whole valley (fig. 4). However, during the Nabataean period, this wall was not constructed in a straight line across the valley, but in a kind of zigzag in order to raise its stability (fig. 5). This construction technique helped to minimize the pressure on the wall at the point where it had the strongest impact, which is in the middle of the valley. Behind the wall, the natural valley was filled up with boulders of stone in order to create a huge rectangle, measuring approximately 22m x 30m (figs. 2. 3). This surface forms the nucleus of the Soldier Tomb complex, a peristyle courtyard, surrounded on three sides by columns. Other structures were opening towards the courtyard, as is the case with the rock-cut tomb with its richly decorated façade. In the attica-zone of the façade three statues in high relief are inserted in niches, maybe representing the owner of the complex with his two sons (fig. 6). The person in the centre wears a military cuirass and this is the element responsible for naming the structures as complex of the Soldier Tomb. On the opposite side of the courtyard another rock-cut structure is located, richly decorated with architectural elements and clearly identifiable as triclinium (banqueting hall), according to the elevated zones on threes sides of the walls where the banqueters were reclining (fig. 7)5. Rather disappointing for the modern visitors, but corresponding to a widespread graeco-roman tradition is the fact, that most of these rock-cut rooms were originally covered with stucco and eventually painted, as can be seen in the triclinium on a few tiny fragments still preserved. The peristyle courtyard between the two major rock-cut structures was surrounded by columns on three sides; only in front of the façade of the tomb were no columns. Access to the whole complex was granted by a huge building that

was constructed in between the two sides of the valley. As is indicated by the partially rock-cut and partially built staircase-tower as well as by rock-cuttings for fixing the upper roof, this building had two storeys. In short, the complex of the Soldier Tomb on the lower terrace of Wadi Farasa East is clearly modelled on Hellenistic and Roman luxury architecture in its plan and outlet, such as villae and palaces (fig. 8)6. Small fragments of stucco and wall paintings, opus sectile floors, heating systems for floor and walls, point to a very rich decoration and luxurious features such as heated rooms, indicating a more than just temporary and irregular use of the complex. On the upper terrace the Nabataean builders showed again their skilful talents in combining free built structures with rock-cut architecture. The optically dominant structure in this area, that is often compared to a garden since it is well supplied with water and therefore quite green compared to the rest of the city, is the huge retaining wall of a water basin that was collecting rain water from the rocks above (fig. 9 right)7. Part of these were already canalised by smaller basins, barrages and the like, and were finally collected in the big, non covered basin of the upper terrace. Cleaned and de-pressurized by a series of smaller and covered basins, the water was led to a rock-cut cistern measuring 4m x 4m in front of a kind of façade (fig. 9 left). This cistern was, in contrast to the huge basin, completely covered by three arches, so that remaining bacteria in the water were killed by absence of light and the water, therefore, obtained drinking quality. Just adjacent to the cistern and related to it by two connections on the upper and lower part, is a second basin, of equal depth but smaller surface, and it was from this structure that the water was scooped out for daily use. Contrary to its modern visual aspect, in Antiquity these structures were part of more complex installations. The discovery of column bases fallen into the cistern and regular horizontal cuttings around the two sides of the rock at a place that corresponds to the level of a second floor, clearly indicate that the space of the cistern originally was conceived as a small courtyard surrounded by columns that supported the roof (fig. 10). Therefore, the structure not only is constructed according the same principles as the complex of the Soldier Tomb on the lower terrace, it also becomes a close parallel to Hellenistic and early Roman peristyle houses, as they are on display, for example, on the island of Delos in Greece. Further, the “Garden House”, as we may call this structure, is oriented towards South, with the most prominent rooms, the ones carved into the rock, in the North. This means on the one hand, that the heat of the summer months does not directly penetrate into these rooms and on the other hand, that during the winter months the sun is directly shining into these rooms. This perfectly corresponds to the definition of the Greek Hellenistic house as given by the Roman author Vitruvius

3

See Bachmann – Watzinger – Wiegand 1921 for the scientific aspects; for the background of the “Denkmalschutzkommando” see Watzinger 1944: 279-312 especially 294-297; Wiegand 1985: 210-224; Trümpler 2008. 4 For this project and its results see www.auac.ch/iwfp and Schmid 2000B; 2001A; 2001B; 2002; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007; 2008A Schmid – Studer 2003; Schmid – Barmasse 2004; 2006. 5 On the so-called Soldier tomb see Brünnow – Domaszewski 1904: 273 no. 239; McKenzie 1990: 147-148; fort he opposite banquetting hall see Brünnow – Domaszewski 1904: 272-273 no. 235; McKenzie 1990: 148149; cf. also Wenning 1987: 249-252.

6

Some comparisons can be found in Schmid 2007; 2006A. For the monuments from the upper terrace see Bachmann – Watzinger – Wiegand 1921: 85-88; Brünnow – Domaszewski 1904: 275 no. 244; McKenzie 1990: 171; Wenning 1987: 252; Bellwald 2008: 56-58. 93-94; Schmid 2008A. 7

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S: Schmid: The Crusaders In Petra - The Example Of The Wadi Farasa East (1st c. BC) in his treaty on architecture. The “Garden House” not only had a small peristyle courtyard but undeniably also an upper floor as is indicated by steps and a door, both cut into the rock, leading to nowhere in the actual state, but being perfect matches for access to the upper floor of the courtyard. This upper floor was densely connected to the abovementioned retaining basins and it cannot be excluded that the people living here were in charge of the maintenance of the water management of the area.

A similar situation was observed on the upper terrace of the Wadi Farasa East. The free built structures of the “Garden House” collapsed during the earthquake of AD 363 and were not rebuilt in their initial form. The stone blocks were used to fill in the space between the columns of the rock-cut rooms as can still be seen on sketches and early photographs of the area (fig. 13)9. Access to the rock-cut rooms was now given by a lengthy corridor with a door and a separate room built in front of it, maybe a kind of a guard’s local (fig. 14). The walls constructed for these purposes partially stand in the middle of the former cistern that was filled up and, therefore, not anymore in use. The defensive character of these building activities is obvious and the overall aspect of the upper terrace may have looked close to the drawing on figure 15. Related to these late structures important quantities of Medieval pottery were found. The simple handmade pots are characterised by extremely coarse clay with big inclusions and a bad firing (fig. 16). Further, there is a category of painted pottery made of the same low quality clay (fig. 17). Usually, this pottery is called ayyoubid-mameluk and dated to the 12th to 13th centuries AD10. So far, all of the motives of the handmade painted pottery seem to fit the known repertoire previously attested for Jordan11. Since some fragments of these pottery types were found as filling material within the walls described above, this indicates a corresponding chronology as for the re-occupation of the Wadi Farasa East. This chronology is supported by finds of coins with Arabic legends (fig. 18). Therefore, we know that our structures belong to the period of the crusades, but we still ignore who built and used them. Basically, three possibilities occur for identifying the dweller: Substrates of a permanently present local population (though some may think these people would have moved to more comfortable places in and around Wadi Mousa), Crusaders properly, whose fortifications inside (el-Habis) and outside (el-Wu’eyra) the ancient city of Petra are quite well known, Or the Arabian counterparts of the Crusaders that must have had their positions within the ruins of Petra as well. The enormous efforts for defensive architecture in relation to the overall building activities indicate that we can probably restrict our quest to the last two possibilities. Further, the historical context would rather point in favour of a small Crusader installation. A Medieval occupation of that part of Petra was supposed since Brünnow and von Domaszewski found what they believed to be a Crusader

THE CRUSADERS IN THE WADI FARASA The Nabataean structures of the Wadi Farasa East described above were built in the second half (third quarter) of the 1st c. AD. After smaller modifications during the early 2nd c. AD, they were mostly destroyed by the violent earthquake of AD 363. Contrary to other parts of the ancient city, there was almost no Byzantine occupation observed in the Wadi Farasa. Human presence in the area must have been, therefore, rather scanty. This situation changes remarkably during the Medieval period8. Although during several hundred years sand alluvia had already covered a part of the Nabataean structures, the conditions for a re-occupation apparently were considered sufficiently favourable, mainly due to strategic reflexions as we shall see. A main effort of the new dwellers was focussing on the huge retaining wall of the lower terrace that was restored and underwent a substantial change. As exposed above, the Nabataean wall was constructed in a zigzag-line in order to better handle the static pressure. Now, the wall was extended in a direct line across the valley (fig. 5). The extension was carried out with the local sandstone that erodes faster than the limestone used for the original parts. Also, the connection between the two parts of the wall were carried out in a hastily way without real interconnection between the older and the newer part. This led two considerable problems caused by the pressure that hit exactly this weak point and made several reparations and corrections necessary (figs. 4. 5). All of the Medieval building activities show a strong defensive character. The former staircase was reused as a tower and it seems as if access to the complex was possible only through a drawbridge. The rooms of the former entrance complex behind the huge retaining wall that collapsed during the earthquake of AD 363, were apparently not anymore covered, or only using light constructions (wooden roofs). Therefore, the complex of the lower terrace may have looked similar as proposed on figure 11. Consequently reused were the rock-cut rooms, the former tomb in the first place. But here too, it seems as if the Medieval dwellers were driven by fear for their security. This explains why they used the rock-cut platform in front of the tomb as a bastion that was strengthened using column drums and other architectural elements of the Nabataean buildings. The originally already small entrance to the tomb was further narrowed using similar ad hoc means (fig. 12).

9

This is confirmed by a 19th century sketch of Linant de Bellefonds that shows the „Garden Triclinium“ still with some remains of walls between the columns: Laborde – Bellefonds 1828/1994: pl. 30. And even on photographs published by Brünnow and von Domaszewski as well as by Dalman, remains of these walls still are clearly visible: Brünnow – Domaszewski 1904: 276 fig. 308; Dalman 1908: 195 fig. 116. 10 For similar pottery see Walmsley and Grey 2001: 153-159; Tonghini – Vanni Desideri 2001; Pringle 1984; 1985; Johns 1998; on local aspects of Late Islamic pottery in central and southern Jordan see Brown 1987; 1988, 1991: 232-241; in general terms on that period in Jordan see Walmsley 2008; 2001. 11 Homès-Fredericq – Franken 1986: 242f.; a selection of the Medieval pottery from Wadi Farasa East was the subject of a MA-thesis at the Università di Firenze: Neri 2008.

8

Beside the preliminary reports referred to above note 4 see Schmid 2006B.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean tomb stone inside the „Garden Triclinium“12. This hypothesis can be strengthened by a series of gravestones made out of former ashlars and showing crosses and symbols such as trees of life (figs. 19-21)13. The question remains, however, whether we can connect them to a Crusader occupation or to a substrate of a local Christian community. The type of cross represented on the tomb stone on figure 19 does also occur on crusader coins (Boas 1999: 183f.)14, but for the rest, unfortunately, the funerary iconography of the crusaders has been analysed only very summarily so far15. These stones must belong to a small graveyard that could not be localised so far, since they were found dumped in between the ruins of the upper terrace. It is, therefore, the combination between the Christian iconography and the strong defensive aspect of the excavated constructions that would point in favour of Crusaders as dwellers in the Medieval Wadi Farasa East. The hypothesis of a military aspect of the Medieval occupation of the area could be supported by a rather important number of round stones in different sizes that could be interpreted as being ballistae, i.e. ammunition for slingshots and small catapults (fig. 22)16. Since we know now who the Medieval dwellers in the Wadi Farasa East were, we may add a few further thoughts as to the functioning of the structures but also as for the Crusader network in and around Petra17. The topographical situation briefly described above makes clear that it was impossible to defend the Wadi Farasa East towards the south-eastern directions. In other words, these structures were useful only against an enemy approaching from below, i.e. the ancient city centre. This in turn means that whoever was installed on the lower and upper terrace of the former complex of the Soldier Tomb, must also have been in control of the High Place on Jabal Madbah and the path leading there. Therefore, we definitely have to reckon another Crusader fortress on top of Jabal Madbah18. This fortress probably was installed reusing ruins of the Nabataean period as was the case with other such structures (fig. 23)19. It seems as if the Crusaders tried to control in a

systematic way the highest elevations of the area and the paths leading to them. The rather careless and low quality architecture – with exception of the huge wall locking up the valley on the lower terrace – that has nothing in common with the representative Crusader fortresses of alKarak and ash-Shobak20, shows how difficult and instable the situation in the Petra area must have been. As was pointed out on several occasions, the Crusaders did not intend to totally control a huge territory but rather specific strategically important spots. Against this background some aspects of the daily life within the structures of the Wadi Farasa may seem rather surprising. According to the primarily military aspects of these installations one could suppose that the single Crusaders’ strongholds did function in an autonomous way of life. This may indeed have been the case in extreme situations such as sieges; for standard situations, however, the picture is a different one. As exposed above, the big cistern on the upper terrace was completely filled in and constructed over while the smaller overflow basin had a secondary function as rubbish pit. The whole fill measuring 2.40m in height contained Medieval pottery such as shown on figure 24. This pottery surely was bought or exchanged by the local population in Wadi Mousa or elsewhere, suggesting regular contacts21. Even more surprising was the analysis of bones and other eating remains from the same pit22. On the one hand, bones of small cattle or poultry were extremely rare, although these could have been elevated and hold on site. On the other hand, there were important quantities of specific fish remains, belonging to parrot fish certainly imported from the Red Sea (fig. 25). In other words, the Crusaders must have access to products being brought from Aqaba, either by directly controlling the caravan routes themselves, or by buying the fish (and other goods) from the local population23. In any case, one is surprised by the large dependence from exterior products in a large sense of the word, especially in the rather probable strategic context of long term sieges resulting in shortness of supply. For how long the small Crusader community within Wadi Farasa East existed is not yet known. In any case, the abovementioned gravestones show that the occupation lasted for a certain time, long enough to make seem reasonable the construction of a small graveyard. With the background of living conditions as described above, it would be especially interesting to be able to identify the graveyard, in order to examine the human remains as for specific diseases and deficiency symptoms, provoked by unbalanced diet.

12

Brünnow – Domaskewski 1904: 275 fig. 307; Dalman 1908: 196 fig. 117; Brünnow 1909: 249f.; Lindner 1997: 104 with n. 10. 13 On these elements within early Christian iconography see Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie 1, 2. Paris: Letouzey et Ané 1907: 2691-2709 s.v. arbres (H. Leclerq) and Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie 3, 2. Paris: Letouzey et Ané 1914: 3045-3131 s.v. croix et crucifix (H. Leclerq) especially 3054 no. 3362 for a stylised tree as symbol on a tomb stone 14 Boas 1999: 183f. 15 In general cf. f. ex. Boas 1999: 226-236. 16 Similar ballistae were found on different sites in Petra, f. ex. within the propylaeum-area of the South-Temple: Joukowsky 2005: 154; Bellwald 2008: 74f. 17 On Petra in the Crusader period see for example different contributions in Ritterhausgesellschaft 2006; Vannini – Tonghini 1997; Vannini – Vanni Desideri 1995. 18 As proposed by Vannini – Vanni Desideri 1995: 512. 19 U. Bellwald argued against such a hypothesis pointing out that there are no traces of walls using mortar – as would the Crusaders do – visible on Jabal Madbah (Bellwald 2006: 72f. 78f.). Although this may be true for substantial constructions such as the fortresses of al-Wu`eyra and Shobak, smaller installations may well be exempted from that rule. For instance, so far no wall of the Crusader period in the Wadi Farasa shows traces of mortar; all were constructed in dry technique (cf. above). Therefore, we shall be cautious about whatsoever interpretation of the

ruins on top of Jabal Madbah before excavations are carried out. 20 On al-Karak see Milwright 2008; for ash-Shobak see Vannini 2007 and in a wider context Mayer 1990. 21 ‘Amr 2006. 22 Studer 2008; Schmid – Studer 2007. 23 This second possibility can be strengthened by comparable finds from Khirbet Nawafle: ‘Amr 2006: 21-26.

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S: Schmid: The Crusaders In Petra - The Example Of The Wadi Farasa East a Petra. Un contributo archeologico sui problemi della ceramica crociata. MA- Unpublished thesis, Università di Firenze. Pringle, D. 1985. Medieval Pottery from Caesarea. The Crusader Period. Levant 17, 171-202. Pringle, D. 1984. Thirteenth-Century Pottery from the Monastery of St. Mary of Carmel. Levant 16, 91-111. Ritterhausgesellschaft Bubikon. Pringle, D. 2006. Die Kreuzzüge. Petra – Eine Spurensuche. Bubikon. Schmid, S. G. 2000B The International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP). Exploration Season 1999. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 44, 335-354. Schmid, S. G. 2001B. The International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP). Between Microcosm and Macroplanning - A First Synthesis. Palestine Exploration Quarterly 133. 159-197. Schmid, S. G. 2001A. The International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP). 2000 Season. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 45, 343-357. Schmid, S. G. 2002. The International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP). 2001 Season. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 46, 257-277. Schmid, S. G. 2004. The International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP). Progress on the Work in the Wadi Farasa East, Petra. Palestine Exploration Quarterly 136, 163-186. Schmid, S. G. 2005 The International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP). Preliminary Report on the 2004 Season, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 49, 71-79. Schmid, S. G. 2006A. Hellenistische und römische Luxusarchitektur im Spiegel nabatäischer Grabkomplexe. Numismatica e antichità classiche. Quaderni ticinesi 35,:253-281. Schmid, S. G. 2006B. Kreuzritteralltag in Petra – Das Beispiel des Wadi Farasa. Ritterhausgesellschaft 2006, 45–59. Schmid, S. G. 2007. Nabataean Funerary Complexes. Their Relationship with the Luxury Architecture of the Hellenistic and Roman Mediterranean. In F. al-Khraysheh (ed.), Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan 9, 205-219. Amman. Schmid, S. G. 2008A. Die Wasserversorgung des Wadi Farasa Ost in Petra. In Ch. Ohlig (ed.), Cura Aquarum in Jordanien, 95-117. Siegburg. Schmid, S. G. 2008B. L’eau à Pétra: l’exemple du Wadi Farasa Est. Syria 85. 19-32. Schmid, S. G. and Barmasse, A. 2004. The International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP).Preliminary Report on the 2003 Season. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 48, 333-346. Schmid, S. G. and Barmasse, A. 2006. The International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP). Preliminary Report on the 2005 Season. Annual of the De partment of Antiquities of Jordan 50, 217-227. Schmid, S. G. and Studer, J. 2007. Products from the Red Sea at Petra in the Medieval Period, in J. Starkey, P Starkey and T. Wilkinson (eds.), Natural Resources and Cultural Connections of the Red Sea, BAR Int. Ser. 1661, 45-56. Oxford.

BIBLIOGRAPHY ‘Amr, K. 2006. Die Kreuzritter und die Oliven von les Vaux Moïses. Ritterhausgesellschaft Bubikon 2006: 6-26. Bachmann, W., Watzinger, C. and Wiegand, Th. 1921. Petra. Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen des deutschtürkischen Denkmalschutz-Kommandos, Heft 3. Berlin/ Leipzig. Bellwald, U. 2008 The Hydraulic Infrastructure of Petra – A Model for Water Strategies in Arid Land. In Ch. Ohlig (Hrsg.), Cura Aquarum in Jordanie, 47-94. Siegburg. 2006 Die Kreuzritter in Petra: warum waren sie dort? Ihr Verhältnis zur lokalen Bevölkerung: Ein Miteinanderoder ein Gegeneinander?. Ritterhausgesellschaft Bubikon 2006. 60-80. Boas, A. J. 1999. Crusader Archaeology. The Material Culture of the Latin East. London/New York. Brown, R. M 1987. A 12th Century A.D. Sequence from Southern Transjordan. Crusader and Ayyubid Occupation at el Wu`eira. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 31, 267-288. Brown, R. M. 1988. Summary Report of the 1986 Excavations: Late Islamic Shobak. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 32, 225-245. Brown, R. M. 1991. Ceramics from the Kerak Plateau. In Miller, J. M.(ed.), Archaeological Survey of the Kerak Plateau, 168-279. Atlanta. Brünnow, R. E. 1909. Review of G. Dalman, Petra und seine Felsheiligtümer. Zeitschrift des Deutschen PalästinaVereins 32, 247-251. Brünnow, R. E., Domaszewski, A. v. 1904. Die Provincia Arabia I .Strassburg. Dalman, G. 1908. Petra und seine Felsheiligtümer. Leipzig. Homès-Fredericq, D., Franken, H. J. (eds.) 1986 Pottery and Potters – Past and Present. 7000 Years of Ceramic Art in Jordan (Tübingen). Johns, J. 1998 The Rise of Middle Islamic Hand-Made Geometrically Painted Ware in Bilad al-Sham (11th13th Centuries A.D.). In: R. P. Gayraud (ed.), Colloque international sur l’archéologie islamique. IFAO, Le Caire, 3-7 février 1993, 65-93.Cairo. Joukowsky, M. S. 2005 Brown University Archaeological Research at the Petra Great Temple, 2004. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 49, 147-165. Laborde, L. de,Bellefonds, L.M. and Linant, A. de 1828/1994. Pétra retrouvée. Voyage de l’Arabie Pétrée, in Ch. Augé, P.Linant, and de Bellefonds, (eds). Paris. Lindner, M. 1997. Beschreibung der antiken Stadt. In M. Lindner (ed.), Petra und das Königreich der Nabatäer. Lebensraum, Geschichte und Kultur eines arabischen Volkes der Antike, 6th edition, 17-36. München/Bad Windsheim. Mayer, H. E. 1990. Die Kreuzfahrerherrschaft Montréal (Sobak). Jordanien im 12. Jahrhundert.Wiesbaden. McKenzie, J. S. 1990. The Architecture of Petra. Oxford. Milwright, M. 2008. The Fortress of the Raven. Karak in the Middle Islamic Period (1100-1650).Leiden. Neri, A. 2008. Le ceramiche medievali di Wadi Farasa 85

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Schmid, S. G. and Studer, J. 2003. The International Wadi Farasa Project (IWFP). Preliminary Report on the 2002 Season. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 47, 473-488. Studer, J. 2008. Like a Fish out of Water: Fish in the Diet of Classical and Medieaval Populations in the Petra Region (Jordan), in Ph. Béarez et al. (eds.), Archéologie du poisson: 30 ans d’archéo-ichtyologie au CNRS. hommage aux travaux de Jean Desse et Nathalie DesseBerset. XXVIIIe rencontres internationales d’archéologie et d’histoire d’Antibes, 281-293. Antibes. Tonghini, Ch. And Vanni Desideri, A. 2001. The Material Evidence from al-Wu`ayra: A Sample of Pottery. Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan 7, 707-719. Amman) Trümpler, Ch. 2008 Das Deutsch-Türkische Denkmalschutzkommando und die Luftbildarchäologie. In Trümpler, Ch. (ed.), Das grosse Spiel. Archäologie und Politik zur Zeit des Kolonialismus (1860 – 1940), 474-483. Cologne. Vannini, G. 2007 Archeologia dell’insediamento crociatoayy- ubide in Transgiordania: il progetto Shawbak. Florence. Vannini, G. and Tonghini, C. 1997. Mediaeval Petra.

The Stratigraphic Evidence from Recent Archaeological Excavations at al-Wu`ayra, in G. Bisheh et al. (eds.), Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan 6, 371384.Amman. Vannini, G. and Vanni Desideri, A. 1995. Archaeological Research on Medieval Petra. A Preliminary Report. Annual of the Department of Antiquities.of Jordan 39, 509-540. Walmsley, A. 2001. Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk Jordan and the Crusader Interlude, in B. MacDonald, R . Adams and P. Bienkowski, (eds.), The Archaeology of Jordan, 515-559. Sheffield. Walmsley, A. 2008. The Middle Islamic and Crusader Periods. In R. B. Adams (ed.), Jordan. An Archaeological Reader, 495-537. London, Oakville. Walmsley, A. G. and Grey, A. D. 2001. An Interim Report on the Pottery from Gharandal (Arindela), Jordan. Levant 33, 139-164. Watzinger, C. 1944. Theodor Wiegand. Ein deutscher Archäologe. Munich. Wenning, R. 1987. Die Nabatäer – Denkmäler und Geschichte. Eine Bestandesaufnahme des archäologischen Befundes. Freiburg/Göttingen. Wiegand, Th. 1985. Halbmond im letzten Viertel. Archäologische Reiseberichte. 2nd edition. Mayence..

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Figure 1. Map of Petra (after S. G. Schmid, The Nabataeans. Travellers between Lifestyles, in B. MacDonald, R. Adams and P. Bienkowski [eds], The Archaeology of Jordan, Sheffield 2001, 375, Figure 11.4)

Figure 2. Wadi Farasa East. General plan of structures on lower and upper terrace (André Barmasse)

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Figure 3. Wadi Farasa East. General view of the lower terrace (Schmid)

Figure 4. Wadi Farasa East. Retaining wall of the lower terrace. Broken out parts in the centre show the join betwenn the Nabataean and Medieval parts (Schmid)

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Figure 5. Wadi Farasa East. Construction phases of the retaining wall of the lower terrace. Top: Nabataean 1st century AD; centre: extension 2./3. centuries AD; bottom: Medieval extension (Schmid)

Figure 6. Wadi Farasa East. Façade of the Soldier Tomb on lower terrace (Schmid)

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Figure 7. Wadi Farasa East. Banqueting hall (triclinium) on lower terrace (Schmid)

Figure 8. Wadi Farasa East. Tentative reconstruction of lower terrace in Nabataean period (Wirth & Wirth architects, Basel)

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Figure 9. Wadi Farasa East. General view of structures on upper terrace (Schmid)

Figure 10. Wadi Farasa East. Tentative reconstruction of structures on upper terrace as a peristyle house (Schmid)

Figure11. Wadi Farasa East. Tentative reconstruction of lower terrace in the Medieval period (Schmid)

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Figure 13. Wadi Farasa East. Upper terrace as seen by early European travellers (after Brünnow and Domaszewski 1904, 276 fig. 244)

Figure 12. Wadi Farasa East. Doorway to the Soldier Tomb, narrowed with reused architectural elements (Schmid)

Figure 14. Wadi Farasa East. Upper terrace with Medieval walls built over the Nabataean cistern (Schmid)

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Figure 15. Wadi Farasa East. Tentative reconstruction of the upper terrace in Medieval times (Schmid)

S: Schmid: The Crusaders In Petra - The Example Of The Wadi Farasa East

Figure 16. Wadi Farasa East. Plain handmade Medieval pottery (Schmid)

Figure 17. Wadi Farasa East. Painted handmade Medieval pottery (Schmid)

Figure 18. Wadi Farasa East. Coin of the Crusader period with Arabian legend (Schmid)

Figure 19. Wadi Farasa East. Medieval tombstone with cross from the upper terrace (Schmid)

Figure 20. Wadi Farasa East. Medieval tombstone with cross from the upper terrace (Schmid)

Figure 21. Wadi Farasa East. Medieval tombstone with representation of a tree of life from the upper terrace (Schmid)

Figure 22. Wadi Farasa East. Stone missiles (ballistae) from Medieval structures on lower terrace (Schmid)

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Figure 23. Petra, Jabal Madbah. Remains of a Medieval fortress (?) on top of Nabataean ruins (Schmid)

Figure 24. Wadi Farasa East. Painted handmade Medieval pottery from the small cistern on the upper terrace (Schmid)

Figure 25. Wadi Farasa East. Remains of parrot fish, found in big quantities in the small cistern on the upper terrace (Jacqueline Studer)

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THE ABANDONMENT OF PETRA REMAINS OF THE INVISIBLE: POST-BYZANTINE ARCHAEOLOGY OF PETRA’S NORTH RIDGE Patricia M. Bikai Independent scholar Megan A. Perry East Carolina University

Abtract (2008) The Abandonment of Petra. Remains of the Invisible: Post-Byzantine Archaeology of Petra’s North Ridge The complex, rich Nabatean and Roman ruins of Petra have captured the interest of archaeologists and explorers for almost 200 years. Many researchers assumed that occupation after the destructive A.D. 363 earthquake was minimal, but excavations of ecclesiastical structures on Petra’s North Ridge and the on-going translation of a group of papyri indicate that Petra contained a sizeable, active Byzantine period community. Scholars are now turning attention to the fate of Petra and its inhabitants after the city’s late 6th – early 7th century A.D. decline. At the beginning of the 7th century, the region experienced a substantial political, religious, and cultural shift from Byzantine to Islamic rule. Scholars have suggested that because Petra was not mentioned at all in the conquest literature, it was of no importance at this time. This suggestion appears to be correct, although Petra still contained a limited number of residents during the 7th – 8th century A.D. based on our excavations in the North Ridge area of the Petra basin. During that period, Petra’s remaining population utilized the abandoned ecclesiastical structures for domestic activities such as cooking, food preparation, and storage. The residents also sought out raw materials such as marble, glass, and metals from the public buildings and the nearby Nabataean tombs, and, in the case of glass, processed the materials for trade. Intensive occupation of these structures ended with a large earthquake in A.D. 748/9, which brought down at least some of the columns in the Blue Chapel and Petra Church, as well as walls in many of the structures. This earthquake was followed by a second event that brought down more of the structures on the North Ridge. An ephemeral human presence in the area after the mid-8th century AD is indicated by modifications to the atriums of the Blue Chapel Complex and Petra Church and some agricultural activity at the top of the ridge’s southern slope. The sequence of these activities is not clear. Another series of small retaining/terrace walls postdates the above evidence, indicating an almost constant, but transient, human presence on the North Ridge from the 8th century on. Who were the individuals left in Petra? The late 6th-8th century residents may have been descendants of Petra’s Byzantine period inhabitants, who decided to stay for political or economic reasons after the city’s infrastructure collapsed; alternately, they may have moved in from outside of the Petra city center. Eventually, after the 8th century earthquake, these individuals moved on to other areas of Petra or out of the site altogether. The North Ridge was then utilized for very limited activities. This minor presence continued to the 19th century, when historical evidence indicates that the Bedul Bedouin were living within Petra. Interestingly, if one had to rely on the evidence from Petra’s city center, one would be hard pressed to know that the Crusaders were well established in the area. Conversely, the city center that the Crusaders saw was not very different from the Petra that Burkhardt re-discovered for the west in 1812. It was a city of collapsed buildings filled with sand and rubble interspersed with a few small structures used by an apparently transient population.

The complex, rich Nabataean and Roman ruins of Petra have captured the interest of archaeologists and explorers for almost 200 years. Most researchers have assumed that occupation after the destructive AD 363 earthquake was minimal. Excavations of ecclesiastical structures on Petra’s North Ridge (Fiema et al., 2001; Perry and Bikai, 2007) and the ongoing translation of the Petra papyri (Frösén et al., 2002; Arjava et al., 2007) indicate that Petra contained a sizeable, active Byzantine period community. Scholars are now turning attention to the fate of Petra and its inhabitants after the city’s late 6th – early 7th century AD decline, a decline that was partly based on lack of maintenance of Petra’s elaborate water system. At the beginning of the 7th century, the region also experienced a substantial political, religious, and cultural shift from Byzantine to Islamic rule. The change theoretically left the region of modern Jordan in a political vacuum, and scholars suggest that because Petra was not mentioned at all in the conquest literature, it was of no importance at this time. Petra still contained residents during the 7th – 8th century AD based on our excavations in the North Ridge area of the Petra basin, in contrast to suppositions of a post-Byzantine abandonment.

EVIDENCE FROM PETRA’S NORTH RIDGE The North Ridge of Petra runs approximately SW to NE ca. 300 m to the north of the city center. Numerous structures on the top and the upper sector of the southern slope of the ridge were explored systematically by the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) from 1992 until 2002. Excavations focused on three Byzantine-period ecclesiastical structures, the Petra Church, the Blue Chapel Complex, and the Ridge Church (figure 1; see Fiema et al. 2001; Perry and Bikai 2007) and two Nabataean period rock-cut tombs discovered near the Ridge Church (Bikai and Perry 2001). During the Nabataean period, the North Ridge was used as a cemetery with a “military area” at the ridge’s western end, chosen for its view of the city center and of the back entrance to Petra. The construction of the so-called Ridge Church atop the North Ridge during the mid-to-late 4th century marked a change from primarily mortuary, domestic, and military functions to sacred space; however, the church itself likely served the military population. By the middle of the 5th century, the growth of Petra’s Christian population necessitated the construction of a large church and baptismal complex (the Petra Church); subsequently, a large complex that included a chapel with 95

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean blue granite columns (the Blue Chapel) was built. The Petra Church was destroyed by fire during renovations in the late 6th century and was never rebuilt (Fiema 2001, 94). Sometime during the 7th century, the other ecclesiastical structures on the North Ridge apparently went out of use. Church officials or other individuals cleared the Blue Chapel Complex of objects shortly before abandonment, although in one room of the Blue Chapel Complex a supply of glass chandelier fittings were left behind. After a short period of abandonment, the ecclesiastical structures began to be used for domestic purposes. Many areas of the Blue Chapel Complex, Ridge Church, and Petra Church were used for cooking and food preparation from approximately the end of the 6th into the 8th century AD, as indicated by the ceramics discovered in these layers. A large number of ceramic sherds are from large water storage jars, necessary because the extensive water system that had supported Petra’s urban center had collapsed and water had to be stored. Based on the limited number of natural water sources in the city center, Petra likely only supported a very small population during this period. Many modifications were made to the ecclesiastical structures to support their new purpose. For example, a small kitchen installation was constructed just outside of the Ridge Church (see figure 2). Nearby was a room with a small table and bench installation. The new occupants of the Petra Church also made some modifications to the structure to enable its new function. Fallen column drums, for instance, were placed in front of an existing bench, probably so that it could be used as a table, and a small cooking area and bench were constructed in a room at the western end and within the atrium (Fiema 2001, 95, 98). Furthermore, the atrium and western rooms of the Petra Church were converted for industrial and domestic uses, such as storing and processing raw materials collected from the church and for food preparation (Fiema 2001, 95). The residents of the Blue Chapel Complex on the other hand found little in the way of built-in furnishings in the abandoned structure, and there was no evidence that they constructed any new ones. Some rooms in upper building of the Blue Chapel Complex and the in Petra Church were modified slightly through the construction of small sub-walls. One of these reconfigured rooms in Blue Chapel’s upper building contained a small mortar and pestle in situ next to a sub-wall, similar to the industrial-sized mortar and pestle installation found in a modified room of the Petra Church (Fiema 2001, 100). Many sections of the structures contained the remnants of fires, animal bones, and broken storage jars. Late 6th to 8th century residents of the North Ridge also seemed to have spent a good part of their time looting the 1st century AD tombs underlying the existing structures. Tomb 2, directly to the south of the Ridge Church was opened and rifled during this period, and then was used as a dump for occupational debris by residents on the top of the ridge. In the Blue Chapel Complex, numerous sandstone floor pavers situated near exposed bedrock were lifted, presumably in the search for more Nabataean tombs (figure 3). The prizes that these tombs contained were materials

that could be reused or modified, such as gold, marble, or glass. Additionally, architectural elements, both of the churches and of other structures in abandoned Petra, elements such as marble and shale paving stones as well as glass and lead also were mined, presumably for their market value (see Fiema 2001, 94-95, 101). One area of the Petra Church in fact contained evidence of glass collecting and of processing; window glass, glass chandeliers, and wall-mosaic tesserae were converted into cakes of glass slag (Fiema 2001, 96-98). A number of earthquakes ended the continuous occupation of the North Ridge’s structures. At least some of, and perhaps all of the granite columns in the Blue Chapel, the column drums in the Petra Church, and other architecture in the Petra Church atrium and surrounding rooms (see Fiema 2001, 105) fell in one seismic event, dating between AD 658 and 782 CAL, based on 14C date of an animal bone found underneath one of the Blue Chapel column drums. Fiema originally supposed that a AD 748/9 earthquake occurred too late to explain the first destruction in the Petra Church, which he therefore attributed to the AD 672 event (Fiema 2001, 118). It is likely, however, that the collapse of the Blue Chapel’s columns occurred during the AD 748/9 earthquake and related tremors, for not only do we have evidence that the earthquake affected the region of Petra, but the strength of this particular earthquake would be sufficient to topple the granite columns and to effectively damage the other structures to an extent that prevented post-earthquake occupation (see Guidoboni 1994; Russell 1985). Furthermore, lamps from the Blue Chapel Complex date to no later than the 8th century AD (Barrett 2005), confirming that there was little to no occupation in these structures as they continued to collapse after AD 748/9. The continuous seismic events after the 8th century caused additional damage to the abandoned, partially collapsed Petra Church, and to the Blue Chapel Complex. One earthquake in particular, attributed by Fiema to the AD 748/9 event, but likely occurring later, caused extensive damage to the Petra Church (Fiema 2001, 115-118), including toppling columns in the baptistery. In the Blue Chapel, a cornice along the western and northern walls of the Blue Chapel’s entry hall, and part of the upper story collapsed in this later event; it is also possible that some of the blue granite columns did not fall until this time. Post-8th century human activity on the North Ridge is rather ephemeral and not easily datable. There is nothing indicating a permanent population. The evidence for post8th century occupation consists mainly of agricultural terracing and caching behaviors, and possibly the construction of retaining walls within the Blue Chapel Complex and Petra Church. A small series of terraces also was constructed on a small slope leading between the north wall of the Blue Chapel Complex and the Ridge Church. The terracing system consisted of what appear to be small rooms filled with rubble and soil perhaps to create separate small garden plots on the slope. Post-8th century AD human occupation of the Petra Church atrium consisted of three simply-constructed walls, possi96

P. M. Bikai, M. A. Perry : The Abandonment Of Petra Remains Of The Invisible bly used for terracing or to contain wall tumble (Fiema 2001, 117-118). A coin found in strata from this subphase dates to the Mamluk period, specifically to the late 13th or 14th century (Fiema 2001, 117). Similar activities were occurring at the same time in the atrium of the Blue Chapel Complex; building debris was cleared from the center of the atrium, and crude walls were constructed to hold back the debris. The purpose of these walls is unclear, and similar to the walls in the Petra Church, no evidence of human occupation was uncovered within the area. The soil within these areas did not display any organic qualities or artifacts. The post-8th century North Ridge residents also continued to gather materials such as marble (Fiema 2001, 117). Further evidence for post-Byzantine, yet pre-19th century activities comes from the American Expedition in Petra Household Excavations (figure 1.4) directed by Kenneth Russell from 1974-1977. According his unpublished field notes (held by the American Center of Oriental Research, Amman), approximately 27 burials placed within the postoccupation rubble were excavated. These burials appear to be Islamic, but local Bedul Bedouin informants state that the graves do not contain their ancestors, who are documented in 19th century Petra. In an as-yet undefined period, a number of small stone enclosures, windbreaks, and retaining walls were constructed on top of and partially incorporating the remnants of the North Ridge structures, including the walls constructed in the Blue Chapel Complex and Petra Church atriums described above. These simple structures resemble those constructed by the Bedul Bedouin when they resided in the ancient rock-cut monuments inside Petra (see Suleiman 1986) and used these areas for agriculture. Almost no artifacts are associated with this phase. Most notably lacking are Ottoman period artifacts, in particular, clay pipes, in any of the upper North Ridge strata. Clay pipes are ubiquitous in the Near East after the importation of tobacco (see, for example, Ward and Baram 2006 and references there). The Bedul were in Petra when 19th century explorers arrived at the site (Russell 1993). Local informants report that the North Ridge, as in other areas in Petra, provided terraces for placement of tents and agricultural production. To prepare some of these plateaus, such as the area of the Ridge Church and the upper building of the Blue Chapel Complex, residents pushed aside architectural debris and collapse downslope. Collapse and rubble also was cleared from the Petra Church for agricultural purposes (Fiema 2001, 119).

terials for trade. Intensive occupation of these structures ended with a large earthquake in AD 748/9, which brought down at least some of the columns in the Blue Chapel and Petra Church, as well as walls in many of the structures. This earthquake was followed by a second event that brought down more of the structures on the North Ridge. An ephemeral human presence on the North Ridge after the mid-8th century AD is indicated by modifications to the atriums of the Blue Chapel Complex and Petra Church and some agricultural activity at the top of the ridge’s southern slope. The sequence of these activities is not clear, but the lack of Ottoman clay pipes that were widely distributed in the area or other datable artifacts may suggest that they occurred before the Late Islamic era. Another series of small retaining/terrace walls postdates the above evidence, indicating an almost constant, but transient, human presence on the North Ridge from the 8th century until the modern era. Who were the individuals left in Petra? The late 6th-8th century residents may have been descendants of Petra’s Byzantine period inhabitants, who decided to stay for political or economic reasons after the city’s infrastructure collapsed; alternately, they may have moved in from outside of the Petra city center. A Kufic Arabic inscription reading “Bismillah” (in the name of God) suggests that some of that population spoke (or wrote) in Arabic (the phrase itself was used by both Christian and Islamic populations – see Khairy and ‘Amr 1986, 152). Eventually, after the 8th century earthquake, these individuals moved on to other areas of Petra or out of the site altogether. The North Ridge was then utilized by humans for as-of-yet unidentified activities. This minor presence continued to the 19th century, when historical evidence indicates that the Bedul were living within Petra. Interestingly, if one had to rely on the evidence from Petra’s city center, one would be hard pressed to know that the Crusaders were well established in the area. Conversely, the city center that the Crusaders saw was not very different from the Petra that Ludwig Burkhardt re-discovered for the west in 1812. It was a city of collapsed buildings filled with sand and rubble interspersed with a few small structures used by an apparently transient population. BIBLIOGRAPHY Arjava, A., Buchholz, M. and Gagos, T. (eds.) 2007. Petra Papyri III. Amman, American Center of Oriental Research. Barrett, D. 2005. The Ceramic Oil Lamp as an Indicator of Cultural Change within Nabataean Society in Petra and its Environs circa CE 106. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Brown University. Bikai, P.M. and Perry, M.A. 2001. Petra North Ridge Project Tombs 1 and 2: Preliminary report. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 104, 59-78. Fiema, Z.T. 2001. Reconstructing the History of the Petra Church: Data and Phasing, in Z.T. Fiema, C. Kanellopoulos, T. Waliszewski and R. Schick (eds.), The Petra Church. Amman, American Center of Oriental Research, 7-137. Fiema, Z.T., Kanellopoulos, C., Waliszewski, T. and

CONCLUSION Occupation of Petra’s North Ridge after the Late Byzantine period was most intense during the late 6th through mid- 8th centuries. Petra’s remaining population utilized the abandoned (and in the case of the Petra Church, partially burned) ecclesiastical structures for domestic activities such as cooking, food preparation, and storage. The residents also sought out raw materials such as marble, glass, and metals from the public buildings and the nearby Nabataean tombs, and, in the case of glass, processed the ma97

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Schick, R. 2001. The Petra Church, Amman: American Center of Oriental Research. Frosen, J., Arjava, A. and Lehtinen, M. (eds.) 2002. Petra Papyri I. Amman, American Center of Oriental Research. Guidoboni, E. 1994. Catalogue of Ancient Earthquakes in the Mediterranean Area up to the 10th Century. Rome, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica. Khairy, N.I. and ‘Amr, A-J. A. 1986. Early Islamic Inscribed Pottery Lamps from Jordan. Levant, 28, 142153. Perry, M.A. and Bikai, P.M. 2007. Petra’s Churches: The Byzantines and Beyond, in T. E. Levy, P. M. M. Daviau, R. Younker and M. Shaer (eds.), Crossing Jordan: North American Contributions to the Archaeology of Jordan, 435-443. London, Equinox,

Russell, K.W. 1983. The Ethnohistory of the Bedul Bedouin of Petra. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 37, 15-31. Russell, K.W. 1985. The Earthquake Chronology of Palestine and Northwest Arabia from the 2nd through the Mid-8th Century A.D. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 260, 37-59. Suleiman, E. 1986. Habitations of the Bdul Bedouins in the Petra Area (Arabic). Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 30, 29-33. Ward, C. and Baram, U. 2006. Global Markets, Local Practice: Ottoman-period Clay Pipes and Smoking Paraphernalia from the Red Sea Shipwreck at Sadana Island, Egypt. International Journal of Historical Archaeology,10.2, 135-58.

Figure 1. Aerial view of the Petra Church; photo by J. Wilson Myers and Eleanor E. Myers. 1. unexcavated Ridge Church; 2. unexcavated Blue Chapel Complex; 3. partially excavated Petra Church; 4. Household Excavations. Note the terracing and enclosure walls.

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Figure 2. Drawing (by Chrysanthos Kanellopoulos) of possible activities in the Blue Chapel after it was abandoned as a church.

Figure 3. Drawing (by Chrysanthos Kanellopoulos) of possible activities at the Ridge Church after it was abandoned as a church.

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

LA DIFESA DEL LIMES ARABICUS IN EPOCA ROMANA, BIZANTINA E CROCIATA. OSSERVAZIONI SULL’USO DEI MATERIALI LAPIDEI E ALCUNE TECNICHE COSTRUTTIVE Luigi Marino Massimo Coli Università di Firenze Abstract (2008) The Limes. Dependence on local resources of boundary defence Results of a research on the eastern military settlements of Crusader epoch will be presented here. They concern remains of an imposing system featured by strong points, connected with each others by a vast road network and a valid logistic organization, which derive from patterns that were adopted in Roman and Byzantine times, in particular, upon the limes arabicus and limes africanus. The elements of such “linear fortification” had the double function of fixed look-out and seasonal halting place, located along the caravan routes and markets, or near to areas with material resources (water, caves, woodlands…). They are the result of an evolution throughout the time, mix Roman with other local experiences, which certainly show Greek or even more ancient influence, achieving a soundness, in terms of construction and settlement, that will be one of the bases of development for following building techniques in both Near East and Europe. The great deal of archaeological evidence can be clustered in some main groups of artefacts, which concern temporary encampments, siege machines/works and defensive fortified works. The most usual pattern is that imitating the castrum and quadriburgium. With respect to building, they summarize ways of effective exploitation of landscape (adaptation of models to particular conditions) and local resources (especially stone, included large phenomenons of reusing spoilt materials, spolia). Traces of working bear witness to handed-down know-how and acquired knowledge, that are of great interest as regards that epoch and the ensuing aftermaths they originated: let us think of construction of vaulted structures and wall-arches, namely all-stone structures that will have largely featured building activity until relatively recent times.

L’architettura militare presenta certamente alcune singolarità che la rendono peculiare rispetto ad altre: la perfetta aderenza al singolo territorio1 in cui si trova a vivere, la massima resa possibile in termini di funzionalità e affidabilità, l’obbligo a una progressiva “aggiornabilità” in conseguenza delle diverse sollecitazioni esterne che nel tempo possono presentarsi, talvolta con caratteristiche molto diverse. Nell’analisi dell’architettura fortificata vanno evidenziati, soprattutto, quelli che possono essere considerati “periodi di transizione”; periodi, cioè, nei quali gli edifici, siano essi veri castelli o le più semplici barriere, sono obbligati a modificarsi per adattarsi, nella maniera più efficace possibile (in relazione alla singolarità delle condizioni), alle rinnovate capacità operative delle forze nemiche. Le opere fortificate cambiano nel tempo assumendo nuove caratteristiche che spesso si integrano con quelle precedenti senza distruggerle con trasformazioni lente e progressivi adattamenti localizzati ma, non di rado, con trasformazioni radicali che possono modificare i modelli preesistenti. L’architettura militare presenta la particolarità di essere fatta con materiali da costruzione e con l’adozione di procedure di apparecchio la cui durabilità deve essere sufficientemente elevata per adeguarsi, senza apparente difficoltà, alle nuove condizioni assicurando la necessaria solidità e affidabilità nel tempo. Un tema di grande interesse è offerto dalle fortificazioni di confine. Non si tratta soltanto di opere in linea (Napoli 1997), caratteristiche del II secolo d.C. (p.e. il vallo di Adriano) ma certo più antiche e che, in periodi e situazioni particolari (anche molto recenti), sono stati riscoperti e adottati, con risultati più o meno efficaci.2

Gli insediamenti di epoca crociata, e non esclusivamente quelli di carattere specificatamente militare, presentano caratteri difensivi ben evidenti nelle chiese e negli impianti produttivi e, allo stesso tempo, una rete di relazioni territoriali di grande interesse, segnati prevalentemente da opere fortificate o, quantomeno, da aree di riparo. Queste, in particolare, sembrano essere costituite prevalentemente da fortini e campi trincerati di epoca romana e bizantina ma, talvolta, molto più antichi. Le difese del limes, con tutti i significati che questo termine contiene,3 sembrano essere una delle esigenze principali degli interventi di epoca crociata. Inizialmente lo sviluppo di opere fortificate franche può essere articolato in tre fasi, distinte ma legate tra loro. La prima è segnata dalle difficoltà di insediamento che i primi crociati hanno avuto a causa della quasi totale mancanza di informazioni sul territorio nonostante le relazioni commerciali tra i latini e i musulmani (Tolan, Josserand 2000, Balard 2001) e i sempre più frequenti pellegrinaggi in Terra Santa. Le difficoltà maggiori sembrano essere state quelle legate alla scarsa esperienza del costruire dei primi crociati e la scarsità del legname, materiale da costruzione che maggiormente i franchi conoscevano. Dopo la relativa facilità con cui si sono insediati sulla costa del Mediterraneo i Crociati sono stati costretti, anche a causa della riorganizzazione delle forze armate locali, a una maggiore attenzione verso il territorio, verso le risorse naturali; comprese quelle necessarie ad essere usate come materiale primario da costruzione.4 Nel secondo periodo dell’occu(su questo: Lein e Weizman 2007). 3 Il termine limes aveva all’inizio il significato di strada di penetrazione in uso all’esercito e solo successivamente quello di confine e di area di competenza, indipendentemente dal fatto che fosse fortificato o meno. In seguito tenderà ad assumere il significato di sistema di difesa formato da una struttura complessa della quale facevano parte, in maniera più o meno preponderante, anche strutture militari. 4 È noto il ruolo che hanno avuto i carpentieri navali genovesi e inglesi nella costruzione di apparati di assedio (“lignea castra, machinae et

1

Un efficace quadro sul rapporto tra strategie militari antiche e moderne e l’importanza della conoscenza del territorio è in Herzog, Gichon 2003. 2 Basti ricordare la muraglia cinese, il muro di Berlino, la barriera di sabbia di Hassan II, la linea Maginot (la prova evidente del fallimento della guerra di trincea) e il muro che ha diviso i territori della Cisgiordania

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L. Marino, M. Coli : La difesa del limes arabicus in epoca romana, bizantina e crociata pazione (dalla presa di Gerusalemme alla disfatta di Hattin) i Crociati si sono trovati costretti a elaborare e gestire un sistema militare che comprendeva specificatamente un alto numero di opere fortificate fisse ma anche un sistema di mobilità nel territorio che per molti versi era loro estraneo, in un territorio naturalmente ostile caratterizzato non da una frontiera da proteggere ma una serie di limites spesso variabili a distanza di poco tempo, non presidiati da forze nemiche stabili ma da gruppi addestrati a combattere con grande mobilità.5 In quella regione tradizionalmente l’arte della guerra era caratterizzata più che in battaglie campali, da scaramucce e piccoli contatti con le truppe nemiche, con una particolare predilezione per le imboscate.6 Anche nel caso di difese di città fortificate e castelli i Crociati si sono trovati a gestire dinamiche di controllo di avvicinamento alle mura per molti versi anomali che non permetteva loro, se non in maniera molto limitata, la funzione di arresto automatico (come si direbbe in termini di artiglieria moderna) di reparti di nemici quando fossero arrivati a distanza di gittata ottimale con frecce dal baluardo da difendere. In questa fase molte delle opere fortificate crociate sono basate sui modelli di elementi fortificati di epoca romana e bizantina (limes arabicus), dapprima riutilizzati e poi trasformati fino a produrre modelli di insediamento e fortificati di una certa autonomia e originalità. Questo soprattutto nella terza fase di occupazione, fino alla definitiva perdita dei possedimenti d’Oltremare quando riusciranno a produrre una macchina da guerra imponente, articolata intorno a poche fortezze (fortificazioni di pianura ma soprattutto di sperone) che, per molti aspetti, quando saranno reimportati in Occidente rappresenteranno un reale rinnovamento dell’arte difensiva. Modelli che, validi per una guerra di posizione usuale in Occidente, saranno però destinati a rivelarsi inefficaci nelle regioni orientali nelle quali le operazioni belliche continueranno ad essere caratterizzate da una grande mobilità di piccoli gruppi di armati a partire da rifugi per lo più provvisori. Le diversità di risultati cui sono giunti i diversi studiosi se, da una parte, sono la conseguenza delle differenze di approccio iniziale e dei diversi sviluppi delle indagini, dall’altra sono la dimostrazione del potenziale di indagini che è ancora possibile avviare in questo particolare settore di ricerca. I materiali lapidei, in particolare (marginalmente il legno e la terra cruda), sono la tangibile traccia di catene operatorie edilizie (coltivazione, cicli di produzione, trasporto, impiego e riutilizzo in situ e in altro luogo) che presentano proficue prospettive future. I resti di insediamenti militari costituiscono un luogo privilegiato per la ricerca di quelli che si definiscono archivi del suolo; i luoghi nei quali sono conservate, quasi sempre in collocazione primaria, le tracce materiali e le documentazioni originali dell’attività edificatoria dell’uomo.

no un settore di ricerca di grande interesse che si può basare su importanti fonti d’archivio7 e una ricca bibliografia8 che però non sembrano prestare una giusta attenzione ai materiali9 e alle tecniche di costruzione. Ma soprattutto si può contare su un alto (e significativo, sotto diversi punti di vista) numero di esempi di manufatti sopravvissuti, talvolta allo stato di rudere (e perciò meglio analizzabili) ma più spesso allo stato quasi integro. Le opere fortificate (Marino 1997), infatti, sono caratterizzate da una ricorrente permanenza di importanti tracce non (o limitatamente) manomesse, ma che rischiano di essere distrutte da interventi frettolosi e non rispettosi. Lo stato di allerta diventa sempre più pressante a causa della spinta di un turismo scarsamente interessato e immaturo che “suggerisce” frettolosi interventi di ricostruzione piuttosto che interventi conservativi e di consapevole manutenzione/valorizzazione. Tra le più interessanti testimonianze antiche del costruire di epoca crociata su cui si può fare affidamento vanno ricordate le relazioni Olivier de Cologne per Chastel-Pélerin10, quella, forse di Benoît d’Alignan, per Safed (Huygens, 1965, 357-387). Da queste fonti è possibile trarre utili informazioni sugli impianti generali, sulle caratteristiche dimensionali e le destinazioni d’uso delle singole parti architettoniche ma scarse sono le notizie più pertinenti sulle risorse materiali (lapidei nella quasi totalità) locali impiegabili nella costruzione, sulle procedure di lavorazione della pietra dalla cava11 all’apparecchio murario, nel riutilizzo di siti e materiali provenienti da opere fortificate più antiche abbandonate,12 sulle procedure di manuten“…aedificant presidium cum turribus quatuor, veteribus aedificiis, quorum multa adhuc supererant vestigia, lapidum ministrantibus copiam…”. Le annotazioni di Guglielmo di Tiro sintetizzano in maniera efficace alcuni aspetti costruttivi della storia degli insediamenti militari in Terra Santa all’epoca dei Crociati. 8 Abbiamo ritenuto di omettere i riferimenti bibliografici sui castelli crociati perché ben conosciuti. Va osservato, però, come, a fronte di una ricca e qualificata bibliografia di carattere storico, i contributi specifici sull’uso di materiali da costruzione e di tecniche edili appaiono fortemente ridotti. 9 Di recente sono stati pubblicati almeno due studi sui castelli di epoca crociata senza che sia fatto alcun cenno ai materiali di cui sono fatti se non la generica indicazione “di pietra”, in una regione che presenta una ricca varietà di materiali lapidei. 10 Oltre ad alcune annotazioni sulle tecniche costruttive (p.e. “lapidum etiam et cementi copiam dominus ministravit”) si trovano minuziose osservazioni sulle dimensioni delle opere fortificate (“…in muris, qui habent in altitudine XX cannas et in latitudine in summo cannam et dimidiam; que in antemuralibus (apparati a sporgere) que in sub terra profunde inter antemuralia et fossata cum crotis (grotte) in circuitu totius castri per CCCLXXV cannas…; ubi sunt VII turres, quarum quelibet in altitudine XXII cannas, in latitudine X, in spissitudine II in summo” (ediz. Hoogeweg 1894) 11 Il ruolo delle cave di pietra risulta essere importante nella scelta del sito su cui alloggiare l’opera fortificata per ridurre il disagio di trasportare blocchi in salita, per utilizzare in maniera efficace i volumi di scavo come piani interrati dei castelli (al castello di Beaufort, per esempio, una parte “consiste en cavernes creussées dans le roc, et une autre partie est construite sur le roc”) e per potenziare le difese passive del castello, sfruttando efficacemente gli stessi fronti di cava (basterebbe ricordare Sahyun dove, nello scavo del fossato, è stato risparmiato un pilone monolitico -di circa 30 m- con funzione di battiponte o il secondo fossato di Safita “in profundo rupis VII cannas” -15,40m). A Kerak, ancora oggi la cava da cui i costruttori franchi si sono approvvigionati per il castello è segnalata con il toponimo el frangj. 12 L’opportunità di riutilizzare materiali di spoglio e di strutture murarie 7

Le tracce della presenza crociata in Terrasanta costituiscomachinamenta”) a Gerusalemme. 5 La mobilità del nemico rendeva di fatto inutili gli elementi di difesa mobile (graticci e gabbioni). 6 Interessanti sono le osservazioni di Guglielmo di Tiro a proposito delle cause dei successi del Saladino facilitate anche da una progressiva perdita di abitudine e pratica alle armi durante i periodi di pace.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean zione e di adattamento a nuove esigenze difensive, prima immediata conseguenza dopo ogni “rioccupazione” di un castello in precedenza perduto,13 e sulle trasformazioni che avverranno nel tempo, quando saranno venute meno le esigenze militari. Quelle che a suo tempo erano state innovative e potenti macchine da guerra, verranno abbandonate senza dover subire altro danno che quello derivato dal parziale riutilizzo di materiali per la costruzione di villaggi stanziali. Al contrario degli edifici sacri che, più frequentemente, saranno trasformati ed adattati.14 A giustificazione dell’alto livello tecnico raggiunto nei castelli di ultima generazione, sia per quanto riguarda l’impianto e l’aderenza alle caratteristiche morfologiche dei territori, sia per quanto riguarda l’efficacia delle procedure costruttive, concorrono molti e diversi fattori. Determinanti sono la presenza di impianti difensivi e consuetudini costruttive locali con i quali i costruttori franchi si sono trovati costretti a confrontarsi soprattutto dopo la constatazione della inefficienza delle procedure costruttive e delle esperienze difensive che si erano portate dai paesi d’origine. Dopo alcuni clamorosi errori di valutazione a causa della riproposizione di modelli difensivi passivi basati essenzialmente su impianti caratterizzati da movimenti di terra e palizzate di legno15 (da utilizzarsi come punti forti per lenti movimenti di truppe), i costruttori crociati16 tra-

sformeranno in maniera fondamentale le abituali procedure costruttive adottando, di volta in volta, soluzioni scelte tra un vasto repertorio di soluzioni conosciute ma sempre più condizionate dalle tradizioni edili locali.17 LE FORTIFICAZIONI PRECEDENTI Tutta l’area del Vicino Oriente ha visto uno sviluppo pressoché ininterrotto da almeno tre millenni prima dell’arrivo dei Crociati.18 Nella regione siro-palestinese, verso il secondo millennio a.C., si trovano fortificazioni, soprattutto nelle are urbane, che inglobano il tell e i nuclei residenziali; i muraglioni sono a cassone e allestiti su terrazzamenti. È usuale una doppia cinta muraria con torri di fiancheggiamento quadrilatere o semicircolari e difese avanzate, protette da un fossato. Soluzioni efficaci a contrasto dell’uso di macchine d’assedio19 il cui uso sarà sufficientemente diffuso a partire dal IV secolo a.C. fino a tutto il medioevo e, in alcuni casi, fino all’adozione dell’arma da fuoco. L’architettura militare greca (Winter 1971; Leriche, Treziny 1986) ha condizionato certamente le opere fortificate di epoca crociata nelle quali saranno presenti murature di grande apparecchio legate da barre lapidee alloggiate con più o meno regolarità a tutto spessore di muro, adozione di porte a baionetta, torri circolari, apparati a sporgere in muratura per la difesa piombante con gattoni di pietra o legno posti lungo le cortine murarie oppure sulle porte (bertesche),20 murature a bozze21 a bugnato sporgente, a tavoletta con anatirosi oppure a campo graffiato; ma anche soluzioni idrauliche (captazione e gestione delle risorse idriche)… ma soprattutto del recupero dell’uso di materiali e tecniche costruttive di antica tradizione e ancora vive in quelle regioni. L’influenza dell’architettura militare romana, nelle varianti urbana e di frontiera, è testimoniata da numerose e

preesistenti è ben testimoniata dal traduttore di Guglielmo di Tiro quando annotava come, a proposito della costruzione del castello di Hibelin (1141) “pierres trovèrent en cel leu des fortresses qui jadis y avaient aesté car, si comme l’en dist: chastel abatuz est demi refez” ricordando, in pratica, le disposizioni di un trattato del VI secolo sull’arte di fortificare che suggeriva di sfruttare al meglio le caratteristiche morfologiche del territorio e le esperienze di chi aveva già costruito in quella regione. A Darum era stata proprio l’occasione “vetustorum aedificiorum” a condizionare la scelta del sito. L’impiego di materiali provenienti da altre fabbriche inserite nelle nuove costruzioni facilitavano una sorta di prefabbricazione poiché gli elementi lapidei, spesso senza necessità di opere di rilavorazione, potevano essere impiegati in maniera veloce e adeguata alle nuove necessità funzionali e decorative richieste. La stessa cura con cui si cercava di riutilizzare spolia architettonici veniva posta per evitare che una opera fortificata potesse essere riutilizzata dal nemico. Quando Togtekin si impadronì del Qasr Berdaouil (1105) lo fece demolire e gettare le pietre nella valle. Nel 1875 V. Guérin annoterà come le mura di Safed fossero diventate “une véritable carrère, d’où les habitants de la ville extraient continuellement des matériaux tout taillés pour bâtir de nouvelles maisons“. 13 Il fenomeno di riadattamento sembra frequente soprattutto nelle aree di confine dove si dovevano risolvere, con una certa efficacia e velocità, non solo esigenze direttamente legate alle esigenze di difesa militare ma anche di presidio di un territorio che tendeva ad assumere caratteri di maggiore complessità a causa dei nuovi insediati nell’area e dalla maggiore articolazione di funzioni che si aprivano intorno alle opere fortificate (quelle commerciali soprattutto). 14 Si pensi, tra le altre, alla cattedrale di Beiruth. 15 I donjon, collocati su motte artificiali (o in parte artificiali) sembrano rappresentare la sola reale novità nell’architettura militare occidentale nel momento in cui il declino del potere centrale crea le condizioni per la proliferazione di opere fortificate private che si trovano a costituire punti forti isolati e fortemente aderenti alle realtà locali, sia per quanto riguarda gli impianti sia (soprattutto) la scelta dei materiali da costruzione reperiti nelle aree più vicine. Il castello di terra a Sidone sembra sia stato costruito sopra una precedente motta così come quella di Damietta. Marino 2001, 5-14. 16 Il termine “costruttori” sembra essere non del tutto adatto se riferito alle prime spedizioni visto che al seguito dei combattenti non abbondava di certo il personale abile nelle costruzioni. Per i lavori a Bélinas, dopo le sistematiche demolizioni musulmane, Baldovino III farà arrivare un gran numero di operai “convocatis enim ex urbibus finitimis et de regno universo caemetariis, et quicumque architecturae aliquam habere

videbantur experientiam” (Guglielmo di Tiro). 17 Le occasioni principali per il rinnovamento delle procedure costruttive, in particolare quelle da applicare a elementi fortificati, sono offerte dalla osservazione delle locali opere difensive e di gestione territoriale e la presenza nei cantieri crociati di operai indigeni già ben addestrati. A Saphet, nel 1240, lavorerà circa un migliaio di prigionieri di guerra. 18 Basterebbe ricordare il sito di Habouba Kabira o quello di Jerico le cui strutture fortificate sono caratterizzate dal forte spessore delle mura merlate, dall’impiego di torri a saliente con cortine a leggera scarpa e cuciture (lapidee e lignee) di rinforzo. Le stesse regole saranno presenti in Vegezio (Epitoma rei militari) quando raccomanderà di chiudere “le città con sinuosi anfratti e con torri alquanto vicine l’una all’altra, proprio negli angoli…”. In generale Kempinsky, Reich 1992. La soluzione a scarpa, ottima soluzione per ridurre l’impatto di macchine d’assedio, verrà recuperata con grande efficacia dai costruttori crociati di seconda generazione (Belvoir-Coquet e soprattutto Cesarea dove le murature verticali più antiche verranno rinfiancate da scarpe a forte pendenza). 19 Savage 1991, 56-62. I Romani utilizzeranno le stesse soluzioni nelle loro opere fortificate stabili insieme ad avancorpi e difese frazionate, percorsi obbligati e allo scoperto. Nelle azioni di assedio, invece, impiegheranno monumentali rampe di avvicinamento (come contro le fortezze erodiane di Masada e Macheronte). 20 I crociati le trasformeranno le corte bertesche in lunghe caditoie, rette da mensole di pietra, che formeranno vere gallerie come al Krac des Chevaliers. 21 L’impiego di elementi a bozze, ricorrente nell’architettura greca e in quella dell’impero romano, sarà adottato dai crociati e dai musulmani. Le varianti peculiari che contraddistingueranno le diverse fasi di occupazione e riconquista possono essere considerate, in molti casi, come indicatori sufficientemente affidabili.

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L. Marino, M. Coli : La difesa del limes arabicus in epoca romana, bizantina e crociata ni26, sono le installazioni militari. I modelli27 che si sviluppano tra il secondo e il quarto secolo comprendono (Kennedy, Riley 1990; al-Khouri 2003; Gregory 1995-1997; Le Bohec 2008): castra a carattere provvisorio (castra aestiva) oppure stabile (hiberna, stativa),28 campi d’assedio,29 vasti recinti che diventano vere città murate30 (nelle quali grande attenzione è posta nella costruzione delle porte, ritenute gli elementi potenzialmente più vulnerabili)31, fortini32 e caserme (Davison 1989), e una vasta casistica di torri.33 Questi ultimi soprattutto presentano interesse dal punto di vista costruttivo perché più condizionati dalla morfologia dei territori, dalla possibilità di utilizzare facilmente materiali lapidei (non di rado costituito da materiale di spoglio) e assicurarsi i necessari rifornimenti costanti per la manutenzione. Un elemento importante del sistema fortificato di epoca romana e bizantina è rappresentato dal quadriburgium34 fortino quadrangolare con torri angolari (talvolta con torri rompitratta) aggettanti dalle cortine. In molti casi una delle torri supera le altre in dimensioni in maniera da costituire una torre maestra e che diventerà con il tempo un vero ridotto di difesa, un elemento questo che costituirà uno degli elementi caratterizzanti delle fortificazioni di epoca crociata.35 Elementi comuni a queste opere fortificate è l’utilizzo del materiale locale, lapideo soprattutto, con diversificate modalità di lavorazione e apparecchio; le soluzioni costrutti-

significative tracce, soprattutto quelle divenute usuali nel terzo secolo quando la necessità di impianti stabili e l’uso generalizzato della pietra22 suggeriranno nuovi modelli difensivi e permetteranno interessanti sperimentazioni costruttive. Il territorio del Vicino Oriente,23 e quello della Transgiordania in particolare, è ancora oggi ricco di tracce delle opere fortificate romane relative alla protezione del limes arabicus, una frontiera non sempre ben definita e, anzi, piuttosto variabile nel tempo soprattutto quando, in epoca di pace, si animava in maniera ancora più sensibile diventando luogo di scambi commerciali e immigrazioni approfittando delle provvisorie ma non rare stabilizzazioni politiche. Le opere fortificate sono collocate soprattutto intorno agli assi portanti del sistema stradale (Freeman, Kennedy 1986) (la via nova traiana, innanzitutto che andava da Bosra ad Aqaba, dalla strata diocletiana che collegava Damasco a Sura sull’Eufrate e, a ovest del Giordano, una ricca rete viaria nel Negev) (Gichon 1967, 175-93; Gichon 1991, 318-325), ben integrato da piste secondarie (e un sistema protetto di guadi e ponti) (Marino 1982, 43-52, 122-23) che assicuravano una difesa arretrata stabile e permettevano, all’occorrenza, una difesa avanzata appoggiata a opere fortificate di presidio che si trovavano a svolgere il ruolo di “valvole” di una difesa con caratteristiche elastiche. Il sistema stradale romano teneva certamente in conto le antiche vie carovaniere che assicuravano lo scambio di merci tra Oriente e costa mediterranea con particolare attenzione per le aree e le città che tradizionalmente svolgevano un ruolo di centri di mercato. Studi recenti hanno messo in luce l’effettivo ruolo svolto dall’esercito romano in quelle regioni, un ruolo difensivo da possibili minacce esterne certamente (in un quadro che sembrava escludere uno scontro definitivo, in una prospettiva, piuttosto, di uno stato permanente di guerra controllata), ma soprattutto un ruolo di controllo locale dei flussi stagionali dei nomadi verso le aree fertili e di controllo delle risorse, di regimazione degli interessi economici delle popolazioni locali.24 Le ipotesi di una grande strategia romana (Luttwak 1981), salvo forse che per alcuni periodi, è poco sostenibile per un esercito che sembra fare affidamento piuttosto su soluzioni prese di volta in volta (Isaac 1990; Lewin 1999) in conseguenza delle situazioni che si venivano a creare e delle risorse disponibili. Elementi fondamentali per il controllo del territorio da parte degli eserciti romani,25 e poi bizanti-

26

I Crociati avranno occasione di verificare l’affidabilità delle difese del quinto-sesto secolo a Costantinopoli, Antiochia, Edessa durante le marce di avvicinamento alla Terrasanta. Non di rado saranno proprio elementi fortificati bizantini a costituire il nucleo intorno al quale si svilupperanno i castelli crociati. 27 Richardson 2004; Ipotesi ricostruttive di strutture fortificate romane sono in Obley 1982, 223-273 28 Le torri angolari sporgenti dalla cortina sembrano databili al primo secolo d.C. ma l’adozione in estensione diventerà usuale soltanto nel terzo secolo. La presenza dell’intervallum all’interno e a ridosso del muro di cortina, dapprima una costante, verrà abbandonata un po’ alla volta per arrivare a costruzioni addossate al muro. Il castrum, un tipo di fortificazione adatto a una strategia di movimento, sembra databile soprattutto a un periodo di espansione. 29 Masada, Macheronte. 30 Dora Europos, Resafa, Umm er-Rasas. Intorno alle opere fortificate avanzate, quasi sempre a protezione di risorse naturali, si sono sviluppati insediamenti che, dapprima provvisori, diventeranno stabili. Helms 1990. 31 Spesso organizzate con controporte, corridoi fiancheggiati e a baionetta (titula e clavicula). Bidwell, Miket, Ford 1988. Grandi attenzioni verranno riservate agli ingressi dei castelli anche in epoca crociata. Deschamps 1932, 369-387. Porte con torri sporgenti all’interno della città (ma spesso con barbacane esterno) saranno usuali nella cinta di Damasco quando, dopo il 1218, ci sarà un vasto processo di ammodernamento delle opere difensive. 32 Le diverse classificazioni proposte sembrano risolvere i problemi tipologici ma soltanto in via di massima poiché le varianti locali sono numerose e tali da richiedere costanti correttivi. 33 Le torri possono essere a base quadrilatera (prevalenza delle planimetrie rettangolari su quelle quadrate) e circolare mentre non sono rare, nelle torri di cortina e delle porte, planimetrie in Gichon 1974, 513-44. 34 Si tratta di un modello di fortificazione che sembra avere le sue origini proprio in area vicinorientale e che sarà in uso almeno fino all’epoca omayyade per essere ancora recuperati, con le necessarie modifiche, in molte opere fortificate di epoca crociata (Gregory 1996). Un riferimento fondamentale per lo studio dei quadriburgia è Gichon 1993. 35 A Darum la fortificazione era di “formae quadrae, quattuor turres habens angulares, quarum una grossior et munitior erat aliis”. Lo stesso modello verrà utilizzato anche dagli eserciti musulmani come al Qal’at er-Rabadh (Ajlun), costruito in opposizione al castello crociato di Crac de Montreal (Kerak).

22

Lander 1984. Numerosi sono le documentazioni relative a opere fortificate allestite proprio a protezione di distretti minerari e cave di pietra e delle strade che da queste partivano. 23 Di grande interesse potrebbero essere alcuni riferimenti con i sistemi difensivi romani e bizantini del Nord Africa. Si pensi agli esempi, basati sul modello castrum e quadriburgium, della Tunisia dove sopravvivono significative tracce delle clausurae che costituivano un sistema fortificato a difesa della frontiera agricola. 24 Condizioni territoriali difficili avevano convinto i Romani dell’impossibilità di un presidio continuo ed esteso lungo confini destinati a variare e fare affidamento, piuttosto, sulle popolazioni locali (clientes) che, a fronte di benefici e assicurazioni di protezione interna, si rendevano garanti di quegli officia consistenti soprattutto nella difesa contro infiltrazioni e movimenti locali. Durante il regno di Erode, nessuna legione era presente in Giudea mentre alla sua morte due-tre legioni opereranno a contrastare la rivolta giudaica e quella di Bar-Kokba. 25 Con alcune sensibili differenziazioni in epoca traianea, dioclezianea e costantinea (quando le truppe verranno ritirate a protezione delle città). Simkins, Embleton 1984; Redde 1993. 

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean ve hanno raggiunto in molti casi rilevanti risultati, talvolta usuali ma non di rado di grande originalità e tali di influenzare le generazioni successive di costruttori. In linea di massima, per quanto riguarda la tipologia e l’uso dei materiali lapidei, bisogna fare una distinzione (localmente talvolta molto netta vista la diversità di morfologia dei territori, anche a breve distanza) tra le regioni a partire dall’altopiano dello Hauran fino ai confini settentrionali (oggi Siria, Libano e parte della Giordania) e la regione meridionale corrispondente alla fascia trasgiordanica e al Regno di Gerusalemme. Nelle aree settentrionali dei principali insediamenti del Limes Arabicus affiorano prevalentemente colate basaltiche pleistoceniche ampiamente diffuse sul territorio e potenti fino alla decina di metri e oltre; le lave basaltiche costituivano, pertanto, gli esclusivi materiali impiegabili per le costruzioni. Si trattava di elementi lapidei di grande affidabilità che, in molti casi, saranno oggetto di una sistematica spoliazione per essere reimpiegati anche in aree limitrofe.36 Non va dimenticato che nelle legioni romane erano presenti nuclei di geo-ingegneri specializzati e addestrati (grazie anche alla presenza di indigeni) all’uso dei materiali locali e alle tecniche costruttive più strategicamente efficaci, capaci di adattare alla singolarità delle situazioni locali i modelli di opere militari e stradali tendenzialmente standardizzati in tutto l’impero, basati su una modularità sistematica e l’assemblaggio di elementi preconfezionati. I basalti utilizzati possono essere raggruppati in tre tipologie lito-tessiturali con caratteristiche morfologiche e proprietà tecnologiche diverse: basalto massivo compatto di colore scuro (Y=3 t/m3; Co=180 MPa), basalto massivo con vacuoli di degassazione di colore scuro (Y=2,9 t/m3; Co=160 MPa) e scorie laviche spugnose di colore rossiccio (Y=1,2 t/m3; Co=20 MPa). I materiali in opera sembrano potersi riferire a diverse situazioni estrattive e di lavorazione che appaiono ben differenziate in alcune zone (e soprattutto nelle condizioni di primo uso), ma più frequentemente risultano impiegate contemporaneamente, specialmente nel caso di riutilizzi. Una prima classe è formata da blocchi residuali sub-sferici ben arrotondati, presenti sulla superficie topografica naturale, regolarizzati tramite spacco sul lato di costruzione derivano da una coltivazione di “cava atipica” e da blocchi provenienti dai primi livelli di roccia basaltica in posto fortemente alterata in forme sferoidali lungo le fratture naturali per progressiva argillificazione. Elementi tronco-piramidali sono messi in opera con la superficie esterna regolarizzata e spesso lavorata a faccia vista; derivano da una coltivazione a profondità di qualche metro delle colate basaltiche ancora sane (quasi sempre trasformate, poi, in cisterne), sfruttando comunque anche le superfici di frattura esistenti. L’impiego più frequente è costituito da elementi a barre e lastre usati come elemento di apparecchio delle murature, come orditura dei solai, architravi ed elementi modulari. In questi casi possono essere lavorati con accortezza sulle sole facce in vista oppure, sia pure meno frequentemente, su tutti lati.37

Nelle regioni del dell’altopiano del Moab ed attorno al Mar Morto affiorano, con ampia continuità laterale in assetto sub orizzontale,38 sequenze sedimentarie39 che hanno fornito diverse classi di materiali utilizzati per le costruzioni. I materiali litoidi40 rappresentano, infatti, la principale fonte di blocchi da costruzione smassati secondo le loro naturali discontinuità (stratificazione e joint); le marne sono state utilizzate per fare calce mentre le ceneri vulcaniche, presenti in alcune aree, sono state utilizzate come additivi negli intonaci degli impianti idraulici e delle fornaci. È possibile riconoscere, tra le litologie presenti, i calcari come il materiale più usato (Schick 1887; Blake 1935; Dalman 1942): il mizzi41, il meleki42 il kalkule43 e il nari44. LE OPERE FORTIFICATE CROCIATE Le maestranze crociate hanno potuto formarsi esperienze costruttive, collaudandone i risultati direttamente sul campo; hanno dato dimostrazioni eloquenti di conoscenze del costruire che ha raggiunto, in alcuni casi, livelli pregevoli.45 Basterebbe ricordare le strutture voltate (volte in usati come aggregati nel calcestruzzo 38 Nei livelli calcareo-silicei più competenti sono presenti pieghe disarmoniche metriche e decametriche, a piano assiale sub-verticale e assi sub-orizzontali orientati ne-sw. 39 Riferibili al Cretaceo Superiore (Turoniano e Senoniano) di ambiente da neritico a inter-sopratidale e paralico con livelli ferruginosi e brecce di rielaborazione per trasgressione. Nella zona è presente una successione rappresentate da calcari silicei, marne, calcareniti e brecce calcaree con crostoni ferruginosi, indici nel complesso di un ambiente de posizionale a pelo d’acqua in clima caldo arido, con apporti di materiale siliceo fine di presumibile origine eolica che, mescolato alla normale sedimentazione di fanghi carbonatici, ha dato luogo a precoce silicizzazione dei livelli calcarei. Questi, periodicamente soggetti a emersione, hanno dato sviluppo a depositi calcarenitici, brecciole biocalcarenitiche e brecce calcareo-silicee di rielaborazione. 40 Calcari organogeni conchigliari bruno chiari, a packstone, in livelli centimetrici, compattati e ben nitrificati; calcari breccioidi bruno chiari, con clasti centimetrici a spigoli vivi e matrice arenitica carbonatici in livelli centimetrici, compatti e ben litificati; calcareniti fini avana chiaro, con laminazioni piano-parallele, compatte; calcilutiti grigio-verdastro, compatte; basalti massivi scuri; marmi saccaroidi bianchi a grani millimetrici, con bande centimetriche di venature grigie, compatti. 41 Questa pietra è classificata in: mizzi jehudi, pietra molto dura scarsamente sensibile all’azione dell’acqua con colori che vanno dal bianco al giallo, dal rosso al grigio; mizzi helu, biancastro con venature gialle, lasciato sovente come “tetto” di una grotta dopo che ne sono stati scavati i sottostanti strati di meleki, e mizzi ahmar (rosso). 42 Il meleki (“regina”) è un calcare modestamente duro e cristallino di colore dorato; è stato tradizionalmente il più utilizzato per blocchi squadrati da costruzione (impiegato, per esempio, nei conci bugnati del muro del Pianto e nel muro della piattaforma del tempio di Erode a Gerusalemme). 43 Calcare marnoso di facile lavorabilità. 44 Incrostazione tufacea leggera e porosa che presenta la caratteristica di resistere al fuoco. Oggi viene utilizzato soprattutto per fare calce, ma in antico è stato impiegato come materiale per la preparazione di conci squadrati. 45 Alla fine del 1239, quando saranno fatte demolire le mura della torre di Davide a Gerusalemme la straordinarietà delle murature sarà ben testimoniata dal manoscritto di Rotelin: “les pierres estoient si granz que tuit s’en merveilloient. Elle estoit si fort maconné a chaux et ciment et a arainne, et les pierrs soudeez a plonc et a grosses bandes de fer acroschiez d’une part et d’autre que a trop grand painne e a trop grand force la porent ruer jus“. La stessa soluzione basata su tenoni di ferro sigillati a piombo (  “…cum quarum juncturis lapides magni ferreis vinculis et duris amplexibus internectuntur“ è adottata a Beiruth e al

36

Basti ricordare l’uso che è stato fatto di barre di basalto come elementi di cucitura tra cortine in calcare e di lastre come elementi di apparecchio per pareti “prefabbricate” al castello di Hallabat. 37 Nell’area di Umm el-Jemal si trovano spezzoni di scorie spugnose

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L. Marino, M. Coli : La difesa del limes arabicus in epoca romana, bizantina e crociata linea a due-quattro centri e a freccia variabile oppure cupole di rotazione nelle quali le malte si trovano a giocare un ruolo determinante) e quegli apparecchi murari per i quali si richiedevano raffinate e ben collaudate conoscenze di stereotomia per la progettazione la realizzazione di sezioni ellissoidali (scale ed elementi angolari ma soprattutto i torrioni circolari aggettanti sulle cortine a scarpa a Marqab e al Crac des Chevaliers) o più semplicemente archi a dente di sega da utilizzarsi come generatice di strutture voltate a sviluppo rettilineo.46 L’abilità costruttiva dei Crociati sarà testimoniata da alcune scelte tecnologiche di grande interesse come, per esempio, quelle applicate per lo sfruttamento dei siti attraverso l’attento intaglio della roccia per offrire alle murature un ottimale alloggiamento47, (non di rado ricorrendo, ove necessario, a getti cementizi di allettamento e opportuni sistemi di drenaggio a monte) quando non si è trattato di opere fortificate interamente scavate nella roccia48 tanto che si potrebbe utilizzare per loro la definizione castelli di roccia. Importanti sono i lavori di foderatura effettuati a completamento di scarpate naturali49 e quelle, appositamente allestite come efficace procedura antimina e buona soluzione contro le macchine d’assedio e di scalata. I materiali lapidei usati risultano in genere legati alla tipologia di litofacies calcarea presente nella zona, salvo riuso di materiali esotici presenti in edifici precedenti; solo raramente sono state trovate tracce organizzate di attività estrattiva storica significativa (anche se non mancano eccezioni particolarmente significative di cave). Questo fa ritenere che la maggior parte del materiale derivasse da raccolta e sbozzatura di regoliti presenti sul suolo e da opere di smassamento, secondo le naturali discontinuità presenti, di affioramenti lapidei  locali, con successiva sbozzatura e regolarizzazione. In caso di scavi per cisterne o fossati difensivi il materiale lapideo veniva cavato e riusato subito in loco nel costruito in maniera da potenziare, con l’aumento delle quote, le difese murarie Una prova non marginale della qualità raggiunta dall’architettura militare di epoca crociata è costituita dalla evidenza dello stato di conservazione: la presenza di forme patologiche (quadri fessurativi innanzi tutto) sembra riferibile, più che a errori costruttivi dell’epoca, a sollecitazioni e a fenomeni di degrado dei materiali e dissesto delle strutture soprattutto nelle parti non originali quando,

addirittura, non relativamente recenti. Nell’architettura fortificata di epoca crociata è di particolare interesse l’apparecchio di strutture che si basa sull’impiego di colonne monolitiche50 di espoliazione (provenienti da edifici romani ed erodiani, di cui tutta la regione abbondava e talvolta già reimpiegate in edifici di epoca bizantina) affogate trasversalmente, o a strati incrociati sovrapposti a più livelli, allo scopo di collegare i due paramenti dello stesso muro oppure per collegare strutture murarie diverse. Talvolta si tratta di un solo troncone di colonna collocato strategicamente a collegare due murature diverse (Betlemme) o una muratura al terrapieno (Kerak). Gli esempi più significativi sono a Cesarea (Lindley Vann, 1992), al castello a mare di Sidone,51 al castello e alle strutture portuali di Byblos,52 Beirut,53 Paphos a Cipro54 e ad Ascalon.55 Quasi sempre le colonne sono state tagliate in due o tre tronconi e, forse, proprio la lunghezza di questi potrebbe aver determinato lo spessore dei muri da costruire. La stessa soluzione è adottata in alcune opere fortificate dopo la riconquista musulmana (Gerusalemme, a Bosra56, Damasco e Aleppo …) ma anche in castelli nei quali non sembra esserci traccia di presenza crociata.57 L’efficacia della soluzione costruttiva basata sull’impiego di colonne è testimoniata dal cronista Maqrizi quando a proposito della presa di Cesarea da parte di Baybars (1265), annotava che Luigi IX aveva fortificato talmente bene la cittadella usando colonne di granito da rendere praticamente inutile ogni lavoro di mina.58 L’impiego di tronconi di colonne (isolati o in serie) all’interno della compagine muraria, di apparecchio continuo in tutto lo spessore o più frequente50

La tecnica è stata segnalata da Deschamps 1939, 31-32; Marino 2007, 209-237. L’origine della provenienza dell’apparecchio murario con colonne, se per alcuni aspetti può essere riferito all’opus gallicum, per altri potrebbe trovare la sua giustificazione in una procedura costruttiva indigena, in parte derivata dalle opere fortificate romane del limes e quelle che provengono dall’architettura militare greca. Un apparecchio murario confrontabile è costituito dall’impiego di elementi lapidei (barre di calcare o basalto lunghe talvolta oltre 150cm) come è ben evidente nella cortina muraria sovrastante il fossato di Kerak. 51 Il castello a mare della crociata Sagitta è un’isoletta fortificata le cui murature sono rinforzate con tronconi di colonne di granito alloggiate su più file. 52 A Byblos l’apparecchio murario presenta blocchi lapidei di grandi dimensioni (le più grandi presenti in quella regione dopo Baalbek) provenienti da edifici più antichi. Il riutilizzo di tronconi di colonne, è generalizzato in tutte le cortine delle strutture portuali, banchine e torrione che controlla il bacino; localmente diventa talmente fitta da costituire la parte preponderante. 53 In piazza dei Martiri è stato riscoperto un tratto di banchina rinforzata con tronconi di colonne. 54 Al castello della Quaranta Colonne. 55 Ad Ascalon i fusti di colonne della fortificazione di Riccardo I (1192) sono sopravvissuti al crollo (forse a causa anche della scarsa qualità delle malte) della cortina esterna verso mare. In uno spezzone di muro ortogonale alla cortina sopravvivono tronconi di colonna, accuratamente sezionate e murati sovrapposti e incrociati. 56 Il teatro romano è stato trasformato in fortezza in epoca selgiuchide (dopo il 1089) e soprattutto ayyubide completando le opere fortificate che già avevano avviato gli Omayyadi utilizzando spezzoni di colonne affogate nelle murature. 57 Colonne con funzione strutturale poste nelle murature sono presenti anche nelle mura di epoca fatimita al Cairo, al castello di Shayzar in Siria. 58 “la citadelle… rendue extrêmement forte en introduisant dans la maçonnerie des murs d’énormes colonnes de granit placées dans le sens de leur longueur, de sorte qu’on ne pouvait compter sur le succès d’un travail de mine” (Röhricht 378).

castello di Sidone.  46 Al Crac des Chevaliers la sala è lunga 120 metri 47 Una parte del castello di Beaufort “consiste en cavernes creusées dans le roc, et une autre parti est costruite sur le roc”. I resti di due castelli crociati di Petra (al Habis al centro nell’area monumentale nabateoromana e Wu’eira a un paio di km sulla strada per Shobac Shawbak) offrono significativi esempi. Sono entrambi alloggiati su costoni rocciosi emergenti, già occupati in epoche più antiche; i costruttori crociati hanno eseguito accorte opere di intaglio nella roccia per alloggiare murature in elevato. Marino, Dinelli, Guerra, Labanca, Nenci, Orlando, Sabelli 1990, 3-12; Bini, Bertocci 2004. 48 Nell’assedio della grotta fortificata di Habis (1182) i crociati hanno impiegato squadre di tagliapietre (con i “leur pix et leur martiaux”) per aprire una breccia per poter entrare. 49 Si pensi alle scarpate dei castelli come Kerak e Shawbak o Marqab. Il castello di Salkhad, costruito insieme a Bosra per la difesa di Damasco sul lato meridionale contro i Crociati che occupavano Gerusalemme (12141247), è stato costruito in un cratere vulcanico mentre le scarpate naturali sono state interamente rivestite con conci di pietra quasi a simulare che si tratti di un castello costruito.

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mente a sacco, pone molti problemi sull’effettivo contributo statico59 che può fornire alle strutture murarie e sulla consapevolezza che i costruttori crociati avrebbero potuto avere dell’affidabilità nel tempo delle loro realizzazioni soprattutto nelle angolate e nei tratti di murature più soggetti all’erosione naturale o all’eventuale lavoro di mina da parte degli assedianti.

BIBLIOGRAFIA AL-Khouri, M. 2004. Il Limes arabicus. Roma 2003. Balard, M. 2001. Croisades et Orient latin, Paris. Bidwell, P., Miket, R., Ford, B. (eds.) 1988. Portae comturribus. Studies of Roman fort gates. British Archaeological Reports Engl. Ser. 206. Bini, M. e Bertocci, S. 2004. Castelli di pietra. Firenze. Blake, G.S. 1935. The Stratigraphy of Palestine and its Building Stone. Jerusalem. Butler, R.W.H., Spencer, S. and Griffiths, H.M. 1997. Transcurrent fault activity on the Dead Sea Transform in Lebanon and its implications for plate tectonics and seismic hazard. Journal of the Geological Society of London, 153, 757-760. Connolly, P. 1975. The Roman Army. London. Dalman G. 1942. Arbeit und Sitte in Palästina. Davison, P. 1989. The Barracks of the Roman Army from the 1st to 3rd Centuries A.D. British Archaeological Reports intern. Ser. 472. Deschamps, P. 1932. Les entrées des châteaux des Croisés en Syrie et leurs défenses, Syria, 1932, 369-387. Deschamps, P. 1939. La défense du Royaume de Jérusalem, 31-32. Paris. Freeman, Ph. and Kennedy D. (eds), 1986. The Defence of the Roman and Byzantine East. British Archaeological Reports Intern. Ser. 297. Gichon, M. 1967. The Origin of the Limes Palaestinae and the Major Phases in Its Developments. Limes VI, 175-93, 1967 Gichon, M. 1974. Towers on the Limes Palaestinae. Limes IX, 513-44. Gichon, M. 1991. When and Why Did the Romans Commence the Defence of Southern Palestine?. Limes, XV, 318-325 Gichon, M. 1993. En Boqeq, Ausgrabungen in einer Oase am Toten Meer. Mainz. Gregory, S. 1995-97. Roman Military Architecture on the Eastern Frontier 200-600, Amsterdam. Gregory, S. 1996. Was There an Eastern Origin for the Design of Late Roman Fortifications? In D.L. Kennedy (ed.), The Roman Army in the East, Journal of Roman Archaeology, Su Ser., 18. Ann Arbor. Hatzor, Y., Reches, Z. 1990. Structures and paleostress in the Gilboa’region, western margins of the central Dead

Nel complesso si rileva un uso razionale dei materiali lapidei presenti in zona, raccolti, scavati e usati sfruttandone al meglio le prestazioni, in perfetta sintonia con le caratteristiche del territorio e singolarità delle risorse lapidee.60 Le differenze di materiale e le relative modalità di impiego possono essere riferite, ovviamente, a fasi cronologiche diverse delle costruzioni. In alcune aree, in maniera particolare, però, è indispensabile utilizzare le necessarie cautele poiché, come in tutti i siti rimasti per vari motivi e per lungo periodo al margine di rilevanti processi evolutivi, si possono riscontrare spesso la presenza di abitudini costruttive, uso di materiali e risorse locali, rimaste sostanzialmente inalterate da tempi molto antichi arrivando talvolta fin quasi ai tempi nostri. LO STATO DI CONSERVAZIONE Tutta l’area del Vicino Oriente, dal punto di vista dello stato di conservazione, presenta una ricchissima campionatura di edifici antichi ridotti allo stato di rudere. Lasciati in abbandono per molto tempo e distrutti da uno stato di belligeranza costante sono oggi esposti a un nuovo rischio provocato da uno “sviluppo turistico” incontrollato. Lo stato generale della maggior parte dei manufatti e dei siti è sufficiente ma localmente si presentano aggravamenti delle condizioni particolari che, dal punto di vista conservativo, destano preoccupazione. Le cause principali del progressivo affievolimento delle capacità di resistenza dei manufatti edilizi vanno riferiti a vari fattori che agiscono solitamente indipendentemente gli uni dagli altri ma talvolta in concomitanza tra loro. Riteniamo si possa affermare che se in quelle regioni l’archeologia e la storia hanno avuto uno sviluppo di grande importanza non di pari passo sembrano essersi sviluppate le locali politiche corrette e consapevoli di tutela. Nelle vaste bibliografie disponibili i riferimenti ai problemi di tutela e di valorizzazione sembrano essere quasi inesistenti e non consentono ancora di poter disporre di un affidabile mezzo di conoscenza della situazione attuale61 e uno strumento per interventi futuri: la preven59

Una funzione importante avevano le staffe a coda di rondine (“des queues d’aronde probablement en bois”) segnalate dal Rey nel torrione circolare del castello a mare di Sidone. Burchard de Mont-Sion annota: munitionem ex lapidibus quadris ex cemento et plumbo indissolubiter compaginatam”. L’uso di tenoni metallici sigillati con piombo è presente alla Torre di Davide a Gerusalemme, al castello di Beiruth e al fortino di Maraclea. 60 “E’ cosa troppo naturale agli uomini di far entrare nella costruttura delle loro case quelle pietre che possono servire all’uopo, e che d’altronde per la loro vicinità sono comodissime. Quindi nulla accade più di frequente a chi viaggia che il vedere le fabbriche sia private che pubbliche (…) formate in tutto, o in buona parte, di quei materiali lapidei che somministrano i monti o i torrenti vicini.” (Spallanzani 1932-1936). 61 Pur nei limiti che la complessità dei siti impone si possono definire alcuni dei principali fattori di deterioramento: configurazione dei siti;

condizioni meteo-climatiche cicliche e cause naturali a carattere stagionale che si possono presentare in forma esasperata; caratteristiche dei locali materiali da costruzione e procedure costruttive (materiali solitamente affidabili ma fortemente deperibili in stato di invecchiamento); cause connesse con le operazioni di scavo archeologico (sensibili variazioni delle condizioni ambientali e microclimatiche); interventi di restauro solo parzialmente efficaci; interventi turistici improvvisati e disattenti alle esigenze di conservare gli originali. 62 Soltanto osservazioni ripetute nel tempo possono contribuire a determinare le caratteristiche della progressiva perdita di capacità di resistenza. Non si può dimenticare che spesso il cedimento di un manufatto edilizio segue un andamento subdolo rendendosi evidente soltanto in fasi terminali del processo di dissesto.

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L. Marino, M. Coli : La difesa del limes arabicus in epoca romana, bizantina e crociata Sea rift. Tectonophysics, 180, 87-100. Helms S. (ed.) 1990. Early Islamic Architecture of theDesert. A beduin station in eastern Jordan. Edimburgh. Herzog, C., Gichon, M.2003. Le grandi battaglie della Bibbia. Roma (orig. London 1978). Huygens, C. 1965. Un nouveau texte du traité “de constructione castri Saphet”, in Studi medievali, VII, 1965, 357-387. Kempinsky, A., Reich, R .1992. The architecture of ancient Israel. Jerusalem. Kennedy, D.L. and Riley, D. 1990. Rome’s desert frontier from the air. London. Kennedy, D.L. 1982. Archaeological Explorations on the Roman Frontier in North-East Jordan. British Archaeological Reports Intern. Ser. Kennedy, D.L., 1997. Roman Roads and Routes in North East Jordan, Levant 29. Lander, J.L. 1984. Roman stone fortification: variation and change from the first century A.D. to the fourth. University of California. Laws, E.D. and Wilson, M. 1997. Tectonics and magmatism associated with Mesozoic passive continental margin development in the Middle East. Journal of the Geological Society 154, 459-464.London. Le Bohec, Y. 2008. Armi e guerrieri di Roma antica, (cap. 7 L’architettura militare).Roma (orig. Paris 2006). Lein Y. and Weizman, E. 2007. La terra rubata. La politica israeliana di insediamento in Cisgiordania. Rimini. Leriche, P., Treziny H. (eds.) 1986. La fortification dans l’histoire du mond grec. In Actes du Colloque International La fortification et sa place dans l’histoire politique, culturelle et sociale du monde grec (Valbonne, déc. 1982). Paris. Lindley Vann, R. (ed.) 1992. Caesarea Papers, Straton’s Tower, Herod’s Harbour, and Roman and Bizantine Cesarea. Journal of Roman Archaeology, Suppl. Series. Lunina, O.V., Mart, Y. and Gladkov, A.S. (2005). Fracturing patterns, stress fields and earthquakes in the Southern Dead Sea rift. Journal of Geodynamics, 40, 216234. Marino, L. 1982. The Bridge over the River Harod, in B. Isaac and I. Roll (eds.), Roman Roads in Judaea.

The Legio- Scythopolis Road, in British Archaeological Reports Intern. Ser. 141, 43-52, 122-23. Marino, L.1997. La fabbrica dei castelli crociati in Terra Santa. Firenze. Marino, L. 2001. La motta e il donjon all’epoca delle crociate. Castellum, 43. Marino, L. 2007. Le risorse lapidee per la costruzione dei castelli di epoca crociata. L’opus gallicum: il singolare reimpiego di una tecnica costruttiva più antica. In A. Pellettieri (ed.), All’origine dell’Europa Mediterranea, 209-237.Firenze. Marino, L., Dinelli, O., Guerra, M., Labanca, G., Nenci, C., Orlando, F. and Sabelli, R. 1990. The Crusaders Settlement in Petra. Fortress 7, 3-12 . Napoli, J. 1997. Recherches sur les fortifications linéaires romaines. Paris-Roma. Obley, B. 1982. Roman Military Structures at the Lunt Roman Fort: Experimental Simulations 1966-1977. In P.J.Drury (ed.), Structural Reconstruction, in British Archaeological Reports Engl. Ser., 223-273. Richardson, A. 2004. Theoretical Aspects of Roman Camp and Fort Design. British Archaeological Reports Intern. Ser. 1321. Redde, M. 1993. Dioclétien et les fortifications militaries de l’Antiquité tardive. Quelques considérations de method. London. Ron, H., Nur, A., Eyal, Y. Multiple strike-slip fault sets: A case study from the Dead Sea Transform. Tectonics 9, 1421-1432. Savage, M. mai 1991. Le siège des villes fortifies. Les Dossiers d’Archéologie, 10, 56-62. Schick, C. 1887. The stones of Jerusalem. PEFQ, genn., 50-51 Simkins, M., Embleton, R. 1984. The Roman Army from Caesar to Trajan. London. Spallanzani, L. 1932-1936. Le Opere. Milano. Tolan, J., Josserand, PH. 2000. Les relations entre le monde arabo-musulman et le monde latin (milieu du Xemilieu du XIIIe siècle). Bréal. Winter, F.E. 1971. Greek Fortifications. Toronto

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Figura1. Il disegno dei ruderi del castello di Saffuriya-la crociata le Saforie (in Guèrin, 1882) ben rappresenta alcuni degli elementi tecnologici caratteristici dei castelli di epoca crociata e della riconquista musulmana: aderenza alla morfologia del terreno e ai fronti di cava, grande apparecchio con elementi lapidei ben lavorati allettati su piani orizzontali e regolarizzati, elementi finiti a bugnato, volte apparecchiate con elementi radiali e/o scaglie di pietre, murature a due paramenti con elementi a chiodo, utilizzo di spolia, sacco in calcestruzzo e grossi caementa…

Figura 2. Nel castello di Wu’ eira (Petra, Giordania) le murature di epoca crociata sono state alloggiate nei gradoni (in parte più antichi) intagliati nella roccia.

Figura 3. Apparecchio murario nella soluzione d’angolo al castello di Kerak (Giordania) che impiega lunghe barre lapidee murate a formare un sistema di grande affidabilità strutturale.

Figura 4. A Salkad (Siria) il cono basaltico è stato foderato con elementi lapidei di cortina.

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Figura 5. Il Qasr Bshir (Giordania) è un quadriburgium del limes mano-bizantino costruito con elementi di cava (diventata una vasta cisterna aperta) ben lavorati e materiale lapideo da spacco raccolto nell’area circostante.

Figura 6. Lastre in basalto di spoglio sono state impiegate a qasr Hallabat (Giordania) per la costruzione di murature di tramezzo.

Figura 7. Lavorazione di elementi lapidei a bozze nella cittadella di Damasco.

Figura 8. Soluzione d’angolo in una delle torri “a cavaliere” al Crac des Chevaliers (Homs, Siria). La progettazione e la lavorazione degli elementi di contatto tra le murature a scarpa e le torri cilindriche esigevano buone conoscenze di stereotomia e abilità nel taglio della pietra.

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Figura 9. Una soluzione simile è stata adottata in alcune torri di cortina alla cittadella del Cairo.

Figura 10. Singolare apparecchio che impiega fusti di colonne nelle murature del castello “a mare” di Sidone (Libano).

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LIMES ARABICUS AND STILL-STANDING BUILDINGS Roberto Parenti Piero Gilento Università di Siena Abstract (2008) Limes Arabicus and material structures Traianus annexed the Nabataen Kingdom to the Roman Empire in 106 AD. This territory became part of the new Provincia Arabia. The construction of the via nova traiana by Claudius Severus, between AD 111 and AD 114, sealed the conquest of the territory, traditionally held to have fallen along with together with the fortalices, lookout towers and quadriburgia. The road and these structures represented the so-called limes arabicus. It is well known, that Romans reused pre-existing structures both from the Iron Age and the Nabataen Age. The network of sites remained in use after the fall of the Roman Empire. There is evidence of frequentation of the quadriburgia during the Byzantine period, with alternating periods of abandonment and new construction during the successive three centuries. The situation on the limes changed again after AD 750, when the Abbasides came to power and moved the capital from Damascus to Baghdad. The complex of buildings of the limes arabicus, in what is now Jordan, is a unique site where different building techniques developed over a relatively short time span and are still well-preserved: ideal conditions for testing out methods of Building Archaeology. New classification and registration technologies, fast and available on-line thanks to an advanced technology database, allow us to process a considerable amount of data (stratigraphical readings on ortophotoplan and 3D models with photographic renderings of surfaces, characterization of building techniques, chronotypology) and to georeference the site through GoogleMaps and Google Earth.

INTRODUCTION

comparisons and stratigraphic analysis). Unfortunately, the traditional literature on architectural complexes in Jordan in general, and in particular the buildings of the crucial transitional period from the Roman-Byzantine world to the Proto-Islamic world (despite some recent acquisitions), is still far from meeting an acceptable standard of recording of building characteristics and, even more so, of publication of data that might aid in comprehension (through analytical comparisons) of the surrounding areas. In particular, given that studying the evolution of the building techniques is above all a question of chronology, what instrument could better provide reliable information on the relative chronology of various parts and help to specify the features of the building techniques used than stratigraphic analysis of architectural complexes that underwent multiple phases of construction over the course of their inhabited existences? The determination of homogeneous parts will allow us to more accurately document the characteristics of masonry and of more complex construction systems, in order to compile a valid chrono-typological sequence, first for the entire architectural complex and later for geologically similar areas. The Building Archaeology, after nearly thirty years of experiences in highly diversified European contexts, appears in this case to be the most appropriate discipline for obtaining useful and often previously-unknown information from these buildings. In fact, stratigraphic analysis of elevated structures, along with a work strategy aimed at creating chrono-typologies, in the specific Jordanian case, can provide important results about structures which, due to their stratigraphic complexity, conditions of conservation and degree of decipherability, are surely an unicum. Another advantage is that initial analysis can be made without excavations, thus enormously increasing the quantity of observations that can be made with an equal amount of effort. Therefore, the creation of a chrono-typology of building techniques (walls, openings, roofing systems and ceilings and buil-

This article aims to summarize and re-organize the historical-archaeological data of a part of the limes arabicus and above all to present a new methodological approach based on the study of buildings, to determine the evolution of building techniques and the transmission of knowledge and skills. The analysed buildings are situated in the area that corresponds to the south-easternmost boundary match of the Roman Empire, modern-day Jordan1_. The tradition of scholarship that has dealt with the limes arabicus, its evolution and above all the structures within it is now firmly established. Significant research projects, particularly those developed in the 1970s and ‘80s, attained important results. The area, part of which is today within the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, has always been an object of study, where early aerial surveys and, later, wide-scale field surveys were carried out. Numerous excavations also served to flesh out field survey data. However, recent studies focusing specifically on the architecture have been relegated to a secondary role, with the exception of a few cases involving large towns, perhaps due to the difficulty of comparison with the results achieved by Creswell regarding the early Islamic architecture (Creswell 1969, Creswell and Allan 1989). This fact seems incongruous with the outstanding conditions of conservation of many of the buildings which formed the limes arabicus. Nonetheless, we will here present the initial results of a new methodological approach based on direct observations (necessarily sporadic and brief, due to the newness of the discipline and the limited duration of missions) of architecture, which has much in common with the working instruments of archaeological field research (typological 1 _The

following article is part of the research project ‘Building Archaeology in Jordan’ of the Architectural Archaeology Laboratory of the University of Siena, directed by Prof. Roberto Parenti and with the collaboration of Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Antiquities of Jordan.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean sized that a limes would always have had a dual structure consisting of two boundaries, one internal and the other external. Although this definition looked at the concept of limes in a broad sense and did not refer to any specific locations in the Roman Empire, many scholars have used Mommsen’s definition, creating a working model and projecting it onto particular cases as starting point for field surveys of the borders of some Roman provinces.

ding materials), at least for geologically homogeneous areas, could become a key to interpretation and a very useful instrument for a period (3rd-9th century AD) of transformation and changes (continuity of or divergence from Roman building techniques) of primary importance for the history of the entire Mediterranean area. THE LIMES The term limes is closely linked to the history of the expansion of the Roman Empire. Ancient sources help us to understand what a limes was in antiquity (Isaac 1988). The main meanings associated with this word are “road” or “street”; the word limes identified the main infrastructure built by the Roman army as a means for penetrating and connecting conquered territories2. A great many sources3 identify the term limes as “border line”, a physically determined limit that protected conquered territories, and later, especially in the 3rd and 4th century AD epigraphic sources, the word limes can be recognized as referring to a border district administered by a dux4.

LOCATION AND STRUCTURE OF THE LIMES ARABICUS: CURRENT STATE OF STUDY At the beginning of the 20th century, a series of important surveys were carried out in the Near East. The Princeton Archaeological Expedition to Syria, led by the American H.C. Butler (Butler et alii 1930), the German expedition by R.E. Brünnow and A. von Domaszewski and the French Mission Archéologique en Arabie by the religiouses Jaussen and Savignac (Jaussen and Savignac 1922), and even earlier the expedition led by Alois Musil who, between 1896 and 1901, collected important archaeological and anthropological evidence (Musil 1907-1908), are indicators of Western powers’ interest in the territories of the declining Ottoman Empire. The survey of the Roman Province of Arabia by R.E. Brünnow and A. von Domaszewski (Brünnow and Von Domaszewski 1904-1906), who investigated the area between Bosra (in modern-day Syria) and Ma ân (mid-southern area of modern-day Jordan) without reaching the extreme south of the region, identified two limites running more or less parallel to a north-south direction: the region’s most important road, the via nova ab mare rubro usque ad confiniis Syriae, (which followed the King’s Highway, a road that was also used by Nabataen people and connected Madaba, Rabba, Shawbak and Petra) was established to be the internal boundary. The external boundary was set east of the via nova traiana, along a line of desert which ran from Amman - passing through al-Qastal (despite its name, the current structure is a large 8th century Umayyad palace) and the legionary camp of Udruh - to Ma ân, and was identified by the two explorers due to the presence of lookout towers, legionary camps and forts such as Qasr Bshîr, el-Lejjun, Jurf al-Darawish and Da’janiya which were part of the so-called “central sector” of the limes (Parker 1986). The internal line of limes also presented fortified areas and lookout points, and both were linked by a system of minor roads.

In border areas, the Roman army was organised in limites, i.e. systems of fortifications connected by roads along a established border delimited by rivers or natural ridges, or by artificial obstacles (ditches and fences). After the rapid expansion of Rome in the 1st century AD, which gave it control over most of Western Europe and part of the Near East, Roman borders on both sides of the Empire were subject to significant pressure from the outside due to the invasions of the 3rd century. One of first important acts to stabilize the borders was carried out by Emperors at the beginning of the 2nd century AD, in particular Trajan (98-117) and by Hadrian (117-138) who regularized the control of the vast territory inhabited by heterogeneous populations. The borderlines (roads, fences or walls), protected by permanent forts and guarded by full-time troops, represented the farthest edge of the Empire’s control over provincial territories. A second important reorganization of the boundaries took place at the end of the III century by Emperor Diocletian, who also enacted a comprehensive reorganization of government administrative systems. It is not easy to define and give a concise meaning to the word limes, especially because it is a word that can be used in different contexts. One of the first researchers who tried to precisely define the concept of limes was Theodor Mommsen (Mommsen 1908). On the basis of an etymological study of the word, the German philologist hypothe-

This survey served as the basis for later archaeological research in the region. Archaeological surveys of nearby Syrian and Palestinian borderlines had confirmed the hypothesis of the existence of a “double limes” in this area as well. In fact, aerial surveys of Syria by A. Poidebard (Poidebard 1925-1932) during the 1930s had highlighted a widespread and welldeveloped system of fortifications extending from the Euphrates to Hauran. Based on the results of this survey, the French scientist hypothesized a similar situation to that previously found by Brünnow and von Domaszewski in

For example in Velleio II, 120 we read.’…arma infert quae arcuisse pater et patria contenti erant; penetrat interius, aperit limites, vastat agros, urit domos, fundit obvios…’ 3 ‘…in plurimis locis, in quibus barbari non fluminibus sed limiti bus dividuntur, stipitibus magnis in modum muralis saepis funditus iactis atque conexis barbaros separavit…’ from SHA vita Hadr. 12. In this case the word limites clearly has the meaning of fortified border. 4 ‘Partho quippe ultra Tigrim redacto, Dacia restituta, porresti usque ad Danubii caput Germaniae Raetiaeque limitibus…’, Pan. Lat. (V) 3,3. According to B. Isaac, the use of the passive of ‘porrigo’ can suggest in this case the idea of an ‘area’ rather than a ‘line’. 2

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R. Parenti, P. Gilento : “Limes Arabicus” And Still-Standing Buildings Jordan; in fact, he individuated a limes intérieur made up of caravan roads protected by forts, and a limes extérieur established by military roads and checkpoints external to commercial roads. A third scholar, M. Gichon (Gichon 1967, 35-64), during archaeological survey expeditions in the Negev desert, proved that the limes Palestinae, which developed from the era of Flavius until the Diocletian period, was made up of military installations that included old fortified caravan roads from the Nabataen period. Earlier, Glueck (Glueck 1934-1951) had shown how the Romans, at the time of the annexation of the Province, had reused sites already occupied by Nabataen people; in a region such as modern Jordan, the presence of water automatically determines the location and thus the continuity of utilization of a site. The guideline provided by this type of study was therefore - up until the end of the 1960s - to consider the limes arabicus as a defensive system physically constituted by a double fortified line, for the purpose of controlling and blocking incursions by desert tribes. The “nomadic threat” was, according to many archaeologists (Parker 1992) and Near East scholars, a frequent and persistent problem along the Province boundary, from the time of the annexation of the Provincia Arabia in AD 1065, until the end of the 6th century. Thus, the raison d’être of the limes arabicus, and of the entire extensive system of towers, forts and legionary camps, was to monitor and regulate the flow of nomadic peoples passing through Arabia towards Sinai and the Mediterranean Basin.

two different areas divided by a fossatum: the stable settlement zone was protected by a line of fortifications, while the more external zone was protected by nomadic Saharan tribes (Baradez 1949, 130-149). The most interesting conclusion arising from proposed data is that the concept of limes in the Roman world, and in particular the concept of limes arabicus, regards not only archaeological evidence (roads, forts, towers, etc.) which may yet offer further cues for research if utilized properly, but also the various political strategies employed by Rome in its conquests: an ongoing process of alliances, pacts and clearly-defined spheres of influence. Several authors have contributed to the study of the meaning of limes arabicus. We have already mentioned Bowersock (Bowersock 1976).6 His interpretation of the concept of limes refers in particular to considerations of the limes arabicus as “…a whole region originated in the east and precisely as a result of the special conditions of the frontier there”, a result, then, of adaptation to the specific environmental, historic and social conditions of that region. Another archaeologist who contributed greatly to the study of the limes arabicus is Samuel Thomas Parker (Parker 1986).7 His interpretation again picks up the general theory of a limes with a primary function of monitoring and controlling nomadic desert tribes, but the military function is closely linked to diplomatic/political and, above all, economic one, serving to control crucial natural resources: water and seasonal pasture land. Another interpretation of limes arabicus comes from Isaac (Isaac 1988)8. After a very clear and well-developed review of the written sources from antiquity, the scholar attempts to define and understand the meaning from a philological point of view and concludes that he considers the limes as an elaborate structure, a “system” linking architectural structures to road infrastructures; without which limes could not exist. Another author who has provided a rather original voice in the debate is David F. Graf (Graf 1997).9 In his opinion, the limes arabicus could not have been conceptually conceived as a protective fortified structure because it would have had too many unguarded areas open to transit by nomadic tribes. He suggests that the main role of these structures was first and foremost economic and social, considering the structures of the limes as “imperial tentacles” geared towards extending economic power into

G.W. Bowersock (Bowersock 1976, 219-229) made a significant contribution to a new reading of limes in Arabia in the mid-1970s. He focused on field surveys of Roman and Byzantine archaeological sites in modern-day Jordan. His initial objection to studies on limes in Arabia was aimed at scholars who wanted to recycle the general model of the double limes, in a context such as the Near East which was very specific in terms of both history and geographical conformation. He drew a clear distinction between the limites located in desert areas, such as Arabia and Africa, and those of imperial border zones in Europe. Some particular contexts have demonstrated that in African border areas it is possible to speak of interrelation among Romans and local populations. These peoples sometimes formed alliances with the Romans and actively assisted in controlling border areas. A comparison with data emerging from the study of the North African limes indicates that some crudely-built forts surrounded by autochthonous settlements found near Ghemines in S/W Cyrenaica (Goodchild 1951, 131-144), have been interpreted as checkpoints that served to protect the main road leading to the coastal cities of Pentapolis. In Tripolitania a vast zone in which limitanei and native fortified settlements made up much of the defensive boundary was investigated (Goodchild, Ward-Perkins 1949, 81-95). The defensive system south of Algeria, on the other hand, has been highlighted in

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Since the Roman concept of limes was certainly in origin that of a fortified line, it is legitimate to assume that this new sense of limes as a whole region originated in the east and precisely as a result of the special conditions of the frontier there’. Bowersock 1976. 7 Monitoring and control of Arab movements. Diplomacy. Control of natural resources (water and seasonal pastorage). Parker 1986. 8 Mapping and dating forts without considering the road-network is an unstructured procedure which cannot lead to an understanding of the system’. Isaac 1992. 9 Of course no single interpretation can suffice to explain the location and function of all the forts in the frontier zone, but the hypothesis that they served a military purpose, to ward off all nomadic raids, apparently lacks the elements of a synchronized road system necessary for it to gain any credibility. Many of the forts along the Arabian frontier may only represent similar imperial tentacles extending into the desolate countryside to exploit the agricultural and pastoral potential of the region’ Graf 1997.

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The official annexation of the Arabia Province occurred in AD 106, but strong interference in the Nabataen kingdom by the Roman Empire had already begun under Pompey in 63 BC.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean areas not yet exploited for agriculture and grazing. The situation improved at the end of 1970s, thanks to data provided by an increasing number of excavations, field and aerial surveys led by D.L. Kennedy (Kennedy and Bewley 2004) which allowed for the creation of more planimetric maps, and architectural and epigraphic surveys that gathered more precise information on certain sites. Of particular note, for example, the decade of research carried out at Umm al-Jimal (De Vries 1998), and the extensive survey of the entire central sector of the limes arabicus (Parker 1987) which was part of the Limes Arabicus Project, an broad research project focusing on the central sector which, in addition to field surveys, included the el-Lejjun legionary camp excavation and targeted stratigraphic sampling in the Qasr Bshir quadriburgium.

fectly documented, it may be difficult to link information from the epigraph to that part of the building. The aggregate of the available epigraphic documentation shows that the first phase of construction of the system of defence took place during the final years of the Antonini period and, mainly, during the Severi dynasty.10 For example, epigraphic study of two best-known and bestdocumented fortified sites located in the northern part of the limes arabicus, Qasr al-Azraq11 and Qasr al-Hallābāt, where many epigraphs were found (Kennedy 2004, 96102; Parker 1986, 30-32; Arce 2007, 325-344) leads to the conclusion that there was continuity of use of the site from the first half of the 2nd century to the beginning of the 3rd century AD. For Qasr al-Azraq, the dating is less certain, because sources tell of an inscription, today lost, datable to a very broad period (AD 138-222), while other still-extant epigraphs datable to between AD 273 and AD 326/333. The construction of Qasr al-Hallābāt is even more complicated, as one epigraph surely dates to AD 213, but recent studies still in progress are providing more updated information about the site (Arce 2007, 325-344 and information communicated at this conference). In the same zone and dating to the same chronological period on the basis of archaeological and epigraphical data, are Qasr al-Uwaynid and Qasr al-Aseykhim; the positions of these building and the importance of Wadi as-Sirhan (south-east of the Azraq Oasis), show that the extensive construction activity recorded represents an exceptional effort to protect the region during the first half of the 3rd century AD. Other epigraphic evidence, dating to between the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 4th centuries AD, show an intense building and rebuilding activity in strategic areas of the limes precisely during the fundamental period of administrative and military re-organization of the province under Diocletian. Epigraphs from this period have been found at Qasr Bshir (297-304),12 Deyr al-Kahf (306) and at Qasr al-Azraq (326-333). During the re-organization effected by Diocletian and Constantine, it is evident that particular attention was given to reinforcing such crucial areas as Wadi as-Sirhan and the Azraq Oasis. Epigraphic sources have helped to determine that said protection was required due to the rebellion of Mavia, a Saracen queen, who, like Zenobia a century earlier (AD 269), broke an alliance with Rome after her husband’s death. Mavia converted to Aryanism in 373, and

EPIGRAPHIC EVIDENCE AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOURCES What has been said up to this point indicates that the study of the limes arabicus is still open to the development of issues and interpretations that may further enrich debate. In this second part, we will try to examine material sources, such as epigraphs and data from archaeological excavations and field surveys, which we have begun to verify through direct observation. In fact, we have defined some specific case studies of archaeological sites located in different areas of Jordan. In particular we dealt with sites located in two geographical zones: the north-eastern belt (Figure 1) and the Wadi Mujib area (Figure 2). The former comprises four sub-regions (the Azraq Oasis, the Southern Hauran, the Northern Steppe and the Basalt desert) geo-morphologically distinct, but having in common the widespread use of volcanic basalt as a building material. The second zone was chosen in order to examine the situation of a geomorphologically and climatically very different area, the Wadi Mujib, a strategic zone as it provided access to the Dead Sea and the West. Examination of epigraphic evidence was accompanied by an initial survey of the walls. Partial results of these crosschecked studies led us to reflect on the nature of the limes arabicus and especially on many of the architectural structures of which it is composed: burgi, quadriburgia, towers and more complex residential buildings. Epigraphic evidence provides very important chronological markers (fossil markers) (Parenti 1988, 280-304) to aid in dating architectural structures. Naturally, epigraphs or any other written evidence must be analysed critically and with great care. In sites that were continually inhabited, reused material is fundamental. In many cases, perfectlypreserved epigraphs were reused as simple building materials, and thus de-contextualized from their original situations; there are also cases of readings and illustrations of epigraphs now lost or unavailable. In the end, given the complexity of the building history of many constructions, if the section of wall contextual to the epigraph is not per-

10 Severi interest in the Near East is well documented by material sources:

two extensive phases of road building and renovation were carried out in the Arabian Province: one in 194 and the other between 200 and 202. Kennedy 1980, 883. 11 Azraq: JRS 61 (1971) 241 (a Latin inscription reports the castle renovation between 326 and 333, [inc]uria vetustate [parietu]m ruina conlapsam); Hallābāt: Princeton Arch. Exp. Syria III. A. 12 Engraved on an architrave at the entrance door is the following epigraphy datable between 293 and 305 A.D.: OPTIMIS MAXIMISQUE PRINCIPIBUS NOSTRIS GAIO AURELIO VALERIO DIOCLETIANO PIO FELICI INVICTO AUGUSTO ET MARCO AURELIO VALERIO MAXIMIANO PIO FELICI INVICTO AUGUSTO ET FLAVIO VALERIO CONSTANTIO ET GALERIO VALERIO MAXIMIANO NOBILISSIMUS CAESARIBUS CASTRA PRAETORI MOBENI A FUNDAMENTIS AURELIUS ASCLEPIADES PRAESES PROVINCIAE ARABIAE PERFICI CURAVIT. CIL III: 14, 149.

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R. Parenti, P. Gilento : “Limes Arabicus” And Still-Standing Buildings this coincides almost precisely with evidences found in the buildings of Umm al-Jimal13 and Deyr al-Kahf.14 These sites were again reinforced and fortified around 411 in conjunction with an invasion of Arab peoples, while the latest datable fortification in Roman Arabia, again from the Qasr al-Hallābāt site, dates to 529 or 555 (Kennedy 2004, 100). From this brief analysis of written sources and archaeological evidence, it is clear that the traditional meaning of limes as a fortified boundary only partially serves to define and identify a border zone, thus demonstrating how complex the construction situation is, and to what extent the life of these structure has yet to be clarified. Let us consider the area south of Hauran - the last fertile zone on the bordering on the inhospitable Basalt Desert. The relatively favourable climatic conditions of this zone allowed for intensive exploitation of the territory for agriculture and pastureland, thus enabling the continuous habitation of these sites from prehistoric times to the present day. The presence of farms, villages and small towns, surely dating from the Nabataen period to the first Islamic period, is well documented. Umm al-Quttein is one of the best-documented examples of this continuity of habitation. Again in this case, epigraphs are of primary importance. Ten Nabataen epigraphs (Kennedy 2004, 81-86) have been found on the site, and one may well date to the period of the last Nabataen king (Rabbele II, AD 71-106). Other epigraphs in Latin and Greek date to between the 3rd and the 4th centuries AD, while pottery provides more precise information about the habitation of the site during the early Islamic period. According to D.L. Kennedy, after the first and well-documented Nabataen occupation between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, with Roman annexation the place became a military outpost, probably housing an auxiliary regiment. Surveys have not yet provided good results regarding this period, as the hypothesized fort was completely obliterated by the Late Roman city during the 3rd-4th centuries. Moreover, the modern city almost perfectly overlays the ancient one.

buildings, tell us about construction activities in the city at the end of the IV century. Both epigraphs are in Latin, one dating to 368 (Kennedy 2004, 88-89) and referring to a tower, and the other dating to 371 (Kennedy 2004, 8891) and mentioning the construction of a “burgu[s] ex fundamento mano”. The continuity of habitation of this site is again well-documented by both epigraphs and material from archaeological digs, for the Ghassanid and Umayyad periods as well. As for the so-called “central sector of the limes”, where the Wadi Mujib drainage basin originates, the context is completely different from that of the north-east sector of Jordan. In fact, it was not a densely populated zone; settlements are scattered and often on high ground, taking advantage of the morphological features of the territory, which descends from 900 meters above sea level to the Dead Sea; there is little epigraphic evidence from the area. Moreover, precise excavations have been carried out only in circumscribed zones, so archaeological data is limited. More detailed information comes from field surveys effectuated by the Parker team for the Limes Arabicus Project. Let us consider a few of the buildings in this area of Jordanian territory: Qasr Bshir, Qasr Abu al-Kharaqah, Qasr el-Al and Qasr eth-Thuraiya (Figure 3). The situation appears much more complicated than bibliographic sources would suggest. It seemed immediately evident upon initial analysis of the walls that the wall stratigraphy added much information to data from previous archaeological excavations. For example, at Qasr Bshir, excavation data16 led to the hypothesis that the site had surely been settled prior to the Roman period, as suggested by structures that are no longer extant but traces of which are still partially visible on the ground, along with more recent walls, and in the Western wall of the Tetrarchic fort, large blocks, completely different from the rest of the building techniques utilized in the structure, lead to the hypothesis of re-utilization of a previous structure. Qasr Bshir itself is a Tetrarchic fort, but its continuity of use is a key to reading the building and understanding the history of the surrounding landscape. Excavations finds suggested a continuity running from the Byzantine period to the Umayyad period. The standing structures show the high degree of re-utilization of the site, and further analysis of the walls will surely confirm this. A similar circumstance can be found at another site, Qasr eth-Thuraiya. The site is larger and more complicated than bibliographic sources indicate (Parker 1986). Very different building techniques are visible, showing greater complexity of con-

Umm al-Jimal is the largest city south of Hauran and has a very interesting continuity of habitation, about which archaeological excavations and extensive territorial surveys provided very important information during the early 1970s.15 Archaeological excavations unearthed the small Nabataen village later occupied during the Early Roman period, adjacent to the Late Roman/Early Islamic site. Once again, in this case epigraphs have been very important chronological markers for the construction history of the site. The inscription on the so-called Gate of Commodus gives us a very precise chronological period (AD 177-180) on which to base indications, although this epigraph does raise some problematic questions. Two other epigraphs, no longer in situ but which were re-utilized in subsequent

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small sample digs were done: two in 1982 and four in 1985 within the sphere of the Limes Arabicus Project, with the primary goals of determining the history and the occupation of the site and which type of garrison had occupied it, and above all comparing information from the excavation of the fort with that from the el-Lejjun legionary camp. During the field survey, many Nabataen and Iron Age materials were also found. The date of the fort’s foundation is on the entrance inscription, raising no doubts as to the years between AD 293 and 305; this dating is confirmed by dig data and by field survey data, which, also testify to an initial abandonment of the site during the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD, and a reoccupation during the Umayyad period. The Iron Age and Nabataen surface finds prove an occupation prior to the Roman period.

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A very well-preserved Latin epigraph reused as architrave in a later church, datable to 371 A.D. (see below). Another epigraph, found in the courtyard of a house south of the western gate, mentioning the foundation of a castle, dates to 412-413 A.D. 14 A Latin inscription is on the Eastern facade of the southern wall, dating to between 367 and 375 A.D. ��For Umm al-Jimal see above D. Vries 1998.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean struction than would be found in a building considered Tetrarchic. Qasr eth-Thuraiya was included in a territorial re-organization carried out during the tetrarchy, and field surveys date it to between the end of the III and the middle of the IV centuries,17 but other findings date to the Ayubbid/Mamluk period. Regarding the sites of Qasr Abu al-Kharaqah and Qasr elAl, the literature mentions lookout towers. But in this case as well, it is clear even upon simple observation of the structure that these two sites cannot be considered mere lookout towers.18 Both sites present structures formed by a building with sides measuring between 16 and 20 meters long, almost surely on two levels, internally adjacent to a large enclosure to which other internal rooms are linked (Figure 4). This type of construction is quite common in this area, but is difficult to date due to the lack of a specific study of the structures and the near-total absence of epigraphic sources. However, pottery found on the surface indicate a settlement as far back as the Iron Age. A particular case is Qasr el-Al, on the northern wall of which an engraved Nabataen inscription provides an important terminus post quem. (Figure 5) S.T. Parker (Parker 1986) established, on the basis of pottery found on the surface, that these two sites were founded during the Iron Age, occupied by Nabataens and then brought into the widespread system of limes. Pottery finds date to the early Byzantine period, 4th-5th century. The Romans probably re-utilized these sites as rest stops and visual links between different locations. It is interesting that no traces from the Early Islamic period have been found on this high-ground site. This is a very important indicator of the nature of occupation of the territory at the advent of Islam. The relative peacefulness of the territory that came with its conquest by the first Islamic families meant that there was no necessity to occupy high-ground sites with strictly strategic functions.

of social, political and cultural exchange and experiences, not only among the Romans and Arabic peoples, but also among nomadic desert populations. This situation generated a highly complex construction tradition that is still today, at least in part, recognizable in buildings constructed in these zones. STILL-STANDING BUILDINGS AND PROBLEMS OF WALL CHARACTERIZATION AND CHRONOLOGY In a 1995 article, S.T. Parker Parker 1995, 251-260), deals with the problem of interpretation and dating of buildings, Forts and Fortresses, located on the limes arabicus. Although Jordan possesses the best-preserved construction in the Roman and Byzantine panorama, lack of excavation campaigns (except for a few sites) or specific targeted studies meant that, at least until the late 1970s, these buildings presented significant problems regarding chronology. Nevertheless, Parker, in light of new and more detailed information, attempted to draw up a typology of forts from the Roman and Byzantine period located in Jordan. In his view, one of the most critical hindrances to comprehension of a building is the complexity due to successive reconstructions: “the extant plan may well reflect several periods of later rebuilding that may be difficult to disentangle”. This assertion is one to keep in mind. The Jordanian situation as regards archaeological complexes with still-standing buildings (and there are a great many) is characterized by a very evident stratigraphic complexity (based on the last thirty years of study of the distinct constructive acts that characterize the current situation of a building). This complexity is not an obstacle to understanding a building, but if well sorted out, constitutes the key to reading and may precede excavations. In fact, elevated structures have been considered rather unreliable as sources of information by recent generations of archaeologists. In the Jordanian case, however, where many structures present well-conserved elevated structures (large surfaces and little transformation for at least ten centuries), stratigraphic reading of the elevated structures and the creation of typologies tied to the construction sphere – i.e., the Building Archaeology – can provide excellent results in terms of knowledge of these buildings, and thus also contribute to a deeper understanding of the limes arabicus. Of course, determining the chronology of building structures using the aggregate of pre-existing information is desirable, and surveys, digs, epigraphs and inscriptions and building typologies are, without doubt, sources we cannot do without. In every single case, the Building Archeology can help – by offering largely new observations as far as the Jordanian situation is concerned - to improve our ability to more precisely determine the dates of the construction and the transformation of buildings and to develop instruments that are applicable in a much wider range of situations than the individual architectural complexes analysed. For example the diachronic development of a building could be identified through the relative chronologies, that

Looking through this brief list of archaeological sites it becomes clear that even before the establishment of the Provincia Arabia, the situation in the region was complex, with various types of defensive structures that the Romans simply occupied and adapted. Applying a specific working strategy for these sites may provide us with more detailed information to improve our understanding of the history of these buildings. Studying these “minor structures” may offer a point of departure for important reflection on the history and nature of the limes. Structures that were re-utilized over time, sometimes without excessive modifications and sometimes with significant ones, and adapted for different needs. A more in-depth study of these sites, and their construction techniques in particular, can provide us with small pieces of information to insert into the larger picture of the history of the limes arabicus. In fact, the limes may no longer be considered as a border zone but, on the contrary, as an important point �� A

interesting coin dated to Costantinus II (AD 337-340) was found. Parker 1986, 50. ��The more appropriate term to define these structures formed of a tower, an enclosure and rooms along the enclosure would be burnus; see also Aföldi, 47 f.

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R. Parenti, P. Gilento : “Limes Arabicus” And Still-Standing Buildings is by studying how it relates to anterior, contemporary and posterior features, identifiable on a wall surface as well as in the three-dimensional structure of the building. Even without certain dating elements, such as epigraphs or excavation finds (in any case useful when available), it is possible to determine a typological seriation of building systems, techniques and materials which, with an appropriate number of samples, could help enormously in determining the absolute chronology. Relative chronologies, then, in the absence of clearly dated contexts as in many of the Jordanian cases, can be used as fossil guides for better comprehension of the history of the limes arabicus, suggesting new perspectives for a rereading of architectural complexes and their surrounding landscapes, beginning with the material structure and the study of building techniques. Building techniques change and evolve more or less slowly (in other geographical areas we have noticed that variations are directly proportionate to increasing demand for new buildings), so recording the characteristics of a significant number of constructions through the study of building techniques is a fundamental step towards understand a building’s history. The characteristics of the workmanship of individual building elements, how they were finished with tools, the laying of cornerstones and panels, what type of mortar was used if any, and the size of each individual component of the wall, are all elements that can be easily and quickly documented. The drawing up of abacuses in which these indispensable elements for characterizing the building systems of geological homogeneous areas are arranged in chronological order is an important objective, if we want to verify already-available information or propose new interpretative hypotheses. Characterizing a masonry wall and defining different building techniques in order to determine the construction history of buildings entails a complete reversal of the usual approach to understanding architecture, but can be extremely productive even when the remains of walls are partial or not yet visible. This article presents a way to consider some still-open questions, and above all proposes new work and research methodologies that utilize stratigraphic reading of elevated structures as an indispensable tool for better understanding of a building. The line of research proposed here is even more effective in a territory like Jordan, where climatic conditions and the morphology of the territory make intensive and continuoing excavations problematic. Nor do classical architectural studies based on typological and stylistic comparisons prove to be suitable, due to the complexity of the buildings themselves, and because it is now clear that simple typological comparisons - which do not consider variations occurring over time – provide only partial and often misleading results regarding the construction and functional history of a building. For example, the dated but fundamental essay by James Lander (Lander 1984) based its comparisons almost totally on building plans.

A comprehensive review of the stratigraphical readings performed up to now will be the subject of another publication, but initial, in some cases partial, results can already be presented. Close examination of the typology of the quadriburgia, a Tetrarchic architectural complex, shows that protruding towers were almost always built after completion of the curtain walls. Three of the corner towers of Qasr Bshir may have been built during a construction phase (a walled enclosure was constructed first for safety reasons and then, one or two seasons later, the towers were added), but the fourth tower was inserted through modification of the upper part of a lateral entrance (Figure 6). How should this be interpreted? Surely the original plan was modified, but in order to move from a relative chronology to an absolute chronology, it is necessary to more fully explore the building techniques. The oldest building element of the entire complex is, of course, the main entrance with an epigraph on the architrave, made with perfectly squared and levelled blocks that suggest the utilization of specialized masons. This tower-entrance serves to support the first two-to-three rows of the entire perimeter. The rows are made with stone blocks that are much larger than the other materials utilized. On the western side, we hypothesize that they may have come from the demolition of an older building, but they may also have responded to the need to build the elements, interpreted as horse mangers, inserted within the thickness of the wall, with an individual vertically set stone as a base. All of these walls are characterized by the presence of mortar, probably with lime as a binder. (Figure 7) As far as we know, the use of mortar with a binder is not traditional in Nabataen or Iron Age walls, which utilized soil or clay to level and fill the gaps between rows. Was this technological innovation introduced by Roman workers, as hypothesized in other areas of the Roman Provinces (Camporeale 2004)? Currently we are unable to assert with certainty that the use of mortar in Qasr Bshir is the most ancient example in Jordan, as it is a late example and because until now such observations have been lacking. Certainly the introduction of the use of mortar had a widespread and lasting impact. Mosaic affixers, external and internal plasters and decorations for buildings in the south of Hauran, waterproofing for cisterns and the characteristic mortars of Umayyad buildings (one based on limestone with large amounts of carbon residues and the other with plaster as a binder) are just a few examples we can note in the architecture of subsequent centuries. Another building not far from Qasr Bshir, pertaining to the typology of the quadriburgia, Qasr eth-Thuraiya, seems at first glance to have been built using two main building techniques, but the most unusual aspect is that in this building the south-eastern corner tower seems to have been built prior to the rectangular enclosure (Figure 8). In this case, as in Qasr Bshir, there are several possible interpretations, one of which is that the enclosure may have been built around a pre-existing building. 117

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean With these types of observations, the entire schema of buildings thought to be part of the limes in this region (fortalices, forts, lookout towers), should be re-evaluated, because the in synchrony presence of the structures in different historical periods (some buildings have existed since the Iron Age) will have to be compared with their frequentation, which is not always known for all historical periods. In the other area, south Hauran, the presence of mortar is much more limited due to the reduced availability of limestone. But traces of its use are present: in Umm al-Jimal, religious buildings (churches) used it as setting mortar for walls and mosaics. It is also found on other surfaces, both as decoration (visible traces on many buildings, including the tower of the “Barracks”), and as a sealant for seams (probably to impede leakage of earth used for setting blocks in walls) and cisterns. The evolution of diatonics present in walls from different construction periods seems more promising. Diatonic walls and orthostats pertain to classical tradition (Martin 1965), but during the various construction phases of many buildings in volcanic basalt area sites, an evolution in their utilization has been documented. We are not yet able to precisely determine an absolute chronology (probably 4th8th century), but we have a good relative seriation (one pattern is older than another because both were utilized in the same building but in different construction phases) and widespread use in Umayyad walls. Comparison with VIIIXI-century Andalusian masonry (Selleria a soga y tizòn iregular de época emiral, de época califal y de época taifa, see Civantos 2004) appears to be interesting.

will yield 2D and 3D CAD plans as well as 3D vector reproduction of the walls (Figure 9). Vectorialized 3D wall surfaces will be generated, on which all necessary analyses can be successively carried out (stratigraphical readings, characterization of dimensions, finishes and workmanship, the presence of facings, results of archaeometric analyses, etc.). Once processed, the data will be readily available online. As the plug-ins for 3D drawing in a 3D GIS are still in the testing phase, only currently-available GIS used for recording information on vertical wall bases can be used at present, such as the SICaR - the evolution of the GIS developed for documenting restoration work on the leaning tower of Pisa and now utilized by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. This strategy can provide excellent results as the number of analysed sites increases, creating a database that is readily available and consultable and, above all, one that can be updated by expert users even from a distance, as it is on-line and can thus be managed by different research groups. This working strategy will be put to the test in 2009-2010 by the “Building Archaeology in Jordan” research group from the Building Archaeology Laboratory of the University of Siena, along with the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, at the Umm as-Sarab site in north Jordan, an exemplary project in the development of a new type of field work carried out using new computer technologies. CONCLUSIONS Construction in the Mid-East is characterized by extremely long-term continuity of skills and techniques. Although field documentation is in need of methodological updating, there is no doubt that many areas of Jordan are marked by topographical continuity between Nabataen buildings (in some cases from the Iron Age, 12th-9th century BC) and those built by the Romans and later reused by the Byzantines, Ghassanids and Umayyads (7th-8th century AD), leaving us a wealth of information that must now be properly decoded. Said continuity naturally concerns materials, but also workmanship and the use of particular constructive systems, with few technical innovations. The continuity, or rather the slow evolution of building systems (the laying and sectioning of walls, the construction systems of certain types of buildings and apertures, roofing systems – for example the diaphragm arch -, tools used for finishing, etc.) can easily be ascertained for the long period between the end of the III century and the mid-7th century, with some periods of increased building activity and others of preservation of the existing structures. The walls are a testimony to the strong stonecutting tradition that has always characterized these geographical areas, where stone was readily available. Refined, Hellenized Nabataen culture carried on this tradition, later flanked by the orderly Roman architectural tradition that brought innovative models, schemas, techniques and materials that spread and blended with Middle-Eastern material culture. No single influence predominated over the others, but rather, they melded with one another, creating along the

RECORDING CRITERIA AND AVAILABILITY OF DATA In this innovative method of studying the limes arabicus, which will be developed in coming years in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, given that extensive territories and numerous sites are involved, the best strategy seems to be to utilize tools made available by new technologies to the greatest possible advantage. Foremost among them are those that aid in the localization of sites. Jordanian territory has always been a very fertile ground for aerial surveys, given the nearly total visibility of the sites. An instrument like Google Earth now allows us to clearly identify archaeological sites and to georeference them in photographic-quality maps (the error in geographical coordinates inherent to the Google Earth application can be overcome through double surveying of the positions of discernable points of the buildings using a simple GPS). At this point we have two possibilities. The first is to enter all information regarding topography, surveys, completed excavations, bibliography and a database of photos of a large number of sites into a new-generation static on-line database. Such a collection of on-line data can also be made available to the next Jordan GIS MEGA J. The second possibility has to do with the successive phase of field work. An architectural survey will involve a smaller amount of sites. Remote sensing techniques based on specialised hi-tech photogrammetry equipment 118

R. Parenti, P. Gilento : “Limes Arabicus” And Still-Standing Buildings limes a fertile ground for experimentation and above all evolution of forms and construction techniques. With the arrival of Islam in the mid-7th century and the advent of the first caliphal dynasty of the Umayyad (AD 660-750), the situation underwent rapid change in the first half of the VIII century. There was great demand for new buildings (mosques and minarets, and “palaces” or qusur, newly built or adaptations of old buildings) but some already-confirmed typologies continued to be utilized (thermal baths were transformed into hammams, but the distribution and functions of the rooms remained the same.) The increased demand was met with the arrival of skilled Byzantine workers (as is well documented), as well as Armenians and probably Sasanids, who brought “new” material such as bricks or chalk-based mortar and new shapes of openings (such as the pointed arch), and new construction methods for the vaulted roofs. Following this evolution, analysing multi-layered architectural complexes, documenting the features of construction systems and creating a chronological Atlas means creating a new instrument which, at the very least, can aid tremendously in the study of Jordanian sites. But it may also offer opportunities to investigate the continuity, or rather the evolution, of classical construction systems, in a context where continuity seems already ascertained, and to hypothesize new paths of transmission to Western Europe through the process of the Islamization of Spain.

De Vries, B.1985. Urbanisation in the Basalt Region of North Jordan in Late Antiquity: The Case of Umm elJimal. In A. Hadidi (ed.), Studies in the History and Archaeologyof Jordan II, 249-56. Amman, Department of Antiquities of Jordan. De Vries, B. 1986. Umm el-Jimal in the First Three Centuries A.D, in P. Freeman and D. Kennedy, eds., The Defense of the Roman and Byzantine East. British Archaeological Reports, International Series 297, 227-41. Oxford, B.A.R.. D. Vries B., 1998. Umm el-Jimal, A frontier Town and its Landscape in Northern Jordan, Voll. I-II. Gaube, H. 1974. An Examination of the ruins of Qasr Burqu. Ann. D.A.J. 19, 93-100. Glueck, N. 1934-1951. Explorations in Eastern Palestine. 4 vols. AASOR. Graf , D.F. 1978. The Saracens and the Defense of the Arabian Frontier. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 229. (Feb.,1978), 1-26. Graf, D. F. 1989. Rome and the Saracens: re-assessing the nomadic menace. In T. Fahd (ed.), L ‘Arabie preislamique et son environnement historique et culturel, 341-400. Leiden. Graf, D.F. 1997. The “Via Militaris in Arabia”. Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Vol. 51, 271-281. Isaac, B. 1988. The meaning of the terms Limes and Limitanei. The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 78, 125147. Jaussen, RR.PP.A. and Savignac, R. 1922. Mission Archéologique en Arabie. Paris (Réédition Le Caire-1997). Kennedy, D. L. 1980. The frontier Policy of Septimius Severus: new evidence from Arabia. 12th Congress: 883.1980. Kennedy, D.L., 1982. Archaeological Explorations on the Roman Frontier in North-East Jordan. The Roman and Byzantine military installations and road network on the ground and from the air, BAR International Series 134. Kennedy, D.L. (edited by) 1996. The Roman Army in the East. Ann Arbor Kennedy, D.L. 2004. The Roman Army in Jordan, Council for British Research in the Levant. London. Kennedy D.L. e Bewley R. 2004. Ancient Jordan from the Air. London. Lander, J. 1984. Roman Stone Fortifications. Variation and Change from the First Century A.D. to the Fourth. British Archaeological Reports International Series 206. Martin, R. 1965. Manuel d’Architecture greque. I. Materiaux et Techniques. Paris. Mommsen, Theodor 1908. Der Begriff des Limes. Westdeutsche Zeitschrift 13: 134-43.=Pp. 456-64 : (‘ Es scheint den Limes-forschern wenig zum Bewusstsein gekommen zu sein, dass der Limes seinem Wesen nach bei allen sonst möglichen Verschiedenheiten, eine irgendwie markierte zweifache Grenze, eine äussere und eine innere fordert’) in vol. 5/2 of Gesammelte Schriften. Berlin, Weidmannsche. Mordechai, G. 1967. The Negev Frontier, in Israel and her Vicinity in Roman and Byzantyne Periods, 35-64. TelAviv: Tel- Aviv University.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Arce, I. 2007. Qaşr al-Hallābāt: Continuity and Change from the Roman-Byzantine to the Umayyad Period. SHAJ, 325-344. Bowersock, G.W. 1971. A Report on Arabia Provincia, JRS 61, 219-242. Bowersock, G. W. 1975. The Greek-Nabataean bilingual inscription at Ruwafa, Saudi Arabia. In Le monde grec: Hommages à Claire Preaux, 513-522. Brussels. Bowersock, G.W. 1976. Limes Arabicus. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 80, 219-229. Bowersock, G. W. 1983. Roman Arabia, Cambridge, MA, 1983. Butler, H.C. et alii 1930. The Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions to Syria in 1904-5 and 1909. Leyden Brünnow R., Domaszewski, A. 1904-1909. Die Provincia Arabia. 3 voll. Strassburg, Trübner. Camporeale, S. 2004. Tecniche edilizie in pietra nella Mauretania Tingitana tra l’epoca mauretana e romana. Osservazioni sulle apparecchiature e utilizzo della malta. Archeologia dell’Architettura IX, 195-205. Civantos, J.M. 2004. Proposta preliminare di sistematizzazione delle tecniche costruttive d’al-Andalus nel territorio di Ilbira-Granada (Andalusia-Spagna). Archeologia dell’Architettura, IX, 207-220. Creswell, K.A.C. 1969. Early Muslim Architecture, I-II. Oxford. Creswell, K.A.C. with a contribution by J.W. Allan, 1989. A Short Account of Early Muslim Architecture. El Cairo. 119

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Musil, A. 1907-1980. Arabia Petraea. 3 vols. Vienna, Holder. Parker, S.T. 1986. Romans and Saracens: A History of the Arabian Frontier. Philadelphia, American Schools of Oriental Research. Parker, S.T. 1987. The Roman Frontier in Central Jordan. Voll. I-II, British Archaeological Reports International

Series340 (i). Parker, S.T. 1989. The Nature of Rome’s Arabian Frontier. In Roman Frontier Studies 1989. proceedings of the fifteenth International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies, Exter, 498-504. Parker, S.T. 1995. The Tipology of Roman and Byzantine Forts and Fortresses in Jordan. Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan, Vol. 5, 251-260. Poidebard A., 1934. Le Trace de Rome dans le Désert de la Syrie. Paris, Geuthner.

Figure 1. NE Jordan with spots of Umm as-Sarab, Umm al-Jimal, Umm al-Quttein and Deyr al-Kahf. (satellite photo source: GoogleEarth, Febr. 20.2009).

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Figure 2. The “Central Sector” of Limes Arabicus. The quadriburgia of Qasr Bshir and Qasr eth-Thuraiya and the burgi of Qasr el-Al and Qasr Abu al-Kharaqah are spotted on the map (satellite photo source: GoogleEarth, Febr. 20.2009).

Figure 3 General view of the “Central Sector “from Qasr el-Al, southwards.

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Figure 4. Satellite photos from Google Earth. From the left: Qasr el-Al, Qaşr eth-Thuraiya, Qasr Abu al-Kharaqah and an unidentified site. (satellite photo source: GoogleEarth, Febr.20.2009)

Figure 5. A Nabatean inscription from Qasr el-Al northern wall (source: Parker 1986)

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Figure 6. Qasr Bshir, detail of the SW tower, with the stratigraphic relation between the main wall and the tower wall with a little door.

Figure 7. Detail of the mortar found at Qasr Bshir. Photos are taken from the eastern section of the main wall.

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Figure 8. General view of Qasr eth-Thuraiya (photo source: Kennedy 2004). Detail of the relations between the S wall and the SE tower.

Figure 9. Preliminary results of the instrumental survey of the main church at Umm as-Sarab (3D reconstruction by means of the photogrammetric “Z-Scan” application)

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PATTERNS OF SETTLEMENT IN TRANSGIORDANIA BETWEEN THE MUSLIM CONQUEST AND THE CRUSADES Hugh Kennedy Soas Abstract (2008) This paper will look at patterns of settlement in Transgiordania from the Muslim conquest to the crusades and attempt to place the history of the region in broader historical context. The argument will be made that the Umayyad period saw a continuation of the extensive settlement on the arid margins which had been typical of the Byzantine period. The Muslim conquest did not mark a major change and the Arab presence was dominated by tribes like Judham which were already established in the area in the pre-Islamic period. The Nessana papyri will be used to show how the early interactions between the people of the villages and towns and the Bedouin worked in practice. It will further be argued that the subsidies paid by the Umayyad government to the Syrian tribes, generated commercial activity and markets in the area. We can see this is the establishment of a clearly Muslim presence in cities like Jerash and Amman and the building of high-status residences like Mshatta and Qusayr Amra on the desert margins. This situation changed with the coming of the Abbasids after 750. The Syrian tribes were effectively excluded from power under the new regime and were no longer paid for their services. This led to a decline an effective abandonment of urban centres. In the civil war after the death of Harun al-Rashid in 809, the impoverished Bedouin began raiding settled areas and attacking Christian monasteries like St Sabas. No more churches or other dated monuments were constructed in the villages of the area. The ninth and tenth centuries saw a retreat in settled agriculture and the growing importance of pastoralism. It also saw the replacement of the tribes of the early Muslim period, like Judham, with newcomers like the Banu Tayy. It will be argued that these tribes attracted populations from the settled areas who now abandoned their villages and adopted a pastoral lifestyle and a Bedouin identity. This ascendancy of the nomads of Transgiordania and Palestine continued until the coming of Fatimid rule in the area. In 1029 the great Fatimid general Anushtagin Dizbari defeated a coalition of the main tribes, Kilab, Kalb and Tayy at the battle of Uqhuwana near Lake Tiberias. From this point there was a gradual consolidation of settlement, a process which gathered pace in the Crusader and Ayyubid periods.

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TESTIMONIANZE PREISTORICHE NEL SITO DI WU’EIRA Mario Frau

La presenza di rilevanti attività umane nel sito di Wu’ayra è più antica di quelle più note nabatea, romano bizantina, crociata e islamica. Nella stessa area dei resti del castello medievale e nelle aree adiacenti si sono conservate grotticelle scavate nella roccia e aree cultuali, caratterizzate da coppelle, di epoca preistorica. Oltre i resti monumentali, confermano la presenza preistorica numerosi strumenti di selce, ciottoli levigati e alcuni frammenti ceramici con decorazioni a graticcio che, pur affini a motivi presenti in epoca storica, si differenziano per la qualità della ceramica. La ricostruzione delle presenze più antiche nel sito è stata fortemente e comprensibilmente compromessa dalla quasi ininterrotta frequentazione del luogo, praticamente sino ai giorni nostri. Nell’ambito delle indagini condotte ad al Wu’eira si è svolta anche la presente ricerca che ha individuato una necropoli di undici grotticelle artificiali e dieci aree cultuali (Figura1).

È singolare una nicchia ellissoidale scavata quasi al centro della parete di fondo del bancone per tutta l’altezza, dove oggi campeggia la silhouette di una figura femminile, ottenuta con vernice bianca, di recente fattura. Sulla soglia dell’apertura occidentale è scavata una cavità oblunga per tutta la larghezza, sede probabilmente di un chiusino ad incastro. La grotticella n.2 è scavata in un affioramento arenaceo di forma sub rettangolare (Figura 3). Non essendo stata scavata è ancora per buona parte colma di crollo, ma si intravede una planimetria curvilinea, tendenzialmente reniforme. La volta è a forno. L’ingresso trapezoidale ha stipiti profondi. Di estremo interesse sono 13 coppelle che ricoprono gli stipiti e l’architrave. Anche se parzialmente erose, sono evidenti nella loro disposizione quasi regolare che contorna l’apertura. Ai lati dell’ingresso inoltre sono scavate sei nicchie rettangolari non molto profonde, tre a nord e tre a sud. Anche sul piano esterno la superficie rocciosa al di sopra del soffitto, presenta cavità coppelliformi. Soltanto alcune, di forma cilindrica e allineate a distanze regolari, secondo planimetrie rettangolari, potrebbero aver contenuto le basi di pilastri lignei di sostegno a strutture di copertura di edifici di difficile collocazione cronologica e culturale; ma anche questa funzione risulta improbabile per la profondità non adeguata delle cavità a sostenere solidamente qualunque supporto, salvo integrazione all’esterno con ulteriori sistemi di bloccaggio. Altre cavità circolari di dimensioni variabili si allineano obliquamente, rispetto alle precedenti, due collegate da una canaletta che le rende comunicanti. Infine una sequenza di tre vaschette scavate nella roccia. Anche in questo caso non è possibile stabilire l’epoca di realizzazione di questo impianto, neppure se nello stesso periodo o in epoche diverse. È però improbabile che sia connessa con le fasi storiche di utilizzazione dell’area, quando gli ambienti costruiti furono realizzati in muratura e le superfici di calpestio coperte da pavimenti che ne avrebbero occultato la vista. A nord-ovest della grotticella n.2, è situata un’altra grotticella, ostruita da un riempimento, manca il verbo di pianta reniforme (Figura 4). È ben visibile l’architrave arcuato. A sud del cassero si trovano altre tre grotticelle, scavate nelle pareti di una balza, due in coppia su un lato e una nell’altro. Si tratta di ambienti a pianta e volta curvilinei, semplici e di non grandi dimensioni: la grotticella A, è larga 2,20m per 2,40m di profondità, con un’altezza di 1,55m; la grotticella B è larga 1,50m e profonda 1,60m, per un’altezza di 1,45m; la grotticella C, posta sull’altro lato, frontalmente, misura

NECROPOLI Gli ipogei sono dislocati nell’area sud-orientale dell’affioramento areanaceo-carbonatico di Wu’eira. L’antiporta del castello è un ipogeo riutilizzato e adattato dai Crociati, o precedentemente (Nabatei, Romani e Bizantini) per l’accesso al cassero (Figura 2). La tecnica di lavorazione delle superfici rocciose mostra evidenti i segni di interventi in tempi diversi per ampliare e modificare l’architettura precedente, adattandola alle specifiche esigenze. Alla simbologia della religione preistorica della fertilità sono da attribuire le cavità coppelliformi scavate in diversi punti dell’interno, risultando prive di qualunque altro significato funzionale. Sono scavate negli spigoli dei gradini, nei piani dei banconi senza evidente connessione, in posizione verticale od orizzontale. La struttura dei banconi richiama quella di grotticelle artificiali preistoriche del Mediterraneo, soprattutto il bancone settentrionale, caratterizzato dalla presenza nel lato est di un rilievo quadrangolare, quasi un capezzale. L’utilizzo del piano del bancone è agevolato da un gradino scavato nella roccia per tutta la lunghezza. Analogamente avviene nel bancone meridionale. In questo il piano presenta una coppella circolare ed una cavità ellittica piuttosto profonda scavate nel lato occidentale, affiancate da piccole coppelline, una distanziata e posizionata quasi a bordo nella parte mediana del bancone. La coppella più grande presenta una scanalatura di drenaggio che si riversa verso l’interno della camera; la cavità ellittica invece taglia lo spigolo, penetrando nella parete rocciosa per una buona metà, risultandovi incassata. Un’altra cavità ellittica, ma molto, più piccola è scavata nello stesso modo nello spigolo interno del lato orientale. 126

M. Frau: Testimonianze preistoriche nel sito di Wu’ Eira 2,20m di larghezza x 1,40m a W e 1,00m a E di profondità, altezza al centro di 1,90m. Quest’ultima ha una nicchia alla base dello stipite occidentale. Anche se si tratta di ambienti non ben definiti, con aperture ampie e irregolari, prive di una distinzione del portello di accesso con stipiti e architrave, le grotticelle potevano assolvere al compito di accogliere sepolture secondarie, sigillate con muretti di pietrame oggi scomparsi, come usanza in ambiti preistorici all’interno di varie necropoli del Mediterraneo. Tra gli ipogei presenti all’interno del cassero soltanto uno è stato oggetto di scavo: la grotticella denominata come UT80

strutture stagionali (tende di pelli, a cui potrebbero riferirsi resti di pelle con pelame trovati all’interno del crollo) per uso dell’ipogeo come rifugio. I resti ossei presenti testimoniano pasti consumati sul luogo. L’apertura della volta ha favorito l’infiltrazione di materiali delle strutture soprastanti e di terreno contenente materiali di varie epoche. La frammentarietà dei materiali, la commistione confusa sembrano causati non da regolare giacitura, ma da caotica deposizione quasi una discarica. Le parti mancanti delle strutture architettoniche relative all’epoca crociata potrebbero essere state riutilizzate come materiali da costruzione in edifici posteriori della zona, e in gran parte precipitate nel wadi Wu’ayra, su cui si affaccia la grotticella, a seguito del crollo del soffitto, seguendo il destino di gran parte delle strutture perimetrali del cassero, costruito nel lato di accesso a filo con la balza occidentale del wadi stesso. Sul letto del wadi ormai in secca si trovano accumulati in gran quantità blocchi del castello.

GROTTICELLA UT80 In attesa della prossima pubblicazione dello scavo della grotticella, oggetto di indagine parziale negli anni ’93 e ’94, si dà in questa sede qualche notizia preliminare. La struttura ha ingresso rettangolare; un breve dromos porta alla camera curvilinea, divisa in due lobi espansi, con la parete orientale scavata da tre nicchie di pianta ogivale. Queste ultime furono sfondate, probabilmente in epoca crociata o forse precedentemente, nei tempi della dominazione romana prima e bizantina poi, per ricavarvi delle feritoie da cui controllare la sottostante antiporta (Figura 5). Undici cavità coppelliformi sono distribuite all’interno della grotticella, dislocate in apparenza senza un disegno regolare, nelle pareti delle nicchie, nei diaframmi rocciosi che le distinguono sia alla base che sul soffitto, e nel pavimento roccioso della camera. Accanto a quattro coppelle integre, scavate sul pavimento, si trovava un cumulo di argilla seccata naturalmente, e strumenti di selce. Dentro una coppella furono trovati un pestello in quarzite nerastra, e frammenti di una ciotola emisferica, lisciata a stecca, di impasto granuloso (Figura 6). Potrebbero essere le tracce residue dell’utilizzo, presumibilmente sepolcrale, della grotticella in epoca preistorica. Le frequentazioni successive della grotticella si sono svolte a più riprese. Le tracce sono i diversi crolli di strutture in muratura, anche intonacate, che si sovrappongono in modo non chiaro nella camera ipogeica e i materiali, prevalentemente ceramici, di epoca nabatea (scarsi), romana, bizantina, islamica. Sono stati trovati anche elementi metallici, lignei, oggetti d’ornamento, ma non in giacitura originaria. I segni di riutilizzo più consistente e meglio conservati sono quelli riferibili all’ epoca crociata, quando la camera fu integrata con strutture murarie e adeguata alle architetture murarie esterne (Figure 7 e 8). A questa fase potrebbero risalire la scalinata di accesso alla grotticella e i muri che rifasciano il corridoio di comunicazione con la parte alta del cassero. Di queste strutture sono residui alcuni frammenti di blocchi squadrati con finitura, schegge di marmo, frammenti di gesso e malta. La grotticella fu interessata da un crollo del soffitto, non è chiaro se dovuto ad azione antropica o per degrado naturale della roccia arenacea. Sul crollo si sono avvicendate ulteriori frequentazioni sporadiche con focolari e forse costruzione di

MATERIALI I reperti più antichi contenuti nel deposito della camera sono 31 strumenti e un arnione in selce, prevalentemente raschiatoi, bulini, grattatoi e qualche frammento di lama; certamente antico è il ciottolo con depressione coppelliforme rinvenuto sul pavimento della grotticella, in associazione con le coppelle. Tra i frammenti ceramici, uno presenta la tipica decorazione a maglie reticolate di colore rosso-violaceo su fondo beige, che richiama analoghe ceramiche decorate dell’Early Bronze II, ma sono necessari ulteriori accertamenti. È certa l’attribuzione ad epoca preistorica dello strumentario litico e delle coppelle scavate in vari punti dell’ipogeo e conseguentemente lo scavo della grotticella. Dei periodi successivi troviamo frammenti di ceramica nabatea, romana, bizantina, del periodo crociato e islamica (ayyubide e mamelucca). Si tratta generalmente di abbondanti frammenti appartenenti a più recipienti di non grandi dimensioni e di qualità comune o scadente. I pochi i frammenti decorati appartenenti a recipienti di maggior pregio appartengono a vasi del periodo ayyubide in maggior parte, con i tipici motivi a triangoli reticolati o rombi di colore bruno violaceo. Rari i frammenti di ceramiche invetriate di color turchese e verde, più frequenti di colore giallo verde. Rari i reperti metallici: qualche borchia e ribattini in bronzo, chiodi in ferro. Rinvenute anche una testa di martello e una spatola in legno, alcuni frammenti di braccialetti in pasta vitrea e vaghi di collana. Un cippo o altarino in calcarenite, a forma di fungo con cavità coppelliforme nella parte superiore, alcuni ciottolini oliviformi, un mortaio in calcare. Numerosi i fossili interi e frammentari di capulidi (Exogyra densata), contenuti nella roccia fossilifera in cui è stata scavata la grotticella e depositatisi successivamente nel materiale di riporto disperso nell’area circostante e da cui in parte sono fluitati di nuovo all’interno per effetto degli agenti atmosferici e delle attività umane che si sono avvicendate nel tempo.

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in piano e nelle balze. Il successivo presenta nel fianco occidentale una serie di gradini. Altri due affioramenti con squadri nella parte piana allineati a sud ovest collegano al cosiddetto ‘camminamento nabateo’. Le aree che si sviluppano all’interno di questo, non è chiaro se come mete del percorso stesso o precedenti la realizzazione del camminamento, sono adiacenti. Quella più esterna, esposta a ovest, contiene le coppelle all’interno di uno squadro ben distinto sul piano roccioso, mentre l’area interna presenta le coppelle disposte a semicerchio su un bordo del rilievo. In una prossima pubblicazione sarà ulteriormente approfondita l’analisi dell’argomento.

Otto aree sono interessate dalla presenza di coppelle, di gradinate, di vasche scavate nella roccia, di nicchie, per lo più sulla sommità di rilievi mammellonari. Le coppelle sono talvolta isolate, ma anche allineate in gruppi da quattro a sette secondo schemi che sembrano richiamare la rappresentazione di ‘costellazioni’ (Figura 9). Una coppella isolata si trova all’esterno della grotticella UT80, in asse con l’ipogeo stesso. All’interno del cassero, oltre l’affioramento roccioso in cui è scavata la grotticella n.2, due raggruppamenti con coppelle interessano: uno il rilievo mammellonare a est della strada di accesso, dopo aver superato l’antiporta e l’altro il rilievo che separa la chiesa e la torre orientale del castello. Il primo è costituito da coppelle di diverso diametro distanziate in modo asimmetrico sul lato orientale della strada, da una serie di tre vaschette e da due bacini circolari scavati nella roccia e comunicanti attraverso canaletta sul lato occidentale. Il secondo, interessato dalla presenza di una grotticella artificiale sepolta e da una nicchia o grotticella incompleta, comprende una coppella ed una vaschetta, accanto a due tavolette da gioco con sequenze parallele di coppelline, sede di pedine o altro, la cui pertinenza è da riferirsi a epoca recente, non in connessione certamente con le aree cultuali preistoriche. Altre aree con coppelle potevano essere presenti nell’ambito del cassero, ma la successione di edificazioni può avere compromesso la loro conservazione. Meglio conservate risultano senza dubbio le aree cultuali distribuite all’esterno del cassero, ad occidente, per un’ampia area caratterizzata dalla prosecuzione del rilievo ad altopiano di Wu’ayra, che degrada verso la valle di Petra. La superficie dell’area si estende con una successione di affioramenti mammellonari isolati separati da brevi zone pianeggianti. Un singolare itinerario interessa i rilievi rocciosi uniti in un percorso segnato da gradini scavati nella roccia, senza attenzione per la pendenza che in alcuni punti è veramente accentuata rendendo difficoltosa la salita. È il cd. ‘Camminamento nabateo’. L’area immediatamente a ovest, superato il fossato occidentale del cassero è costituita da una valletta da cui emergono cinque affioramenti mammellonari allineati da nord a sudovest, interessati dalla presenza di raggruppamenti di coppelle, vaschette e gradini nella roccia. Risultano quasi un’area periferica rispetto al percorso nabateo, che in due punti viene interrotto nella sequenza di gradini da aree con coppelle. Anzi appaiono come area o autonoma o fulcro dell’intero complesso cultuale. Il rilievo settentrionale presenta un raggruppamento di cinque coppelle, del diametro di 40cm x10 di profondità, sulla parte piana a sud dell’affioramento, precedute da una serie di quattro gradini a nord, da cui si sale. Nel rilievo meridionale successivo sono scavati due gruppi di coppelle analoghe per dimensioni alle precedenti, contenuti in due squadri ricavati nella roccia, il primo di sette, il secondo di quattro. La disposizione richiama in modo suggestivo la disposizione di costellazioni. Il terzo rilievo è scavato da vaschette, squadri nella roccia

LA TECNICA DI SCAVO DELLE GROTTICELLE La vicinanza della città di Petra con la sua immensa necropoli e il ritrovamento di numerosi frammenti di ceramiche nabatee hanno favorito l’attribuzione ai nabatei anche degli ipogei di Wu’ayra. Anche lo scavo dell’ipogeo più meridionale, all’esterno del cassero, con l’individuazione di una fonderia, sembra non lasciare dubbi. Ma alcune osservazioni potrebbero suggerire l’attribuzione ad epoca più antica dell’area. L’elemento più evidente è l’architettura tombale che nella civiltà nabatea predilige quasi esclusivamente il gusto rettilineo, con ambienti quadrati o rettangolari e soffitti piani, anche negli esempi più semplici, mentre le grotticelle di Wu’eira si caratterizzano per la curvilinearità delle camere, l’assenza di rifinitura delle pareti che rivela una tecnica di scavo della roccia grossolana, ma efficace, con solcature profonde oblique o convergenti. Si aggiungono le coppelle, elemento simbolo della religiosità preistorica della fertilità. Nella civiltà Nabatea non sono estranee nel contesto architettonico dell’ipogeismo funerario. A Petra una tomba presenta una coppia di coppelle di fronte alla soglia, esternamente alla cavità oblunga che conteneva il portello di chiusura (Figura 10). Potevano essere funzionali all’utilizzo di pali lignei per bloccare il portello. Ma potrebbero essere anche una testimonianza della conservazione di un rituale religioso arcaico preesistente alla tradizione canonica della più moderna religiosità nabatea. Un altro esempio di coppella, con anello concentrico scavato intorno, è nella soglia di uno degli ambienti laterali del Kazneh. Il riferimento a persistenze di culti precedenti è possibile non conoscendosi con certezza l’origine di questo popolo, originariamente tribù nomade, ma la cui discendenza da popolazioni preistoriche locali o di altra area legate ai culti della fertilità è accettabile. I Nabatei si insediarono nell’area e riutilizzarono gli ipogei preesistenti adattandoli alle loro necessità. L’esempio più evidente è la cosiddetta fonderia, ricavata in una ampia camera scavata nella roccia, che si trova a sud del cassero. Un esempio di architettura di ipogeo simile alle grotticelle di Wu’ayra si trova in prossimità di Beidha, sito distante appena sette chilometri e noto per l’insediamento neolitico preceramico più antico del Medio Oriente. Analogie più strette si possono riscontrare invece con tombe dell’ EB/MB (At Tla el ‘Ali, Jabel Jofeh, Jabal Jaj, 128

M. Frau: Testimonianze preistoriche nel sito di Wu’ Eira Gebel, H. G. 1986. Die Jungsteinzeit im Petra_Gebiet. In M. Lindner (ed), Petra. Neue Ausgrabungen und Entdeckungen, 273-308. München, Delp. Gebel, H. G. and Starck J. M.1985. Investigations into the Stone Age of the Petra Area (Early Holocene Research). A Preliminary Report on the 1984 Campaigns. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 29, 89-114. Kenyon, K. M. and Holland, T. A. 1983. Excavations at Jericho 5. London, British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. Kirkbride, D. 1959. Short Note on Some Hitherto Unrecorded Prehistoric Sites in Transjordan. PEQ 91, 5255. Marino, L., Labanca, G., Nenci, C., Orlando, F. e Sabelli R. 1994. La fortezza di al-Wu’ayra a Petra: osservazioni sullo stato di conservazione, in L. Marino (ed), Siti e monumenti della Giordania, rapporto sullo stato di conservazione, 97-102. Firenze, Alinea. Perrot,J. 1977. Siria-Palestina I, Archaeologia Mundi, Enciclopedia archeologica. Nagel, Ginevra. Tonghini, C. e Vanni Desideri, A. 2001. The Material Evidence from al-Wu’ayra: A Sample of Pottery. vol. 7. 707-719, Convegno: Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan. Vannini, G. e Vanni Desideri, A. 1995. Archaeological Research on Medieval Petra: a preliminary report. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. Vannini, G. e Tonghini, C. 1997. Medieval Petra. The stratigrafic evidence from recent archaeological excavations at al-Wu’ayra. Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan VI ,371-384. Amman, Departement of Antiquites.

Sport City, Dhar Mirzbanek e Tiwal esh-Sharqi, Bab EdhDhra ( Thomas Schaub e Rast 1965), Hablet el Amud, presso Silwan (ADAJ 1964), Gerico (Kenyon 1981 e 1983), Pella (Potts, Colledge e Edwards 1985). Ma i riscontri architettonici più evidenti riportano alle necropoli scavate nella roccia un po’ in tutto il Mediterraneo (Cipro, Grecia, Malta, Nordafrica, Sicilia, Sardegna, Italia Meridionale). Anche le cavità coppelliformi richiamano contesti tombali della preistoria mediterranea, maltese e sarda in particolare, ma in generale dell’Europa. BIBLIOGRAFIA Bini, M. e Bertocci, S. 1997. The Survey of Al Wu’ayra: a Contribution to de Knowledge of the Crusader castles in Jordan. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan XLI, 403 ss. Bisheh, G. Report About a Survey in the Ma’an District (Petra- Area Wadi Rum, Shobak, Aqaba), 25th Sept.-8th Oct. 1972. Amman, Department of Antiquites, Open File Report. Brown, R. M.1987. A 12th Centhury A. D. Sequence from Transjordan Crusaders and Ajjubid occupation at el AlWu’ayra. Dorell, P. G.1983. Stone Vessels, Tools and Objects, in K. M. Kenyon and T. A. Holland (eds), Excavations at Jericho 5. London, British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. Fujii, S. 2006. Wadi Abu Tulayha: A preliminary Report of 2005 Spring and Summer Excavation Seasons at the al-Jafr Basin Prehistoric Project Phase2. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan L (2006) (1), 9-32.

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Figura 1. Wu’eira: Planimetria generale del sito di al-Wu’eira con segnalazione dei siti di interesse preistorico: ipogei, aree con coppelle, scalinate e squadri.

Figura 2. Wu’eira: L’antiporta del castello di Wu’ayra, ipogeo preistorico riutilizzato in epoca storica per ricavare un ingresso protetto all’area del castello.

Figura 3. Wu’ eira : Grotticella n. 2, con prospetto scavato da serie di coppelle.

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Figura 4. Wu’eira: Grotticella con architrave arcuato scavato nella roccia, all’interno del cassero.

Figura 5.Wu’eira : Interno della UT80: particolare delle nicchie sfondate per ricavare feritoie di osservazione della sottostante antiporta del castello.

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Figura 6. Wu’eira: Reperti ritrovati sul pavimento roccioso della UT80, in un deposito di argilla che ricopriva una coppia di coppelle.

Figura 7. Wu’eira ; Scorcio dall’interno della UT80, con residui del crollo delle strutture di epoca crociata.

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Figura 8. Wu’eira: Vista della scalinata in muratura di transito tra la UT80 e l’esterno.

Figura 9. Wu’eira : L’imponente area cultuale a ovest del cassero, con i rilievi scavati da raggruppamenti di coppelle che sembrano riprodurre costellazioni.

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Figura 10. Petra: Raro esempio di coppelle scavate sulla soglia di una tomba nella necropoli di Petra.

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

L’ETÀ CROCIATO - AYYUBIDE E LA NASCITA DI UNA FRONTIERA MEDIEVALE THE CRUSADER-AYYUBID AGE AND THE BIRTH OF A MEDIEVAL FRONTIER SHAWBAK: STRUTTURE MATERIALI DI UNA FRONTIERA Guido Vannini Michele Nucciotti Università di Firenze A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011 Abstract (2008) Shawbak: material frames of a frontier South Jordan and Shawbak: a land and a settlement that from the 12th to 14th century more and more and deeply intertwined their history with each other, so that may mirror one other. The material situation of the site of Shawbak represents a case of study of great consequence, in order to ascertain ways and times, whereby the regional identity originated from the Jordanian ‘Medieval frontier’ progressively evolved between the early Crusader and Mamluk epoch, through the conclusive Ayyubidid resettlement. This paper illustrates the architectonic and archaeological elements, which back such interpretation. Special attention will be turned to those material structures which, within the castle-citadel of Shabak, attested to the ancient and Medieval frontier, as emerged from ‘light’ surveying carried out by the archaeological mission of the University of Florence between 2000 and 2007, within the bilateral Italian and Jordanian project ‘Shawbak Project’. Although it is not clear what Nabatean-Age Shawbak was, in Roman and Byzantine epoch this site, strategically situated upon the Kings’ Road, was actually fortified, as comes out from the archaeological investigations of standing and (more recently) unearthed contexts. Besides, in that period, considering its proximity to Udruh/Adrianopolis, Shawbak had probably a mainly local, even though considerable, role within the settlements relating to the Limes Arabicus. However, it is within the very Medieval ‘power experiences’ that Shawbak achieved its political, administrative, economic and military supremacy over the wide region that, south of Kerak, extended to the Red Sea, and then took over de facto the legacy of Late Antique and Byzantine jurisdictions of Udruh and, above all, Petra. The process of achieving its regional competence is shown by the erection of appropriate structures in terms of power, deputation and service. The extraordinary Medieval rise of Shawbak can be realised from the great still existing building and architectonic heritage. Church of St. Mary, the Ayyubidid quarters of 1212, dye-works and the monumental Mamluk fortifications of 1297-8 are the best examples of such process, which, in a topographic and symbolic respect, reached the top with the great Ayyubidid Hall, situated on the recently exposed monumental remains of the old Crusader palace.

LE FRONTIERE DI SHAWBAK

anche con lo strumento dello scavo in estensione (affiancandolo alla metodologia ‘leggera’ della ricerca che aveva connotato la missione fino dai suoi esordi), rappresentava una svolta che, basandosi sulla messe di risultati raccolti negli anni da un’esplorazione del sistema insediativo che aveva condotto (appunto ‘dal territorio’) a riconoscere nella Petra del XII2 secolo (dove peraltro sono tuttora in corso indagini per aspetti tuttaltro che marginali), un’autentica chiave di lettura in grado di rappresentare aspetti di fondo relativi all’intero territorio indagato e quindi, per questa via, potere attingere indicazioni spendibili in ordine alla costruzione di nuovi modelli di interpretazione storica di quest’area (così

Decidere, nel 2002, di indagare Shawbak rappresentava la naturale estensione di una ricerca che, fino dalla sua stessa impostazione (1986), si presentava come ‘territoriale’ e ‘tematica’; un’impostazione che potrebbe apparire una ‘rischiosa’ ma anche promettente scommessa, almeno sulla base dei risultati che consimili progetti avevano conseguito da parte della recente scuola archeologica ’medievista’ italiana e da parte della stessa Cattedra di Archeologia Medievale promotrice della missione dell’Università di Firenze in Transgiordania1 (Figura 2). E tuttavia affrontare Shawbak 1

Una scommessa rischiosa, perchè si trattava di rinunciare programmaticamente ad una strategia della ricerca che mirasse esclusivamente alla comprensione della topografia ed alla stratigrafia ‘profonda’del sito in sé, secondo quanto è peraltro consuetudine fare nella generale tradizione archeologica. Della missione gli autori sono, rispettivamente, direttore del progetto e (dal 2005) condirettore del

programma archeologico. 2 Un approccio (e, appunto, una scommessa, dichiarata nello stesso titolo della missione (Archeologia dell’insediamento crociato-ayyubide in Transgiordania). Una sintesi recente in Vannini (ed) 2007 e in Vannini e Nucciotti (eds) 2009. Su Petra ‘medievale’ si vedano in particolare Vannini e Tomghini 1997 e Vannini et al. 2002.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean come avvenuto per la stessa Petra ‘medievale’) (Figura 1). Una scelta – ‘scavare Shawbak’ - che mirava a far luce su quelle condizioni stratigrafiche e contestualiche prioritariamente permettessero di istituire rapporti fra quanto il sito avrebbe potuto rivelare e, appunto, il patrimonio di dati ‘prodotto’ dalle indagini ‘leggere’ fin ad allora condotte sul territorio (ad esempio con una campionatura stratigrafica degli elevati della stessa Shawbak, come peraltro di Kerak, Tafileh, etc.) e, in particolare, sul ‘sistema’ incastellato riconosciuto nella valle di Petra (Figura 3). Ma anche una scommessa promettente, dato che una serie di indizi, sistematicamente rilevati ed obbiettivamente convergenti, ci faceva ritenere che le stratigrafie di Shawbak (elevati, interrato, superficie) potessero conferire a questa straordinaria area archeologico-monumentale transgiordana quella funzione di ‘osservatorio archeologico’ sull’intero territorio, che così produttiva si era rivelata per Wu’ayra. In altri termini, sostanzialmente mutando solo di scala, l’insediamento pluristratificato di Shawbak avrebbe potuto avere, per la lettura delle conseguenze del riattivarsi della frontiera nella regione, la stessa funzione che l’area incastellata di Wu’ayra aveva svolto per la proposta di un modello di interpretazione dell’insediamento crociato nella valle di Petra (Vannini e Vanni Desideri 1995) (Figura 4). E in effetti Shawbak si sta dimostrando un autentico archivio materiale per la storia dell’intera regione e per un esteso arco cronologico; come vedremo, ne sta emergendo una sorprendente funzione poleogenetica - che in questo sito trova origine con esiti, secondo il modello che qui si inizia a proporre, destinati ad estendersi per tutto il territorio - che attinge a ‘strumenti’ e condizioni di una cultura definibile come mediterranea (almeno per il medioevo) ed a ripercuotersi nei ‘tempi lunghi’ della storia, sia recuperando valenze territoriali antiche (il rapporto con Petra) sia dando origine ad una vera, nuova tradizione identitaria locale, destinata a mantenersi per secoli. Il sito medievale di Shawbak si trova a circa 25 km a nord di Petra. Il castello-cittadella occupa la parte sommitale di una collina rocciosa di forma vagamente ellittica dalla cui base scaturivano, fino al 1950, due sorgenti, che si univano circa 400m a est del sito a formare un torrente. Il piccolo corso d’acqua perenne confluiva a sua volta, dopo un chilometro, presso il villaggio di Abu Maktub, nell’ampia depressione in cui sono state tracciate per secoli le grandi arterie della viabilità internazionale attraverso questa regione: dalla biblica Strada dei Re, alla Traiana Nova di età romana, alla viabilità verso la Palestina attraverso il Wadi Arabah (Roll 2007; Walmsley 2001 e 2009). Posizione topograficamente dominante, controllo delle sorgenti e dei suoli fertili della fascia predesertica, relazione diretta con la grande viabilità militare, commerciale e (in epoca islamica) di pellegrinaggio, questi, in estrema sintesi sono gli elementi costanti della storia di Shawbak, che può essere considerato, per molti motivi, un classico insediamento di frontiera. Per quanto riguarda la frontiera per così dire ‘stabile’, ovvero quella pedologico-orografico-climatica, Shawbak occupa il limite orientale della dorsale del Wadi Arabah, in posizione quasi baricentrica tra il crinale dello stesso wadi e l’autostrada del deserto, che ricalca il percorso dell’antica via carovaniera

tra Ma’an e Qatrana (Walmsley 2009, 461). Il sito si trova cioè su una stretta fascia di terre coltivabili ampia una trentina di chilometri e delimitata da due deserti: la valle di Arabah a ovest e il grande deserto arabo-siriano a est (Figura 5). Altrettanto importanti per comprendere la storia di questo sito sono però le frontiere ‘immateriali’, politiche, che, a partire dal XII secolo, hanno fatto perno su Shawbak e che hanno assunto tendenzialmente quattro forme: la frontiera verso il deserto,3 la frontiera meridionale della Transgiordania crociato-ayyubide,4 la frontiera tra Sira ed Egitto a sud di Shawbak5 e la frontiera tra Siria ed Egitto a nord di Shawbak (Figura 6)6. LA FRONTIERA ROMANO-BIZANTINA Le frontiere politiche ‘di Shawbak’, così come sono state sinteticamente esemplificate, hanno avuto un profondo effetto sulla storia materiale del sito, particolarmente in età ‘medievale’. Tuttavia le più antiche strutture finora individuate nell’area del castello appartengono a un periodo precedente. Sulla base delle analisi stratigrafiche degli elevati e dei confronti con le murature dei siti medievali di Petra (Wu’ayra e Al-Habis) sono stati individuati a Shawbak lacerti di murature che precedono l’insediamento latino di XII secolo. Tali murature appartengono ad almeno due distinte strutture: una cinta muraria e un edificio (schedato come Cf18) che presenta restauri di età ayyubide, probabilmente relativi alle riparazioni che fecero seguito al disastroso terremoto del 1 maggio 1212.7 I recenti scavi condotti nel 2007 nei pressi di due tratti della cinta muraria (aree 10.000 e 39.000) ne hanno confermato una datazione precedente all’occupazione latina della collina, evidenziando contesti ceramici tardoantichi associati alla fondazione delle mura (Vannini e Nucciotti 2007, 42-50). Da un punto di vista tecnologico sia la cinta ‘romano-bizantina’ sia l’edificio Cf18 sono realizzati in grandi blocchi di un calcare organogeno di mare sottile e, in particolare il Cf18, mostra puntuali confronti con le murature del vicino campo legionario di Udruh/Augustopoli, in cui Diocleziano stanziò, spostandola da Megiddo, la legione VI Ferrata Ricalcava più o meno il tracciato dell’antico Limes Arabicus. Come la Palaestina Tertia, infatti, anche l’Oultrejordan latino aveva un confine orientale sfumato che si perdeva nel deserto. 4 Relativa alle dominazioni di Al-Adil, Al-Nasir Dawud, Al-Mughit ‘Umar ( Humphreys 1977, 87 e ss., 271-290, 305-317). 5 Riferibile soprattutto alla dominazione di Al-Mu’Azzam ‘Isa (cfr Humphreys 1977, 125-191). 6 Al-Kamil pretende da Al-Nasir Dawud nel 1228 la cessione di Shawbak (e non di Kerak), ottenendola poi al termine della guerra di conquista di Damasco nel 1229. Nel 1240 Al-Nasir Dawud chiede al sultano egiziano al-Salih Ayyub di restituire Shawbak alla Transgiordania ma non viene ascoltato (Humphreys 1977, 193-265). Inoltre, a cavallo tra il 1249 e il 1250 Dawud e i suoi eredi, signori di Transgiordania, fanno più volte pressione per scambiare con Al-Salih Ayyub Kerak con Shawbak (Humphreys 1977, 283-307). 7 Sembra ipotizzabile anche per Shawbak una suddivisione in due fasi dell’occupazione di epoca romano-bizantina, sulla scorta di quanto avviene ad Hallabat. A una fase più antica dovrebbe appartenere, sulla base della tecnica muraria (confronti con Udruh e Hallabat), l’edificio Cf18 (forse secc. II-III), mentre il muro di cinta pre-medievale mostra forti analogie tecnologiche con quello del quadriburgium di età tetrarchica (secc. IV-V) di Hallabat (Arce 2009, 941-943). Per le ricostruzioni ayyubidi in seguito al terremoto del 1212 (a Shawbak), si veda Nucciotti 2007, 44 e ss. 3

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G. Vannini, M. nucciotti: Shawbak:strutture materiali di una frontiera (Roll 2007, 121). In seguito alle analisi archeologiche leggere e profonde delle strutture pre-medievali di Shawbak è stato, quindi, individuato un insediamento fortificato di età romano-bizantina caratterizzato da elementi di edilizia di prestigio e probabilmente abbandonato in seguito alle campagne militari condotte in questa regione, intorno all’anno 628, dall’esercito persiano. Questa scoperta è sicuramente molto interessante per la conoscenza del Limes Arabicus nei pressi di Petra. Le fortificazioni romane di Shawbak vengono, infatti, a collocarsi a controllo del bivio viario in cui la via Nova Traiana si divide in direzione di Petra e Udruh/ Augustopoli, con un ruolo di controllo/sbarramento che potrebbe essere analogo a quello del forte di Ayl,8 che occupa una posizione speculare nel punto di congiunzione meridionale dei due rami della Traiana, in direzione del Mar Rosso. In questo quadro la Shawbak romana potrebbe aver costituito una difesa della città di Negla, menzionata nella Tabula Peutingeriana a 22miglia (ca 32 chilometri) a nord di Petra. Sebbene, infatti, non sia conosciuto esattamente il sito di questa città romana, la sua associazione con Shawbak è assodata da tempo (Graf 1999, 227) e il suo ricordo si tramanderebbe nel toponimo ‘Nijil’, il nome del villaggio moderno di Shawbak. In via alternativa non è comunque da escludere che i ruderi romani su cui i crociati edificarono il proprio castrum possano essere, essi stessi, i resti della città limitanea di Negla.

connotate dalla compresenza di (almeno) una sede di giurisdizione politico-amministrativa e un complesso di fortificazioni, entro lo stesso insediamento. L’individuazione nel 2006 dei resti del palazzo di età crociata (Vannini e Nucciotti (eds) 2007, 23-24, 35-41), nel settore nord del sito, attualmente in corso di indagine, ha permesso di acquisire nuovi elementi, sia di carattere archeo-topografico sia, più in generale, ha concesso la possibilità di studiare uno dei complessi architettonici storicamente e politicamente più importanti della Giordania medievale. Shawbak fu, infatti, fondato come castello regio da Baldovino I di Gerusalemme (che lo chiamò Mons Regalis) nel 1115 e il controllo del suo palatium fu un rilevantissimo mezzo di legittimazione politica per tutti i signori della Transgiordania crociata. Un ruolo politico per il quale Shawbak superò la stessa Kerak, generalmente accreditata come ‘capitale’ della signoria dell’Oultrejordan, e che si esplica nel ricorso quasi sistematico al titolo di ‘Dominus Montis Regalis’ nella titolatura ufficiale dei ‘principi’ di Transgiordania (anche nell’unico sigillo noto), laddove il titolo di ‘signore di Kerak’ è, per contro, rarissimo (Mayer 1990, 5-16). Le strutture del palatium di Shawbak sono ancora da chiarire nei dettagli, anche per la sua successiva inclusione nel complesso architettonico del duecentesco palazzo ayyubide. L’ambiente individuato e attualmente in corso di scavo è un ampio edificio voltato integrato con la cinta muraria del castrum. La presenza di quattro feritoie aperte sul muro orientale, verso l’interno del castello, fa supporre la presenza in quell’area di un ambiente aperto, probabilmente un grande cortile o un corridoio porticato, da cui sarebbe stato possibile accedere alla sala voltata attraverso un ampio portale di cui si conservano ancora gli stipiti (Figura 8).

LA FRONTIERA CROCIATO-ISLAMICA È però nel quadro della frontiera ‘medievale’ che Shawbak, tra XII e XIV secolo, sviluppa una egemonia politica, amministrativa, economica e militare sull’ampia regione che, a sud di Kerak, si estende fino al Mar Rosso, ponendosi come erede de facto delle giurisdizioni tardoantiche, bizantine e omayyadi-abbasidi di Udruh e, soprattutto, di Petra-Wadi Mousa.9 Ciò fu reso possibile, in primo luogo, per la natura peculiare di una frontiera ‘medievale’ che, nei fatti, non rispondeva a un centro di potere lontano ma era, invece, formata da cellule quasi indipendenti di giurisdizione centrate sui castra latini (e successivamente sui centri urbani ayyubidi). In questo quadro il riflesso materiale della frontiera nell’urbanistica di Shawbak si fa, a partire dal XII secolo, particolarmente evidente (Figura 7). In un certo senso, riprendendo un recente lavoro di Ronnie Ellenblum (2002, 114-116) sulle forme della frontiera arabo-cristiana nella seconda metà del XII secolo (in relazione al viaggio compiuto da ibn Jubair tra Baghdad, Damasco, Tiro e Acri negli anni ’80 del XII secolo), si può affermare che, a partire dalla sua ri-fondazione nel 1115 Shawbak diventi, esso stesso,‘la frontiera’. Le infrastrutture necessarie al mantenimento del confine politico della sua giurisdizione non erano, infatti, localizzate sulla linea immaginaria di demarcazione del suo distretto (come avviene oggi) quanto, piuttosto, all’interno del castello stesso. Le strutture materiali di una frontiera medievale sono, quindi, variamente

LA FRONTIERA AYYUBIDE La conferma più straordinaria della centralità acquisita da Shawbak in età crociata a controllo della frontiera della Giordania meridionale è costituita dagli interventi che gli ayyubidi, i discendenti di Saladino, realizzarono in questo sito tra il 1189 e il 1260. Tra questi il più spettacolare e anche quello più carico di significato è sicuramente la costruzione del palazzo finora attribuito ad Al Mu’azzam ‘Isa (Brown 1988; Rugiadi 2009), figlio del fratello di Saladino e, dal 1218 al 1227 quarto ‘sultano’ ayyubide di Damasco. La costruzione di un palazzo di governo, che si sostituisce ma anche si integra al palazzo regio e signorile latino, conferma, infatti, la centralità di Shawbak (un forte romano abbandonato da secoli fino al 1115) nel controllo degli equilibri, ora interni, dell’impero arabo, sulla linea di confine tra Egitto e Siria (Figura 9). Non è un caso, infatti, che Shawbak sia continuamente conteso tra i signori di Damasco e quelli del Cairo (a cui sarà legato con più continuità) e faccia occasionalmente parte, insieme a Kerak, di un principato Transgiordano che ricalca i confini della precedente circoscrizione latina (v. sopra, par. 1). Gli effetti di questa ‘frontiera ayyubide’ sulle strutture materiali del sito sono di grande portata anche se, fin qui, la maggioranza delle stratigrafie di questo periodo indagate, in elevato e nei depositi interrati, si riferisce alla prima età

8

Per un inquadramento topografico di Shawbak/Negla, Petra, Udruh e Ayl si vedano le carte in Roll 2007, 123-124. 9 Per le circoscrizioni amministrative della prima età islamica nell’area di Petra e per l’ascesa di Wadi Mousa come centro amministrativo in epoca abbaside e fatimide si vedano Walmsley 2001 e ‘Amr 2000.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean ayyubide e, in particolare, all’attività di Al Mu’azzam ‘Isa. Già accreditato come costruttore del palazzo e della splendida sala delle udienze10 il suo operato è altrettanto evidente nella trasformazione ‘genetica’ di Shawbak da castrum a città. A partire dal duecento Shawbak non viene, infatti, più indicato come castello ma come fortezza o cittadella, quindi una fortificazione urbana, e come tale viene affiancato nel XIV secolo a Ba’albak e Damasco (tra le maggiori cittadelle dello stato) dal cronista Ibn Al- Furat.11 Il legame tra Shawbak e la Damasco ayyubide è particolarmente evidente nelle ricostruzioni del tessuto urbano del castello promosse da Mu’azzam ‘Isa all’indomani del terremoto del 1212. Gli strumenti e le finiture dei materiali da costruzione impiegati negli edifici, sia civili sia militari, connotate da un ampio nastrino realizzato con uno strumento dentato, trovano precisi confronti nelle coeve architetture ayyubidi di Damasco).12 Ciò potrebbe indicare l’attività di maestranze damascene nella Giordania meridionale, in uno dei rari momenti in cui questa regione fu sotto il controllo dell’antica capitale Omayyade. Questa ipotesi va naturalmente vagliata con tutte le cautele che si devono utilizzare per una linea di ricerca, sebbene l’assenza di finiture analoghe negli edifici ayyubidi del Cairo (quantomeno in quelli noti in bibliografia) offra più di un appiglio alla teoria di un intervento di maestranze siriane durante l’epoca ‘damascena’ di Shawbak. LA FRONTIERA MAMELUCCA Il ruolo centrale di Shawbak sembra continuare anche nel periodo iniziale dell’età mamelucca, almeno dal 1260 a tutto il XIV secolo. Per questo periodo non disponiamo di attestazioni positive di nuove strutture palaziali nella cittadella, che potrebbero comunque indicare che il palatium crociatoayyubide fosse ancora in uso, probabilmente con aggiunte nell’area orientale, non ancora raggiunta dalle indagini archeologiche. Nel 1293 il sito viene improvvisamente e, secondo il cronista Ibn Al-Furat13, inspiegabilmente, decastellato dal sultano mamelucco al-Ashraf Khalil, che lascia però in piedi la qülla (un insieme di edifici in cui forse possiamo includere anche il palazzo, che fu in effetti risparmiato). La rifortificazione della cittadella, 4 anni dopo, lascia però pochi dubbi su quanto Shawbak fosse ancora strategico, giacché il sultano Husama al Lagin volle segnalare il proprio intervento con le iscrizioni monumentali sulle grandi torri in calcare organogeno con cui il sito venne protetto, a perenne e pub10

La costruzione potrebbe tuttavia essere stata realizzata anche dal padre di Al-Mu’azzam e fratello di Saladino: Al-Adil. 11 Faucherre 2004, 47. Per l’importanza della ‘scuola’ di Shawbak nella formazione del personale amministrativo e religioso di età mamelucca si veda il contributo di Hani Falahat in questo stesso volume. 12 Cristina Tonghini, che ringraziamo per le puntuali segnalazioni, ha indicato i seguenti confronti damasceni per tale finitura: a Damasco, quartiere di Salihiyye, la finitura è attestata in mausolei e madrase datate alla prima metà del XIII e nella madrasa al-Adiliyya (parete esterna della sala di preghiera) terminata nel 1223, ma già avviata in precedenza, addirittura da Nur al-Din. Continua poi nel periodo mamelucco, senza significative variazioni.  Esempi molto raffinati si trovano anche all’interno della cittadella di Damasco (sala ayyubide, pareti interne,  databili intorno al 1210). 13 Cit. in Faucherre 2004, 47.

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blica memoria. Alla stessa epoca mamelucca appartiene infine una infrastruttura molto particolare, che costituisce una testimonianza materiale della frontiera in termini della rilevanza artigianale e commerciale di Shawbak. Si tratta della probabile tintoria medievale che, realizzata e ampliata tra fine duecento e durante tutto il secolo successivo, costituisce un elemento di grande interesse sia per l’archeologia, sia per la storia economica di questo insediamento. L’opificio si compone di tre ambienti e occupa l’intero complesso edificato dai cavalieri dell’ospedale di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme nella seconda metà del XII secolo (Mayer 1990, 131-134). Vi si riconoscono: la fornace per il riscaldamento delle miscele di tintura (realizzata nel vano di una piccola cappella crociata, probabilmente alla base di una torre della cinta del borgo), la grande vasca a sezione circolare per i trattamenti a caldo della tintura delle matasse e l’ambiente detto ‘delle vaschette’ destinato ai trattamenti a freddo nel processo di colorazione. Le analisi archeometriche sui rivestimenti in cocciopesto delle vaschette, condotte da Roberto Franchi (Vannini Nucciotti (eds) 2009, 174 e ss.), evidenziano la presenza di probabili fibre tessili tra gli strati di malta utilizzata per impermeabilizzare i bacini litici (Figura 10). Le analisi stratigrafiche degli elevati, assieme allo scavo dell’ambiente del prefurnium, hanno consentito di datare l’opificio all’epoca mamelucca e di documentarne un progressivo ampliamento delle strutture. La tintura delle matasse era probabilmente utilizzata per la realizzazione di quei tappeti e tessuti che, attraverso lunghi viaggi (e un efficiente sistema commerciale), raggiungevano l’Europa assieme agli altri prodotti ‘tipici’ (come lo zucchero crancum di Mont Real) che avevano reso nota e famosa, anche dal punto di vista artigianale e agricolo, questa antica terra di frontiera del Mediterraneo orientale.14 In conclusione – certo molto resta da fare, soprattutto per la sistematizzazione del modello storiografico qui solo tratteggiato in rapporto ad una base documentaria materiale opportunamente calibrata e ‘criticata’ – il caso di Shawbak si prospetta di straordinaria densità concettuale (quasi un pendent della sua articolata complessità pluristratigrafica) nella quale si riflettono storie e vicende di un’intera regione per secoli e con una particolare identificazione per quelli successivi all’XI; storie e vicende che, per aspetti fondamentali, si riferiscono ad evoluzioni culturali di grande rilievo e che, peraltro, sono documentabili essenzialmente e spesso esclusivamente per via archeologica. In concreto, la vicenda materiale del sito di Shawbak rappresenta così un caso di studio paradigmatico per comprendere le modalità e i tempi in cui l’identità regionale nata dalla frontiera ‘medievale’ giordana venne progressivamente a formarsi, tra la prima età crociata e quella mamelucca, attraverso la decisiva rielaborazione ayyubide (Figura 11).

14

Per la produzione di tappeti a Shawbak in età mamelucca si vedano Little 1984 e 1986. Per la produzione di zucchero nella Giordania ‘medievale’ si veda Nashef 2009.

G. Vannini, M. nucciotti: Shawbak:strutture materiali di una frontiera Medioevo, in Vannini e Nucciotti (eds), 142-143. Nucciotti, M. 2007. Analisi stratigrafiche degli elevati [a Shawbak]: primi risultati.In Vannini (ed), 27-55. Roll, I. 2007. Crossing the Negev in Late Roman times. The administrative development of Palaestina Tertia Salutaris and of its imperial road network, in A. S. Lewin e P. Pellegrini, The Late Roman army in the Near East from Diocletian to the Arab conquest, BAR (I. S. 1717), 119130. Oxford (UK). Rugiadi, M. 2009. Il palazzo ayyubide a Shawbak, in G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti (eds), 120-121. Shqour, R., DE Meulemeester, J. and Herremans, D. 2009. The Aqaba castle project, in AA. VV., Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan X, Amman (Jordan), 641-655. Vannini, G. et alii 2002, Medieval Petra. Archaeology of the Crusader-Ayyubid fortified settlment in Transjordan, in AA. VV., Civilisations of the past, dialogue of the present. Italian research missions in Jordan. Amman. Vannini, G. (ed) 2007. Archeologia dell’insediamento crociato-ayyubide in Transgiordania. Il progetto Shawbak. Firenze. Vannini G. e Nucciotti, M. (eds) 2007. Medieval Petra – Shawbak Project: season 2007, field report consegnato al Department of Antiquities of Jordan, Amman (consultabile online dal sito www.shawbak.net). Vannini, G e Nucciotti, M. (eds) 2009. Da Petra a Shawbak. Archeologia di una frontiera. Firenze. Vannini, G. e Tonghini, C. 1997. Medieval Petra. The stratigraphic evidence from recent archaeological excavations at al-Wu’Ayra, in AA. VV., Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan VI. Amman. Vannini, G. Vanni Desideri, A. 1995. Archaeological research on Medieval Petra: a prelimitary report. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, XXXIX/1995,509-540. Walmlsley, A. 2001. Restoration or Revolution? Jordan between the Islamic conquest and the Crusades: impressions of twenty-five years of archaeological research, in AA. VV., Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan VIII, 633-640. Amman (Jordan). Walmlsley, A. 2009. Roads, Travel and Time ‘across Jordan’ in Byzantine and Early Islamic times, in AA. VV., Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan X, 459466. Amman (Jordan).

BIBLIOGRAFIA ‘Amr, K. et alii 2000. ����������������������������������� Summary results of the archaeological project at Khirbat an-Nawafla. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 44/2000, 231-255. Arce, I. 2009. Coenobium, palatium and hira: the Ghassanid complex at Hallabat, in AA. VV., Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan X , 937-966. Amman (Jordan). Balard, M. 2003. A Christian Mediterranean: 1000-1500. In D. Abulafia (ed), The Mediterranean in history, 183217. London. Brown, R. M. 1988. Report of the 1986 excavations at Shobak, unpublished report submitted to the Department of Archaeology of Jordan in March 1988. Ellenblum, R. 2002. Were there Borders and Border-lines in the Middle Ages? The Example of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, in N. Berend and D. Abulafia (eds), Frontiers in the Middle Ages, 105-119. London. Faucherre, N. 2004. La forteresse de Shawbak (Crac de Montreal). Une des premieres forteresses franques sous son corset Mamelouk, in N. Faucherre, j. Mesqui, and N. Prouteau (eds), La fortification au temps des Croisades (Actes du colloque Parthenay 2002), 43 – 66. Rennes (France). Graf, D. 1999. Roman Roads East of the Jordan, in M. Piccirillo and E. Alliata (eds), The Madaba Map Centenary 1887-1997:Travelling Through the Byzantine Umayyad Period, 227-234. Gerusalemme. Humphreys, R. S. 1977. From Saladin to the Mongols. New York (USA). Little, D. P. 1984. The Haram Documents as Sources for the Arts and Architecture of the Mamluk Period, «Muqarnas», Vol. 2/1984, 61-72. Little, D. P. 1986. Data from the Haram Documents on Rugs in Late 14th Century Jerusalem, in R. Pinner and W. B. Denny (eds), Oriental Carpet and Textile Studies II, Carpets of the Mediterranean Countries 1400-1600, 8394. London. Lo Jacono, C. 2003. Il Vicino Oriente. Storia del mondo islamico (VII-XVI secolo), volume primo. Torino. Mayer, H. E. 1990. Die kreuzfahrerherrschaft Montreal (Sobak). Jordanien im 12 jahrhundert, Wiesbaden (Germany). Milwright, M. 2008. The fortress of the Raven. Kerak in the Middle Islamic Period. Leiden (The Netherlands). Nashef, K. 2009. La produzione dello zucchero nel

Figura 1. La base a Wadi Musa della Missione archeologica dell’Università di Firenze, con funzioni residenziali, di laboratorio e logistiche

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Figura 2. Archeologia della società feudale mediterranea (Progetto Strategico d’Ateneo dell’Università di Firenze per l’Archeologia Medievale)

Figura 3. Il castello di Wu’ayra: la porta di Petra, chiave della Trangiordania crociata

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G. Vannini, M. nucciotti: Shawbak:strutture materiali di una frontiera

Figura 4. Letture archeologiche ‘leggere’ ad al-Habis

Figura 5. Shawbak e il controllo dell’’ultima’ fascia fertile predesertica: il crinale del Wadi Arabah e il suo rift

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean

Figura 6. La Transgiordania in età crociato-ayyubide e le sue ‘frontiere’

Figura 7. Il castello di Shawbak, il Crac de Montréal di Baldovino I re di Gerusalemme, fra strategia territoriale e tattica sul terreno

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G. Vannini, M. nucciotti: Shawbak:strutture materiali di una frontiera

Figura 8. Lo scavo nel Palazzo comitale di Shawbak, ‘capitale’ della Transgiordania regia

Figura 9. Il ‘Palazzo Ayyubide’: continuità e innovazione di un potere territoriale

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Figura 10. L’opificio ‘industriale’ tessile di età mamelucca (fine sec. XIII-XIV) rinvenuto in scavo

Figura 11. Shawbak, analisi archeologica di un’area monumentale stratificata: aree di scavo e corpi di fabbrica con strutture antiche, crociate, ayyubidi, mamelucche

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

RINALDO DI CHÂTILLON, SIGNORE DELL’OLTREGIORDANO Giuseppe Ligato Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East Abstract (2008) Reynald of Châtillon, Lord of the Outrejordain Among Levant’s Crusader settlements, the Outrejordain had ‘extreme’ features for its nature of frontier zone, and so militarily contended for, but also place of relations, which were not seldom balanced and peaceful. However, the most important local seignior, Reynald of Châtillon (1120-1187), was a dramatic and extravagant character, unsuitable for a region, that, in contrast, required a wise alternation of war and diplomacy, which had been in the far-off times promoted by the King of Jerusalem Baldwin I, founder of that feud, strategically located between Egypt and Syria. His behaviour reflects an independent lord more than a vassal of the King of Jerusalem, as Reynald not only made the Outrejordain his own seigniority, but also a base of operations for his attack against the Muslim World, far from any defensive necessity of the kingdom. Moreover, he dared an incredible raid to the Red Sea, in order to occupy the Holy Places of Islam and divert commercial traffics between Yemen and Indian Ocean towards his land. He interpreted his warlike mission in the spirit of no compromise, even when the Crusader soldier became a landlord, and so the Châtillon was one of the few characters of the Latin Levant to play constantly his role of strict, but also obstinate, miles Christi. His ruthless aggressiveness provoked the fall of the Crusader Levant and made him the most hated enemy of Saladin, with whom he entered into such a rivalry, which could only tragically finish on the battlefield, where the role of just man must be ascribed to the sultan.

Sit tibi copia, sit sapiencia formaque detur; inquinat omnia sola superbia si comitetur Il più importante (nonché il peggiore) signore dell’Oltregiordano crociato è stato immortalato non solo da recalcitranti ammissioni del suo valore da parte di alcune fonti arabe, ma anche dal riconoscimento del ruolo che svolse con sin troppa energia, come titolare di un feudo di frontiera: ‘finibus in Arabia Christianis egregie praesidebat’. Un personaggio fuori misura, pure per qualche suo correligionario.1 Rinaldo è un esempio, almeno all’inizio, della più tipica ‘leva’ del movimento crociato. Era nato intorno al 1120 nella famiglia dei signori di Châtillon-sur-Marne, ‘super Wainum fluviolum’ nell’attuale dipartimento della Marna, e certe fonti insistono sulle modeste origini del personaggio che invece nel panegirico dedicatogli da Pietro di Blois è ‘dominus Castellionis, Samurii, Burbonis aliorumque magni nominis castellorum’; ma Pietro voleva evidenziare gli onori e gli agi (comprese le nozze con la figlia di Ugo III duca di Borgogna) sdegnosamente respinti dal suo eroe ormai guadagnato alla militia Christi.2 Giunto in Oriente all’epoca della seconda crociata, si era posto al servizio del re di Gerusalemme Baldovino III avendo intuito gli spazi politici aperti davanti ai milites minores come lui, in un Levante cronicamente bisognoso di braccia armate. Presto segnalato come ‘multis probitatibus famosus’ e degno di governare e difendere feudi, dopo essersi distinto all’asse-

dio di Ascalona – e ormai ‘in bellis clarus’ ma anche ‘virum Christianissimum, et tam armorum gloria quam animi nobilitate celeberrimum’, ‘vir consilii parsimonieque et honestatis amator’, ‘Turcorum impugnator acerrimus et nostrorum fidissimus propugnator’, ‘haus hom et bons chevaliers’3 – Rinaldo sposò nel 1153 Costanza vedova di Raimondo di Poitiers ed erede del principato di Antiochia, con cui avrebbe generato una discendenza esclusivamente femminile, fattore che lo condizionò sia come princeps di Antiochia sia come dominus dell’Oltregiordano.4 Parco nel cibo e nell’abbigliamento, sprezzante del ‘mondan romore’, dedito a preghiera, elemosine e digiuni, prodigo esclusivamente ‘ad usum pauperum et armorum exercitium contra inimicos crucis Christi’: la ricostruzione meta-agiografica della vita di Rinaldo effettuata da Pietro di Blois e da altri autori esalta la morigeratezza adottata dal nuovo princeps Antiochenus, il quale avrebbe sentito il peso anche morale di quella responsabilità rinunciando alle vesti raffinate; e in effetti, la seconda crociata sul cui sfondo era giunto in Oriente aveva visto l’introduzione di norme (anche papali) severe contro l’abbigliamento lussuoso.5 Ciò non gli impedì di interpretare le proprie prerogative in modo brutale, soprattutto dopo essersi accanito sul patriarca d’Antiochia che aveva disapprovato le sue nozze e gli aveva negato il denaro per la sua politica aggressiva: Rinaldo lo fece esporre nudo capite e strofinato di miele all’azione degli insetti, meritandosi l’accusa di ‘viri dementis insaniam’ e altre reazioni, provocate anche

1

3

Guglielmo di Newburgh, 259; al-Dahabi, 167; Hamilton 1978: 97108. Più generico un altro autore: ‘potentissimus erat in partibus illis’: Brevis historia, 139. Tra le biografie più recenti, dopo la classica di Schlumberger 1923 figurano Gourdon 2001 e Thoquet 2007. La frase in esergo è tratta da un’iscrizione sulla torre sudoccidentale del Crac dei Cavalieri (Siria), riportata da Coppola 2002, 60. 2 Guglielmo di Tiro, 795-796; Ernoul, 22-23; Pietro di Blois, 42; Alberico, 849; Aubé 2007, 285; Deschamps 1991, 81; Familles d’Outre-Mer, 190191. Per l’identificazione del casato v. anche Sigillographie, 33; Richard 1987, 10; Barbero 1987, 105. Rinaldo, al pari di altri in Outremer, restò consapevole delle proprie origini: come principe d’Antiochia dichiarò a re Luigi VII di Francia la propria sottomissione (ma forse solo per eludere quella al più vicino e fastidioso basileus): Luigi VII, 15; Regesta regni, I, 81-82, doc. 319; Barbero 1987, 65 e 79.

Anche il severo Guglielmo di Tiro (deceduto prima delle peggiori nefandezze di Rinaldo) lo chiama ‘virum approbate fidei et mirabilis constantie’: Gugliemo di Tiro, 979-980, 790; Alberico, 849; Guglielmo di Newburgh, 259; Roberto di Auxerre, 250. Una rassegna bibliografica su Rinaldo sta in Mallet 2008, 141-153. 4 Per la contorta discendenza di Rinaldo, nella quale si nota l’assenza di un erede maschio – che qualcuno segnala, ma senza che l’interessato abbia lasciato segno di attività – v. Pietro di Blois, 43; Alberico, 849850; Familles d’Outre-Mer, 193-194; Lignages d’Outremer, 147 e 172; Roberto di Torigni, 157; Chiappini 2001, 31-32; Hillenbrand 2003, 93; Sweeney 1981, 469; Runciman 1993, 1137; Aubé 2007, 284, Maestri 2009, 15. 5 Pietro di Blois, 45; Ernoul, 23; Roberto di Auxerre, 250; Jaffé, doc. 8796.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean baroni rivali.10 Occorreva, ai sensi di una legge feudale che ammetteva la successione femminile a condizione che le terre fossero ben difese, un adeguato successore che fu trovato in Rinaldo, liberato da poco ed escluso dalla successione ad Antiochia di cui era stato solo il reggente in attesa della maggiore età del figliastro Boemondo III (asceso al trono nel 1163, durante la captivitas del patrigno che come princeps Antiochenus poté coniare il proprio nome sui sigilli ma non sulle monete). La morte di Costanza durante la captivitas lo aveva privato degli ultimi diritti sul principato, ma il valore dimostrato in precedenza gli aprì una nuova carriera al fianco dell’ereditiera dell’Oltregiordano.11 Il matrimonio con Stefania, celebrato nel 1177, assicurò a Rinaldo tale feudo che in una fonte è indicato semplicemente mediante la designazione dei suoi due castelli principali (‘del Crac et de Monroial’),12 ma a quale titolo? Il regno, specialmente prima delle grandi vittorie di Saladino del 1187-1188, praticamente ignorava le autonomie cittadine e l’allodio,13 ma con lo Châtillon era difficile parlare di gerarchia feudale: figura tragica, solitaria e inafferrabile, avrebbe ricevuto da certe fonti la qualifica di princeps Antiochiae anche alla fine della carriera e della vita, un quarto di secolo dopo avere formalmente perso il principato, mentre il titolo di dominus è vago come il suo corrispondente seignor nella lista di servitia redatta poco prima della sua morte. L’elenco dei servitia feudali che vari anni dopo ritraeva la struttura militare del regno sotto Baldovino IV (1174-1185) recita ‘la seignorie dou Crac (et) de Mont Real’,14 ma non era la signoria contrapposta

dalle sue azioni piratesche a danno di certe navi genovesi (che gli attirarono anche la minaccia della scomunica, materializzatasi solo secondo alcuni studiosi); entrato in contrasto con l’imperatore di Bisanzio, nel 1156 devastò Cipro meritando un’umiliante espiazione pubblica al cospetto della corte bizantina, allora come anche in seguito intenzionata a ribadire con studiata coreografia di chi era quella città.6 Dopo essersi diviso fra incursioni e assedi nel Nord degli Stati latini di Terra Santa, Rinaldo fu catturato dai damasceni nel 1160 o 1161 e avviato a una dura detenzione nelle carceri di Aleppo; ne conseguì un vuoto di potere nel Nord ma anche un relativo sollievo, se possiamo fidarci del rivale Guglielmo di Tiro che lo nomina il meno possibile e vede in questa disavventura una giusta espiazione per le numerose colpe.7 La captivitas si concluse solo nella primavera del 1176, con l’intervento di imprecisati amici e soprattutto con un pingue riscatto, ma l’insolita lentezza della raccolta della relativa multa pecunia fa sospettare scarsa urgenza di liberare un personaggio ritenuto scomodo, violento e pericoloso dai propri stessi correligionari.8 Umiliato più a lungo di altri, riscattato a un prezzo elevato, Rinaldo uscì dalle prigioni siriane ancora più determinato a colpire l’Islam; ma soprattutto, la detenzione e l’evoluzione della situazione politica esterna avevano azzerato la sua carriera facendolo retrocedere al ruolo di nuovo arrivato, un avventuriero senza feudi. Non aveva solo 16 anni di furor bellicus arretrati, ma anche una fortuna da ricostruire,9 senza alcuna considerazione per le potestates cristiane che gli avrebbero vanamente ricordato i doveri della subordinazione e della diplomazia, una condotta da lui aborrita anche prima della prigionia. Nel frattempo, era diventata ancora più evidente l’importanza strategica del feudo dell’Oltregiordano il cui incastellamento era iniziato nel 1115 con la fondazione del Kerak di Shawbak (Montréal) da parte di re Baldovino I, e culminato con la costruzione nel 1142 del Kerak di Moab, che con la prima fortificazione costituiva il ganglio delle comunicazioni fra il Cairo e Damasco. Nel 1161, in virtù di uno scambio della propria Nablus con l’Oltregiordano e ricevendo anche Hebron con un atto separato, era diventato vassallo per l’Oltregiordano Filippo di Milly, fattosi templare nel 1165; sua figlia Stefania, moglie e poi vedova di Unfredo III di Toron, ereditò il feudo ma il suo nuovo marito, Milone di Plancy, venne assassinato nel 1174 da

Guglielmo di Tiro, 1012; Regesta regni, I, 96-97, doc. 366; BulstThiele 1974, 80-81; Faucherre 2004, 45-46. Il regno gerosolimitano ammetteva la successione femminile, ancorché rafforzata da una forte guida maschile previo matrimonio con l’ereditiera: Mayer 1987, 202. 11 Guglielmo di Tiro, 837; Ernoul, 23 e 31; Sigillographie, 33; Lignages d’Outremer, 147; Mayer 1987, 202; Malloy 1994, 186; Metcalf 1995, 118; Metcalf 2006, 308-309. 12 Ernoul, 31; Familles d’Outremer: 404. Ernoul data l’investitura al 1173, quando però Rinaldo era ancora prigioniero. 13 Prawer 1980, 11 14 Edbury 1997, 116, 118; Assises, 604, 607. Anche Milone di Plancy era stato ‘dominus Syrie Sobal’, ossia della regione associata al toponimo ‘Montréal’: Guglielmo di Tiro, 964. Secondo Aubé 2007, 144, lo stesso Rinaldo si qualificò ancora princeps Antiochenus non molto dopo la propria liberazione. Nel 1183 per Guglielmo di Tiro, 1054 egli era ‘dominus Terre ultra Iordanem, qui aliquando fuit princeps Antiochenus’; l’oscillazione di Guglielmo fra princeps (anche nel 1182: ivi, 1027), quondam princeps e colui che ‘aliquando princeps Antiochiae fuerat’ deriva dal retaggio di un onore effettivamente ricevuto ma ormai ceduto, senza considerare casi come quello del 1181 in cui Rinaldo sta presso il figliastro Boemondo III suo successore e princeps effettivo dal quale deve essere distinto (ivi, 979-980, 987-990, 1012, 1015). Al momento della morte, Rinaldo era ‘quondam princeps Antiochenus [cfr. Rodolfo il Nero, 336], dominus Montis Regalis’ secondo Pietro di Blois, 41, 51 (idem, con erronea designazione ‘Raimondo’, in Gesta regis, II, 37 [lettera del patriarca d’Antiochia] e Ruggero di Howden, II, 341); Beha ed-Din, 97 (al-brins). Altre fonti gli attribuiscono il principato antiocheno come detenuto fino alla morte, o comunque non del tutto sostituito dall’Oltregiordano: Fortsetzung, 62 e 71; cfr. Itinerarium peregrinorum, 259; Itinerarium regis Ricardi, 16; Continuatio Weingartensis, 476; Izz al-Din-Ibn Shaddad, 254. Rinaldo stesso, poco dopo la propria liberazione si era definito ‘quondam princeps Antiochensis, nunc autem per Dei gratiam Montisregalis et Hebron dominus’, e alla battaglia di Montgisard era ormai signore di Kerak nell’Oltregiordano: Chartes de Terre Sainte, 88-89, doc. 41 (= Regesta regni, I, 159, doc. 596; cfr. ivi, 146-147, doc. 551 = Mayer 1985, 75 [1177]); Makrizi 1900-1901, 527; Mayer 1987, 202; Aubé 2007, 153. Roberto di Auxerre, 250 aggiunge correttamente il dominio su Kerak a quello su Hebron e Montréal. Lo chiama Antiochenus 10

Guglielmo di Tiro, 809, 833-835, 844-845; Papsturkunden, 217, doc. 77-78; Smbat, 46; Runciman 1993, 575; Aubé 2007, 285. Sull’azione di Rinaldo contro gli antichi privilegi genovesi, v. pure Regesta regni, I, 80, doc. 312. Grande fu lo scorno del basileus Manuele quando, dopo la cattura di Rinaldo, re Baldovino III assunse la tutela del principato: La Monte 1932, 254-256, 261. 7 Guglielmo di Tiro, 852; Abu Shama, IV, 188. Sulla datazione della cattura: Hillenbrand 2003, 82-83, ivi nota 20. 8 Guglielmo di Tiro, 979; Runciman 1993, 585; Roberto di Auxerre, 250; Ligato 2005a, 392 ss.; Hillenbrand 2003, passim; Facey 2005, 90. Durante la prigionia di Rinaldo la reggenza di Antiochia sareebbe spettata al re di Gerusalemme Baldovino III, ma Costanza si era opposta fino al contrasto con Boemondo III (suo figlio, nato dalla precedente unione con Raimondo di Poitiers): Ayyubids, 120, 227 nota 8. Secondo Ayyubids, 51 Rinaldo venne rilasciato alla morte di Norandino, ma questa precedette di almeno due anni la liberazione dell’ex-principe. 9 Hillenbrand 2003, 88 ss. e specialmente 99-100. 6

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G. Ligato: Rinaldo di Chatillon, signore dell’Oltregiordano al feudo; d’altra parte, quella di Rinaldo era una signoria di fatto. Il feudo dato allo Châtillon si estendeva tra lo Yarmuk e il mar Rosso ed è stato definito uno ‘stato regionale transgiordano’.15 In precedenza, i re di Gerusalemme erano riusciti a impedire che i signori dell’Oltregiordano estendessero eccessivamente i territori da essi controllati, secondo la politica avviata dal fondatore di Shawbak Baldovino I, il quale vi aveva stabilito un vicecomes; ora, invece, non solo il nuovo dominus mantenne il controllo su Hebron16 ma negli ultimi anni giunse a manifestare anche nelle forme la propria autonomia davanti a una monarchia gerosolimitana sempre più debole. Risoluto violatore di tregue, a cominciare almeno da quella stipulata nel maggio 1180, diede a Baldovino IV una risposta brusca e negativa all’ingiunzione di restituire la preda delle aggressioni all’inizio del decennio, e fu ancora più esplicito replicando al nuovo re Guido di Lusignano in una circostanza analoga.17 Subito dopo la liberazione, il nuovo vassallo dell’Oltregiordano ricevette la procuratio regni per sostituire il re Baldovino IV, sempre più debilitato dalla lebbra. È però errato sostenere che si fosse pensato a lui come erede al trono, come scrisse Pietro di Blois: ‘Ei sepissime magni et ambitiosi honores, regnum etiam Ierosolimorum eidem quandoque oblatum est’: in realtà, nonostante le offerte di sovranità a principes d’Oltremare ed europei divenute più frequenti sotto il re lebbroso, Pietro accresce la portata dell’offerta per evidenziare meglio la modestia del rifiuto degli onori e del potere, o forse comprende poco la potentissima procuratio gerosolimitana (che talvolta suggeriva vaghe prospettive di successione, soprattutto dopo il 1174), estranea alle consuetudini della salda monarchia plantageneta in cui non si concedevano poteri tanto elevati.18 La funzione di comando – o comunque di protagonista – ricoperta dallo Châtillon nel trionfo di Montgisard

(a Ramla in alcune fonti arabe) del novembre 1177 è accreditata soprattutto dalla storiografia orientale, anche in connessione con il conseguente giuramento personale di vendetta fatto dal sultano; ma ben altro poteva stimolare il rancore dell’Ayyubide, leale con chi lo aveva battuto sul campo e molto più intransigente verso i violatori di tregue e carovane. Guglielmo di Tiro, legato a uomini ostili all’avventurismo anarchico di Rinaldo (e avversario di un suo futuro alleato, ossia Eraclio suo antagonista nell’elezione patriarcale), scrisse che poco prima Baldovino IV aveva nominato ‘regni et exercituum procuratorem Rainaldum’, come aveva concepito prima e soprattutto dopo il fallimento di un’offerta analoga fatta all’intrigante conte Filippo di Fiandra.19 Una fonte cristiana orientale affianca Rinaldo e il sovrano nella successiva vittoria di Montgisard, quasi una diarchia, mentre la testimonianza che dovrebbe essere la migliore, quella di Guglielmo di Tiro, sopravvaluta la funzione del pur valoroso Baldovino per devozione alla monarchia; quanto al procurator, la carica non gli è più attribuita in seguito nonostante il valore dimostrato; infatti Guglielmo pone lo Châtillon (‘quondam Antiochie principem’, e da lui chiamato ancora princeps tempo dopo) semplicemente come uno dei comandanti nel 1177, pur ammettendo che in caso di indisponibilità del re i regni negocia sarebbero stati assunti da Rinaldo.20 Rinaldo nel periodo successivo alla detenzione diede poche prove, oltre a quella di Montgisard, di intesa con gli altri baroni del regno; ed è significativo che l’eccezione sia una battaglia, eventualità alla quale lo Châtillon era sempre pronto e all’altezza. In generale, per individualismo o istintiva scelta bellicista non si era schierato con la cauta feudalità di antico radicamento (diffidente di fronte alle nuove cooptazioni), preferendo i novi homines ansiosi di imporsi con una politica aggressiva e prestigiosa. Non sarebbe stata la prima volta nella storia, in cui un personaggio di ceto elevato avesse scelto di aderire a una fazione socialmente inferiore pur di guadagnare spazio politico, ma proprio qui sta il destino di Rinaldo nel Levante crociato, dove non venne mai accettato dai ‘vecchi’ baroni come uno di loro: non solo i Lignages d’Outremer lo relegano fra i non-nobili, ma nel 1157 alla presa di Cesarea di Cappocia la sua pretesa di ricevere l’omaggio feudale da parte del vassallo locale di nomina regia fu respinta, con motivazioni che nella cronaca di Guglielmo di Tiro fanno capire che Rinaldo non era ritenuto altro che il reggente provvisorio di Antiochia, a beneficio del figliastro Boemondo III

il Versus, 462, v. 173 (anche qui atribuendogli tale qualifica alla fine della vita); solo princeps secondo la testimonianza genovese in Gesta regis, II, 12 e 22 (ma anche in atti da lui stesso siglati: Bulst-Thiele 1974, 84 nota 37; cfr. Annales de Margan, 19; Rodolfo di Coggeshall, Chronicon Anglicanum, ed. J. Stevenson, Rolls Series, 66, 21; prinche Renaut del Crac nel 1187 secondo Ernoul, 173). Princeps Antiochiae nel 1187: Itinerarium peregrinorum, 253-254; Itinerarium regis Ricardi, 11-12, 16. Sui titoli di Rinaldo dopo l’acquisizione del feudo v. pure Regesta regni, I, 143-144, 145, 146-147, 159, 162, 162-163, 170, docc. 539, 545, 551, 553, 596, 613, 614, 643. Il titolo di dominus del Mons Regalis senza allusioni a Moab appare come una delle designazioni preferite: cfr. supra nonché Pietro di Blois, 45. Rinaldo figura anche come princeps Montis-Regalis in occasione del colpo di stato del 1186 e ancora come prince Renaut al momento della morte: De expugnatione, 209 e 218; Continuation, 54; Burcardo di Ursperg, 60. Rinaldo, seppur in una fonte che chiama principes tutti i baroni d’Oltremare coevi, figura come princeps Antiochiae nel 1187 anche secondo Guglielmo di Nangis, 741743; Ottone di S. Biagio, 42. Pure per certa cronachistica mamelucca era ancora signore di Antiochia al momento del rilascio (1176): Ayyubids, 51. 15 ‘La seignorie dou Crac et de Mont Real et de Saint Abraham doit .lx. chevaliers, et la devise: / Dou Crac de Monreal .xl. / Et de Saint Abraham .xx.’, in Assises, 607; Edbury 1997, 118; Vannini 2007, 14-15. 16 V. supra. Sul vicecomes di Shawbak: Murray 2000, 213. 17 Continuation, 36; Ernoul, 55-56, 60-61; 96-97; Rey 1896, 21-22; Vannini, Vanni Desideri 1995, 511-512; Edbury 1998, passim e in particolare 149-150; Aubé 2007, 152. 18 Pietro di Blois, 45. Di un’altra offerta di reggenza gerosolimitana scambiata per una proposta di trasferimento della corona, lo stesso Pietro era stato testimone poco prima, alla corte d’Inghilterra: Phillips 1996, 251-266; Ligato 2005b, 140-156.

Guglielmo di Tiro, 979-980; Ernoul, 54; Beha ed-Din, 63; Abu Shama, IV, 188; Makrizi 1900-1901, 527; al-Dahabi, 166-167; Hamilton 1998, 122; Aubé 2007, 162. 20 Il prestigio di Rinaldo presso Guglielmo di Tiro muta secondo le relazioni con il re, e nel periodo di Montgisard il cronista lo elogia; però la sua procuratio sarebbe stata, almeno negli intendimenti iniziali presto accantonati, controllata sia dalla corona sia da Filippo di Fiandra. V. Anonimo Siriaco, 141; Guglielmo di Tiro, 979-980, 987-990, 1012; Ernoul, 35-36, 54; Guglielmo di Newburgh, 259; Runciman 1993, 643. Michele il Siriaco, 366 indica in Rinaldo colui che era stato ‘mandato’ a combattere a Montgisard, e nonostante la confusa cronologia del resoconto (che pone solo in seguito la sconfitta bizantina di Myriokephalon del 1176: ivi, 371-372) il suo ruolo di comandante sul campo traspare con un’evidenza che invano cercheremmo in Guglielmo di Tiro, deciso a evitare qualsiasi riduzione di ruolo a spese del caro re Baldovino; idem Guglielmo di Newburgh, 242. 19

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean rifiuto di essere suo mercennarius e la preferenza per terre da cui ricavare digna stipendia per i propri uomini; il re di Gerusalemme Baldovino I aveva avuto al proprio servizio stipendiarii, i primi difensori dei Luoghi Santi: mercenari? Altri lo erano ma questi certamente no, visto che il coevo patriarca Daimberto doveva erogare magna stipendia a certi crociati ‘convenzionali’ (da non confondere, dunque, con gli avventurieri prezzolati quali parecchi erano stati prima dell’appello di Clermont). Lo stipendium restava il primo motore della militia, anche la più santa, pure dopo la creazione della struttura aristocratico-militare del Levante crociato: esso fu regolarmente accordato agli uomini reclutati per affrontare Saladino nel 1187, purché sapessero impugnare un’arma.26 Pochi anni dopo la morte di Rinaldo, la situazione non era diversa: anche Enrico VI promise stipendia ai propri crociati e, pochissimo tempo dopo, Innocenzo III elencava fra le necessità della Terra Santa la concreta raccolta di fondi per gli stipendia militum.27 Tuttavia, se la dipendenza dalla largesse di un dominus non implicava di per sé un declassamento ed era anzi normale, la situazione mutava se era coinvolto lo sposo di un’importante ereditiera, e infatti Rinaldo e Guido avrebbero condiviso anche il successo con le massime ereditiere locali, rispettivamente Costanza ad Antiochia e Sibilla a Gerusalemme (accomunate dall’accusa di volubilità), con la conseguente avversione di vari altri e più blasonati pretendenti (nel caso di Rinaldo, in particolare, a restare scornato fu Giovanni Ruggero fratello del principe di Capua, che in quanto parente della famiglia imperiale dei Comneni aveva forse fatto temere alla nobiltà antiochena influenze bizantine).28 Infine, se per Rinaldo era stato esplicitamente concepito un esercizio poco più che formale del principato di Antiochia quale reggente per il vero erede (incarico non

più gradito ai baroni locali. Inoltre, la storiografia ufficiale del regno accusa Costanza di essersi invaghita di un miles gregarius (Rinaldo per l’appunto), giunto ad Antiochia come principe consorte da cui si sarebbe atteso un passo indietro una volta giunta la maggiore età di Boemondo. Evidenti le similitudini fra le carriere dei futuri compagni di schieramento nella crisi istituzionale del regno: Guido di Lusignano, parimenti descritto da tante cronache come un bravo cavaliere ma anche come un volgare parvenu,21 era un vassallo pittavino di secondo rango reduce da ripetute ribellioni al re d’Inghilterra e per questo fuggito dall’Aquitania, e condivise con lo Châtillon non solo l’estraneità a una stirpe regia (fattore che nelle fonti torna con insistenza) ma anche la qualifica di mercenario: Guido è descritto infatti come advena, peregrinus, conducticius miles, coraggioso ma privo di virtù politiche;22 se a Rinaldo spetta, soprattutto nell’opera del coevo Guglielmo di Tiro, la definizione di stipendiarius miles, talmente privo di quarti aristocratici da doversi fidanzare occulte con la principessa antiochena giudicata da Guglielmo un esempio di volubilità femminile, la stessa cattiva scelta fu oggetto di severissime critiche – e non solo da parte del coinvoltissimo Guglielmo – anche riguardo alla preferenza accordata a Guido dalla fatua Sibilla, sorella del re Baldovino IV ed erede al trono a causa della lebbra che vietava al fratello di avere una discendenza.23 Il termine stipendiarius insieme ai propri sinonimi non è traducibile esclusivamente con ‘mercenario’,24 almeno nell’accezione moderna che è anche alquanto dispregiativa: a parte infatti gli stipendia distribuiti nelle consorterie cavalleresche e nelle strutture vassallatiche per garantire servitia e consenso, il mercenariato e la chevalerie erano contigui e predisposti a ‘trasferimenti di personale’ alquanto fluidi, specialmente quando qualche membro restava senza riferimenti o appoggi.25 Già Abbone di Fleury aveva indicato nello stipendium un compenso dato ai militantibus affinché si astenessero dalla brutale caccia alla preda, ma in pieno XII secolo era normale che il miles ricevesse dal proprio signore segni tangibili della sua largesse: Gerardo de Ridefort, futuro complice di Rinaldo, aveva servito come sodoier, ma già Guglielmo il Conquistatore aveva invitato il figlio Roberto a servire sotto le sue bandiere rinunciando al ducato di Normandia, sentendosi opporre il

26

Abbone di Fleury, 506; Orderico Vitale, III, 98 e ivi nota 2; VI, 432; De expugnatione, 218; Mancini 1972, 95-96. Le parole usate da Roberto ricompaiono in Guglielmo di Tiro, 718 a proposito dei difensori di Edessa, mercennarii in attesa degli ‘exhibite militie stipendia’ ossia la concreta pecunia che li accomuna al mercenariato moderno (ma già nel 1109 i milites del conte di Edessa avevano reclamato per averlo servito sine stipendiis: ivi, 511). V. anche ivi, 510-511, 526; Epistulae, 177. Per il 1187: De expugnatione, 218. Stipendium era anche la ricompensa spirituale che aveva mosso la crociata sin dall’inizio: Guglielmo di Tiro, 414; Historia peregrinorum, 159; Sibilio 2004, 42 e 128; De nova via, 585 (un paragone con il peccaminoso mercenariato sta anche in Fulcherio di Chartres, 324). Alla prima crociata, lo stipendium quotidianum era stato versato dal basileus per tenere i latini fuori da Costantinopoli: ivi, 331. Alla battaglia di Bourgthéroulde del 1124, i milites di Francia sapevano che erano in gioco i loro stipendia di uomini del re: Orderico Vitale, V, 348-350. Su Gerardo de Ridefort: Eracles, 50. 27 Continuatio Weingartensis, 478; Register Innocenz’ III, 1. Band, 663 e 742, docc. 439 e 508; ivi, 2. Band, 495, doc. 258 (Potthast, nn. 445, 559, 922). Un esempio dall’assedio di Acri: Genealogiae, 329. Nello stesso assedio, gli stipendia furono le retribuzioni date a milites et satellites: Fortsetzung, 131. 28 Si confrontino le accuse di leggerezza che Guglielmo di Tiro rivolge a Costanza e Sibilla nella loro scelta di Rinaldo e Guido rispettivamente, preferiti a partiti più degni, e il giudizio sullo stesso Guido da parte di un altro autore: ‘fuit et aduena Pictauiensis natione, mediocris quidem genere sed miles elegantis forme et armis strennuus. In quem cum regina oculos iniecisset, ut amens, ut femina, indulgens animo nupsit ei preter ipsius comitis [Raimondo III Conte di Tripoli] et aliorum voluntatem’: Historia peregrinorum, 118-119. Cfr. Guglielmo di Tiro, 795-796, 837, 1007; Cathalogi magnatum, ivi, 1067; Ottone di S. Biagio, 41; Gervasio di Canterbury, 373; Familles d’Outre-Mer, 190-191; Lignages d’Outremer, 147; Maestro Tolosano, 105; Bulst-Thiele 1974, 83.

21

Guglielmo di Tiro, 795-796, 837; Guglielmo di Newburgh, 255; Roberto di Torigni, 291; Guido de Bazoches, 2; Alberico, 859. 22 Ottone di S. Biagio, 41; Guglielmo di Tiro, 1007; Guido de Bazoches, 2 e 26; Alberico, 859; Continuatio Aquicinctina, 424; Annales Stadenses, 351; Fortsetzung, 130; Historia peregrinorum, 118-119; Guglielmo di Newburgh, 255-256; Burcardo di Ursperg, 60. Sulla taccia di parvenu contenuta nel termine vena, nonostante l’altezza della carica a cui l’interessato fosse eventualmente pervenuto, cfr. Anonimo di Laon, 453. 23 Guglielmo di Tiro, 790, 795-796, 1007; Maestro Tolosano, 105. Guglielmo scriveva mentre la fazione da lui contrastata era attiva, quindi egli critica l’opzione di Sibilla indirettamente, ricordando la sua violazione del lutto causato dalla morte di Guglielmo Lungaspada però deceduto almeno due anni prima; il suo iniziale fidanzamento con Ugo III Borgogna; il suo rifiuto di una scelta migliore, non solo fra i nobili del regno ma anche ‘de advenis’; e solo alla fine concede – per devozione alla dinastia – che il Lusignano resta satis nobilis. 24 Interpretazione invece da accogliere in contesti come quello francoinglese del XII secolo: Fitz-Stephen, 34; Gesta regis, 49; Guglielmo di Newburgh, 277. 25 Guglielmo di Poitiers, 36; Suger, 52; Flori 1975, 241-244.

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G. Ligato: Rinaldo di Chatillon, signore dell’Oltregiordano diverso dalla procuratio esercitata nel 1177 alla battaglia di Montgisard), per Guido era stata tarata una procuratio parimenti mirante a tenerlo lontano dalla successione, a vantaggio del figliastro Baldovino V (concepito da Sibilla nelle precedenti nozze con Guglielmo Lungaspada di Monferrato), e non solo: Guglielmo di Tiro, che a queste precauzioni prestava maggiore attenzione, occupandosi dei fatti del 1183 insiste nel trattare Rinaldo da reggente per un altro erede, il figliastro Unfredo IV di Toron, e stabiliva le stesse distanze istituzionali fra l’altro avventuriero, Guido, e l’oggetto delle sue ambizioni, ossia la corona di Gerusalemme a cui mirava in quanto marito di Sibilla (Ligato 2005b, 89 ss.). A Rinaldo non furono fatti mancare i debiti ‘segnali’: il fatto che nel 1180 egli, pur qualificandosi dominus di Montréal ed Hebron, potesse effettuare una donazione solo con ‘assensu et voluntate’ di Unfredo, e che ben tre anni prima costui sposasse Isabella, figlia di secondo letto di re Amalrico I e quindi sorellastra di Baldovino IV e Sibilla nonché erede alternativa al trono, annunciava il ridimensionamento in vista della vera successione (e il documento cita anche l’assenso di Stefania e Isabella). Anche Guglielmo si riferisce a Rinaldo come a colui che ‘regionis illlius [l’Oltregiordano] tanquam hereditatis uxorie curam gerebat’. Già come princeps Antiochensis egli aveva preventivato la chiusura degli spazi politici, se Pietro di Blois sostenendo che aveva deciso di restare ‘crociato a vita’ aveva preso atto che il suo eroe, nonostante il titolo acquisito sposando Costanza, sapeva di non avere altra città se non quella Eterna. Anche come ‘principe’ antiocheno aveva siglato nel 1159 un atto con il consenso di Costanza, quindi per lui la situazione non era sostanzialmente mutata. Non sappiamo se Rinaldo fosse tra coloro dei quali Guido guadagnò il favore promettendo vasti feudi a non identificati personaggi ‘de maioribus regni membris’ (Guglielmo di Tiro, 1049-1050, 1055; Pietro di Blois, 43; Regesta regni, I, 146-147, 159, docc. 551; 596; II, doc. 336a), ma egli oltre a recriminare per lo scarso interesse per la sua liberazione doveva considerare la propria mancanza di eredi maschi; pertanto si pose come arbitro della successione al trono giocando sulla rivalità tra la coppia Guido-Sibilla e quella costituita dalla seconda erede, Isabella, e Unfredo IV. Pertanto Rinaldo non privilegiava i diritti del giovane parente acquisito, e l’influenzabilità di cui Guido, inviso al re e a molti baroni e apparentemente fuori dai giochi, avrebbe presto dato prova dimostra che il signore dell’Oltregiordano vedeva in lui uno strumento contro le ambizioni del conte Raimondo di Tripoli, alfiere della fazione baronale meno avventurista la quale avrebbe poi considerato Unfredo un burattino nelle proprie mani. Rinaldo però intendeva disporre di pedine alternative e nel 1180, pochi mesi dopo le nozze di Guido e Sibilla, Baldovino IV autorizzò il fidanzamento di Unfredo e Isabella ‘tractante […] et plurimum laborante principe Rainaldo’.29 Quest’ultimo, poco dopo, svolse una mediazione presso l’altro figliastro Boemondo III d’Antiochia, in contrasto con la Chiesa (Guglielmo di Tiro, 1015).

Tolti i panni per lui insoliti del pacificatore, verso la fine del 1181 Rinaldo poteva riprendere la propria crociata personale e permanente con una puntata verso l’oasi di Tayma, quasi a metà stra fra Gerusalemme e la Mecca, azione implicante la violazione di una tregua biennale siglata nel 1180 e l’aggressione a una carovana (e chissà dove sarebbe giunto, se un attacco su Kerak non l’avesse fatto risalire verso il proprio feudo). Seguirono due richieste di riparazione da parte di re Baldovino IV e altrettanti rifiuti, dei quali il secondo, opposto a una delegazione ufficiale inviata dalla corte, nella versione latina della cronaca di Ernoul conteneva un offensivo invito a non importunare ulteriormente: ‘… et quasi comminando innuit, super his servandum a rege silentium’. Saladino avvertì il re che se non avesse avuto giustizia se la sarebbe fatta da sé, ‘quando ciò sarebbe stato possibile’. Ciò fu fatto con la strafexpedition in Galilea del 1182, una campagna sterile che tuttavia il sultano non volle chiudere senza avere dato una lezione a Rinaldo assediando Kerak; a questo punto però la ricostruzione della cronaca di Ernoul diverge da quella di Guglielmo di Tiro, secondo il quale la rappresaglia ayyubide iniziò direttamente dall’Oltregiordano, invaso da un Saladino deciso a conquistare ‘unum vel plura de presidiis nostris’. Certamente Guglielmo, storico ufficiale, per quanto freddo verso Rinaldo di cui non nasconde le colpe nel precedente sequestro degli Arabes della carovana, ‘deve’ accusare Saladino di essere il violatore della tregua nel 1182, e insiste sul significato della sua marcia su Kerak come una grande manovra di copertura di mercanti e altri viaggiatori non combattenti, che come d’abitudine si aggregavano agli eserciti siro-egiziani per passare incolumi nel raggio d’azione degli avidi predatori sguinzagliati dal signore dell’Oltregiordano da Kerak e Montréal. Dal canto proprio, Ernoul fa un’altra delle proprie contaminationes di eventi, in quanto l’assedio di Kerak da lui posto alla conclusione della campagna in Galilea dell’estate 1182 è quello databile al novembre 1183, quando il castello venne assediato durante le nozze di Unfredo e Isabella.30 Guglielmo, almeno riguardo alla tabella di marcia dell’armata sultaniale, dispone dei dati migliori per descrivere la parL’aggressione del 1182 è citata da Ernoul due volte: una poco dopo la battaglia di Montgisard del novembre 1177 e un’altra subito dopo la descrizione dei torbidi costantinopolitani precedenti e successivi; ma quando riprende a descrivere la rappresaglia ayyubide, Ernoul parla del desiderio sultaniale di vendicare ben due aggressioni contro carovane da parte di Rinaldo. V. Guglielmo di Tiro, 1026; Ernoul, 54-56, 96-106; Bernardo il Tesoriere, 776; Hamilton 2000, 170-171; Eddé 2008, 231. Altra incongruenza è la collocazione del raid nel mar Rosso (1182-83) prima della campagna in Oltregiordano e Galilea dell’estate precedente; inoltre, Ernoul parla altre due volte della campagna del 1182 secondo lui chiusa da un assedio di Kerak dopo lo scontro di Forbelet (invece Saladino aveva attraversato l’Oltregiordano, lambendo il territorio di Kerak, prima di giungere a Forbelet: Ernoul, 61, 80-81; Guglielmo di Tiro, 1026, 1030-1031). Ponendo nel 1182 un inesistente assedio di Kerak, l’autore pensava forse a quello dell’autunno 1183. Sulla tregua biennale, che non sarebbe stata violata dalle incursioni anfibie di fine 1182 (ma va ricordato l’attacco a Tayma): Facey 2005, 89 e 90. Per il dibattito sull’obiettivo (Tayma o carovana), v. Mallett 2008, 144. Secondo Hamilton 1998, 124 la tregua biennale stipulata nella primavera del 1180 spirò senza incidenti nel maggio 1182, ma l’autore non si sofferma sulle coeve scorribande di Rinaldo, separando la politica dell’Oltregiordano da quella del regno (ma ciò era incompatibile con il trattato). Ibn al-Athir (I, 651-653) divide le guerre del 1182 in tre fasi, concentrando nella prima le azioni di disturbo contro i due grandi castelli dell’Oltregiordano. 30

29

Guido e Sibilla si sarebbero sposati in primavera, il fidanzamento di Isabella è datato a ottobre dalla storiografia ufficiale del regno (Guglielmo di Tiro, 1012); Familles d’Outre-Mer, 405.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean tita a scacchi fra cristiani e ayyubidi nell’Oltregiordano; ma soprattutto, se Ernoul si sofferma principalmente sulla partenza di Saladino da Damasco ossia da nord con la contigua Galilea quale primo obiettivo incontrato (senza una nitida saldatura con il preambolo egiziano, e con un assedio di Kerak che pare mutuato piuttosto dai fatti dell’estate 1184), Guglielmo con maggiore linearità antepone a questa fase l’inizio della campagna segnato dalla partenza di Saladino dal Cairo (11 maggio 1182), solennemente registrata dalle fonti arabe;31 quindi il sultano invase l’Oltregiordano da sud, ingaggiando un’azione di copertura per proteggere la massa dei non-combattenti che nel frattempo veniva fatta transitare lungo la via più a oriente dei castelli di Montréal e Kerak-Moab, in direzione di Damasco; né la stessa fonte accenna a un assedio di alcun castello dell’Oltregiordano, che invece Ernoul descrive con toni drammatici ma confondendosi con eventi dell’anno seguente, perché nel 1182 il sultano si limitò a mandare un distaccamento nei dintorni di Montréal (confermato da Ibn al Athir). Ernoul e Guglielmo, pur con queste distinzioni, concordano quando Ernoul afferma che dopo i combattimenti nel Nord Baldovino IV, irato con Rinaldo che era la causa di tutto (e che si sarebbe fatto lautamente indennizzare per i danni subiti dal castello), rallentò volutamente la marcia verso Kerak assediata per dare una lezione al turbolento vassallo; mentre l’arcivescovo di Tiro scrive che Baldovino si portò sotto le mura di Kerak per liberare Rinaldo solo grazie alla lobby di amici che Rinaldo aveva a corte, in quanto altri importanti vassalli come il conte di Tripoli (non a caso un moderato) insistevano perché non si anteponesse l’Oltregiordano alle altre province del regno parimenti minacciate; ne sapeva qualcosa la Galilea di cui lo stesso Raimondo era signore.32 La crociata personale di Rinaldo stava per congiungersi con la vocazione offensiva del feudo d’Oltregiordano. La puntata del 1181 verso Tayma non era stata una semplice razzia: per gli arabi Tayma, lontana dalla via carovaniera siro-egiziana, era ‘il vestibolo di Medina’, che con la Mecca fu l’obiettivo di Rinaldo nel raid anfibio del 11821183; da lì avrebbe attaccato Aylah sul mar Rosso prima di essere costretto da Farrukh Shah – che nel 1182 attaccò a nord per distogliere le forze franche dal settore meridionale – a rinunciare (Abu Shama, IV, 214-218; Ibn alAthir, I, 659; Ayyubids, 51-52; al-Dahabi, 167; Deschamps

1991, 83; Facey 2005, 91; Pringle 2005, 341; Aubé 2007, 181). L’attacco anfibio mediante navi smontate, trasportate su cammelli e ricomposte sulle rive del mar Rosso, percorso verso sud-est saccheggiando e puntando sulle Città Sante musulmane, screditò Saladino: restava campione dell’Islam, una volta fattosi sorprendere da un’azione simile? Forse l’incursione puntava addirittura allo Yemen: una combinazione di odio e avidità (Ernoul, 68-69; Ibn al-Athir, I, 659; al-Dahabi; Abu Shama, IV, 230 ss.; Historia peregrinorum, 118)���������������������������������� . Gli uomini di Rinaldo furono respinti e sterminati con una controffensiva anfibia, e il loro capo pur salvandosi firmò la propria condanna: Saladino giurò infatti che si sarebbe vendicato personalmente (Ibn al-Athir, I, 676)������������������������������������������� . Le motivazioni del raid sono state serratamente dibattute: alcuni studiosi attribuiscono a Rinaldo mire sul commercio egiziano, mentre altri hanno rivalutato il desiderio, a lui attribuito, di impadronirsi delle spoglie di Maometto a Medina (Beckingham 1996, 276-277; Milwright 2006, 235-259). Nel 1183 Guido, contestato dai baroni di Terra Santa gelosi del suo successo, nonostante la conservazione della contea di Giaffa cadde in disgrazia presso il re a vantaggio del conte di Tripoli, ormai avviato a sostituirlo come procurator; e pur restando sposo dell’erede Sibilla, vide temporaneamente tramontare le proprie speranze di successione sul trono al quale potevano legittimamente aspirare lo stesso Raimondo, il figliastro Baldovino V e la coppia Unfredo-Isabella (Guglielmo di Tiro, 1039 ss.; Continuation, 19 ss.; Guido de Bazoches, 2; Alberico, 859-860; Histoire anonyme, 239)����������������������������������� . Rinaldo di Châtillon, già artefice del suo fidanzamento, organizzò le nozze del figliastro nell’autunno 1183 nel castello di Kerak; alla cerimonia si presentò pure Saladino il quale iniziò un assedio interrotto solo dall’arrivo di una colonna guidata da Baldovino IV e Raimondo di Tripoli (Guglielmo di Tiro, 1055-1056, 1060; Ernoul, 80-81, 103 ss. ). Rinaldo manovrò le scarse risorse con freddezza: deciso a non cedere il suburbium, vietò l’ingresso alla popolazione che cercava rifugio nel castello (presidium; pure l’anno seguente Saladino occupò la civitatem Crati e ne assediò – ancora senza successo – il castrum). Anche questo assedio fu sterile,33 e Rinaldo 33 Guglielmo di Tiro, 1056-1057; Ernoul, 80-81. Sul paragone con l’assedio

del 1184: Rodolfo da Diss, II, 27-28. Stefania di Milly fece mandare al sultano alcuni piatti del banchetto nuziale e Saladino, memore del periodo trascorso come ostaggio nella stessa Kerak da giovane, ricambiò sottraendo al bombardamento la torre dove si teneva il ricevimento: Ernoul, 35-36, 103. L’episodio, poco credibile per Runciman 1993, 658 nota 1, pare riecheggiare in certa novellistica italiana del tardo Duecento (e forse il permesso dato quattro anni dopo a Stefania di lasciare con i propri beni Gerusalemme assediata, sarà stato suggerito anche da questo gesto): Ibn-al-Athir, 703; Libro dei sette savi, 88-90. Ernoul parla della permanenza en prison del giovane Saladino nel Crac de Monroial, ma in alcune fonti è noto con questa equivoca designazione anche il Kerak di Moab: cfr. Gesta regis, II, 176 e 180 nonché una lettera la quale presenta come ben distinti Graccus Montis Regalis e Mons Regalis (Gesta regis, II, 41; Ruggero di Howden, II, 346; Fortsetzung, 87); Pringle 1993, 286; Pringle 1997, 59. Probabilmente le due definizioni, oltre a conservare la possibilità di distinguere i due castelli (cfr. Fortsetzung, 90 e 117, nota 400 la cui editrice però identificò il Crach montis regalis con Shawbak, sebbene il testo riguardi la cacciata delle bocche inutili e lo scambio con Unfredo di Toron, decisioni che le altre fonti preferiscono collegare all’assedio di Kerak di Moab) rimandano alla continuità istituzionale dal primo Mons Regalis alla fortificazione sui monti di Moab, ossia al Kerak strettamente inteso. Per Saladino il più importante sembra il Kerak

31 Resumé, 50; Kamal -Din 1896, 159.

Ernoul, 61 e 80, fa durare l’assedio di Kerak ben cinque mesi, citando il tentativo di colmare il fossato che però è del 1184: Abu Shama, IV, 253-254. 32 Ernoul, 103; Guglielmo di Tiro, 1026-1027; Hamilton 2000, 172. Ernoul e Guglielmo fanno intendere che era mancato lo scontro campale fra Baldovino e Saladino, e in effetti al primo interessava proteggere le messi ormai mature dalle consuete devastazioni, al secondo premeva coprire il trasferimento dei non-combattenti (senza disdegnare l’attacco ai raccolti del fertile Oltregiordano: cfr. Ibn al-Athir, I, 651-653). Sull’azione intorno a Montréal, v. Guglielmo di Tiro, 1029. Ernoul parla, riguardo a questi eventi, del Crac che è una definizione insidiosa: sebbene infatti entrambi i castelli siano noti come Kerak (di Montréal e di Moab rispettivamente) e quello di Montréal sia definito da Ernoul Crac de Monroial (forse una contrazione di ‘del Crac et de Monroial’ che troviamo in altre intitolazioni?), il Kerak per eccellenza è quello di Moab, anche per Ernoul, 35-36, 80-81, 103 ss. A volte Montréal e ‘Crac de Montréal’ indicano pure il Kerak di Moab: Dotti 2005, 100-101, ivi nota 264 (ringrazio la autrice e la relatrice, prof.ssa Tonghini, per avermi permesso di consultare questo studio).

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G. Ligato: Rinaldo di Chatillon, signore dell’Oltregiordano mantenne il controllo di una pedina per controllare la successione: il figliastro Unfredo era un’alternativa alla candidatura di Sibilla ed era gradito ai baroni, che detestavano il parvenu Lusignano. L’oscillazione fra le due candidature è spiegabile con il pragmatismo del personaggio (che cercava nel sovrano solo un appoggio per la propria strategia bellicista), ma di Rinaldo deve essere rilevato anche l’uso spregiudicato dei due primari strumenti medievali nella produzione di consenso: l’amicizia e la parentela, intese non come valori affettivi ma come risorse strategiche se la prima diventava libera condivisione di un destino e la seconda passava dalla naturale commistione del sangue a un’alleanza operativa (Smith 2008, 115-152). L’amicizia era lo strumento di cui Guido di Lusignano, pur sempre marito dell’erede al trono e quindi mai privato di potenziale influenza come dimostra il suo retour del 1186 favorito per l’appunto da Rinaldo, era latore; quanto alla parentela, la funzione di quest’ultima nella politica dello Châtillon stava nelle potenzialità delle nozze del figliastro Unfredo. Quest’ultimo e il Lusignano erano alternativi l’uno all’altro, con lo Châtillon che sarebbe rimasto kingmaker con chiunque si fosse schierato. La corte sultaniale era ben informata sulla situazione a Gerusalemme, ma la sua visione strategica lasciava spazio sia alle iniziative dello Châtillon sia alla funzione dell’Oltregiordano da lui governato, se il segretario di Saladino, alFadel, poteva scrivere: ‘Kerak e Montréal sono i due leoni, che ogni giorno divorano la nostra carne e bevono il nostro sangue’ (���������������������������������������������� Newbold 1945, 225-226)������������������������ . Nell’estate 1184 Saladino assediò nuovamente Kerak da cui si ritirò alla notizia dell’arrivo di rinforzi cristiani; ormai era procurator del regno il conte di Tripoli, che pareva avere estromesso per sempre la coppia Guido-Sibilla dalla linea di successione, anche perché Baldovino IV aveva concordato con i baroni una successione che lasciava relativo spazio alle ambizioni dello stesso Raimondo. Ma il conte sapeva che la vera

scelta si sarebbe fatta tra Sibilla e Isabella, delle quali la prima condivideva la sorte del marito Guido, apparentemente senza chances nel 1183-1184, mentre la seconda era moglie di un personaggio facilmente manipolabile come i fatti seguenti avrebbero provato, e screditato anche dalla rinuncia all’importante feudo di Toron scambiato con una rendita a corte (Continuation, 19 ss.; Abu Shama, IV, 250; Piana, Curvers 2004, 334, 354). Nel marzo 1185 morì Baldovino IV, e dopo un anno e mezzo il suo giovanissimo nipote: la lotta per la successione poteva aprirsi. I baroni contrari alle avventure militari fecero quadrato intorno a Unfredo ma Sibilla poteva contare sull’appoggio del patriarca, del magister templare e soprattutto di Rinaldo di Châtillon. Perché il signore dell’Oltregiordano non sostenne il figliastro? Entrambi i candidati maschi erano privi di peso politico, ma Guido portava quel dinamismo militare in cui Rinaldo si riconosceva; mentre invece Unfredo era il candidato di quella fazione rimasta indifferente e forse soddisfatta davanti al lunghissimo imprigionamento di Rinaldo, che non si era tirato mai indietro al momento di crearsi dei rivali. Unfredo era l’erede dell’Oltregiordano, ma debole e privo di ambizioni com’era, non poteva insidiare il potente e spregiudicato patrigno. Nel 1186, dunque, Sibilla iniziò a cercare consensi per l’incoronazione propria e del marito. Il ruolo di Rinaldo di Châtillon fu determinante: Jocelin III, conte nominale di Edessa, in quanto ultimo responsabile della tutela di Baldovino V diede disposizioni per l’inumazione di Baldovino V, che secondo l’uso si sarebbe tenuta nella basilica del S. Sepolcro; ma affidò il rito ai templari convincendo il conte di Tripoli a raggiungere la sua Tiberiade, mentre con un pretesto parimenti imprecisato convinceva anche gli alleati del conte a non recarsi alle esequie; subito dopo invitava Sibilla a raggiungere Gerusalemme con i cavalieri a lei fedeli, per ricevervi la corona. Era una palese violazione delle clausole concordate con il re lebbroso, secondo le quali un arbitrato delle principali monarchie europee avrebbe dovuto scegliere il successore fra Sibilla e Isabella, così il conte e i suoi alleati una volta scoperto l’inganno si radunarono a Nablus mentre Jocelin restava a controllare Acri e Rinaldo di Châtillon a Kerak, il secondo senza avere obbedito alla convocazione a Nablus; intanto nella Città Santa Sibilla, il patriarca Eraclio e il magister templare completavano il colpo di Stato stabilendo che Sibilla sarebbe stata incoronata a dispetto di qualsiasi procedura contraria e invitando Rinaldo ad aderire. Lo Châtillon, convinto dai congiurati a trasferirsi da Kerak alla capitale (ma secondo una fonte avrebbe fatto in tempo a presenziare alle esequie del re bambino), non solo entrò nella congiura ma dopo aver respinto insieme ai complici la diffida baronale a consultare l’arbitrato, dopo aver accompagnato con gli altri Sibilla al S. Sepolcro arringò direttamente la cittadinanza ricordando che dopo la morte di Baldovino IV e V Sibilla restava l’erede più diretta e legittima, in quanto figlia di re Amalrico I (come Isabella, ma di primo letto), e fu in nome della memoria dell’amato Amalrico che il popolo si dichiarò all’unanimità per l’incoronazione di Sibilla. In passato, la partecipazione popolare – praticamente la sola cittadinanza gerosolimitana come in questo caso –

per antonomasia, ossia Moab che è anche il ‘Crach de Monteregali’ identificabile come Kerak grazie a quei testi che lo associano a Petra (‘Crach de Monte Regali qui antiquitus dicebatur de Petra deserti’: Le pèlerinage, 225, dove l’attribuzione del toponimo al Kerak di Moab è aiutata anche dalla segnalazione del castrum inexpugnabile quale tesoreria sultaniale, posta a Moab anche da Le testament, 114 nota 6). V. pure Marino Sanudo, 166. Crac e simili sono usati anche altrove per indicare Montréal sebbene il Kerak di Moab sia il Crac vero e proprio, ma Petra Deserti è il nome del capoluogo ecclesiastico presso Moab. Montréal avrebbe ceduto lo status di capoluogo dell’Oltregiordano una volta eretta Kerak: Dotti 2005, 62, 83, 86. L’identificazione del Crac di Montréal con il Kerak di Moab sorse anche, come si congetturò già molti anni fa, per effetto della relativa vicinanza (Gaudefroy-Demombines 1923, 125-126 e ivi, nota 1). In un testo del XII secolo il Crach montis regalis è quello che resiste due anni, quindi si tratterebbe di un elemento a favore dell’identificazione con Montréal caduta nel 1189, mentre Kerak aveva capitolato nel novembre 1188: Fortsetzung, 117 e Pringle 1997, 59 e 76, ma cfr. Burcardo del Monte Sion, 128: ‘Mons Regalis, qui Krach dicitur’. Anche nelle descrizioni bassomedievali appaiono innestate sul castello di Moab le notizie relative a Montréal: ‘… Petra Deserti, sive Mons Regalis eo quod a rege Balduino, primo scilicet rege Latinorum in Ierusalem, fundamenti sumpsit exordium. Vulgariter autem dicitur Chrach, quod est in finibus Moabitarum in monte sublimi’: Fedanzola, 4; cfr. Marino Sanudo, 156. Ma la mappa del Fedanzola (quadro 76) e l’accostamento del toponimo Chrach a Petra Deserti ‘in finibus Moabitarum’ indicano che al Kerak per antonomasia (Moab) fu adattata la storia di Montréal, anche per la menzione di fattori (ruolo di Baldovino I, bontà del suolo e clima) riferiti anche da altri testi. Cfr. Deschamps 1937, 495 ss.; Bulst-Thiele 1974, 101-102.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean aveva svolto il ruolo di formale, quasi recitata approvazione di successioni già risolte da baroni e clero, secondo una prassi che le fonti descrivono in modo generico pur lasciando trasparire gli indizi di un contributo non sempre passivo; ma il carattere irrituale della procedura fu presto denunciato dal conte di Tripoli, il quale contestò un’elezione effettuata ‘sine electione primorum et consensu populorum’, riferendosi non solo all’assenza del gruppo di Nablus ma anche al modo in cui era stato sollecitato il consenso della popolazione di una Gerusalemme i cui accessi erano stati sigillati.34 La legge feudale garantiva a entrambe le sorellastre la facoltà di trasmettere ai rispettivi mariti il diritto di successione (Hamilton 1997, 13.); una presunta priorità di Sibilla era legittima? Baldovino IV, sentendosi vicino alla morte, a partire dal 1183 aveva fissato una serie di clausole per la successione assegnando la priorità a Baldovino V, che in caso di morte prematura avrebbe lasciato la corona a un nobile del regno, da designare sotto il controllo del reggente Raimondo III; quest’ultimo era anzi esplicitamente indicato, ma non si escludeva l’elezione di un sovrano giunto dall’Europa, fermo restando il placet del reggente. Su ogni fase doveva vigilare il succitato arbitrato dei re di Francia e d’Inghilterra, insieme a imperatore e papa. Quanto ai diritti di Sibilla, essi erano in ribasso essendo noto che Isabella era nata quando loro padre Amalrico era già re, mentre Sibilla era nata quando era ancora conte di Giaffa e questo le nuoceva nell’opinione dello stesso Baldovino IV, che pure si trovava nella medesima situazione.35 Ma Isabella era la candidata della fazione baronale più conservatrice e favorevole alle tregue, opposta al Lusignano nella cui carriera Rinaldo rivedeva la propria; fu così rispolverata la successionis spes che Guido aveva ragionevolmente concepito sposando l’allora contessa di Giaffa, impegnandosi a non metterla in atto prima della morte di Baldovino IV e senza discutere la precedenza di Baldovino V, ormai però scomparso al pari dello zio; dopo aver superato l’opposizione del magister ospitaliero, i congiurati imbastirono la cerimonia che riuscì anche per l’ignavia di Unfredo di Toron rifiutatosi di difendere i diritti della consorte (Gesta regis, I, 343; Guglielmo di Tiro, 1048 ss., 1058; Fortsetzung, 58, 64-66; Histoire anonyme, 237-238; Ernoul, 131-133; Continuation, 33-35; Arnoldo di Lubecca, 164-165; Ruggero di Wendover, I, 139; Mayer 1988, 63-64; Ligato 2005b, 89 ss.������������������������� ). L’incoronazione fu totalmente irrituale nelle forme e irregolare per il rigetto delle

clausole fissate dal re con largo consenso fra i dignitari: tre uomini – Rinaldo, Gerardo, Guido – ebbero la loro illusoria ed effimera rivincita sul ceto baronale, prima di contribuire insieme alla catastrofe che già allora qualcuno prevedeva. La guerra civile fu evitata grazie al recalcitrante omaggio al nuovo re da parte dei vassalli, con l’eccezione di Baldovino d’Ibelin signore di Ramla; al successivo parlement di Acri, Rinaldo – che Raimondo aveva indicato come l’unico dei grandi baroni del regno schierato con il Lusignano – era accanto a quest’ultimo a sollecitare l’omaggio dell’Ibelin, il quale però preferì andarsene in esilio nel principato d’Antiochia. Quanto al conte di Tripoli, che con l’incoronazione della nuova erede insieme al marito vedeva esaurirsi reggenza, speranze di successione e appoggio da parte degli altri baroni ormai sottomessi a Guido, prestò omaggio al nuovo re poco dopo (Continuation, 33-35, 36 ss.; Arnoldo di Lubecca, 166). Fattosi kingmaker contro i diritti del figliastro, Rinaldo non rinunciava alla propria libertà d’azione e alla proverbiale aggressività: saputo che una grande carovana stava transitando fra l’Egitto e la Siria percorrendo l’Oltregiordano, l’attaccò violando la tregua. Tra gli aggrediti alcune fonti pongono anche la sorella di Saladino, e alla richiesta di re Guido di rendere i beni e la nobildonna (forse su sollecitazione dello stesso sultano), Rinaldo – come già aveva fatto nei riguardi di Baldovino IV – oppose un rifiuto accompagnato dalla precisazione che ‘aussi estoit il sires de sa terre come il de la soue, et que il n’aveit nulles trives as Sarazins’. Una fonte genovese, oltre a confermare che lo Châtillon dominava la regione, dà un resoconto più articolato del rapporto fra i due: ‘princeps Rainaldus, et quia amicissimus erat regis et quia operam exhibuit ad ipsum coronandum, nichil restituere voluit’; un altro cronista assegna il ruolo di sfortunato mediatore fra il reclamo di Saladino e Rinaldo proprio al conte di Tripoli, ossia a colui che aveva sempre avversato la fazione con cui Rinaldo, seppur con larga autonomia, si era schierato.36 Un cronista vide nell’episodio la causa della spedizione punitiva culminata nello scontro di Cresson del 1o maggio 1187, da non confondere Continuation, 36 e 40; Eracles, 34 e 41; Brevis historia, 139; Fortsetzung, 58-59 (secondo il quale si trattava della madre e non della sorella di Saladino; cfr. Hamilton 2000, 216 ss.); Abu Shama, IV, 258259; Ruggero di Wendover, I, 139. Non pone parenti di Saladino nella carovana Ibn-al-Athir, I, 676. La nobildonna sarebbe comunque uscita incolume dalla disavventura: Continuation, 75. Fanno coincidere la cattura della carovana con la violazione della tregua, senza nominare parenti del sultano di cui però si ricordano le rimostranze, Brevis historia, 139; Burcardo di Ursperg, 60. La replica di Rinaldo a Guido è stata interpretata come il segno di una velleità di indipendenza: Aubé 2007, 179. Secondo l’Historia peregrinorum, 118, il sultano avrebbe vanamente mandato messi a Guido (direttamente a Rinaldo secondo Kamal -Din 1896, 180-181). Secondo Guglielmo di Nangis, 742 la carovana confidava nella tregua, quindi doveva trovarsi in territorio latino al momento dell’aggressione; ma la stessa fonte dice che questa avvenne ‘praeter limites terrae Christianorum’. Una fonte situa il fatale attacco a una carovana nel territorio di Montréal fra la morte di Baldovino V e l’incoronazione di Guido, ossia tra maggio e metà settembre del 1186; ma la datazione a prima dell’incoronazione contrasta con ciò che lo stesso testo afferma, ossia che il rifiuto di Rinaldo di chiudere l’incidente fu opposto all’ancora procurator Raimondo costretto a riferire a Saladino: Fortsetzung, 58 e 62. Nella cronachistica francese troviamo la risposta data invece a Guido, ossia dopo il settembre 1186 quando è ragionevolmente databile l’incoronazione di quest’ultimo (Continuation, 36; Hamilton 2000, 216-227). 36

Continuation, 31-32; Eracles, 26-28; De expugnatione, 209; Brevis historia, 137-138. Ad approvare l’incoronazione di Baldovino I nel 1100 erano stati i ‘christiani unanimi consilio’ (non è più precisa la descrizione della ‘scelta’ del suo successore, 18 anni dopo); Fulcherio di Chartres, 373, 382, 441 racconta che la cerimonia del 1100 fu celebrata ‘una cum episcopis cleroque ac populo assistentibus’, ma dopo che a Baldovino era stato comunicato che ‘omnis populus Iherosolymitanus eum in regni principem substituendum heredem exspectarent’: Fiorenzo di Worcester, 565. Baldovino II nel 1131 trasferì i poteri a Folco d’Angiò d’intesa con i dignitari del regno ‘sed et de populi favore’, mentre per Amalrico I nel 1162 una parziale opposizione fu superata anche ‘favente populo’ e Baldovino IV nel 1174 salì sul trono ‘consonante omnium desiderio’, esaltato però dal devoto arcivescovo di Tiro: Guglielmo di Tiro, 633, 864, 963. Sulla mancata adesione di Rinaldo alla convocazione di Nablus e sulla contestazione del conte di Tripoli: Ernoul, 130-131; Arnoldo di Lubecca, 165. 35 Continuation, 19-21; non ha dubbi sulla legittimità dei figli di Amalrico Guglielmo di Tiro, 868-869. 34

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G. Ligato: Rinaldo di Chatillon, signore dell’Oltregiordano con la grande battaglia di Hattin di oltre due mesi dopo (Eracles, 37 ss., 41); ma esso rimase per molti – compreso l’autore appena citato – la causa della successiva catastrofe, e non si tratta solo di avversione verso Rinaldo, le cui colpe sono peraltro ammesse anche da parte latina (actor sceleris).37 Inoltre, egli aveva infranto una tregua che secondo una fonte sarebbe dovuta durare in perpetuum, ma tale estensione non quadrava con la strategia di Saladino e con la teoria islamica dell’hudna, ossia della tregua concepita come sospensione solo provvisoria e contingente della guerra (Giacomo di Vitry, 283; sull’hudna: Weigert 1997, 400 ss. ). Anche fra i latini dopo la morte di Baldovino IV ‘pax Salaadini suspecta habebatur et ignominiosa’,38 ma in ogni caso era in vigore una tregua concordata ‘al tempo del piccolo re’ (Baldovino V), incoronato nel novembre 1183 ma salito sul trono – seppur sotto reggenza – dal marzo 1185, data della morte del re lebbroso quando ormai la procuratio del conte di Tripoli era pienamente operativa (non lo era ancora alla fine del 1183, nonostante il diffuso consenso di cui godeva tale scelta). Secondo altre fonti, la tregua sarebbe stata quadriennale o addirittura settennale ma la Continatio Aquicinctina parla di due soli anni.39 La voce di una violazione da parte di Saladino è da respingere, ma è possibile una relativa soddisfazione del sultano davanti a un casus belli non provocato da lui e che gli avrebbe permesso la ripresa delle ostilità (Itinerarium regis Ricardi, 11; Itinerarium peregrinorum, 253-254; Ruggero di Wendover, I, 139; Histoire anonyme, 239). Quando in seguito accusò Rinaldo, finalmente suo prigioniero, di avere aggredito la carovana, Saladino gli avrebbe ricordato che ciò – insieme ad altre aggressioni che non tutte le fonti specificano – aveva costituito la violazione di un patto personale fra i due, più che un obbligo derivato da quello assunto per tutto il regno dalla corona gerosolimitana (Abu Shama, IV, 287; History of the Patriarchs, 121-122; Smbat, 61; Kamal ad-Din 1896, 180-181)�������������������������������������� ; resta però difficile, pur considerata la sostanziale indipendenza di Rinaldo e l’attuazione di una spregiudicata politica estera personale anche da parte del conte di Tripoli, un patto simile, e pare più accreditato quello ufficiale fra il regno e il sultanato (il quale infatti non attaccò soltanto l’aggressore). La vendetta personale era stata promessa da Saladino almeno dall’epoca del raid

nel mar Rosso, nell’inverno del 1182-3 (Ligato 2005a, 289 ss.�������������������������������������������������������� ). Nella primavera 1187 Rinaldo avrebbe teso un’ulteriore imboscata a una carovana di pellegrini prima di ritirarsi temendo, ‘il distacco dell’anima dal proprio corpo’, come scrisse Imad ed-Din con uno dei fiori di stile a lui cari ma pensando alla fatale aggressione dell’anno precedente (V. Imad ed-Din, 13). Iniziata la campagna, Rinaldo si schierò per una controffensiva intesa a cacciare Saladino dalla Galilea. Raimondo suggerì la rinuncia a un’azzardata puntata su Tiberiade e una difesa in profondità, piuttosto che avanzare con scarse possibilità di rifornirsi d’acqua, ma Rinaldo e Gerardo de Ridefort lo accusarono di tradimento e imposero l’attacco40. Rinaldo, al corrente dell’ambigua diplomazia del conte, giunta a una breve alleanza con Saladino al tempo dei contrasti con Guido, lo accusò di intese con il nemico;41 ma sicuramente ricordava anche la proposta di Raimondo nel 1182, allorché aveva sconsigliato di soccorrere i castelli dello Châtillon nell’Oltregiordano per evitare di sguarnire il Nord (terra del conte), e magari anche la diffidenza di Raimondo, allora procurator del regno, al momento di cercare uno sposo per Stefania di Milly, evento che avrebbe posto alla guida dell’Oltregiordano un personaggio meno malleabile di Unfredo, per l’appunto Rinaldo nel 1177.42 A Saladino bastarono poche ore per liquidare l’esercito cristiano, mentre il conte di Tripoli riusciva a fuggire con pochissimi altri. Poche ore dopo, sconfitto, catturato e trascinato nella tenda di Saladino, Rinaldo attendeva con Guido e altri baroni di conoscere la propria sorte.43 La sua morte è stata descritta in tante altre sedi; qui ci concentriamo sul ruolo dell’Oltregiordano in questo momento estremo, in cui il più fellone dei nemici di Saladino avrebbe tenuto testa al sultano respingendo sdegnosamente le lusinghiere offerte fattegli in cambio dell’abiura o dei suoi castelli (‘Montem Regalem et alias munitiones fortissimas’), o anche solo del ‘vestigium unius pedis Sancte Terre’. Saladino uccise il rivale personalmente e ordinò che la sua testa fosse trascinata fino a Damasco (Pietro di Blois, 50; Rodolfo il Nero, 336; Ligato 2005a, 471 ss.). I castelli dell’Oltregiordano si arresero per fame molti mesi dopo, ma il loro destino era stato segnato da Rinaldo molto tempo prima della loro capitolazione. Infatti Rinaldo fu il distruttore dell’Oltregiordano, per quanto una politica più prudente avrebbe soltanto rimandato la riscossa islamica, troppo potente per le risorse dei latini: fu un personaggio circonfuso di una certa sinistra grandezza fatta di fanatismo e disinteresse, spregiudicato uso del potere e massimo rischio personale. Non sarebbe stato folle trasformare il proprio feudo, relativamente lontano dagli scali

37 Continuation, 36; Fortsetzung, 62; Burcardo di Ursperg, 60; Salimbene

de Adam, 9; Historia peregrinorum, 118; Giacomo di Vitry, 283 (in realtà, una compilazione formata con elementi di altre opere: v. Repertorium, 142); Guglielmo di Nangis, 742. Insofferenza per le tregue: Roberto di Auxerre, 250. L’aggressione alla carovana nel 1179 (data errata) durante una tregua, fu un mal secondo Ernoul, 55. 38 Fortsetzung, 51; Continuation, 40. Nemmeno i crociati di recente arrivo avevano violato la tregua sulla quale si reggeva la transizione tra Baldovino IV e il nipote: Fortsetzung, 57 (evento situato dalla fonte verso la fine del 1184, ma Baldovino IV era morto nel marzo 1185). 39 Continuation, 23-24, 36; Ernoul, 124; Continuatio Aquicinctina, 424; Historia peregrinorum, 118; poco preciso sulla durata della tregua Fortsetzung, 51, 56 e 57. La tregua, concordata fino all’ottava di Pasqua del 1185, sarebbe stata prolungata di tre anni: Gesta regis, I, 342 e 359; Ruggero di Howden, II, 316. Hamilton 2000, 222 vede in questi dati alcuni errori da parte delle fonti (infatti dopo la tregua comprata nel 1185 troviamo citata la morte di Guglielmo conte di Giaffa avvenuta otto anni prima, insieme ad altre imprecisioni prosopografiche: cfr. Ruggero di Howden, II, 307-308: parziale rettifica dei Gesta regis), ma è comunque certo che al tempo dell’ultima, fatale aggressione la tregua era in vigore: Ruggero di Howden, II, 226-227).

Continuation, 43-47, 53; Eracles, 48-49; con termini diversi Ibn-alAthir, I, 682; più stringata la Continuatio Aquicinctina, 424. 41 Ibn al-Athir, I, 682; Fortsetzung, 58-59, 66; Roberto di Auxerre, 249; Baldwin 1936, 69 ss. Secondo un altro testo l’accusa di pavidità se non addirittura di tradimento sarebbe stata rivolta da Rinaldo e Gerardo insieme, mentre in un’altra versione le insinuazioni sarebbero partite dal solo Gerardo: Eracles, II, 49; Continuation, 45. 42 Ibn al-Athir, I, 651 ss.; Abu Shama, IV, 217-220; Ernoul, 80-81, 103; Guglielmo di Tiro, 1026-1027. Sulla politica matrimoniale del conte di Tripoli: Mayer 1987, 202. 43 Continuation, 53-54. Rinaldo era stato preso da uno scudiero di Ibrahim el-Mihrani: Abu Shama, IV, 287. 40

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G. Ligato: Rinaldo di Chatillon, signore dell’Oltregiordano East in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford). London. Metcalf, D. M. 2006. Six Unresolved Problems in the Monetary History of Antioch, 969-1268, in K. Ciggaar, M. Metcalf (eds.), East and West in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean, I, Antioch from the Byzantine Reconquest until the End of the Crusade Principality, Acta of the Congress held at Hernen Castle (May 2003). LeuvenParis-Dudley. Murray, A. V. 2000. The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. A Dynastic History, 1099-1125. Oxford. Newbold, D. 1945. The Crusaders in the Red Sea and the Sudan. Sudan Notes and Records 26, 13-27. Phillips, J. 1996. Defenders of the Holy Land. Relations between the Latin East and the West, 1119-1187. Oxford, University Press. Piana, M. and Curvers, H. 2004. The Castle of Toron (Qal’at Tibnin) in South Lebanon. Preliminary Results of the 2000-2003 Campaigns. Bulletin d’archéologie et d’architecture libanaises 8, 333-356. Prawer, J. 1980. Crusader Institutions. Oxford, Clarendon Press. Pringle, D. (ed.) 1993. The Churches of the Crusading Kingdom of Jerusalem. A Corpus. Cambridge, University Press. Pringle, D. (ed.) 1997. Secular Buildings in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. An Architectural Gazetter. Cambridge, University Press. Pringle, D. 2005. The Castles of Ayla (al-Aqaba) in the Crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk Period, in U. Vermeulen and J. van Steenbergen (eds.), Egypt and Syria in the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk Eras, IV, Proceedings of the 9th and 10th International Colloquium organized at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (May 2000 and May

2001). Leuven-Dudley. Rey, E. G. 1896. Les seigneurs de Mont-Réal et de la terre d’Outre-le-Jourdain. Revue de l’Orient latin 1896, 19-24. Richard, J. 1987. L’arrière-plan historique des deux cycles de la croise, in K. Bender and H. Kleber (eds.), Les épopées de la croise, Premier colloque international (Trèves, 6-11 août 1984), 6-16. Stuttgart. Runciman, S. 1993. Storia delle crociate. Torino, Einaudi2 (orig.: A History of the Crusades, Cambridge, 1951-1954). Schlumberger, G. 1923. Renaud de Châtillon, prince d’Antioche, seigneur de la terre d’Outre Jourdain, quarta edizione. Paris, Plon. Sibilio, V. 2004. Le parole della prima crociata. Galatina. Smith, J. M. H. 2008. L’Europa dopo Roma. Una nuova storia culturale, 500-1000. Bologna (orig. Europe after Rome. A new cultural History, 500-1000, Oxford, 2005). Sweeney, J. R. 1981. Hungary in the Crusades, 11691218. International History Review 3, 467-481. Thoquet, J. 2005. Renaud de Châtillon, Satan des Francs ou la colère d’Allah. Paris, Société des Ecrivains. Vannini, G. 2005. Insediarsi in Oriente: l’incastellamento del XII secolo nella Transgiordania meridionale. Una lettura archeologica, in G. Vannini (ed.), Archeologiadell’insediamento crociato-ayyubide in Transgiordania: il progetto Shawbak, 10-21. Borgo S. Lorenzo. Vannini, G. and Vanni Desideri, A. 1995. Archaeological research on Medieval Petra: a prelimitary report. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 39, 509-540. Weigert, G. 1997. A Note on Hudna: Peace Making in Islam. In Y. Lev (ed.), War and Society in the Eastern Mediterranean, 7th-15 th centuries. Leiden, Brill (The medieval Mediterranean, IX), 399-405.

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

KARAK CASTLE IN CRUSADER OULTREJOURDAIN (AD 1142-1188) AND ITS LEGACY IN THE EUROPEAN CARTOGRAPHIC TRADITION THROUGH THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY Robin M. Brown Independent scholar Abstract (2008) Karak in the Crusader Period: The Premiere Castle of Oultrejourdain The construction of the Crusader castle of Petra Deserti (also Crac, Crac de Montreal; Ar. al-Karak) in 1142 revealed a new phase of Frankish ambitions in Transjordan. The seat of the Lordship of Oultrejourdain was transferred from Mons Regalis (also Montreal; Ar. al-Shawbak) to the larger castle at Petra Deserti and regional administration was reinforced in Frankish territories north of the Wadi Hasa. The construction of Petra Deserti also inspired the growth of a substantial Christian town adjacent to the castle, to which a bishop was assigned in 1167. A thriving rural economy in the hinterland of Petra Deserti led to extensive settlement and expanded trade networks, as commodities were shipped to Palestine on boats crossing the Dead Sea, and carried overland around its southern shores. The castle was renowned for its formidable defensive works and succeeded in withstanding several prolonged sieges led by Salah al-Din. Nevertheless, the history of Petra Deserti is brief, for it capitulated to Muslim forces in 1188, following the disastrous Frankish defeat at the Battle of Hattin. This presentation provides an overview of the castle at Karak during the 12th century Crusader occupation and a summary of the efforts of modern scholars whose research has shed light on this monument, particularly its architecture. A broader historical perspective is also introduced by considering the role and image of Karak castle from the 13th to the 15th centuries, during which time it was a highly valued resource under the control of the Ayyubid and Mamluk sultans. At the same time, European cartographers illustrated western notions of Crusader Transjordan long after Oultrejourdain passed into history. Petra Deserti was mapped through the centuries in ways that both memorialized and minimized the Crusader experience in Transjordan, while embedding its representation within increasingly popular maps of biblical places and scenes that served the needs of the growing body of western pilgrims seeking to experience the Holy Land.

... a certain nobleman, Paganus by name, built a fortress in the land of Arabia Secunda, which received the name of Chrac. Paganus had been at one time butler to the king and later held lands beyond the Jordan ... This place was strongly fortified both by its natural situation and by artificial means ... Later it was called Petra Deserti; whence Arabia Secunda is now called Petracensis.1

symbol of European rule in Oultrejourdain.3 Assaulted repeatedly, the castle at Karak was never taken by military force. Yet it was lost less than fifty years after its construction when the garrison capitulated to the forces of Salah al-Din al-Ayyub toward the end of 1188. The surrender of Karak was a tragedy in the history of the Frankish enterprise in the Levant, for it heralded the permanent loss of southern Transjordan. Nevertheless, the castle continued to play important roles in the post-Crusader era both in the making of new history as a celebrated Muslim fortress of great practical and cultural significance to the Ayyubid and Mamluk polities, and as an enduring symbol of Frankish rule within a lost landscape that was memorialized in European maps of the Christian history of the Holy Land. This paper provides an overview of Karak castle during the Crusader period and considers aspects its legacy from a European perspective.4

INTRODUCTION Oultrejourdain, the land of southern Transjordan bordering the desert fringe, was the strategic, southeastern frontier province of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem during most of the twelfth century. The principal Crusader castles of this terre oultre le Jourdain were legendary throughout the Frankish period, and they gained further stature over the centuries that followed. Among the initial defenses constructed in the early decades of the twelfth century were the primary castle of Montréal at Shawbak (1115) and additional fortifications in the region of Wadi Musa and Petra, which together formed a cluster of strongholds within the Jabal al-Shara. A second principal castle, known as Petra Deserti or Crac was built later at Karak (1142).2 The construction of this large and costly monument was a tremendous achievement and it stood as an impressive

THE SITE OF KARAK IN ITS NATURAL SETTING The castle is situated to the west of the center of the Karak plateau, known in Arabic as Ard al-Karak, Ma’ab, and Jabal Ma’ab, which is the highland belt that extends from the Wadi al-Mujib to the Wadi al-Hasa (FIG. 1). The castle is renown for its commanding position on the summit of a steep hill within a high ridge overlooking rolling agricultural plains to the north, south, and east.5 Toward the west lies the Dead Sea valley, and Jerusalem is visible on a clear

1 William of Tyre (xv: 21 in 1986 [2], pp. 703-704; translation 1976 [2], p. 127). 2 Also Petra, Petracensis, “metropolim Petram”, civitas Petracensis, and Crac de Montréal. In William of Tyre: Crac or Chrac (xv: 21, xx: 26, xxii: 29 [28] in 1986 [2], pp. 703, 950, 1055); Petra Deserti (xxii: 29 [28] in 1986 [2], p. 1055); Petra (xi: 26 in 1986 [1], p. 535); Petracensis (xv: 21, xx: 3 in 1986 [2], p. 704, 914); “metropolim Petram” (xx: 26 in 1986 [2], p. 950). In Deschamps: civitas Petracensis (1939, p. 98, fig. 6); Crac de Montréal (1937, pp. 494-98). In some instances, these designations may also refer to the region rather than exclusively to the site at Karak.

was also known as the Lordship of Crac, the Lordship of Montréal, and the Lordship of Montréal and Crac (see Mayer 1987, p. 199; 1990, pp. 15-16). 4 For reviews of the history of Crusader Karak see Milwright (2008, pp. 29-37, 54ff.); Mayer (1990, pp. 115ff.); Deschamps (1937, pp. 26ff.). For the history of Karak in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods see Milwright (2008, pp. 29-93); Brown (2007); Johns (1994, pp. 14-19). 5 Karak stands at 949 m above sea level and 1309 m above the Dead Sea. 3 Oultrejourdain

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean day. The castle hilltop’s east and west flanks are protected by the deep valleys of Wadi al-Sitt and Wadi al-Franj, which merge into the Wadi al-Karak. From this advantageous position, the site has had a long history.6 Fortified settlement at Karak is portrayed in sixth and eighth century mosaics depicting Karakmoba, as well as being mentioned in later Arabic texts and documented by an early Islamic (pre-twelfth century) defensive wall and projecting tower within the castle site.7 Yet occupation appears to have been disrupted, for the Latin historian William of Tyre (d. 1185) described Karak as a site of ruins at the time that the Franks arrived.8 In contrast, the massive facades constructed at Karak during the medieval period encouraged continuous occupation of the site from the second half of the twelfth century until the early twentieth century when the modern town developed and the castle received government protection as a significant antiquity site. For much of that period Karak experienced a rich history as both a military stronghold and administrative center.

protected by steep slopes. Today these slopes are crowned with the remains of medieval perimeter walls and towers, and the area of the former medieval settlement is covered by the modern town of Karak. KARAK IN THE CRUSADER PERIOD The Crusader presence in southern Transjordan was established by Baldwin I’s military forays into the Wadi Musa/ Petra region, which culminated in 1115 with the construction of Montréal castle as the centerpiece within a network of Frankish fortifications in southern Transjordan. Within this territory, holdings in al-Balqa’ were initially granted to Roman of Le Puy, but all of Oultrejourdain appears to have been in the crown’s royal domain by 1126, at which time Pagan the Butler was seated as its first lord (seigneur), a position bearing the distinction of Lord of Montréal.12 This district soon grew to become the largest lordship (seigneury) of the Latin Kingdom. Pagan’s construction of the substantial castle at Karak in 1142 markedly enhanced Frankish authority over the southern lands in Transjordan. Oultrejourdain was divided into two regions. Arabia Secunda (also Petracensis), with its metropolis at Petra Deserti / Crac, encompassed the districts of al-Balqa’, the eastern Dead Sea Plain, and Jabal Ma’ab. Arabia Tertia (also Syria Sobal) included the al-Jabal and al-Shara regions to the south, with its principal castle at Montréal (Shawbak) and a major secondary fort at li Vaux Moysi (al-Wu`ayra at Wadi Musa).13 A document of 1161 describes Oultrejourdain as reaching from the Zarqa River (north of `Amman) to the southern tip of Transjordan at Ayla on the Red Sea, with sub-districts centered around Ahamant (Amman), Petra Deserti / Crac, Montréal, and li Vaux Moysi. 14 This refers to the province at its broadest geographic expanse, prior to the ceding of its most northern and southern districts.15 While a succession of Frankish fief-holders collected revenues from this territory, the crown retained, from time to time, lucrative rights of taxation over caravans crossing Transjordan and other privileges.16

Today, the castle architecture displays surviving Frankish works from 1142-1188, as well as substantial additions of the Ayyubid (1188-1263) and Mamluk (1263-1516) periods; later constructions from the Ottoman-era (15161918) were cleared from the castle in the early twentieth century. The perimeter walls follow the contours of the hilltop, forming a trapezoid with long walls along the east and west rims (220 m in length) and shorter walls along the north and south faces (140 m and 50 m, respectively). The two major sections include the Crusader upper castle and a later lower bailey, which extends along the west side of the upper castle and probably dates to the Ayyubid period.9 It has been suggested that the original Frankish castle also included a lower bailey in this same location,10 yet this inference requires further clarification. The upper castle preserves aspects of the Frankish constructions while also including prominent Middle Islamic features of the thirteenth to fourteenth century. Among the latter is the massive, south-facing half-tower or shield wall that may have been erected at the end of the thirteenth century.11 Adjacent to the castle, the town site was naturally

To the north of Oultrejourdain, the Franks established and maintained a foothold in Terre de Sueth (Sueta, Suite; from Arabic, Sawad), which included the Jawlan and adjacent regions in northern Transjordan. From this area

name al-Karak originates from karka in Aramaic, referring to a walled town, and the site is often identified with the Old Testament Moabite cities of Kir, Kir-har´eseth, and Kir-he´res (in Isa. 15.1; 16.7, 11; Jer. 48.31, 36); yet these associations are not substantiated (Knauf 1992, p. 22). Karak’s early history is summarized in Knauf (ibid., pp. 22-24), Miller (1991, p. 89), and Johns (1997, pp. 280-83). 7 Piccirillo (1993, pls. 65, 296, 345); Ibn al-Dawadari (in Milwright 2008, p. 62); Bianqis (1986-1989, pp. 141-42); Ibn Shaddad (1963, p. 69); see also Mayer (1990, pp. 123-24). The Early Islamic defensive constructions described by Biller et al. (1999, p. 48) may belong to the Fatimid and Seljukid period (from 970 through the early twelfth century), which included the era of intermittent Jarrahid rule in southern Jordan during the late tenth century (Schick 1997: 76-77; Bianqis, op. cit.). 8 William of Tyre (xxii: 29 [28] in 1986 [2], p. 1055). 9 The architecture of the lower bailey indicates an Ayyubid construction, perhaps during al-`Adil’s building campaign of 1192-1193. Korn (2004, p. 94); see also Baha’ al-Din (1884, p. 358); Ibn al-Athir (1887, pp. 73, 76). 10 Deschamps (1939, p. 87); De Meulemeester and Pringle (2008, pp. 339-40). ��See Biller et al. 1999, p. 50, fn. 53); this structure is described as a donjon in Deschamps (1939, pp. 88-89). The palace in the upper 6 The Arabic

castle, cited as “... le Logis du seigneur de Kérak et de sa famille” by Descamps (1939, p. 88), is a Middle Islamic residence (Brown 1989). 12 Tibble (1989, pp. 35-36). The lords of Oultrejourdain included Pagan the Butler (1126-1152), Maurice (1152-1161), Philip of Milly (11611165/66), Walter III of Beirut (1165/66 -1174), Miles of Plancy (1174), and Reynald of Châtillon (1177-1187). 13 For these divisions see William of Tyre (xi: 26 in 1986 [1], p. 535; xv: 21, xx: 26, xxii: 5 in 1986 [2], pp. 703-704, 950, 1012). At least seven Frankish fortresses or citadels of southern Transjordan (Arabia) were dependent upon the principal castles at Karak and Shawbak during the twelfth century, as indicated by Jacques of Vitry (2007, p. 309). From a broad perspective, the construction of the Frankish castles marked a turning point in the gradual rise of citadels in Transjordan, some of which were to remain persistent features of the landscape (see Walmsley 2001, pp. 554-55). 14 In Röhricht (1893, p. 96, no. 366). ��Milwright (2008, pp. 32-33). 16 Milwright (2008, p. 57-58, n. 18); Mayer (1990, pp. 135ff; 1987, pp. 201-202).

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R. M. Brown: Kerak Castle In Crusader Oultrejourdain (Ad 1142-1188) they exerted influence, at times, in the Ajlun highlands and parts of the Hawran. A principal Frankish castle was built in the Jawlan as early as 1105, cited by Ibn al-Qalanisi as al-`Al, yet it was quickly razed by Damascene troops.17 Henceforth, the defense of this fiefdom relied upon the cave fortress of Sueth (Arabic, al-Habis Jaldak) and other small installations.18 The Franks established treaties with the Damascenes in order to ensure revenues through shares of rural produce within this rich and well-settled agricultural land.

concessions to the order did not include the fortifications at Karak that were described in the original document. 23 Yet Reynald’s document shows that the Hospitallers remained a presence in the region. ECONOMY AND TRADE IN THE KARAK REGION The castle and town of Petra Deserti at Karak thrived, for its location was economically favorable and for some forty years, between 1142 and 1183, the region was generally calm, experiencing relatively few military disruptions. Stable conditions and the presence of the castle as a defensive and administrative center, encouraged production, trade, and growth of the town, all indicating a fair measure of prosperity.24 The town population consisted of Aramaicspeaking, native Christians (suriani), Franks, and possibly some Armenians; most of the rural farmers were native Christians, although some Frankish agriculturalists may have settled in the region as well.25 Karak would have provided a market center for farmers from the surrounding rural villages and tribes in the outlying areas, and it may have hosted an annual fair.26 The open plains and low hills of the Karak region traditionally supported sedentary and semi-sedentary agricultural and livestock-raising populations. Settlement was widespread during the Frankish era, leading to Ibn Jubayr’s claim in 1184 that Karak supported 400 villages.27 While this hearsay statement should not be interpreted as authoritative, it indicates a strong rural population. Among the estates, villages, and other properties of Oultrejourdain that were granted as fiefs to knights and the religious orders, several were located in or around Karak.28 Throughout the Karak region, the staple triad of grains, olives, and grapes yielded marketable commodities of flour, oil, raisins, and wine. William of Tyre’s chronicle of 1183 described the houses of Karak as “... well stocked with wheat, barley, wine, and oil”, and he notes that the townspeople kept plenty of livestock.29 Although Abu al-Fida wrote over a century after the Crusader era, his mention of Karak as a source of excellent fruits, famed for its apricot, pear, and pomegranate orchards, certainly suggests that high quality produce was cultivated during the twelfth century as well.30

Pagan the Butler’s 1142 construction of the castle at Karak, which marked the inception of the metropolis of Arabia at Petra Deserti, occurred near the end of the reign of King Fulk of Anjou (r. 1131-1143), the third monarch of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, under whose leadership the territory experienced relative prosperity. As successor to the expansionist kings, Fulk’s ambition was to strengthen and preserve Crusader holdings by securing roads and encouraging new defensive strongholds in border areas.19 The new castle at Karak bolstered the defense of the Arabian frontier considerably while also expanding Frankish administrative control, particularly over the population of Arabia Secunda, and positioning the seat of the lordship notably closer to Jerusalem and its royal court. From Karak, the lord of Oultrejourdain also had the advantage of overseeing trade with Palestine as goods were conveyed across the Dead Sea on boats and around its southern shore by the overland route via the settlement at Segor (Zughar in Ghawr al-Safi). Maurice succeeded to the fief of Karak in 1152 and introduced the military-religious order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem to strengthen its defensive capacity. The knights Hospitaller received a tower and barbican within Karak castle as well as other properties in the region in exchange for their support.20 Isabelle, daughter of Maurice and heiress of Karak, married Philip of Milly (also known as Philip of Nablus) who exchanged his Palestinian holdings for the Lordship of Oultrejourdain in 1161.21 Both Maurice and Philip added new constructions at the castle, including a moat or rampart as well as towers.22 By 1177 the knights Hospitaller appear to have relinquished or forfeited their rights within the castle as Reynald of Châtillon’s renewal, in that year, of Maurice’s

The lords of Oultrejourdain and their administrators in Karak were probably closely involved with industries along the eastern Dead Sea plain, particularly in the areas of Ghawr al-Safi, al-Lisan, and Ghawr Mazra’a – a region known for production of salt, bitumen, and indigo. Sugar was also an important industry. Cane grown on the plain was crushed in mills driven by water-wheels, as the first step in the production of syrups and refined sugar. The

��Ibn

al-Qalanisi (1932, pp. 71-72). The site of this fortress is often, but perhaps erroneously, associated with Qasr Bardawil (Pringle 1997, p. 117, no. R14). 18 William of Tyre (xviii: 21, xxii: 22 [21] 1986 [2], pp. 841, 10391042). See also Devais (2008); Nicolle (1988); Deschamps (1939, pp. 99-116). 19 Prawer (1969, pp. 328ff.). Fulk strengthened the Palestinian southern frontier by constructing the castles of Bethgibelin, Ibelin, and Blanchegarde in 1134, 1141, and 1142 (William of Tyre, xiv: 22, xv: 2425 in 1986 [2], pp. 659-61, 706-708); see also Mayer (1990, p. 116). 20 In Delaville le Roulx (1894, p. 160, no. 207); see also Mayer (1990, pp. 132-34). 21 See Mayer (1990, pp. 208-215). 22 William of Tyre (xxii: 29 [28] in 1986 [2], p. 1056). Qui vero successerunt ei, Mauricius videlicet, nepos eius, et Philippus Neapolitanus, locum predictum vallo et turribus reddiderunt insigniorem. Vallo typically refers to a rampart but may indicate a moat.

23

In Röhricht (1893, pp. 146-47, no. 551). (1980, p. 109-112). 25 Pringle (1993, p. 286); Prawer (1980, p. 111; 1969, p. 332); Brooker and Knauf (1988, p. 184). 26 Johns (1994, p. 12). 27 Ibn Jubayr (1952, p. 301). 28 See Milwright (2008, pp. 57-59); Mayer (1990, pp. 133-34). 29 William of Tyre (xxii: 30 in 1986 [2], p. 1059); see also Walmsley (2001, p. 520). 30 In Le Strange (1890, p. 479). ��Prawer

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean visions, including varieties of dates …”.37 Commodities shipped from Karak to Jericho, Jerusalem and other destinations west of the Dead Sea included barley and wheat, oil, wine, dates, refined sugar, bitumen, and salt.38 These were expedited from Karak’s port (al-minah) on the Dead Sea, which was apparently located in the bay of the Lisan Peninsula near Ghawr Mazra’a.39

mill at Tawahin al-Sukkar in Ghawr al-Safi, for example, probably produced sugar from the twelfth to the fifteenth century, while ancillary industries such as ceramic manufacturing and iron working would have been necessary to support this endeavor.31 In addition to sugar cane, dates were grown in abundance on the Dead Sea plain, as observed by Fulcher of Chartres in 1100, when the Franks first crossed into Transjordan at Segor. The geographer alIdrisi also commented on the dates of the Dead Sea Valley in 1154,32 which added to the rich resources of the region by providing tradable commodities of dried and fresh fruit for consumption and processing into syrups, juices, and wines.

Commercial relations between Oultrejourdain and its neighboring Muslim lands endured, even despite the increasing warfare of the early 1180s. Writing from Damascus on the eve of Salah al-Din’s 1184 campaign against Karak, Ibn Jubayr captures the complexity of these relationships while referring to the siege carried out in the prior year of 1183.40

Karak was well-positioned with respect to established overland trade routes. Notably, the castle was situated directly on the primary north-south route, which facilitated caravan traffic and communications along a passage that ultimately connected Syria with Egypt and Arabia. Muslim caravans paid a tax to the Latin crown in exchange for permission to cross Transjordan.33 The residents of Karak and its surrounding villages would have benefited from ample trading opportunities as a result. This trade would have drawn bedouin tribes from the desert fringe lands of the eastern frontier seeking to exchange pastoral products, and perhaps other trade goods as well. The north-south route was also essential for the Muslim Levant as it was the principal darb al-hajj (pilgrim’s road) linking Syria with the holy cities of Mecca and Madina during the annual pilgrimage. Trade via the port at Ayla on the Red Sea, which was carried along the main north-south route and its subsidiaries, also appears to have been important to the Lordship of Oultrejourdain.34 This exchange is evidenced by notable quantities of fish remains from twelfth century Crusader deposits at al-Wu`ayra and Shawbak.35 As preserved fish from the Red Sea was distributed to these Frankish locations, it was certainly available in Karak as well.

... we saw at this time ... the departure of Saladin with all the Muslims troops to lay siege to the fortress of Kerak, one of the greatest of the Christian strongholds lying astride the Hejaz road and hindering the overland passage of the Muslims ... it occupies the choicest part of the land in Palestine, and has a very wide dominion with continuous settlements ... [t]his sultan invested it, and put it to sore straits, and long the siege lasted, but still the caravans passed successively from Egypt to Damascus, going through the lands of the Franks without impediment from them. Ironically, as Ibn Jubayr penned these words, the Lordship of Oultrejourdain was entering its last years and its economy already stood on the verge of ruin. The violent confrontations between1183 and 1187, including the pillaging and destruction of the town of Karak and repeated sacking of the countryside, were certainly devastating for the region’s economy and its large Christian community, even prior to the end of Frankish rule in Transjordan with the success of the final siege of 1188. SALAH AL-DIN’S SIEGES OF KARAK

Karak also commanded a westward passage, across and around the Dead Sea, which was critical for communications, particularly with the king’s court in Jerusalem. With regard to trade, the lords of Karak benefitted from a lucrative Dead Sea shipping industry by exercising their rights of oversight, taxation of goods, and ownership of boats. The descriptions of concessions to the knights Hospitaller in Maurice’s 1152 charter and a document of Reynald of 1177 include duty-free rights of travel and transit of commodities across the Dead Sea, as well as permission to maintain a boat.36 Writing in 1154, al-Idrisi also commented on Dead Sea shipping, noting “… small boats circulate there, facilitating travel in the region and transporting pro-

During the 1170s and 1180s Karak sustained several sieges by Muslim forces. The 1170 offensive of Nur al-Din Zangi of Damascus failed, but his withdrawing forces plundered and burned Frankish villages. Oultrejourdain was threatened again in 1171 with Salah al-Din’s assault on Montréal, and a surrender of that key fortress was in negotiation when the commander abruptly withdrew in order to avoid a confrontation with Nur al-Din, his chief rival. Nevertheless, Salah al-Din quickly returned to Transjordan to ravage the countryside around the Crusader fortresses, burning and destroying villages and cutting bushes and vines.41 With Nur al-Din’s death in 1174, Salah al-Din gained political autonomy over both Damascus and Cairo, as well

Photos-Jones et al. (2002, pp. 591ff.). Fulcher of Chartres (1969, p. 146); al-Idrisi, in Marmardji (1951, p. 15); see also Goor (1967, pp. 335-36). 33 In Röhricht (1893, p. 96, no. 366). ��See Deschamps (1939, p. 49). 35 Brown and Rielly (forthcoming); Mazza and Corbino (2007, pp. 55ff); Corbino and Mazza (2009, pp. 679 ff). 36 In Delaville le Roulx (1894, p. 160); Röhricht (1893, p. 71, no. 279, pp. 146-47, no. 551). See also Mayer (1990, p. 133). 31 32

37

In Marmardji (1951, p. 15). See Johns (1994, pp. 11-12). 39 Abel (1909, pp. 596-97); see also Musil (1907, pp. 170-71). 40 Ibn Jubayr (1952, pp. 300-301). 41 Ibn al-Athir (2007, pp. 184, 198-99); Ibn Shaddad (in Ibn al-Furat 1971 [2], p. 51); Maqrizi (1980, pp. 41-42); William of Tyre (xx: 26-28 in 1986 [2], pp. 950-52); see also Mayer (1990, pp. 219-20). 38

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R. M. Brown: Kerak Castle In Crusader Oultrejourdain (Ad 1142-1188) as their hinterlands. Shortly after this transition within the Muslim political realm, Reynald of Châtillon married Stephanie, daughter of Philip of Milly, and became the Lord of Oultrejourdain (r. 1177-1187). Reynald’s aggressive hostilities against Muslim properties, including his 1181 raid against Tayma and seizure of a caravan bound for Mecca, appear to have provoked Salah al-Din’s nephew Farrukh Shah to ravage the countryside around Karak.42 Reynald’s more ambitious but ill-fated Red Sea raiding campaign during the winter of 1182-1183, heightened Salah al-Din’s urgency in securing Transjordan.43 During his march on Karak in October of 1183, Salah al-Din took the town by force and seized all of its property while the castle was filled with merrymakers celebrating the royal wedding of Stephanie’s son Humphrey IV of Toron to Isabelle, the half-sister of King Baldwin IV.44 The castle was plunged into chaos as Christian townspeople stampeded the bridge spanning the moat and jammed the entrance to the fortress, with enemy troops at their very heels. William of Tyre described the wedding party, the besieged population, and the assault, which included a concentrated bombardment along the north face of the castle and a secondary assault based outside of the town, probably from the ridge overlooking the southern defenses.45 The attack caused enormous damage to the castle, for the north wall was breached and only the vast ditch in front of it prevented troops from storming the interior. One of Salah al-Din’s advisors at the scene wrote “... the towers of Karak were prostrate in worship, the veils of their mantlets had been removed and their noses cut off ...”.46 Yet the siege was abandoned when Baldwin IV’s army reached the Dead Sea, on route to Karak.47 Subsequently, Reynald must have invested considerable efforts in repairing the castle for it was worthy of another challenge when the next assault took place the following year.

frustration by describing Karak castle as “... the blockage strangling the throat, the dust cloud that darkens vision, the obstacle that destroys hope ...”.48 It is not surprising that Salah al-Din returned to the region in 1184, at which time he ravaged the Frankish countryside from his base in Ma’ab (Rabbah) before seizing the town of Karak. At the castle, nine mangonels were set up along the north wall, and more were quickly added.49 Here the castle defenses were demolished, again leaving only the task of filling the vast ditch. A month after the assault began, and while still filling the ditch, Salah al-Din received news that a Frankish relief force had crossed into Transjordan, whereupon he withdrew once more.50 In 1186 Reynald violated a truce by capturing an enormous and wealthy caravan entering the Karak region from Egypt; he then refused to surrender the plunder and captives to Salah al-Din.51 This provocation furthered Salah al-Din’s imperative to take control of Transjordan and he returned to Karak in the spring of 1187. While Salah al-Din did not succeed in taking the castle, his troops burned and ruined the houses of the town, then scoured the countryside for a month, destroying rural villages and grain fields, and cutting down vines as the farming population fled.52 In July of 1187, the disastrous Battle of Hattin decisively shifted the regional balance of power. Salah al-Din held complete victory as the majority of the Crusader army and its leaders were killed or taken prisoner, including Reynald who was soon executed.53 Shortly thereafter the fortresses of Transjordan were put to siege and forced to surrender as there were no Frankish reinforcements to provide aid. Salah al-Din’s brother al-`Adil blockaded Karak in November 1188. When the garrison faced starvation, it capitulated and was allowed to depart unharmed. Montréal fell the following year. With the onset of Ayyubid control, al-`Adil soon received the coveted iqta` of Karak and Shawbak, as well as Salt in al-Balqa’. At Karak, his first task was to carry out an inspection and improvements (1192-1193).54

In contrast to Ibn Jubayr’s description of caravan traffic passing through Karak unhindered, Baha’ al-Din assessed the situation in Transjordan harshly, stating that Karak was an obstacle that had broken the connection between Syria and Egypt, and caravans could cross the region only with military escorts, a situation clearly exacerbated by Reynald’s raids against Muslims and their property. His contemporary al-Qadi al-Fadil expressed similar Muslim

CRUSADER ARCHITECTURE IN THE CASTLE AND TOWN William of Tyre provided a valuable description of the

42

Eracles (1844-1859 [2], p. 34); Ibn al-Athir (2007, p. 276); Maqrizi (1980, p. 63-64). 43 Maqrizi (1980, p. 70); see also Milwright (2006b); Mallett (2008). 44 Ernoul (1871, p. 103) relates a doubtful account of Stephanie sending banquet dishes to Salah al-Din’s camp with a message that she had held him in her arms when he was enslaved at the castle as a child. Purportedly, Salah al-Din responded with an inquiry as to which tower housed the newlyweds, then directed his troops not to bombard that façade. 45 William of Tyre (xxii: 29 [28], 31 [30] in 1986 [2], pp. 1056-57, 1059-60). Obelet (also Hobelet) in William of Tyre (ibid., p. 1059) may have been a suburb spread across the hills immediately to the south and/or east of Karak castle. Although the eastern ridge was known to Deschamps as Houboul Ezzekia, the southern ridge is sufficiently close to the castle to serve as the stage for an assault (1939, p. 64 n. 2). 46 Al-Qadi al-Fadil’s letter to commander Taqi al-Din `Umar, in Lyons and Jackson (1988, p. 210). 47 William of Tyre (xxii: 31 [30] in 1986 [2], p. 1060); see also Baha’ al-Din (1971, pp. 91-92).

48

Baha’ al-Din (1971: 63, 97); Mayer (1990, pp. 59, 127). described by Chevedden (2000, p. 94), “[t]hese machines [manjaniqat al-kibar] delivered an around-the-clock bombardment, while three digging-mantlets were constructed across the deep ditch ... to dismantle the castle wall. Filling mantlets were also employed to protect men engaged in filling up the ditch in preparation for an escalade.” See also Baha’ al-Din (1971, pp. 96-97); Lyons and Jackson (1988, p. 217). 50 Baha’ al-Din (1971, p. 97); Imad al-Din in Lyons and Jackson (1988, pp. 217-18). 51 Ernoul (1871, pp. 54-55); Baha’ al-Din (1971, p. 42); Imad al-Din in Lyons and Jackson (1988, p. 248); Schlumberger 1898, pp. 320-22). 52 Imad al-Din in Lyons and Jackson (1988, p. 248); Baha’ al-Din (1971, pp. 108-109). 53 Baha’ al-Din (1971, pp. 113-15). 54 Baha’ al-Din (1971, pp. 336, 397); Ibn al-Athir (1887, pp. 73, 76). See also Korn (2004, p. 94). Ernoul, however, refered to the neglect of damages at Karak (1871, p. 464). 49 As

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Frankish construction of Karak castle.55

Hans-Heinrich Häffner, which proposes significant revisions to Deschamps’ architectural phases and plans (FIG. 2).60 Perhaps most intriguing is the relationship between the upper castle, which is the core of the fortress, and the lower bailey or barbican along the west side. As it stands, the lower bailey is typically attributed to the Mamluk period, although an Ayyubid date is quite plausible.61 Deschamps believed he found structural traces related to an earlier Frankish barbican on the site of the lower bailey, but this assertion needs further clarification.62 When Maurice donated part of the castle defenses to the knights Hospitaller in his charter of 1152, the religious order specifically received a “barbican” that extended up to a “Tower of St. Mary.”63 Johnny De Meulemeester and Denys Pringle suggest that the barbican mentioned in this charter refers to a Frankish construction on the site of the lower bailey,64 although it is conceivable that this reference pertains to the double wall along the east side of the upper castle.

Here, upon a very high mountain surrounded by deep valleys, the city ... had once been located. For a long time, however, it had lain in ruins, utterly desolate. Finally, during the reign of Fulk, the third king of the Latins in the Orient, one Paganus, surnamed the butler, lord of a domain laying beyond the Jordan, built a citadel [presidium]56 on this site ... The successors of Paganus, namely his nephew Maurice and Philip [de Milly] of Nablus, had added a moat [or rampart, vallo] and towers to render the place still more unassailable. Clustering on the outskirts of this fortress, on the site of the earlier city, was now a village whose inhabitants had placed their homes there as a comparatively safe location. East [sic] of them lay the fortress, the best of protection, while on the other sides rose the mountain itself, encompassed ... by deep valleys. Thus, if the village had even a moderately low wall, the inhabitants need not fear any hostile attack. At two points only was there any possibility of reaching the top of the mountain, and these could be easily defended by a few men even against large hostile forces. The other sides were supposed to be impregnable.

The upper castle includes features from the initial phase of Frankish construction under Pagan the Butler (1142-1152) as well as from the second phase of works accomplished by Maurice and Philip of Milly (1152-1165/66).65 Yet the phasing of a number of Crusader-era features remains undetermined, particularly as the upper castle holds at least four areas with subsurface constructions.66 The castle was well-protected by its “unassailable” east and west slopes. The steeper west slope was the easiest to defend and along this rim (overlooking the lower bailey) the wall of 1142 was reinforced by five or more shallow salients.67 Along the east side, the Franks doubled their fortification efforts by constructing two defensive walls, and a robust glacis (now reconstructed) was set upon the slope below. The earlier, inner wall dates to 1142 while the outer wall and its projecting towers (now reconstructed) were built during the second phase.

Karak castle is a complex, multi-period monument that remains poorly understood in many respects, particularly as some areas remain obscured by debris.57 The original Frankish features and plan were substantially altered by new phases of construction that appear to have continued through the fourteenth century. The extent to which major and costly constructions were undertaken at Karak castle during the Frankish era and subsequent Ayyubid and early Mamluk periods, particularly with respect to its defensive works, underscore the significance of this site from the twelfth through the fourteenth centuries. Shawbak experienced a similar history,58 demonstrating that the possession of southern Transjordan hinged on the security of both of the castles that straddled the inland road from Cairo to Damascus, the twin centers of Muslim power in the Levant.

On the vulnerable north face, a deep ditch cut through bedrock. Standing between the town and the north wall of the castle, this presented a substantial barrier, as encountered by Salah al-Din in 1183 and 1184. Spanned by a drawbridge, the ditch was up to 25 m in width and originally cut to a depth of some 30 m.68 Behind it, a massive northern defensive wall still stands over 20 m in height and up to 4 m in thickness. Constructed of exceptionally lar-

A few reconstructions of the original Crusader plan have been offered. Paul Deschamps undertook the first architectural survey at Karak castle in 1929, assisted by architect François Anus. His landmark publication, with site plans and descriptions of the exposed structures (of that time), remains an importance resource.59 More recent commentaries offer fresh perspectives, including the insightful architectural analysis by Thomas Biller, Daniel Burger, and

Biller et al. (1999, pp. 45-53). See also remarks by De Meulemeester and Pringle (2008). Ellenblum (2001) offers an alternative interpretation of the Crusader plan. 61 Korn (2004, p. 94). 62 Deschamps (1939, p. 87); Biller et al. (1999, pp. 50, 58 n. 51) challenged this interpretaton. 63 Item dono et concedo penes Cracum quamdam turrim, que est a parte sinistra sicut fit ingressus per portam castelli, et barbacanam, que est inter duos muros sicut protenditur ab hac turri predicta usque ad turrim S. Marie (in Delaville le Roulx 1894, p. 160, no. 207). 64 De Meulemeester and Pringle (2008, pp. 339-40). 65 Deschamps (1939, p. 82); William of Tyre (xxii: 29 [28] in 1986 [2], p. 1056). 66 Biller et al. (1999, p. 52). 67 The two large towers projecting set against the original west wall are Ayyubid or Mamluk additions. 68 Ibn al-Athir (cited in Deschamps 1939, p. 82). 60

55

William of Tyre (xxii: 29 [28] in 1986 [2], p. 1056); translation (1976 [2], p. 499). 56 Presidium refers to a place occupied by a military guard or garrison, such as any sort of post, camp, or fortification. 57 Some clearance and reconstruction work has been undertaken at the site in recent years. 58 Faucherre (2004, pp. 46ff.). 59 Deschamps (1939, pp. 34-98, plans 1-2, plan of Kerak). Deschamps observed that Crusader constructions were typically built of red and black volcanic stone, whereas subsequent Middle Islamic constructions employed softer, yellow-grey limestone cut into bossed blocks; he also distinguished three styles of Crusader-era constructions (ibid., pp. 80-81).

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R. M. Brown: Kerak Castle In Crusader Oultrejourdain (Ad 1142-1188) ge, undressed stones, this feature is flanked along its inner face by two tiers of large, vaulted halls that were furnished with arrow slits. The towers at the east and west corners were also integrated within the northern defensive plan.69 A postern gate stands at the northeastern tower and traces of another opening are evident in the center of the north wall. By 1188, when the final siege of Karak occurred, the north wall had probably been largely rebuilt at least twice since its initial construction. This complex at the north face of the castle, which includes the north wall, corner towers, and interior vaulted halls, probably dates to the 1180s.70 The main gateway presently in use is a Middle Islamic construction at the northwest corner tower that opens to the north face of the castle. The location of the original main entrance to the Frankish castle is unknown, yet it may have stood some 15 meters south of the present gate and faced to the west rather than north, as the west side of the castle was less exposed to assault.71

m in width, and outer walls some 2 m thick.75 The eastfacing, semi-circular apse drawn by Deschamps is no longer discernable.76 A small side chapel or sacristy adjoins the main chapel by a stairway. Once a two story structure, the surviving ground level is covered with pointed barrel vault. In 1818, Charles Leonard Irby and James Mangles observed in the main chapel traces of a gothic inscription and frescoes showing “... the remains of paintings of large groups of figures on the stuccoed walls ...”, one of which appeared to be a king in armor while another resembled the martyrdom of a saint.77 These representations are no longer visible. The area between the vaulted halls along the north wall and the chapel (toward the center of the upper castle environs), where the rock plateau is elevated, may have been occupied by a courtyard with its own enclosure wall. It is also conceivable that a great hall once stood along the west wall of the upper castle, just north of the chapel.78

The southern facade was the most vulnerable as it was not protected by steep slopes. Here the Franks inserted a huge ditch below the south face of the castle platform to detach it from the adjoining ridge. This fosse was cut 30 m in width, but its depth is undetermined due to infilling over time.72 Above the ditch rose the massive south wall of a Crusader tower (35 m in length), probably constructed in 1142 and likely cited in the 1152 charter of Maurice as the Tower of St. Mary (see above).73 Traces of this feature’s foundations rest on the extreme edge of the southern rock ridge, immediately south of the imposing Mamluk halftower (commonly referred to as a donjon), whose massive walls dominate the southern line of the castle today (see FIG. 2).74 A second Frankish phase is indicated by remains of additional walls (to the north and east of the present Mamluk fortification) that further enhanced the southern defenses of the Crusader era.

The Crusader town of Karak has disappeared almost entirely, yet sections of the remaining medieval enclosure walls may date to the Frankish period.79 There is no clear evidence of a Frankish era entranceway into the town, but William of Tyre mentioned two points of access (see above), raising the possibility that at least one of the two, rock-hewn, entrance tunnels that were in use from the thirteenth through the nineteenth century already existed in the twelfth century.80 In 1167 Guerricus, a canon of the Templum Domini, the Frankish church at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, was appointed as archbishop of Petracensis and metropolitan of Arabia.81 The site of the Latin cathedral in Karak was noted in the late nineteenth century by Henry Baker Tristram who observed the foundations of a basilica beneath a mosque in ruins.82 Formal archaeological investigations at Karak castle have been few and the only excavation of a Crusader structure was conducted in the chapel and sacristy in 1997 under the direction of John R. Lee and in collaboration with the late-Jum’a Kareem and Mu’tah University.83 The human burials and objects from this campaign appear to date to the Late Ottoman and Modern periods, although Roman

A few prominent Frankish constructions remain within the upper castle. In addition to the vaulted halls along the north wall, there are a nearby oven area and a room with a millstone and storage bin (possibly for grain). Farther south is the chapel (FIG. 3), most recently documented by Pringle, with a barrel vaulted hall 25 m in length by 8.5

75

Pringle (1993, pp. 288-91, 293); four chaplains are known to have served the lords of Karak between 1152 and 1180. 76 Deschamps (1939, pp. 87-88, plan 1); see also Tristram (1873, p. 91). 77 Irby and Mangles (1844, p. 111). 78 Biller et al. (1999, pp. 52-53). �� The construction of a town wall by Frankish settlers is mentioned in Eralces (1844-1859 [1.2], p. 1125) and Deschamps identified sections of the medieval town wall as Frankish (1939, p. 95, plan of Kerak). William of Tyre, however, implied that the town was unwalled or inadequately walled, (xxii: 29 [28] in 1986 [2], p. 1056). The area within the walls of the medieval town was 850 m north-south by 750 m east-west (Pringle 1993, p. 287; see also Musil 1907, p. 47, fig. 9). �� William of Tyre (xxii: 29 [28] in 1986 [2], p. 1056). The northwest tunnel bears a 1227 inscription of Sultan al-Mu`azzam `Isa (Mauss and Sauvaire 1874, p. 202, no. 20). See also Ibn Battuta (in Marmardji 1951, p. 171); Irby and Mangles (1944, p. 110). 81 William of Tyre (xx: 3 in 1986 [2], p. 914). 82 Tristram (1873, p. 93). The mosque may have been constructed by al-`Adil in 1188; see Combe et al. (1939, pp. 276-77, no. 3800 A); Korn (2004, p. 94); Pringle (1993, p. 287). 83 Lee (2003), unpublished report.

Biller et al. (1999, p. 50). Biller et al. (1999, pp. 49-50) suggest that the northern defensive complex, as it stands today, is a Frankish construction of either 11501160 or 1170-1188, or an Ayyubid construction of al-`Adil from 11921193. 71 Biller et al. (1999, p. 50). 72 Deschamps (1939, p. 80). 73 Biller et al. (1999, pp. 50-51). 74 The Mamluk half-tower may date to 1297/98 as similar defenses were undertaken at Shawbak under Sultan al-Mansur Lajin (r. 1296-1299) (Biller et al. 1999, p. 50, fn. 53); these constructions were probably a result of the 1293 earthquake, which caused the collapse of three towers at Karak (Maqrizi 1842, p.146). The similarly constructed “Tower of Baybars” (Burj al-Zahir) at the northwest corner of the town defenses at Karak, probably also dates to this period (Biller et al. 1999, p. 50, fn. 53); its inscription citing al-Zahir Baybars (Mauss and Sauvaire 1874, pp. 199-200, no. 17) appears to have been reused from an earlier structure (Tristram 1873, pp. 89-90). The badly damaged inscription on the Mamluk half-tower in the castle is undecipherable. 69 70

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean and Nabataean pottery was also collected. In several places the excavators reached the original paved floor or the plaster bedding that lay beneath it. However, the report does not mention a medieval phase, deposits or artifacts, which suggests that the chapel and sacristy were swept clear of debris prior to the accumulation of the Late Ottoman materials. Marcus Milwright’s recent study of some 8000 medieval era sherds from unstratified collections found that most belonged to local, regional and imported ceramic types that are known from the twelfth century through the Mamluk period; none of this pottery could be specifically associated with the Crusader presence at Karak.84

al-`Adil’s improvements and constructions of 1192-1193 may have included a mosque within the town, in addition to fortifications.88 A palace and reception hall were built in the castle by al-Nasir Da’ud (1227-1249). 89 When Karak fell to the Mamluks in 1263, Sultan al-Zahir Baybars, who held his court in al-Nasir Da’ud’s palace, launched a major building campaign.90 Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad, a luminary of the early Mamluk period, is credited with building another palace at Karak in 1311. At the same time, he embellished the town with a suite of urban facilities including a mosque (jami`), a bath (hammam), a Shafiite religious school (madrasa), a caravan hostelry (khan), a hospital (maristan), and a parade ground (maydan).91 Late fourteenth century inscriptions also indicate building activities by Sultan al-Zahir Barquq and Amir Zayn al-Din Baraka.92 Some of this patronage under the Mamluk sultans of the Bahri era was prompted by close personal ties with Karak. Al-Nasir Muhammad spent much of his youth in exile at Karak, and he later sent his sons to be raised and educated there. Similarly, when al-Zahir Barquq was exiled to Karak in 1389, after having been deposed from his first reign as sultan, he spent several years building support among that population.93

KARAK CASTLE IN THE DOMAIN OF THE SULTANS The two centuries that followed the Crusader episode in Transjordan were an era of patronage under the Ayyubid princes and sultans who followed Salah al-Din (11881263) and their successors, the Bahri sultans of the early Mamluk period (1263-1389). While Palestine remained contested territory and the scene continuing confrontations between Muslim and Frankish forces until 1291, Transjordan was celebrated by Ayyubid and Mamluk leadership as the essential, although still vulnerable, bridge between Cairo and Damascus, and its resources were sought after by various contenders aspiring to control those seats of power. As such, Karak and Shawbak castles remained major prizes and important centers of defense, administration, and economic development, while their communities and hinterlands were generally productive, and at times flourished, as was typical of Transjordan during this period.85 Yet aside from the maintenance and embellishment of the two principal castles, the defensive topography of Transjordan shifted in several respects as some of the former Crusader facilities were either maintained only briefly or not at all, such as in the instances of al-Wu`ayra and other installations in the Petra region. At the same time, new castle defenses were constructed in the north at Ajlun in the Jabal Awf (1188-1192), Salt in al-Balqa’ (1220), and Azraq beside the Wadi Sirhan (initiated prior to 1237); smaller facilities also appeared, among them the fort of Qasr al-Shibib on the Zarqa River and the square tower at the citadel in Amman.86

Karak’s location on the highland corridor of Transjordan and well-defended position above the Dead Sea, in relative proximity to Palestinian lands under Frankish rule, made it a natural warehouse and treasury for Ayyubid and Mamluk leaders who were anxious to protect the eastern territories that they had wrested from the Franks and gain greater footholds in Palestine. As such, the rivalrous Ayyubid princes and sultans clashed with one another over possession of the Transjordan castles. When the Egyptian-based Sultan al-Salih Najm al-Din succeeded in taking Karak from al-Nasir Da’ud in 1249, he rejoiced, ordering the cities of Cairo and Fustat to be decorated and drums beaten from their citadels in celebration.94 Al-Nasir Da’ud had kept a treasury at Karak and al-Salih followed suit, immediately sending cash (reported as 1,000,000 dinars), treasures, and weapons to Karak for safe storage, while the crusading forces of Louis IX, invaded and occupied the port of Daat Shawbak was probably constructed during the early decades of the Ayyubid period, by al-`Adil (1193-1198) or his son al-Mu`azzam `Isa (1198-1227); see Brown (1988, pp. 240, 242); Nucciotti (2007, p. 45). As noted above, a Middle Islamic palace still stands within the castle at Karak. This complex was initially attributed to the fourteenth century based on excavations (Brown, 1989), but the dating of the numismatic evidence is presently under reconsideration and the possibility of an Ayyubid date should not be dismissed. �� Baha’ al-Din (1884, p. 358); Ibn al-Athir (1887, pp. 73, 76); Pringle 1993, p. 287). For the inscription of al-`Adil at Karak, see Mauss and Sauvaire (1874, pp. 198-99, no. 16). 89 Al-Nasir Da’ud’s residence of authority (dar al-sultana) was known as the Dar al-Sa`ada and his reception hall (qa`a) is described as the Qa`a al-Nasiri (Ghawanimah, 1979, p. 219). 90 Ibn `Abd al-Zahir, in Sadeque (1956, pp. 179, 181). Al-Zahir Baybars received the civil servants of Karak in the Qa`a al-Nasiri (ibid., pp. 179, 315). 91 Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (1973, p. 317). 92 Mauss and Sauvaire (1874, pp. 200-202, nos. 18-19). 93 Milwright (2008, pp. 44-46). 94 Maqrizi (1980, p. 293).

Royal patronage at Karak and Shawbak was most significant from the late twelfth through the fourteenth century and both sites were invested with new defenses and other monuments, including royal palaces.87 At Karak, 84 Milwright (2008, pp. 137ff.). Twelfth century deposits from the Crusader-occupied sites of Wu`ayra and Shawbak include many examples of handmade ceramics belonging to a local tradition (Brown 1987, pp. 277-85; 1988, pp. 230ff.; Tonghini and Vanni Desideri 2001, pp. 710-13). ��Walmsley (2001, pp. 539-41); Milwright (2006a, pp. 15-20); Walker (2003, 2004, see also 2010); Kareem (2000, pp. 11-17). 86 Humphreys (1977, p. 77); Walmsley (2001, pp. 529-31); Milwright (2006a, pp. 13-14). 87 For Middle Islamic constructions at Karak, see Deschamps (1939, pp. 80ff.); Mumani (1988, pp. 156-242); Brown (1989, pp. 290-92; 2007); Korn (2004, pp. 93-95). For Middle Islamic constructions at Shawbak, see Nucciotti (2007); Faucherre (2004, pp. 46-64); Mumani (1988, pp. 243-293); Brown (1988, pp. 227ff.); Korn (2004, pp. 92-93). The palace

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R. M. Brown: Kerak Castle In Crusader Oultrejourdain (Ad 1142-1188) mietta, directly threatening Egyptian sovereignty.95 When the Mamluk Sultan al-Zahir Baybars deposed al-Mughith `Umar, the last Ayyubid prince of Karak, in 1263, he invested heavily in new constructions at both fortresses, and at Karak he stored large cash reserves (reported as 70,000 dinars and 50,000 dirhams), weapons, grain, flocks, and trade goods.96 This tradition continued during the Bahri era of Mamluk rule, particularly under the Qala’unid sultans (1280-1382) who kept close economic, political, and cultural ties between Cairo and Karak. Following the reign of Karak’s great patron al-Nasir Muhammad (d. 1342), his son al-Nasir Ahmad moved the seat of the Mamluk sultanate to Karak in 1342, bringing with him the entire royal treasury, including vast quantities of cash and valuables.97 While this exceptional and ill-advised situation soon ended with the sultan’s overthrow, it underscores the notion of Karak as a royal retreat or safe haven during this period, in addition to its roles as a treasury, arsenal, and pantry holding huge, imperial reserves of money, weaponry and foodstuffs. This enduring perception of Karak as both a repository for significant royal resources and a potential seat of royal authority was well-calculated, particularly as Frankish ambitions in the eastern Mediterranean appeared unabated, and mid-thirteenth century crusading strategies led to confrontations on Egyptian soil with the intention of striking at the heart of Muslim power by subjugating Cairo.

ceeded in subordinating Transjordan.101 The fall of Acre in 1291 marked the end of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, by which time many of the former Frankish defensive positions on the Levantine coast had been reduced to rubble by al-Zahir Baybars and his successors. Nevertheless, by the close of the thirteenth century calls for new crusades abounded across Europe. THE EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE: REPRESENTATIONS OF KARAK IN MAPS OF THE HOLY LAND FROM THE THIRTEENTH THROUGH THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY The Crusader experience in the East expanded European awareness of Levantine geography, inspired a surge of interest in pilgrimage, and created a new, growing demand for detailed information about the Holy Land. Of the many soldiers on crusade, pilgrims, adventurers, merchants, and others who journeyed eastward from the twelfth through the fifteenth century, a few left travel accounts and itineraries that became widely read as popular guidebooks.102 Most of these were written by pilgrims and provided encouragement to others to undertake the perils of a Holy Land journey. For the many who desired to embark on pilgrimage but were confined to monastic communities or lacked the means for travel, itineraries and other practical documentation about the Holy Land provided a basis for imagining the processes and experiences of such a journey.103 European cartographers who were motivated to prepare Holy Land maps also sought contemporary geographic information. A few cartographers were able to draw on their own pilgrimage experiences, but they also appear to have consulted a variety of travel narratives, however accurate or misleading, as well as historical sources. While new knowledge accumulated in Europe, misconceptions about geographic space, locational contexts and regions that were not well-known to Europeans were often repeated as well.104 Transjordan emerges in this literature as a marginal territory that was well-imagined in some respects, but not well-comprehended, by pilgrim writers and cartographers. Within this European notion of Frankish Transjordan, Petra Deserti or Crac emerges as a particularly strong symbol during the era of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and after its collapse at the end of the thirteenth century (FIG. 4).

In Frankish eyes, the loss of the Transjordan castles in 1188-1189 had been catastrophic, for they were critical to any plan of defense for a Latin Jerusalem and its hinterlands. Thus, while the initial Frankish capture of the Egyptian port of Damietta in 1218-1219 resulted in negotiations that were favorable to the occupiers, the Franks refused Sultan al-Kamil Nasir al-Din’s offers as they did not include the return of Karak and Shawbak.98 Similarly, the 1229 treaty finalized during the crusade of Frederick II specified alKamil’s concession of territories in Palestine, but excluded Transjordan, which remained in Ayyubid hands.99 It also appears that earlier peace negotiations between Richard I and Salah al-Din may have faced an obstacle over Crac de Montréal, as alleged in the epic poem L’Estoire de la guerre sainte, prepared by Ambroise, one of Richard’s companion’s during the Third Crusade.100 Despite lingering uncertainty over Europe’s strength and resolve, the most serious threat to mid-thirteenth century Muslim sovereignty in southern Transjordan was the persistent advance of the Mongols under Hülegü Khan. Having received a concession from al-Mughith `Umar, Hülegü dispatched an overseer to Karak in 1260 to ensure payment of tribute, but Mongol power in the Levant ebbed before the khanate suc-

The regional maps of the Holy Land that were created between the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries tended to describe either an actual Frankish presence in Palestine and Transjordan or a nostalgic memory of it (depending on when the map was compiled). Typically, this Frankish presence was set within a historically Christianized landscape populated with places linked to significant events in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Thus cartographers located Frankish settlements and fortresses beside sites whose toponyms were mined from biblical

95

Ibn al-Athir (2008, p. 295); see also Irwin (1986, p. 22). `Abd al-Zahir, in Sadeque (1956, p. 181). 97 Shuja`i (1985, pp. 250-53); Levanoni (1995, pp. 180-81). 98 Ibn al-Athir (2008, p. 180); Maqrizi (1980, p. 184); Ernoul (1871, p. 417); Jacques of Vitry (2007, p. 309). ��Ibn

99

101 Amitai-Preiss

Ernoul (1871, p. 464). Ambroise (1941, p. 291). This claim is also found in the anonymous Itinerarium peregrinorum et gesta regis Ricardi (Nicholson 1997, p. 274).

(1997, pp. 7-8). See Wright (1925, p. 293); Hamilton (2004); Delano-Smith (2004). 103 Connolly (1999, pp. 598, 606ff). 104 See Bartlett (2008, pp. 6-27).

100

102

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean scripture and classical texts, such as works by Pliny the Elder, Josephus, Ptolemy, and Eusebius. In addition to providing Europeans with the means to visualize their own real or imagined itineraries, regional maps of the historic Holy Land were also political tools. The loss of Frankish hegemony in the Levant in 1291 was not perceived as irrevocable, and European calls for renewed and strategically crafted crusades continued into the fifteenth century.105 Most of these recovery treatises were prepared between 1290 and 1336 on behalf of, or as appeals to, papal and secular leaders, and some contained histories and maps of the former Frankish territories.

ster Thietmar, who arrived in the Holy Land as a soldier of the Fifth Crusade, was an exceptional traveler and the only European pilgrim known to have journeyed into Transjordan. In 1217 he undertook a bold and unusual itinerary across the southern highland plateau, at the time a territorial possession of the Ayyubid prince al-Mu`azzam `Isa (1198-1227), on his way to Saint Catherine’s monastery in the Sinai Desert. His commentary briefly mentions meeting a Greek bishop at Erach (Karak), which he notes as a large town on top of a mountain and defended by strong towers and walls. At Shawbak he found accommodation with a Frankish widow, and viewed the castle as very impressive, surrounded by three rings of walls, and having a lower town occupied by Christians and Muslims. Thietmar cites three names for this castle; Petra in Latin, Monreal in French, and Scobach in the Saracen language (Arabic).110 From this same period is a detailed, mid-thirteenth century regional map of the Holy Land that describes Frankish Transjordan as it existed in the twelfth century. This map is generally associated with the Benedictine monk Matthew Paris (c. 1200-1259), a well-known historian, artist and cartographer. 111 Paris’ illustration of a politically idealized, historically intact, Frankish landscape (interspersed with locations of significance in earlier Christian history) includes castle-icons for Crag and Mount Real, both located east of the Dead Sea, and north of their actual locations. 112 While the map displays a nostalgic rendering of the fortresses of the former Oultrejourdain, it also reflects threads of political realism, for it is inscribed with notes referring to “Saracen” populations and “soldans” ruling Damascus, Egypt, and other neighboring regions.

Despite European enthusiasm for geographic knowledge, the accounts of Europeans who visited Palestine during the twelfth century tended to be vague and incomplete with respect to Frankish Transjordan, for these authors lacked personal knowledge of that territory and relied on historical impressions or copied the works of their predecessors. Among the earliest works are two descriptions (1137, 1148) of the Holy Land by Fretellus, Archdeacon of Nazareth, which mention a castle of Montréal (Mons Regalis) in Arabia, built by King Baldwin to subjugate that territory under Christendom.106 Later works, including the pilgrim accounts by John of Würzburg (Descriptio locorum Terre Sancte, c. 1160) and Theoderich (Libellus de locis sanctis, c. 1172), copy Fretellus’s statement on Montréal, but surprisingly make no mention of Petra Deserti / Crac, which is a stark omission given the castle’s conspicuous standing from 1142 onward.107 In contrast, William of Tyre (d. 1186), the prominent, native historian of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem during twelfth century, was well-versed in the geography of Oultrejourdain and the significant roles of its three primary fortresses.108 Also from the mid-to late twelfth century is perhaps the earliest European cartographic representation of medieval Transjordan. This anonymous, relatively well-informed map expresses a distinctly Frankish perception of the landscape of the Latin Kingdom, and was probably produced by an Italian cartographer. Notably, it portrays Crach and Mons Regalis by stylized castle-icons that are situated east of the Dead Sea. 109

Also from the thirteenth century is the Descriptio Terrae Sanctae of Burchard of Mount Sion, a Dominican monk who spent some years in Palestine (c. 1280-1283). His accompanying Holy Land map has not survived, but the geographic text in Burchard’s Descriptio provides a narrative of what would have been represented on the map. In this work, Second Arabia is described as “… that whose capital is the city of Petra, of old called Rabbath [Rabbah], on the brook Arnon [Wadi al-Mujib].” Third Arabia is “… that whose capital is Montréal, also called Krach, which once was called Petra Deserti [Petra in the Wilderness], standing near the Dead Sea. This Arabia contains the land of Moab, which should properly be called Syria Sobal, and all Idumaea … and all the country round about the Dead Sea…”. Burchard also cites the land of Moab as reaching to “… Petra Deserti, which is now called Krach,” and referring to the Dead Sea he states “about midway on its eastern shore is shown Montréal, which of old was called Petra Deserti, and now is called Krach, an exceedingly strong fortress built by Baldwin, King of Jerusalem, to enlarge the borders of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.” 113 Bur-

The thirteenth century was an era of new crusades to recover territories lost after the Battle of Hattin in 1187. Magi105

Leopold (2000, pp. 8-51); Schein (1991). Fretellus, Descripcio cuiusdam de locis sanctis (c. 1137) and Liber locorum sanctorum terrae Jerusalem (c. 1148), in Boeren (1980, pp. 18, 56); see also Wilkinson (1988, pp. 12-16, 353). 107 John of Würzburg (1971, p. 61; Tobler 1874, p. 180); Theoderich (1971, p. 50; 1865, pp. 75-76). These texts refer to Montréal (... mons ille regalis, and ... mons ... qui appellatur Regalis) as a site conquered by King Baldwin of Jerusalem. They also cite Wadi Musa (... vallis ... quae Moysi appellatur and vallis Moisis) but in reference to a biblical story of Moses rather than to the Frankish fortification and settlement. 108 Several passages in William of Tyre refer to the constructions at Montréal, Petra Deserti / Crac, and Vallis Moysi (xi: 26 in 1986 [1], pp. 534-35ff.; xv: 21, xvi: 6, xxii: 29 [28] in 1986 [2], pp. 703-704, 721-22, 1056). ��� Röhricht (1895, p. 177, Taf. 5); Harvey (2003, pp. 55-56); Bartlett (2008, p. 10, fig. 2). The map resides in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenzian of Florence. 106

���Thietmar,

in Saint-Genois (n.d., p. 41). Proposed dates for this map, now at Oxford University’s Corpus Christi College, range from 1230 to 1265 and its origins have been ascribed to Paris (as author or copyist) or one of his successors (Harvey 2001, pp. 165-66, 168). 112 Röhricht (1895, pp. 178-80, Taf. 6); Bartlett (2008, pp. 11-13). 113 Translation by Stewart, in Burchardus de Monte Sion (1971, pp. 7-8, 111

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R. M. Brown: Kerak Castle In Crusader Oultrejourdain (Ad 1142-1188) chard acknowledged the source for his description of the districts of Transjordan and the locations of its principal castles as Jacques of Vitry (1219-1224) ,114 whose history was largely based on the history of William of Tyre (1184), a relatively authoritative work. Yet Burchard’s narrative is confused as it merges the sites of Petra Deserti / Crac and Montréal into one entity, which is described as a construction of Baldwin (as indeed was the origin of Montréal) but located east of the Dead Sea, in the place of Karak. At the same time, Burchard places another, earlier Petra at Aeropolis (Rabbah) The conflation of the two predominate Frankish castle sites may have been encouraged by the compound expression, Crac de Montréal, which emerged in the late twelfth century as a reference to Petra Deserti / Crac or, at times, to its region. 115 Burchard’s narrative became a popular work, influencing a number of later pilgrim authors and map makers, and leading to continued confusions over the former Frankish castle sites of Transjordan, despite the clarity offered by the history of William of Tyre and the travel narrative of Thietmar.

Among the recovery pleas of the fourteenth century is the work of Venetian merchant Marino Sanuto (the Elder) of Torcello (d. 1343), who devoted his later life to the creation and distribution of a logistical plan for the repossession of the Holy Land. Presented to Pope John XXII in 1321, and subsequently to European heads of state, Liber secretorum fidelium crucis super Terrae Sanctae recuperatione et conservatione contained a history of the Holy Land and several maps that were prepared by professional cartographer Pietro Vesconti, among them a gridded map of Palestine and Transjordan.118 Although drawing on Burchard and other earlier works, the Sanuto and Vesconti map carries exceptional detail and an attempt at precision as it was intended for practical use. In this work, the Frankish claim to Transjordan is indicated by the hilltop of Petra Deserti situated east of the Dead Sea, which is accompanied by the inscription, “here the sultan [soldan] deposits his treasures from Arabia and Egypt and (the place) is called Crac and Mons Regalis.”119 This inscription, equating Petra Deserti with Crac and Montréal, mirrors Burchard’s comment of several decades earlier. The same inscription is repeated in a version of the Sanuto and Vesconti map that appeared in Paolino Veneto’s Chronologia magna, another historical treatise dating to the first quarter of the fourteenth century.120

Burchard’s explanation of the geography of Frankish Transjordan, however muddled, enabled him to imagine locational relationships and reconcile the multiplicity of historic toponyms. Nevertheless, the author makes an apt comment on the status of Karak (Krach) in his time, stating “... now the sultan [soldan] holds it, and lays up therein all the treasures of Egypt and Arabia.”116 At the time of Burchard’s sojourn in Palestine, Transjordan was within the Mamluk domain and ruled by Sultan al-Mansur Qala’un (r. 1280-1290). Thus his expression shows clear understanding that Karak castle had held a substantial state treasury under the Mamluks. Apparently, Karak’s status as a repository of cash and valuables for the sultanate was more commonly perceived within Burchard’s community than the geographic relationship between the two primary castles of the former Frankish dominion. As Burchard’s Descriptio Terrae Sanctae gained wide popularity among Europeans, his comment referring to this treasury became an oft-repeated descriptor of Karak in the writings of later pilgrims. Burchard’s geography may have also influenced an anonymous cartographer whose map (c. 1300) displays artistic renderings of Holy Land sites, including a prominent representation of Petra Deserta as a castle. It has been suggested that this work not only illustrates Burchard’s narrative, but may even be a copy of his no longer surviving map. However, John Bartlett’s observation that this map may be an early draft (c. 1306) of a landmark map by Sanuto and Vesconti is perhaps more plausible.117

The repetition of Karak’s status as the treasury of the sultans continued to appear in writings through the fifteenth century. Ludolph von Suchem’s narrative of 1350 was based on contemporary accounts and his own travels in Palestine (1336-1341). His text, as presented in Incipit liber Ludlophi de itinere Terrae Sanctae, states “... the sultan [soldan] now always keeps his treasure in this castle, and his son and heir, and to this castle he flees in time of need.”121 This description of Karak’s functions under the Mamluks alludes to its capacity to serve as a refuge of the sultans, as well as citing the practice among some of the Qala’unids (1280-1382) of sending their young sons to Karak for education and experience with bedouin life styles, while at the same time conveniently exiling them from Cairo. As a result of their upbringing in Karak, both al-Nasir Muhammad and his son al-Nasir Ahmad maintained exceptionally strong ties to southern Transjordan. Early in the fifteenth century, the German pilgrim Johannes Poloner prepared a geographic narrative and map inspired by his Holy Land travels (1421-1422). While the map did not survive, it was undoubtedly influenced by the maps or

38, 58); see also Bartlett (2008, pp. 13-14). 114 Burchardus de Monte Sion (1971, p. 8). Jacques of Vitry was a native Frenchman appointed Bishop of Acre in 1214 and active in the Fifth Crusade. His historical treatise, known as Historia orientalis or Historia Hierosolymitana abbreviata (1219), was largely copied from William of Tyre, including the passages on Frankish Transjordan (Jacques of Vitry, 1971, pp. 6-7, 25, 34, 105-106). 115 One of the earliest appearances of Crac de Montréal as a toponym for Karak is in a January 1188 letter written by a preceptor of the Knights Templar to King Henry II of England (Deschamps 1937, p. 489). 116 Translation by Stewart, in Burchardus de Monte Sion (1971, p. 58). 117 This map is in the Archivio di Stato of Florence; see Röhricht (1891,

pp. 8-11, Taf. 1); Bartlett (2008, pp. 14,15, fig. 4); Harvey (2003, p. 57). 118 Röhricht (1898, pp. 84-126, Taf. 2); see also Sanuto (1971); Edson (2004); Harvey (2003, pp. 58-59); Tyerman (1982). 119 Hi[c] soldan[us] suos repo[n]it th[e]sauros Arabie et Egypti et d[ictitu]r Crac et Mô[n]s regalis; see Röhricht (1898, Taf. 2); Nebenzahl (1986, p, 45, pl. 15). The author is grateful to E. Axel Knauf of Bern University for this interpretation of the Latin text. 120 Degenhart and Schmitt (1973, p. 119, pl. 153). 121 In hoc castro Soldanus nunc semper habet suum thesaurum et filium suum successorem, et ad hoc castrum semper fugit tempore necessitatis; in Deycks (1851, p. 90). Translation by Stewart, in von Suchem (1971, p. 119).

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean (from Prologus Arminensis in mappam Terrae Sanctae), which cites “Petra Deserti that is Mons Regalis.” 127 This phrase recalls the expression “Crac and Mons Regalis” that was applied to the well-known 1321 map of Sanuto and Vesconti.128 Similarly, the phrase “Petra Deserti also Mons Regalis” appears on versions of the Ptolemaic Tabula Moderna Terre Sancte map that were distributed during the last quarter of the fifteenth century.129 The later fifteenth century map by pilgrims Bernhard von Breitenbach and Erhard Reuwich (1486) illustrates a hilltop fortress east of the Dead Sea labeled “Petra Deserti – the castle is so named.” 130 ­ In summary, the thirteenth through the fifteenth century maps show that European cartographers generally recognized the castle standing at Karak by the Latin names of Petra Deserti and Crac (and sometimes as a compound adding Montréal), and as having been the principal, Frankish-fortified settlement of the former Oultrejourdain. Yet while Petra Deserti (in the locus of Karak) continued to appear on European maps as the prominent symbol of the Frankish past in Transjordan, the fortress at Montréal (in the locus of Shawbak) was neglected, if not entirely forgotten, by cartographers, who followed Burchard of Mount Sion’s geography in merging its name (and actual being) with the castle at Petra Deserti. At the same time, Petra Deserti’s post-Frankish-era reputation as a treasury of the Muslim princes and sultans became an established theme in pilgrim literature, as is even apparent on the map of Sanuto and Vesconti (1321). This attribution was perpetuated for two hundred years, from the narrative of Burchard (1280) through the journal of Felix Fabri (1484), long after Karak’s role as a critical resource within the Mamluk domain waned toward the end of the fourteenth century. By the close of the fifteenth century, printed works, including bibles and bible maps, had become widespread in Europe. Holy Land maps from this period become more prolific and show a renewed emphasis on biblical scholarship, a trend that gained further momentum with the Protestant Reformation. 131 By this time, attention to the historical geography of the Crusader era had diminished, although Petra Deserti does linger on, most probably as a legacy from earlier compositions.

descriptions of Poloner’s predecessors, for the narrative cites Petra Deserti as the place of “... an impregnable castle once called Pirach (Kirach), where the sultan [soldan] lays up the treasures of Arabia and Egypt.”122 This assertion of Karak’s role as a treasury endured in pilgrim literature even into the late fifteenth century. Felix Fabri’s journal (1484) Evagatorium in Terrae Sanctae, Arabiae et Egypti peregrinationem refers to Petra Deserti as a castle where “... the sultan [soldan] put his eldest son ... and all his treasures; it is the treasure chamber of the sultans of Egypt.”123 It is clear that, from the time of Burchard (1280) onward, European visitors composing narrative geographies of the Holy Land gleaned their vague impressions of Transjordan from their predecessors, in much the same way as the twelfth century pilgrim writers had borrowed from one another, rather than introducing new knowledge. Both Ludolph von Suchem and Felix Fabri struggled with the Frankish topography of the terra incognita east of the Jordan Valley. In following clues from Thietmar’s authentic visit to Transjordan and probably Burchard’s imagined topography as well, von Suchem describes the strongest castle in the world as lying east of the Dead Sea and assuming the names of Montréal (from Latin), Schobach (from Chaldean), and Arab (from Arabic).124 While the location suits Karak, von Suchem’s description, which does not refer to Petra Deserti, is an elaborated version of Thietmar’s observations at Shawbak. Fabri continues this tradition of deriving information, yet he places the castle of Petra Deserti in the location of Shawbak, rather than east of the Dead Sea at Karak. Fabri’s description of the castle is yet another variation of Thietmar’s narrative on Shawbak, in which he lists its names as Petra Deserti (from Latin), Krach (from Saracen [Arabic]), and Schabat (from Greek). Following Burchard, he cites a second Petra (or Petraea) at Areopolis (which is presently Rabbah, not far north of Karak), which he explains as the former principal city of Arabia.125 Cartographers of the fifteenth century whose Holy Land maps include Transjordan appear to have been influenced more by the topographic representation of Frankish era as mapped by Sanuto and Vesconti (1321) than by the pilgrim narratives, although the latter are evident in some of these works as well. Thus Petra Deserti continued to appear on European maps during the second half of the fifteenth century, such as those prepared by pilgrims William Wey (1458-1462) and Gabriele Capodilista (1458).126 It is also found in the Burchard-influenced maps of Lucas Brandis (1475, 1478). Brandis’ 1478 composition is a typeset map

The long-standing Arabic toponym al-Karak does not appear on a European map until the 1810 publication of Ulrich Jasper Seetzen’s travel journal documenting his 1806 scientific expedition through the territory east of the Jordan River.132 A German scholar and explorer, Seetzen was the first European known to have traversed Transjordan

... aedificatum est inexpugnabile castrum quondam Pirach (Kirach), in quo soldanus suos deponit thesauros Arabiae et Aegypti; in Tobler (1874, p. 256). Translation by Stewart, in Poloner (1971, p. 25). 123 Capto autem eo Soldanus tunc existens filium suum primogenitum posuit ibi castellanum et Petrae deserti dominum, et omnes thesauros suos in eo recondidit tamquam in loco tutissimo, et hodie est camera thesaurorum Soldanorum regum Aegypti; in Hassler (1849, p. 169). Translation by Stewart, in Fabri (1971, p. 184). 124 Von Suchem, in Deycks (1851, pp. 89-90). 125 Fabri, in Hassler (1849, pp. 169-70). 126 See Bartlett (2008, pp. 24-25, pl. 5); Nebenzahl (1986, p. 54, pl. 18). 122

127

Brandis 1475, in Nebenzahl (1986, p. 61, pl. 20); Brandis 1478, in Röhricht (1898, Taf. 11); Bartlett (2008, p. 29, fig. 8). 128 Petra deserti·i·môs reab (petra deserti i[d est] mo[n]s re[g]al[is]). The author is grateful to E. Axel Knauf for this interpretation of the Latin toponym in the Brandis map of 1478 (contra Röhrich 1898, Taf. 11). 129 Petra deserti vel mons regalis, in Bartlett (2008, pl. 9). 130 Petra deserti, castru(m) sic appellant(ur); see Röhricht (1901, pp. 84-126); Nebenzahl (1986, p. 64, pl. 21). 131 Bartlett (2008, p. 25). 132 Seetzen (1810, front piece).

170

R. M. Brown: Kerak Castle In Crusader Oultrejourdain (Ad 1142-1188) since the medieval pilgrim Magister Thietmar crossed the southern highlands from Karak to Shawbak in 1217. Seetzen’s narrative shows a strong interest in the Decapolis cities, but he also referred to a number of biblical sites, a well as the modern towns. The map that accompanies the 1810 volume was prepared by the publisher, who included a selection of the locations noted in the text. Citing numerous places named in scripture and Classical texts, this map is consistent with the long established interpretation of Transjordan as a landscape that is familiar to European audiences for its Christian heritage. Significantly, the map also cites contemporary points of reference, including Salt, Amman, Madaba, and Karak, which were among the few settled towns in central Transjordan at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In the introduction to the text, the publisher emphasized the unusual significance of Seetzen’s 1806 exploration by declaring Transjordan as one of very few places across the globe to be completely unknown to Europeans. The publisher carefully underscores the book’s unique purpose as revealing new knowledge of an ancient terrain through authentic experience.133 It is clear, however, that among the historical layers described in Seetzen’s journal and on the publisher’s map, the medieval era from the twelfth century Crusader period through the following thirteenth to fifteenth centuries is not represented. In this respect, Petra Deserti and its cognates have vanished. 134

Geburtstag, 33-58. Petersberg. Boeren, P. C. 1980. Rorgo Fretellus de Nazareth et sa Description de la Terre Sainte: histoire et edition du texte. Amsterdam. Brooker, C. H. and Knauf, E. A. 1988. Notes on Crusader Transjordan. “Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins” 104, 184-188. Brown, R. M., 1987. A 12th century A.D. sequence from southern Transjordan: Crusader and Ayyubid occupation at el-Wu`eira. “Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan” 31, 267-288. Brown, R. M. 1988. Summary report of the 1986 excavations: Late Islamic Shobak, “Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan” 32, 225-245. Brown, R. M., 1989. Excavations in the 14th century A. D. Mamluk palace at Kerak. “Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan” 33, 287-304. Brown, R. M., 2007. Karak Castle / Qal`at al-Karak. In The Chicago Online Encyclopedia of Mamluk Studies. Brown, R. M. and Rielly, K., forthcoming. A twelfth century faunal assemblage from al-Wu`ayra in the southern highlands of Jordan. “Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan”, 54. Burchardus de Monte Sion, 1971. Burchard of Mount Sion: A.D. 1280, A. Stewart, trans. New York. Chevedden, P. 2000. The invention of the counterweight trebuchet: a study in cultural diffusion. “Dumbarton Oaks Papers” 54, 71-116. Combe, E., Sauvaget, J., and Wiet, G. (eds.), 1939. Répertoire chronologique d’épigraphie arabe, 10. Connelly, D. K. 1999. Imagined pilgrimage in the itinerary maps of Matthew Paris. “Art Bulletin”, 81 (4), 598-622. Corbino, C., and Mazza, P. 2009. How and where did the inhabitants of Shawbak Castle live? The faunal remains. “Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan” 10, 679-684. Degenhart, B. and Schmitt, A. 1973. Marino Sanudo und Paolino Veneto: Zwei Literaten des 14. Jahrhunderts in ihrer Wirkung auf Buchillustierung und Kartographie in Venedig, Avignon und Neapel. “Römisches Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte” 14, 1-137. Delano-Smith, C., 2004. The intelligent pilgrim: maps and medieval pilgrimage to the Holy Land, in R. Allen, ed., Eastward bound: travel and travellers, 1050-1550. Manchester. Delaville Le Roulx, J. 1894. Cartulaire général de l’ordre des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem (1100-1310), vol. 1. Paris. De Meulemeester, J. and Pringle, D. 2008. Die Burg Kerak (al-Karak) in Jordanien, in M. Piana, ed., Burgen und Städte der Kreuzzugszeit, 336-342. Petersberg. Deschamps, P., 1937. Les deux Cracs des croisés, “Journal Asiatique”, 229, 494-500. Deschamps, P. 1939. Les châteaux des croisés en Terre Sainte. II, La défense du royaume de Jérusalem: étude historique, géographique et monumentale. Paris. Devais, C., 2008. L’expression du pouvoir aux frontières du royaume de Jérusalem: terre de Suète et Oultre-

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Figure 1: Map: Major Fortified Sites in southern Transjordan during the Crusader era.

Figure 2: Karak Castle: schematic plan of the upper castle (after Biller et al. 1999: fig. 9). Adapted and reprinted with permission of Thomas Biller.

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R. M. Brown: Kerak Castle In Crusader Oultrejourdain (Ad 1142-1188)

Figure 3: Karak Castle: plan of the chapel and sacristy (after Pringle 1993: fig. 84). Adapted and reprinted with permission of Denys Pringle.

Figure 4: References to Petra Deserti and Montréal in European Maps from the twelfth to the fifteenth century.

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

FROM JERICHO TO KARAK BY WAY OF ZUGHAR: SEAFARING ON THE DEAD SEA IN THE 12TH13TH CENTURIES Joseph Greene Semitic Museum - Harvard University

Abstract(2008) Through much of the 12th century the eastern frontier of Oultrejourda in enclosed the Dead Sea, and on this andlocked lake Crusader-era shipping flourished. Evidence for this is copious but indirect. Written accounts in both Latin and Arabic agree that ships sailed the Dead Sea during the Crusading era, carrying cargoes between Jericho and Zughar, on the lake’s southeastern shore. Direct evidence, however, is sparse. Unlike the medieval Mediterranean, the Dead Sea itself has yielded up no medieval shipwrecks, no sunken cargoes, and no remains of medieval ports around its shores. There were, however, much earlier and much later episodes of Dead Sea seafaring that offer evidence suggesting how this medieval maritime enterprise came into being. These parallel episodes also suggest how to understand the political, economic, and social conditions under which Crusader-era shipping operated, and how changes in those conditions eventually led to its abandonment. Evidence for these other episodes of Dead Sea seafaring is widely assorted, consisting of inter alia written accounts ancient, medieval and modern; a geologically-derived reconstruction of the millennia-long sequence of periodic fluctuations in Dead Sea levels; ancient archaeological remains around the Dead Sea shore; and for the very latest period, photographs of actual Dead Sea sailing vessels. Bringing together these disparate strands of evidence—archaeological, geological, textual, artifactual — it is possible to sketch a preliminary maritime history of the Dead Sea in the era of the Crusades, to trace factors common in successive episodes of Dead Sea seafaring before, during and after that era, and finally to suggest directions for future research.

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, aVannini cura diG., G. Nucciotti Vannini e M. M. (a Nucciotti cura di),, BAR, Oxford, 2012

BIOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF MIGRATION AS EVIDENCED BY SKELETONS FROM THE TWELFTH CENTURY FRANKISH CASTELLUM VALLIS MOYSIS, JORDAN (AL-WU’AYRA) Jerome C. Rose University of Arkansas Ali Khwaleh A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011 Abstract (2008) The European Crusades into the Levant were not passing military operations, but ones of conquest and settlement. Crusader success resulted in permanent occupation by Europeans, construction of substantial residential-administrative castles, churches and monasteries; and creation of kingdoms with a European flavor to their economics and way of life. The migration of people from one area to another where there are major differences in climate and ecology requires the population to adapt behaviorally and biologically. Consequences of a failure to change the pattern of living (adaptation) can be any combination of early death, increased incidence or new disease and nutritional deficiencies. Thus, analysis of 16 skeletons from the Al-Wu’ayra castle, located within the Petra system, offered a great opportunity to assess the impact on the Europeans who migrated into a different environment without changing their way of life. Between 1996 and 1998, the Università Degli Studi di Firenze conducted an extensive survey and limited excavations at the Crusader castle of Al-Wuayra (Castellum Vallis Moysis). The fortified church is the main structure remaining within the castle and excavations focused on identifying the original structures and reconstructing the sequence of construction. During this work the 16 burials discussed here were discovered buried in graves cut into the bedrock alongside of the entrance ramp into the church. The single adult consisted only of skull, hand, and foot fragments, along with a few teeth. This collection is unusual in having such a high proportion (94%) of subadults. There are two possible premature births (12%), seven dying at or near birth (44%), four dying during the first year (25%), and two older children (12%). One third of these skeletons display erosional surfaces of the cranium and long bones that have a coral-like character suggesting a pathological process involving bone resorption without (or very little) new bone formation. Comparing these lesions to the published literature eliminated the most common chronic bacterial infections and led us to look at a variety of deficiency diseases with scurvy (deficiency of vitamin C) being chosen as the most likely diagnosis. The skeletal lesions suggests that there was something more involved than simply scurvy. One common problem in these latitudes is folic acid deficiency. Folic acid is destroyed by ultraviolet light as it passes through the capillaries of the skin, and, thus, fair skinned Europeans living in sunny locals could experience folic acid deficiency with even minimal dietary restrictions. Taken together these deficiencies might explain all of the observed bony lesions as well as the high neonatal mortality rate due to nutritional deficiency and compromised immune systems. When these Western Europeans attempted to live in a new environment without changing their way of living we can expect and do find consequences of this failure to adapt.

The European Crusades into the Levant were not passing military operations, but ones of conquest and settlement. Crusader success resulted in permanent occupation by Europeans, construction of substantial residential/defensive castles along with churches and communities; and creation of kingdoms and principalities with a European flavor to their economics and way of life. When the biology of a population and its cultural behaviors are in balance or adaptation with its particular residential eco-zone, we can expect reasonable health and longevity. When out of balance, there can be serious consequences such as stunted human growth, increased disease, and shortened lifespans. The migration of people from one area to another with major differences in climate and ecology requires the population to adapt behaviorally to minimize mismatch between behavior and the environment. Consequences of a failure to change the pattern of living (adaptation) can be any combination of early death, increased incidence or new disease, and nutritional deficiencies (Mitchell 1998). Some of the consequences of this failure to adapt can be found on the skeletons long after death. The analysis of 16 individuals excavated from the Crusader Castle of Al-Wu’ayra (Castellum Vallis Moysis) located just outside the main site of Petra in southern Jordan offered a great opportunity to assess the consequences for Europeans who migrated to the hot and dry environment of the holy land without changing their way of life.

numerous loci of scattered human bone were encountered during the clearing operation. Ultimately a series of graves were found cut into the bedrock adjacent to the castle church. Stratigraphic relationships of the walls and grave plasterings demonstrate that the graves are contemporaneous with the structures. In addition to the normally scheduled excavations, in 1997, a team of students and faculty from Yarmouk University and the University of Arkansas were invited to complete the excavation of two graves. The skeletal remains from all excavation seasons were transported to the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology, Yarmouk University (Irbid, Jordan) for cleaning and analysis. The bones were cleaned by dry brushing and limited washing with water. The skeletal remains from both graves and comingled contexts were laid out in anatomical order and bones from each provenience were compared to all the other sets of bones. Using the criteria of color, size and developmental stage, the bones were grouped to produce a total of 16 individuals (1-16). Most bones were easily assigned to individuals because the differences in bone length between infants just a few months older or younger are easily observed. Age was determined by dental development supplemented by epiphyseal changes. In those cases where teeth were not available, long bone lengths were compared to those aged by the teeth and ages at death were assigned by fitting them into the birth to six year bone length sequence. To ensure that the skeletons assembled from the commingled remains all belonged to the same individual, age was calcu-

Between 1996 and 1998, the Università Degli Studi di Firenze conducted limited excavations at Al-Wu’ayra and 177

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean lated from each long bone length using a growth chart and all of the long bone lengths from the same individual had to produce the same estimated age at death. Consistency of age from long bone lengths was found for all except Individual 3, which might in fact be two individuals. Sex cannot be determined for subadult skeletons. All bones were visually examined for pathological lesions and all surface irregularities were compared to the published literature as well as infant and subadult bones from study collections in Jordan, Egypt, and North America. All possible lesions were then examined with a stereomicroscope to differentiate between postmortem erosion and alterations of the bone caused by disease processes. Some of the lesions were X-rayed. Diagnosis proved difficult and all of the bones were examined on three separate occasions between 1997 and 2002. The final determinations are presented below. Because Individual 11 is the only adult and consists of a few fragments all further discussion will be confined to the subadults.

Individual 14: birth to 3 months; 80% complete; cribra orbitalia; extensive porosity of the sphenoids, temporals, basio-occipital, mandible and maxilla. Individual 15: at birth; 40% complete; no pathological lesions. Individual 16: at birth; 50% complete; porosity of left mandible body, sphenoid, eye orbits, temporals, and ribs. Comparison of the Al-Wu’ayra skeletons to those from the 12th-13th century site of Tel Jezreel in Israel is relevant because these 50 children were buried beside the village church in an area that appears to be the children’s section of the cemetery for the local Syrian Christian farmers residing within the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem (Mitchell 2006). Ethnic origin cannot be established for the AlWu’ayra skeletal remains, but burial inside the castle adjacent to the church suggests that these infants belonged to the castle inhabitants and were presumably European. There are no skeletal indicators that suggest otherwise. The assumption at this point is that the Al-Wu’ayra skeletons represents the progeny of migrants not adapted to the environment, while those from Tel Jezreel represent the progeny of the locals who are adapted to the environment. Comparison of the ages at death from Al-Wu’ayra and Tel Jezreel points to interesting differences: possible premature births at Al-Wu’ayra 13% and at Tel Jezreel 8%; birth to one month 41% and 26%; birth to 1 year 33% and 30%; older than 1 year 13% and 36%. They both have the same number of premature births (less than full term) and those dying during the first year, while Al-Wu’ayra differs by having almost twice as many dying at birth and only one third the proportion dying after 1 year as Tel Jezreel. This suggests that the women of the castle were having trouble bringing their children to term and keeping them alive after birth. Because 53% of the skeletons show abnormal bone surfaces and 54% died at or just before birth, a common, yet severe, infectious disease was thought to be the cause, but even after two additional comprehensive examinations, conducted over a span of 4 years, the general pattern of lesions could not be matched to any infectious disease. Having eliminated bacterial infections, a variety of deficiency diseases, and in particular scurvy (deficiency of vitamin C), seemed the most likely candidate (Aufderheide and Rodríguez-Martín 1998). The most convincing comparative data were provided by a large survey of subadult scurvy cases from North America (Ortner et al. 2001). The extensive porosity and coral-like nature of the bone surfaces of the Al-Wu’ayra infants match the photographs provided for the sphenoid, maxilla, mandible, and long bones (Ortner et al. 2001). The distribution of lesions on the cranium, mandible and postcranial bones is also congruent. Considering only the individuals with skulls 27% exhibit cribra orbitalia, 64% lesions on the maxilla, 54% lesions of the sphenoid and temporal, and 45% lesions elsewhere on the skull. Despite the match between the lesions and scurvy it was difficult to accept this as the cause because the abundant fruit in the Levant should have provided sufficient

Individual 1: birth to 6 months; 95% complete; both temporal bones have large areas of porosity and bone formation (Figure 1); mandible (lower jaw) and right lower face (maxilla) exhibit widespread porosity of the cortical surfaces with new bone on the face (Figure 2); cribra orbitalia of both eyes;and ribs exhibit porosity. Individual 2,: 6 to 9 months; 40% complete; porosity is scattered throughout the skeleton; both eye orbits have cribra orbitalia; the lower forehead directly above the nose has a coral like texture; focal porosity penetrates bone just posterior to the right auditory meatus; less profound porosities are anterior to the meatus on the left temporal bone; and the vertebral arches, ribs and long bones display porosity. Individual 3: birth to 6 months; 40% complete; no pathological lesions. Individual 4: 5 to 6.5 years; 98% complete; no pathological lesions. Individual 5: at birth; 95% complete; porosity and new bone formation just posterior to the left auditory meatus and on the mandible. Individual 6: 6 months; 70% complete; and proliferative lesions with porosity on the proximal radius and humerus midshafts. Individual 7: at birth; 70% complete: porosity of the occipital, mandible, maxilla and ribs. Individual 8: 1month premature to birth; 95% complete; no pathological lesions. Individual 9: 1month premature to birth; 50% complete; no pathological lesions. Individual 10: at birth; 30% complete; no pathological lesions. Individual 11: young adult (20 to 35 years); 5% complete; no pathological lesions. Individual 12: 4 to 6 years; 80% complete; no pathological lesions. Individual 13: at birth; 20% complete; all bones have active surfaces with a coral like texture including both temporals. 178

J C. Rose, A. Kwaleh:biological Concequences Of Migration As Evidenced By Skeletons From Al Wu’aira vitamin C. However, between the first tentative diagnoses and the present time, cases of subadult scurvy reported for the Middle East and other areas of Europe have become more numerous. Subadult scurvy has been reported from the Early Byzantine of both Crete, the Peloponnese (Bourbou 2003) and Turkey (Schultz and Schmidt-Schultz 2000) indicating its presence in the Middle East prior to the Crusades. Mitchell (2004, 185-186) suggests that the symptoms of the Crusaders fighting in the Egyptian delta in 1250 indicate scurvy. Brickley and Ives (2008) report two cases of infant scurvy from a historic church in England, while Agnew et al. (2008) report a case from medieval Poland. Mays (2008, p.184) describes a two-yearold infant with scurvy from Early Bronze Age Britain and comments that prior to the work of Ortner and colleagues that (similar to the problem here) many cases of scurvy went undiagnosed. In all of these cases the lesions resemble those observed at Al-Wu’ayra. In conclusion, infantile scurvy has a long history in Europe and the Middle East, it was present in the Middle East before the Crusades, the recently published lesions all resemble those found at AlWu’ayra and, thus, scurvy appears be one cause of the lesions observed. Mitchell (2006) states in his comparison of the paleopathology of the locals (Tel Jezreel) with the migrants (AlWu’ayra) that the locals are better adapted having far fewer pathological lesions and a better at birth survival rate. The elevated level of deaths at birth, the presence of cribra orbitalia hinting at anemia, and the high frequency of lesions attributed to scurvy all suggest that something more than vitamin C deficiency is involved. The interaction of vitamin C, iron metabolism, and folic acid is well known and deficiencies of any combination of these nutrients can result in anemia (Aufderheide and RodríguezMartín 1998, 310). Folic acid deficiency can result in complications of pregnancy, fetal abnormalities, severe anemia, and decreased survival after birth (Jablonsky and Chaplin 2000; Jablonsky 2004; Parra 2007). The literature clearly establishes that folic acid deficiency is detrimental to reproductive success. The relationship of high frequencies of birth defects and problem pregnancies with folic acid deficiency in modern groups living in the subtropical and tropical populations (Ramakant 2007) has resulted in rethinking the relationship between skin color and nutritional deficiencies (Jablonsky and Chaplin 2000). It has long been known that light colored skin in the northern latitudes is necessary to permit ultraviolet light to aid in the production of vitamin D in the skin, but more recently it has clearly been established that dark skin in the lower latitudes is necessary to prevent ultraviolet light from destroying folic acid in the capillaries (Jablonsky and Chaplin 2000; Jablonsky 2004; Parra 2007). Thus, if we have lighter skinned people from Western Europe who are adapted to permitting maximum penetration of ultraviolet light for vitamin D production migrate to the middle east with its dry sunny climate (where the adaptation is for darker skin for blocking ultraviolet light) while maintaining the same cultural behaviors and diet, then we might expect increased ultraviolet light exposure, destruction of folic acid,

and an increase in problem pregnancies (Jablonsky and Chaplin 2000; Jablonsky 2004). This argument suggests that the lesions observed on the skeletons and the elevated neonatal mortality rate at Al-Wu’ayra are due to a combination of vitamin C and folic acid deficiencies caused by a failed attempt to adapt a European diet and behaviors to local circumstance and excessive exposure of light-skinned mothers to sunlight in southern Jordan. Crusaders were immigrants from another environment (Europe) who came to the Holy Land and lived under ecological conditions different from those to which they were adapted. They resided in their castles following much of their traditional way of life with all the health problems of crowding, poor sanitation, and dietary limitations, unlike their Moslem neighbors and antagonists. Excavations at Al-Wu’ayra produced the skeletal remains of 15 infants and one adult from graves and disturbed features adjacent to the castle church. The age distribution shows a pattern of high fertility and high neonatal mortality. The skeletal evidence for scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) is clear and indicates dietary deficiency probably related to an inappropriate diet. The severity of these lesions combined with the elevated neonatal mortality suggests that folic acid deficiency resulting from low intake due to a traditional diet and over exposure to ultraviolet radiation by a light skinned people living in a high sunlight region was also a major problem. In short, the inhabitants of Castellum Vallis Moysis maintained many of their traditional behaviors that were not adapted to their new home that resulted in vitamin C and folic acid deficiencies that clearly compromised the survival of its infants. The severity and frequency of the lesions and elevated neonatal mortality far exceed the rates of the contemporary local inhabitants at Tel Jezreel (Mitchell 2006). Acknowledgments: We thank Dr. Tarja Formisto for her excellent advice in documenting the pathological lesions from these skeletons, and Dr. Piers Mitchell for helpful discussion, references to the literature, and useful comments on the paper over the past years. I profited from all of this help, but all errors in diagnosis are mine. BIBLIOGRAPHY Aufderheide, A.C. and Rodríguez-Martín, C. 1998. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Paleopathology. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Bourbou, C. 2003. Health Patterns of Proto-Byzantine Populations (6th – 7th Centuries Ad) in South Greece: the Cases of Eleutherna (Crete) and Messene (Peloponnese). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 13, 303-313. Brickley, M. and Ives, R. 2006. Skeletal Manifestations of Infantile Scurvy. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 129, 163-172. Jablonski, N. 2004. The Evolution of Human Skin and Skin Colo. Annual Review of Anthropology 33, 585-623. Jablonski, N. and Chaplin G. 2000. The Evolution of Human Skin Color, Journal of Human Evolution, 39, 57-106. 179

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Mays, S. 2008. A Likely Case of Scurvy From Early Bronze Age Britain. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 18, 178-187. Mitchell, P.D. 1998. The Archaeological Approach to the Study of Disease in the Crusader States, as Employed at Le Petit Gerin, in The Military Orders. Volume 2. Welfare and Warfare. (H. Nicholson, Ed.), 43-50. Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Mitchell, P.D. 2004. Medicine in the Crusades: Warfare, Wounds and the Medieval Surgeon. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Mitchell, P.D. 2006. Child Health in the Crusader Period Inhabitants of Tel Jezreel, Israel. Levant 38, 37-44. Ortner, D.J., W. Butler, Cafarella, J. and Milligan, L.

2001. Evidence of Probable Scurvy in Subadults from Archeological Sites in North America. American. Journal of Physical Anthropology 114, 343-351. Para, E. J. 2007. Human Pigmentation Variation: Evolution, Genetic Basis, and Implications for Public Health. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 50, 85-105. Ramakant, B. 2007. India Moh Alert on Iron-deficiency Anaemia, Scoop, Tuesday, 22 May, 10:54am, . Schultz, M. and Schmidt-Schultz, T.H. 2000. Childhood in Early Byzantine Anatolia- Etiology and Epidemiology in the Subadult Population from Arslantepe (Turkey), Paper presentation, Annual Meeting of the Paleopathology Association. San Antonio, Texas. April.

Figure 1. Temporal bone of Individual 1 showing bone destruction

Figure 2. Maxilla of Individual 1 showing bone destruction.

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RURAL SETTLEMENTS IN SOUTHERN TRANSJORDAN PRIOR AND THROUGHOUT THE AYYUBID – MAMLUK PERIODS Basema Hamarneh Università Kore di Enna A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011 Abstract (2008) This paper aims on collecting the evidence coming from both literary sources, surveys and archaeological excavations of rural settlements in Southern Jordan in order to investigate the modality of emplacement of villages in relation to viability centres, trade and pilgrimage routs. The analysis of the topographic assessment of the upper mentioned settlements during the Ayyubid-Mamluk Periods will also consider the relation with earlier Fatimid settlements in the same area. This may help us to focus on terms of the influence of the urban model on each village and in particular to analyse the aspects of habitat morphology and assessment, territorial exploitation, demographic growth and population. Further more the examination of juridical terms that appear in literary sources may shed light on aspects of land property, taxation and role of local governors in building or adaptation of existing structures.

Filastin,4 the same administrative structure was maintained under the Fatimids with additional division in kura. During the Omayyad and Abbasid periods, a gradual and significant transformation of the rural landscape took place, correlated to intensive land exploitation as can be evinced from the establishment of new settlement patterns, sites rose near important viability crossroads and included a network of terraced wadis (Haiman 1995, 297-298) and were provided by sophisticated catchment and water management arrangements (Hamarneh 2009, forthcoming). A relatively prosperous agrarian economy was conveyed of parallel operating realities: Byzantine villages and Omayyad latifundia5, it may be also suggested that this phenomenon was initiated by the state to control the Nomad tribes particularly active in the desert areas and thus protect major communication routes. These features were supported by written sources that mention the possession of several members of the new elite of land in the Balqa’ and report the interest of the rulers themselves in large scale agricultural investment (Kennedy 1992, 293). The Omayyad compounds, were used as inhabited units of a clan or a family group mainly to administrate substantial landholdings as a sort of a “colony” raised independent from the religious stand point by the construction of small mosques. Large scheme agricultural estates that featured similar lines and were fully oriented towards economic activities can be observed in the area of Mushash, Azraq-alJiyashi, Shuqayra al-Gharbiyya (Karak) (Al Shdaifat, Al Tarawneh, Ben Badhan 2006, 206-210), al- Mutrab - Khirbat al-Samra – al-Hammam (Ma’an) (Genequand 2003, 25-34) and seems far more developed on the fringes of byzantine villages in Palaestina Tertia even though our knowledge of such settlements is still archaeologically limited. Equally important is to understand if these large estates were connected either among each other or to a

The area of southern Transjordan, corresponds roughly to the province of Palaestina Tertia Salutaris, has experienced an incredibly continued economic prosperity especially in late Byzantine and Islamic periods. Its territory stretched from the natural border of Wadi Mujeb – Arnon until Ayla – Aqaba and included a high number of villages well evidenced in surveys and regional studies1. In the Byzantine period, the territorial organization of Palaestina Tertia in urban and rural centres is attested since the first decades of the 4th century: funerary inscriptions coming from Zoara – Ghor es-Safi mention the burial of Bishop Apses in AD 369 and document a flourishing Christian community during the 5th-8th centuries (Meimaris, Kritikakou – Nikolaropoulou 2005, n. 27, 123-124). Further epigraphic material comes from the villages of An-Naq; Umm Tawabeen, Khirbet Isa, Feinan and Khirbet Qazone (Meimaris, Kritikakou – Nikolaropoulou 2008, 23-28). Moving towards Karak several sites are mentioned in literary sources, and documented by ecclesiastical compounds and inscriptions (Figure 1) as in the villages of: Mahna; Mu’ta; Ainun; Samrah, el-Frang; el-Thaniyye; Azra; Kefeiraz, Juwir; Majra; al-Araq, Ga’fa; Sul; Al-Amaqa; Rugm Sakhari, al-Aina, Nakhl and Duweikhle.2 A relevant contribution on the assessment of the province is given by Petra papyri, that displays the general conditions and prosperity of Petra and its hinterland in the 6th century (Fiema 2002, 213-214). The recent discovery of the church of the Theotokos at al-Rashidiyah, on the road between Petra and Tafila dated to AD 573/743 must be included in this general overview, though less intensive investigation work has been so far conduced in the districts of Tafila and Ma’an. According to early Arab geographers the area of southern Jordan, during the early islamic period (Figure 2), included the districts of Ma’ab, al-Sharat and Jibal, falling in the jurisdiction of Jund Dimashq and Jund

4

The territorial identification of the districts of Ma’ab, Al-Sharat and Jibal by early Arab geographers between the 9th and 10th centuries vary. For details see Schick 1997, 73-75; Walmsley 2005, 511-512; Milwright stresses on the lack of evidence on the governmental structures of the area of southern Jordan prior to the first Crusader expedition. See Milwright 2008, 27. 5 Northedge 1992, 50; The creation of agricultural latifundia may have been also initiated by the state to control the movement of Nomad tribes. For discussion and bibliography see: Haiman 1995, 297.

1

For a comprehensive analysis of rural settlements in the Byzantine and early Islamic period see Hamarneh 2003, 23-29. 2 Also see Canova 1954; for new material from the southern Kerak plateau see Meimaris, Mahasneh, Kritikakou – Nikolaropoulou 2007, 530-560. 3 The village of el-Rashidiyah, situated near Buseira on the Petra – Tafila road, has yielded recently a Byzantine church. The excavation report is published in: Mahamid 2003, 7-16; for the inscription see Di Segni 2006, 587-589.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean larger qasr/estate owned by an eminent member of the ruling dynasty that may have exercised a sort of control on taxation and productivity. The case of Ma’an identified with Kastron Ammatha is worth mentioning. According to Ibn ‘Asakir in “Tarikh Madinat Dimashq” a Qasr and a garden in Ma’an in Balqa were owned by one of the Banu Omayya (Genequand 2003, 25; Hamarneh 2009, forthcoming������������������� ), later the allotment was enlarged as al-Istakhri and Ibn Hawqal mentions a fortress inhabited by the Omayyads and their mawali. The phenomenon can be also monitored in al-Humaima, were members of Abbasid family bought the qaria and later transformed it to their enclave building a qasr, a mosque, a garden and implanting 500 olive trees (Oleson, Baker, de Bruijn, Foote, Logan, Reeves, Sherwood 2003, 55-59; Schick 2007, 346-347). The agricultural potential of Southern Transjordan followed roughly the affluence of socio-economic groups and seems to change assessment in the 9th-11th century during the Fatimid and Seljuk rules. Early Islamic geographers identify the districts of Ma’ab, al-Sharat and al-Jibal and enumerate several centres as Arandal, Ma’ab, Zughar, Mu’ta, Adruh and Humeima. It is worthy to mention that all sites listed above had an important occupation phase in late antiquity and early islamic period. Al-Istakhri in AD 951 describes the kura of al-Jibal and al-Shara as highly fertile (Al Istakhri 1870, 58), similar is the impression of Ibn-Hauqal in AD 978 (Ibn Hawqal 1938, 173). Later, during the 12th century Jibal and al-Sharat are listed as “very fruitful and have many trees of olives, almonds, figs, vines and pomegranates” (Al Idrisi, 357; Le Strange 1890, 35; Milwright 2008, 113), along with large quantities of wheat, barley, olives and fruits. ll-Muqaddasi gives more specific information of the general economic condition of several centres of the province as in the case of Zoara, Sughar (Ghor es-Safi) (Al- Muqaddasi 1886, 62-63, 69), his observations are effectively valuable to monitor an important example of continuity throughout the 6th – 10th century. The mentioned town seems to be an important market place for indigo and dates (Goitein 1983, 45, n. 228; Schick 1992, 75), products that travelled to northern Arabia, Egypt and Jericho.6 In the 12th century Sughar is described as fruitful with many palm trees. In the Karak region, Ma’ab (al-Rabba) is mentioned to be in a district with many villages that cultivated almonds and grapes (Al-Muqaddasi 1886, 63). Ma’an also finds its way into the writings of geographers as an important pilgrim halt, administrative centre and market place for fruits, vegetables and slaves (Genequand 2003, 26). Thus the development of towns and villages was highly dependant on revenues obtained from cultivated land and commercial exchange of products and services. The unquestionable economic and strategic value of southern Jordan was due to the vital importance of the networks (Figure 3) passing through the region for commercial traffic from Ayla, through the Karak plateau to Damascus and other urban centres of Syria. The pre-eminent factor

for the continuity of settlement in the area was certainly connected to the transit of the annual Hajj to Mecca and Medina (Milwright 2006, 3), that stopped in the stations of Udruh and Ma’an, passing by important shrines as Mu’ta and Mazar particularly relevant since the early Fatimid period7, while Egyptian pilgrimage maintained its transit point through Aqaba-Ayla.8 The intense political conflict in the area in the 11th century followed by the gradual withdrawal of the Fatimids and the establishment of the Barony of Oultrejourdain, also known as Syria Sobal and terra trans Jordanem under control of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, had important political and economic repercussions on the economic history of the area, on one hand the Crusaders seeked to extend their control on one of the main routes between Cairo and Damascus, in order to obtain direct economic benefit from payments from travelling of commercial and religious carovans;9 on the other they targeted the flourishing agricultural economy as most of the villages and towns of the region were connected into trading networks operating within Bilad esh-Sham. The building policy of the Crusaders was addressed to determinate this intent in fact the fortresses of Karak – Crac de Montréal (Figure 4) (Vannini 2007, 10-21), Shawbak – Montréal (Figures 5-6), Wua’yra – Vaux Moïse, TafilaTraphyla, al-Habis and Aqaba - Ayla, formed a significant system of installations (Pringle 2001, 678) had succeeded in impeding communications between Syria and Egypt according to a later text by Yaqut al-Hamawi.10 The upper mentioned strongholds were apparently attached to urban development that provided the necessary means of subsistence, the habitat was probably not walled and had direct accesses to the cultivated land and nearby villages. The annexed civilian settlement was probably composed by Christian population as attested by Abu alFida and al-Maqrizi, crusader chronicles also state that in the beginning of the 12th century Arab Christians from the Karak plateau were brought by the crusader king to repopulate Jerusalem and its surrounding areas.11 On the other 7

The shrine build over the tomb of Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib, ‘Ali’s brother was particularly relevant for the Shi’ite Fatimids. Schick 1997, 76; the development of the shrine is also attested under the Ayyubid rule. See Johns 1998, 81. 8 Schick 1997, 76-77. The account of Ibn Battuta (d. 1377) mentions that caravans travelled to Hijaz through Zizia, and stopped for four days in the locality of eth-Thaniyya, situated about 4 km east of Karak, in order to buy provisions for their journey towards Mecca. Ibn Battuta, 255-257; Milwright 2008, 111. 9 For discussion and bibliography see also Milwright 2006, 4. According to Albert of Aix and Ibn al-Qalanisi, raiding of merchants was also practiced by the newly settled Crusaders: Albert of Aix, 702-703; Ibn al-Qalanisi, 183; also Milwright 2008, 114. 10 According to Yaqut (d. 1229): ‘owing to the construction [of Shawbak] the passage from Egypt to Syria was blocked’. Oliver of Paderborn (d. 1227) also states: ‘Now there are two palaces [Karak and Shawbak] located in Arabia, which have seven very strong fortresses through which merchants of the saracens and pilgrims, going to Mecca or returning from it, usually cross; and whoever holds them in his power can seriously injure Jerusalem with her fields and vineyards when he wishes.’ See Gavigan 1971, 84-86. 11 According to William of Tyre: ‘The king (Baldwin I) felt that the responsibility for relieving the desolation of the City (Jerusalem) rested upon him. Accordingly, he made careful investigation in regard to some sources whence he may obtain citizens. Finally he learned that beyond

6

Gil 1992, 797. Al-Idrisi mentions that small boats transported dates from Ghor es-Safi to Gerico through the Dead Sea (Le Strange 1890, 66).

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B. Hamarneh: Rural Settlements In Southern Transjordan Prior And Throughout The Ayyubid – Mamluk Periods between 1188 and 1263.12 The security and control of the viability was vital for the commercial and religious purposes thus the route between Mu’ta and Ma’an received the attention of the Sultan of Damascus al-Mu’azzam Isa in 1227 (Ibn al-Jawzi 1907, 429). He also commissioned the construction of a khan in Ayla in 1213 (Milwright 2006, 13) and subterranean tunnel in Karak in 1227 (Milwright 2008, 74), patronizing also two castles in Salt and Azraq according al-Umari (alUmari 1985, 120). Later Ibn Shaddad (d. 1285) states that the Sultan has actively promoted agricultural production of the lands around Shawbak, implanting fruit trees and gardens.13 If this statement is correct it may explain the sum of 16,000 dinars offered by the Sultan of Egypt al Malik al-Kamil to his cousin al-Nasir Dawud for its purchase (Bakhit 1997, 373-74; Milwright 2008, 114). Towns and villages located in proximity of Darb al-Hajj and along the routes set south of the Dead Sea received enormous benefit from constant transit, surveys has evidenced deposits of 12th-13th century ceramics especially glazed pottery considered items of importation in numerous rural centres, al-Lajjun for example has yielded well dated deposits (Milwright 2006, 23) and is mentioned in 1231 as a meeting place between the Prince of Karak, alNaser Dawud and his uncle the Sultan of Egypt al-Malik al-Kamil (Milwright 2006, 23). Similar importance can be ascribed to the site of Nakhl with a partially conserved tower (Figures 7-8), with glazed ceramics and painted hand made ware dated to the Ayyubid-Mamluk period (Hamarneh 2007, forthcoming). Also Khirbet an-Nawafla (Figure 9) identified with el-‘Odma, south of Petra, reached its higher expansion during the Ayyubid/Mamluk period, with an olive press set in the northern part of the settlement (Egan, Bikai, Zamora 2000, 564). Still several sites in the countryside remain unknown to archaeological investigation, some years later Mamluk sources mention towns in southern Jordan in the account of the Voyage of Sultan Baybars from Cairo to Karak in 1276 (Zayadine 1985, 170-171). In 1341 Aqsunqur, the na’ib of Gaza, ordered 3,000 sacks of barley and 4,000 head of sheep to be sent from Shawbak to Gaza (Maqrizi 1934-72, II, 599600). A detailed account of landed property, agricultural land, cisterns, industrial compounds is enumerated in the possession of the Waqf of Ader, a village near Karak, documented in the list of Waqf al- Sultan al-Ashraf Sha’aban dated to AD 1376 (Ghawanmeh 1982, 367-368). Archaeological surveys has evidenced the wide spread of hand made pottery in rural context in southern Jordan during 12th-13th century indicating probably a period of relative political stability and economic prosperity and seems to give credit to the general picture suggested by historical

hand Salah ed-Din, during his military campaigns against the Karak and Shawbak in 1170 and 1180, has focused on the intentional destruction of the farmlands around them (Lyons, Jackson 1982, 216-218, 249-251; Milwright 2006, 16) in order to prevent the vital access to the natural resources, in fact the kingdom of Jerusalem much relied on the fertile lands of the Karak plateau and the Jordan valley for the supply of basic food production. William of Tyre in his account of the siege of the homonymous stronghold in 1183 records that Muslim soldiers found the houses “well stocked with grain, barley, wine and oil” (William of Tyre 1986, XXII. 15.34-46; XXII.28; Lyons, Jackson 1982, 216-18). The high settlement level and agricultural wealth of local economy is indirectly recorded by Ibn Jubayr who enumerates in the area of Karak 400 villages (Ibn Jubayr 1907, 287). After 1193 the castles and surrounding regions formed the iqta’ of al-‘Adil, Salah ed-Din brother, remaining under the direct control of the Sultan of Damascus (Milwright 2008, 69), the area experienced a period of flourishing stability as regular agricultural production and the range of specialized crops grew in the Jordan valley and the Dead Sea region, in particular the massive expansion in cultivation and processing of sugar cane (Hamarneh 1977-78, 1219; Jones et al. 2000, 523-534), besides more traditional products as indigo, figs, dates, bananas and citrus. Sources list also important mineral resources as copper, asphalt, sulphur and salt (Milwright 2006, 17), added to the cattle raised by the Bedouins, providing necessary revenue that guaranteed the continuity of settlement and production patterns in the districts; as also confirmed by regional studies that report an increased number of settlements from the midth 12th century onwards. The economic and strategic connotation of Karak and Shawbak, and the land surrounding them, for both Crusaders and Ayyubids is reflected in the offer made in 1218-19 following the capture of the Egyptian port of Damietta: Ibn al-Dawadari, al-Maqrizi and Ernoul mention that a sum of 30,000 besants was added later as a compensation for the two castles and their dependent land (Ibn alDawadari 1961-92, vii, 195; Al-Maqrizi 1934-72, I, 207, Ernoul 1871, 417, 464; Milwright 2006, 5). Though the major interest of the Ayyubids was directed towards the military potential and to maintain mosques and shrines rather than agricultural investment (Johns 1998, 81). The defensive qualities of the castles of Karak and Shawbak had far more political and strategic relevance as denoted by Ibn al-Dawadari and al-Maqrizi though none of the of Frankish military installations were extensively renovated Jordan in Arabia there were many Christians living in villages under hard conditions of servitude and forced tribute. He sent for those people and promised them improved conditions. Within short time he had the satisfaction of receiving them with their wives and children, flocks and herds and all their household. They were attracted not only by reverence for the place but also for affection for our people and the love of liberty. […] To those the king granted those sections of the city which seemed to need this assistance most and filled the houses with them’. William of Tyre (1844, 500-1; 1986, 535-36; 1943, 1, 507-8 ), also Mayer 1992, 4849; Lyons, Jackson 1982, 216-218, 249-251; Schick 1992, 80; Milwright 2008, 26.

12

The defence of central and southern Jordan were an aspect of priority in Ayyubid policies though only few strongholds received adequate attention and regular economic investment. For discussion see Milwright 2006, 9; Milwright 2008, 73-74, 260-261. 13 According to Abul Fida the gardens around Shawbak produced apricots which were exported to Egypt (Abul Fida, 247). Under the patronage of al-Mu’azzam Isa trees were brought from other districts resembling Shawbak to the gardens of Damascus. Ibn Shadad, 80. The site of intensive cultivations may be identified in Wadi al-Bustan, east of the castle. Milwright 2008, 74.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean sources. It seems likely that handmade technology has actually replaced wheel-thrown products that remained a selective item of importation, indicating that production centres were established in villages themselves or as Jeremy Jones suggested, were operated by itinerant potters (Jonhs 1998, 83; also Milwright 2008, 261). The political and economic history of southern Jordan during the Ayyubid period still arise several questions on the aspects of territorial administration and assessment within the frame of the vast domain created by Bani Ayyub dynasty in southern Bilad esh-Sham. The complex history of rural settlements demonstrates that continuity was one of the major features of sedentary occupation yet this aspect must still be investigated in detail. Much effort must be still addressed to stratigraphic study of pottery deposits comparing types and models of Bilad esh-Sham production to determinate the circulation of both local and imported materials in order to identify possible production areas. This paper can be only concluded with the auspice that future archaeological research may offer a relevant contribution on the improvement of our knowledge of southern Transjordan in the medieval period.

47, 25-34. Ghawanmeh, Y. D. 1982. al- Qariya fi janub ash-Sham (alUrdun wa Filastin) fi al-Asr al-Mamluki fi Dhu’ waqfiyat qariat Ader (in arabic), Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan I, Amman, 363-371. Gil, M. 1992. A History of Palestine 634-1099. Cambridge. Haiman, M. 1995. Agriculture and Nomad – State Relation in the Negev Desert in the Bizantine and Early Islamic Periods, Bullettin of American Schools of Oriental Research 297, 1995, 297-298. Hamarneh, B. 2003. Topografia cristiana ed insediamenti rurali nella Giordania bizantina ed islamica V-IX secc., Città del Vaticano. Hamarneh, B. 2007. The Survey of Nakhl / Karak, in Munjazat, forthcoming. Hamarneh, B. 2009. Dynamics and Transformation of the Rural Settlements of Provincia Arabia and Palaestina Tertia in the Omayyad and early Abbasid periods. Archaeological Evidence, in Proceedings of V ICAANE, forthcoming. Hamarneh, S. 1977/78. Sugar Cane Cultivation and Refining Under The Arab Muslim During The Middle Ages (in arabic), in Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 22, 12-19. Ibn Battuta 1853-58 Ibn Battuta, Mohammad ben Adb Allah, Voyages d’ibn Batoutah (tuhfat al-nuzzar fi ghara’ib al-amsar wa ajaib al-asfar), in Ch. Defrémery, B. Sanguinetti (eds.), Paris. Ibn al-Dawadari 1961-92 Ibn al-Dawadari, Abu bakr ben Adb al-Rahim, Die Chronik des Ibn al-Dawadari, Cairo, Weisbaden. Ibn al-Jawzi 1907 Ibn al-Jawzi, Yusuf ben Qizughlu, Mir’at al-zaman fi tarikh al-‘ayan, in J. Jewett (ed.), Chicago 1907. Ibn Jubayr 1907 Ibn Jubayr, Mohammad Ibn Ahmad, The Travels of Ibn Jubayr (Rihla), W. Wright (ed.), Oxford. Ibn al-Qalanisi 1908 Ibn al-Qalanisi, Hamza ben Asad, History of Damascus 363-555 A.H. (Dhayl TArikh Dimashq), In H. Amedroz (ed.), Leiden. Ibn Shaddad 1963 Ibn Shaddad, Izz al-Din Mohamed Ibn Ali, in S. Dahan (ed.), Liban, Jordanie, Palestine. Topographie historique d’ibn Saddad, Historien et géographe mort à Alep en 684/1285, Damascus. Jones, J. 1998. The Rise of Middle Islamic Hand-Made Geometrically Painted Ware in Bilad al.Sham (11-13th centuries A.D.), in R. P. Gayraud, Colloque International d’Archèologie Islamique, Cairo, 65-93. Jones, R., Tompsett, G., Politis, K.D., Photos-Jones E., 2000. The Tawahin as-Sukkar and Khirbet ash-Shaykh ‘Isa Project. Phase I: The Surveys, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 34, 523-534. Kennedy, H. 1992. The Impact of Muslim Rule on the Pattern of Rural Settlement in Syria, in P. Canivet, J.P. Rey Coquais (eds), La Syrie de Byzance à l’Islam VII-VIII

BIBLIOGRAPHY Abul Fida, Imad ed-Din Ismail ben Ali, 1840. Taquim al-Buldan, in J. Reinaud, W. MacGuckin de Slane (eds.), Géographie d’Aboul Fida, Paris. Albert of Aix 1967 Albertus Aquensis, Liber Christianae expeditionis pro ereptione emundatione Sanctae Hierosolymitanae ecclesiae, in Receuil des historiens des Croisades. Historiens occidentaux, 1967, Paris. Al-Umari 1985 al.Umari, Ibn Fadl Allah, Masalik al-absar fi mamalik alamsar, in A. Sayyid (ed.), Textes Arabes et Études Islamiques, XXIII, Cairo. Bakhit Bakhit, M. A. 1997. Shawbak, Enciclopedia of Islam 2, 373-374. Canova, R. 1954. Iscrizioni e monumenti protocristiani dal paese di Moab, Città del Vaticano. Di Segni, L. 2006. Varia Arabica. Greek Inscriptions from Jordan, in M. Piccirillo (a cura di), Ricerca Storico – archeologica in Giordania, LA 56, 587-589. Egan, V., Bikai, P. M., Zamora, K. 2000. Archaeology in Jordan, American Journal of Archaeology, 104, 561-588. Ernoul, 1871. Chronique d’Ernoul et de Bernard le Trésorier, in M. Mas Latrie (ed.), Paris. Fiema, Z.T. 2002. Late – Antique Petra and its Hinterland: Recent Research and New Interpretations, in J.H. Humphrey (ed.), The Roman and Byzantine Near East, vol. 3, Portsmouth, Rhode Island 2002, 191-252. Gavigan, J. 1971. Oliver of Paderborn,The Capture of Damietta, Christian Society and the Crusaders, Sources in Translation, Philadelphia. Genequand, D. 2003. Ma’an, An Early Islamic Settlement in Southern Jordan: Preliminary Report on a Survey in 2002, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 184

B. Hamarneh: Rural Settlements In Southern Transjordan Prior And Throughout The Ayyubid – Mamluk Periods siècles, Damas, 291-297. Kennedy, D., Bewley, R. 2004. Ancient Jordan from the Air, London. Lyons, M., Jackson, D. 1982. Salah al-Din: The Politics of The Holy War, Cambridge, New York. Mahamid, H. 2003. Results of the excavation of the church of al- Rashidiyah / al-Tafilah, in Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 47, 7-16 Maqrizi (1934-72), Maqrizi, Taqi ed-Din Ahmad ibn Ali, Kitab al-suluk li-ma’rifat duwal al-muluk, in M. Ziada, S. Ashour (eds.), Cairo. Marino, L. 1997. La fabbrica dei castelli crociati in Terra Santa, Firenze. Mayer, H.E. 1992. Die Kreuzfahrerherrschaft montréal (Sobak): Jordanien im 12. Jahrhundert. Abhandlungen des Deutschen Palästinavereins 14. Weisbaden. Meimaris, Y., Kritikakou, K., Nikolaropoulou, I 2005. Inscriptions From Palaestina Termia. The Greek Inscriptions from Ghor es-Safi (Bizantine Zoara), Vol. Ia, Athens. Meimaris, Y., Kritikakou, K., Nikolaropoulou, I 2008. Inscriptions From Palaestina Termia. The Greek Inscriptions from Ghor es-Safi (Bizantine Zoara) – Supplement, Khirbet Qazone and Feinan, Vol. Ib, Athens. Meimaris Y., Mahasneh, H.M., Kritikakou – Nikolaropoulou, 2007. The Greek Inscriptions in the Mu’tah University Collection, in LA 57, 527-562. Milwright, M. 2006. Central and Southern Jordan in the Ayyubid Period: Historical and Archaeological Perspectives, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society JRAS, Series 3, 16, pp. 1-27. Milwright, M. 2008. The Fortress of The Raven. Karak in the Middle Islamic Period (1100-1650), Brill. Northedge, A. 1992. Studies in Roman and Islamic Amman, Oxford. Oleson, J.P., Baker, G.S., de Bruijn, E., Foote, R.M., Logan, J., Reeves, M.B., Sherwood, A.N. 2003. Preliminary

Report of Al-Humayma Exacavation Project 2000-2002, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 47, 5559 Pringle, D., 2001. Crusader Castles in Jordan, in B. McDonald, R. Adams, P. Bienkowski (eds.), The Archaeology of Jordan, Sheffield, 677-84. Schick, R. 1997. Southern Jordan in the Fatimid and Seljuk Periods, in Bullettin of American Schools of Oriental Research 305, 73-85. Schick, R. 2007. Al-Humayma and the Abbasid Family, Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan IX, 346347. Al-Shdaifat, Y., Al Tarawneh, K., Ben Badhan, Z.N. 2006. Mu’ta University Excavations at Shuqayra al-Gharbiyya: Preliminary Report on the 2005 Season, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 50, 206-210. Walmsley, A. 2005. The Village Ascendance in Byzantine and Early Islamic Jordan: Socio – Economic Forces and Cultural Responses, in J. Lefort, C. Morrisson, J.P. Sodini (eds.) Les villages dans l’empire byzantin IVe – Xve siècle, Paris, 511-522. William of Tyre 1844, Historia rerum in partibus transmarinis gestarum. Recuil des Historiens des Croisades: Historians Occidentaux 1. Paris William of Tyre 1943, A History of Deeds Done Beyond the Sea. Trans. E.A. Babcock, A.C. Krey, New York. William of Tyre 1986, Chronicon. R.B.C. Huygens (ed.), Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 63, Turnh olt. Vannini, G. 2007. (ed.), Archeologia dell’insediamento Crociato-Ayyubide in transgiordania. Il progetto Shawbak, Firenze. Zayadine, F. 1985. Caravan Routes Between Egypt and Nabataea and the Voyage of Sultan Baibars to Petra in 1276 Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan II, 159-171.

Figure 1. Rural centres in Byzantine south Jordan (from Canova 1954).

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Figure 2. South Jordan in the early Islamic period (Walmsley 2005)

Figure 3. Commercial and religious caravan routs (Zayadine 1985)

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Figure. 4. Karak Castle (from Kennedy, Bewley 2004, 241)

Figure 5. Shawbak Castle (from Kennedy, Bewley 2004, 243)

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Figure 7. Nakhl (Photo B.H.)

Figure 6. Shawbak- tower (Marino 1997, 68)

Figure 8. Nakhl (Photo B.H.)

Figure 9. Khirbet an-Nawafla (Eagan, Bikai, Zamora 2000)

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L’INDUSTRIA DELLO ZUCCHERO NEL MEDIOEVO Khaled Nashef Dpt of Antiquities of Jordan A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011

L’industria dello zucchero costituiva una delle maggiori attività economiche nel mondo arabo durante il medioevo, tra XI e XV secolo. Era intimamente connessa con quella dell’olio d’oliva, avendo in comune la tecnica del frantumare e pressare. La lavorazione dello zucchero, a cominciare dalla coltivazione della canna da zucchero, fu probabilmente importata dall’India. La parola araba per zucchero, ovvero sukkar, deriva dal Sanskrito sarkara o sakkara. Le fonti arabe medievali si riferiscono esplicitamente a regioni dell’India e della Cina, dove la canna da zucchero era coltivata. Una produzione di zucchero era nota nel mondo arabo già nell’XI secolo. Il viaggiatore persiano Nasir Khusraw, che viaggiava verso Egitto e Siria nel 1047, parla dell’Egitto come produttore di molto miele e zucchero (Al-Khashshab 1970, 103). Lo stesso autore scrive che a Tripoli, lui presente, ‘miele di zucchero veniva raccolto’ (Al-Khashshab 1970, 47), ciò che implica l’esistenza di raffinerie. Un autore del periodo Fatimide parla di zucchero quale liquido usato in medicina, chiamato ‘fratello del miele’. Inoltre, leggiamo: ‘lo zucchero è usato per droghe purgative e non, perchè diminuisce l’amarezza di tali medicine rendendole accettabili. Libera il petto e dissolve la tosse’. L’autore elenca vari nomi di zucchero, uno è al-ahwazi, che significa ‘zucchero da Al-Ahwaz’.1 Il riferimento a Al-Ahwaz, la famosa capitale del Khuzistan non sorprende. Allora l’area intorno alla città, con le sue sorgenti d’acqua provenienti dal Tigri, era famosa per la coltivazione di zucchero, come molte città, (a nord l’antica Susa). La canna era coltivata nell’area di Jundisapur, celebre come centro culturale, ma anche per le cure ospedaliere. Più probabilmente raffinerie di zucchero sorsero in Khuzistan e furono poi importate in altre regioni, quali Iraq ed Egitto. Autori medievali quali Yaqout (m.1228), An-Nuwairi (m. 1332), Al-Qalqashandi (m. 1418), AlMaqriezi (m. 1442) danno ampie informazioni sulla coltivazione e la lavorazione dello zucchero, specialmente in Egitto; sulla costa mediterranea, raffinerie erano note a Beirut, Sidone, Tripoli e Tiro in Libano, Az-Zieb, Kaboul e cAkka in Palestina. In periodo crociato, l’industria dello zucchero fiorì ulteriormente nelle aree costiere, specialmente nella regione di cAkka. I Franchi realizzarono l’importanza dell’attività zuccheriera nell’economia agricola della Palestina. La domanda di prodotti dolci in Europa incrementò la produzione. La città costiera palestinese di Kaboul era famosa per la produzione di zucchero in sottili fette e polvere fine. Lo sfruttamento crociato di Tawahien As-Sukkar, in rapporto

ai castelli di Karak e Shawbak nella Giordania meridionale è ancora da verificare nelle sue dimensioni.2 Resti di un grande ‘zuccherificio’ di periodo crociato sono stati trovati nel villaggio palestinese di Al-Manawat, ad est di Az-Zieb, allora conosciuto come Manueth e citato dal geografo Arabo Yaqout(Yaqout 1984 Vol 5, 216) come Manawath. La raffineria di zucchero a Al-Manawat continuò a funzionare in periodo Mamelucco, come evidente dalla grande quantità di frammenti di olle da zucchero rinvenuti, e continuò fino al periodo Ottomano (Stern 1998, 11). Raffinerie di zucchero furono molto comuni nella valle del Giordano, dove abbondante acqua e luce del sole erano ideali per i campi di canne. Più di 30 raffinerie furono registrate a est del fiume (Cfr. Abu Dalu 1991, 22, 65), la più importante delle quali era Tawahien As-Sukkar nel AsSafi, sud-ovest di Karak. Il termine Tawahien As-Sukkar ‘macina da zucchero’ ricorre continuamente in altre località, specialmente nell’area intorno a Tiberiade (Arraf 1997,104), Beisan e Gerico. Le acque del Giordano o del Wadi el-Hasa furono sfruttate per creare strutture per la frantumazione e tali installazioni furono semplicemente chiamate ‘macine’ (tawahien, plurale di tahouna[h]). Yaqout scrive: ‘Il piccolo Giordano è un fiume la cui acqua proviene dal Lago di Tiberiade e fluisce attraverso la Valle verso sud, dove irriga villaggi, per lo più coltivanti zucchero, che da lì è portato in tutti i paesi dell’Est (Al-Mashriq), …’. In un altro passaggio, dice che le più famose città della valle del Giordano sono Beisan e Gerico, poi Tiberiade. Aggiunge che la coltivazione di canne da zucchero prevale nella valle. Le raffinerie di zucchero utilizzano gli stessi strumenti usati per frantumare e pressare le olive, quali la vasca per frantumare, dove le olive sono poste ed una pietra circolare verticale, con la quale sono macinate. La forza idraulica era applicata a questo stadio della produzione, ma anche animali, come avveniva nella produzione di olio d’oliva3. Dopo la raccolta delle canne, esse venivano messe nel Dar al-Qasab, ovvero ‘casa delle canne’. Il processo di pulitura si svolgeva in questa ‘casa’, dove la parte superiore della canna veniva tagliata e la bassa ripulita; sempre qui le canne erano tagliate in piccoli pezzi. I punti principali della lavorazione delle canne furono descritti dal viaggiatore tedesco Burcardo: ‘Le canne sono raccolte, tagliate in parti di mezzo palmo, poi frantumate nella pressa. Il succo spremuto da loro è bollito in pentoloni di rame e, una volta diventato denso, viene raccolto in ceste fatte di rami sottili. Subito dopo esso diventa secco e duro, e questo è come lo Cfr Politis et al. 2005, 324, suggerisce che l’attività iniziasse in periodo Ayyubide-Mamelucco. 3 Il materiale qui citato per la fabbricazione dell’olio d’oliva è ripreso da Nashef 2009. 2

Muhammad al-Tamimi al-Maqdisi, Kitab al-murshid ila jawahir alagdhiya(h) wa-quwa al-mufradat fi al-adwiya(h). Manoscritto nella Nationale Bibliotheque di Parigi. Citato da Hamarneh 1991, 193. 1

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean zucchero viene fatto’4. La fase successiva è la frantumazione delle canne da zucchero tagliate, come per produrre l’olio d’oliva; successivamente esse sono poste in una vasca di pietra rotonda (‘macina’) e la frantumazione avviene grazie alla pressione esercitata sulle canne da una pesante pietra circolare ‘macina superiore’. La vasca è chiamata da An-Nuwairi al-hajar ‘la pietra’ o al-qacida(h) ‘la base’ e da essa il liquido ottenuto fluisce attraverso uno sbocco sul suo lato inferiore. Il meccanismo impiegato nella frantumazione è semplice: la pietra circolare superiore è fissata ad un’asta verticale che si muove in un foro al centro della vasca sottostante, mentre nel sistema per l’olio d’oliva, c’è un’asta orizzontale che si muove con un’estremità collegata all’asta verticale, mentre all’altra estremità lunga è di solito aggiogato un animale. È possibile che questo semplice metodo fosse usato sia nella fabbricazione dell’olio che per lo zucchero. Così, quando l’animale gira intorno alla vasca, la pietra superiore, muovendosi in cerchio, frantuma le olive o le canne da zucchero. A volte l’asta è mossa manualmente, ma il movimento della pietra circolare superiore poteva essere ottenuto anche per mezzo di forza idraulica, specialmente in grandi impianti, quali Tawahien As-Sukkar in As-Safi, a sud-ovest di Karak (vd. sotto). La fase seguente di lavorazione era la pressatura, per assicurare una completa spremitura delle canne. Anche in questo caso il metodo è lo stesso degli impianti per l’olio d’oliva. La polpa ottenuta dalla frantumazione era messa in ceste intrecciate, accumulate una sopra l’altra in una particolare depressione, quindi soggette a grande pressione. Il meccanismo include una leva di legno fissata per una estremità ad un muro, mentre l’altra è attaccata ad una pietra, che premeva sulle pile contenenti zucchero o polpa di oliva. Al posto della leva poteva essere montata sulle pile una speciale struttura con una vite, chiamata da An-Nuwairi ‘ad-dulab al-takht’; al-takht significa tavola lignea, probabilmente rotonda, sotto cui erano poste le ceste. Questo tipo di pressa è simile a quelle per le olive, ben nota in Palestina, ed ha prototipi datati al periodo bizantino. La ‘pressa’ o macsara(h) è il termine effettivo per l’insieme dell’impianto per olive e zucchero. Per le olive è chiamato macsarat az-zaytoun, per lo zucchero macsarat al-qasab. Presso i Franchi era comune il termine massera o masera, che derivava direttamente dalla parola araba (Peled 1999, 257, fn. 3). Il succo ottenuto dalla frantumazione e pressatura è chiamato ma’ al-qasab ‘acqua di zucchero di canna’. Dopo un preliminare riscaldamento e filtraggio, il liquido è portato in una stanza speciale, chiamata al-matbakh ‘cucina’, dove è scaldato su forni in grandi contenitori di metallo da cucina (qudour). Proprio un qidr con maniglie sporgenti fu trovato nei campi a sud del lago di Tiberiade (Peled 1999,

256: 5), come già detto regione nota per le raffinerie di zucchero. A questo punto il liquido, chiamato al-mahlab, è trasferito dai contenitori da cucina in calderoni (dist, dusut) (Figura 1)5 nella bayt al-sabb ‘la casa del versatoio’, dove il liquido è versato in contenitori d’argilla, per farlo solidificare. Il processo avviene su panche appositamente costruite per questo fine. Ci sono due tipi di contenitori (Figura 2): il primo è a forma di cono capovolto con una larga apertura ed un foro sul fondo a punta. E’ chiamato ablaj, riferendosi probabilmente alla forma del contenitore6. L’altro tipo è ovoide o giara a forma di borsa, con una stretta apertura, chiamato da AnNuwairi ‘qadous’. Il primo contenitore, il cui foro è chiuso con un pezzo di canna da zucchero, usato come tappo, è posto sopra il secondo. Il liquido bollito è versato nel contenitore superiore. Dopo che il contenuto si è raffreddato, il tappo è rimosso per lasciar fluire la melassa nel recipiente sottostante. Lo zucchero cristallino separato è spesso asportato dal primo recipiente rompendolo. I frammenti di tali recipienti sono indicatori di raffineria in luogo. La melassa è chiamata al-casal al-aswad ‘miele nero’ o casal al-sukkar ‘miele di zucchero’ o dibs al-sukkar ‘melassa di zucchero’. An-Nuwairi lo chiama al-casal al-qatr ‘sciroppo di miele’. Burcardo scrive: ‘Prima che esso [il succo] diventi secco, un liquido cola da esso, chiamato miele di zucchero, il quale è molto delizioso e ottimo per speziare i dolci’ (Burcardo di Monte Sion [1971], 99-100). La parola araba qunoud, pl. di qand, si riferisce probabilmente a qualche prodotto dolce indurito delle melasse. L’arabo qand o sukkar qandi è all’origine di frasi o parole quali l’antico francese sucre candi, verbo candir, l’italiano candito e in ultimo l’inglese candy. Questo significa proprio zucchero cristallizzato. Se si desidera zucchero puro bianco, l’impasto è di nuovo scaldato, dissolto in acqua, dove viene aggiunto latte. La fabbricazione di zucchero raggiunse il suo culmine durante il periodo Mamelucco (1174-1516), specialmente nella valle del Giordano, dove furono stabilite molte raffinerie. Le terre nella valle erano dichiarate proprietà reale. Il sultano Mamelucco nominava un supervisore speciale per riscuotere i prodotti di zucchero. Una nuova carica fu introdotta, chiamata astadar al-aghwar, ovvero ‘astadar della valle del Giordano’. Lo astadar occupa una posizione importante nella struttura istituzionale mamelucca e significa ‘Capo degli Ufficiali Reali’. Gli era affidato il denaro per le raffinerie di canna da zucchero concesse al sultano o governatore (Abu Dalu 1991, 8, cit. Al-Bakhiet). Alcune raffinerie erano messe sotto il na’ib di Damasco, il delegato del sultano, in pratica il ‘governatore’. Il na’ib di Damasco veniva personalmente nella valle del Giordano durante la raccolta delle canne da zucchero e ispezionava le raffinerie. In una stagione particolarmente abbondante, stette nella valle per cinque mesi. I dirigenti mamelucchi introdussero nella valle piani di irrigazione, al fine di inco-

4

Burcardo di Monte Sion [1971], 99. Qui la fase della pressatura è messa dopo la ‘bollitura’, cosa non corretta. Nota anche che in contrasto con Peled 1999, 252, le ‘dita di canna’ di Burcardo non significano canne tagliate piccole, ma pezzi nodosi, necessari per le stagioni successive. ‘Inoltre, essi tagliano le canne in pezzi lunghi come un dito di un uomo, ma in modo da avere un nodo nel mezzo di ogni pezzo, … Seppelliscono questi pezzi in primavera in terreno umido, da essi crescono nuove canne, due ogni pezzo, da uno dei due lati del nodo. Questo è come le coltivano’ Burcardo di Monte Sion [1971], 100.

Diversamente Politis et al. 2005, 324, che vede in quest’oggetto un calderone per bollire. Comunque la forma di calderone di As-Safi corrisponde più alla parola araba dist, usata da An-Nuwairi. 6 Cfr i dizionari: Az-Zabiedi [1994], 299 dà una forma variante ublouj, aggiungendo as-sukkar. 5

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K. Nashef: L’industria Dello Zucchero Nel Medioevo raggiare ed espandere la coltivazione. I siti relativi all’industria di zucchero si trovano su entrambe le sponde del Giordano. Ad est del fiume, molti hanno restituito recipienti da zucchero (Cfr Abu Dalu 1991, 71112). Ad ovest di esso, uno scavo fu condotto a Tawahien As-Sukkar, a sud della moderna As-Safi, circa due km a nord-ovest di Gerico (Taha 2004). L’acqua necessaria per le operazioni delle raffinazione era portata attraverso un canale dalle sorgenti cAin An-Nucaima(h) e cAin AdDuyouk. Un frammento del recipiente da zucchero a forma di cono porta la scritta ‘il buon miele’. La raffineria è datata fra i periodi crociato e mamelucco, grazie ai reperti ceramici e numismatici e probabilmente il sito era parte di un impianto industriale dove era lavorato anche il rame7. Lo scavo di Tawahien As-Sukkar ha restituito chiare documentazioni di un meccanismo di raffinerie per canne da zucchero. Con tre macine (tawahien) e tecniche molto avanzate, il sito rappresentava uno dei principali complessi industriali per la produzione di zucchero nella Valle del Giordano (Politis et al. 2005, 325). Alcuni dei componenti furono trovati in situ. Una macina era collocata in un grande ambiente, conservato fino ad un’altezza di circa 3.2m ; al centro era presente una vasca, definita dallo scavatore ‘base della macina’, in cui la canna da zucchero era frantumata. Essa ha un foro squadrato centrale per inserire la trave, che guida la macina, la quale potrebbe essere stata sostenuta da una struttura in legno montata sopra di essa, come indicato da due fori nei muri nord-est e sud-ovest della stanza. La pietra circolare superiore (‘pietra superiore della macina’) fu rinvenuta giacente a bordo vasca: misurava 1.4m di diametro ed era spessa 0.4m, con un foro centrale squadrato largo 0.5m. Uno scivolo di pietra scendeva ripido penetrando il muro nord sotto l’angolo nordorientale della stanza. Ovviamente una ruota di macina lignea sarebbe stata posta nella camera voltata (non scavata), appena sotto la vasca per frantumazione, per essere mossa dall’acqua che giungeva attraverso lo scivolo. La ruota sarebbe stata connessa ad un ingranaggio per muovere la trave centrale che guidava la macina8. Tali meccanismi sono riflessi dalla parola tawahien, letteralmente ‘mulini’, ma potrebbe anche significare ‘ruote’. L’acqua era portata tramite condutture da Wadi al-Hasa. Una raffineria a nord nella valle del Giordano, a est del fiume, è rappresentata da Tell As-Sukkar (‘Cumulo di zucchero’), subito a nord-est di Tabaqat Fahl (Abu Dalu 1991, 45-51). Il sito mostra i tipici elementi di una raffineria di zucchero: la vasca per frantumazione con un’apertura per far uscire il liquido e la pietra per frantumare, trovata non lontano dalla vasca (Figura 2)9 ed uno scivolo di pietra per condurre l’acqua in una camera voltata (Figura 3), sopra la vasca per frantumazione. La camera avrebbe contenuto una ruota mossa dall’acqua proveniente dallo scivolo. Insediamenti connessi ad industrie dello zucchero sono state scavate sia a nord che a sud della Valle del Giordano. Tell Abu Sarbut, situata 1.5km nord-ovest di Tell Deir cAlla, è una piccola città che contiene attrezzature per

immagazzinamento e quartieri residenziali. Qui viveva il personale relativo alla vicina raffineria. Il sito data al periodo mamelucco. Molti siti nella Valle del Giordano, a est del fiume, hanno restituito recipienti da zucchero (Cfr Abu Dalu 1991, 71-112). Khirbet Ash-Sheikh cIsa, a nordovest di Tawahien As-Sukkar e subito a sud della moderna As-Safi, ovviamente rappresenta i resti della principale città a cui apparteneva la fabbrica. La documentazione archeologica mostra che in periodo mamelucco era di notevoli dimensioni; si ritiene che i lavoranti ed il personale amministrativo della fabbrica vivessero a Khirbet Ash-Sheikh cIsa. Inoltre, la città produceva la ceramica necessaria per l’attrezzatura produttiva (Politis et al. 2007, 207). Khirbet Ash-Sheikh cIsa/As-Safi è stata identificata con la Sughar delle fonti medievali10. Il geografo Yaqout ipotizza che Sughar sia il nome del sito presso i locali, mentre Zughar o Zoghar è la forma più usata nell’arabo classico (Yaqout [1984], 142-143; 410-411). Tale Sughar si dovrebbe identificare con la bizantina Zoara, citata da Eusebio (Gen. 14, 2)11. Eusebio dice che nella regione di Sughar erano coltivati balsamo e palme, stando a lui un resto di antica fertilità’. Durante il regno del re Nabataeo Rabbel II, alla fine del I secolo d.C., Simeone, un giudeo, viveva nella regione di Zoara, dove piantò palme nella sua proprietà. La mappa del mosaico di Madaba, un lavoro dipeso grandemente da Eusebio, mostra alberi di palma intorno al sito raffigurato. Yaqout dice che la regione è coltivata, probabilmente accennando alla fertilità della zona. In periodo medievale gli abitanti di Sughar sembrano aver ereditato le antiche tecniche agricole, coltivando balsamo e, sulla base di fonti arabe medievali, indigofera 12. In questo impianto era prodotto il colorante niela(h) o indigo, per cui Sughar era famosa (Ghawanmeh 1982, 108). La fertilità dell’area fu enfatizzata da autori quali Jacques de Vitry che scrive: ‘I campi presso la sponda del fiume riversano dolcezze dalla fitta moltitudine di canne da zucchero, da cui grande abbondanza di zucchero’ (De Vitry [1971], 30). Questo resoconto riflette le condizioni durante il periodo crociato; evidentemente i Franchi incrementarono l’industria dello zucchero nell’area. Essi produssero uno speciale tipo di zucchero, caratterizzato da morbidezza e bianchezza e chiamato ‘zucchero di Montreal’, ovvero di Ash-Shawbak (Ghawanmeh 1982, 106). Più tardi, tra 1310 e 1340, questo zucchero era venduto fino nei mercati di Firenze (Ghawanmeh 1982, 107). Tuttavia, a partire dal tardo XV secolo, l’industria dello zucchero nella regione iniziò a decadere. Coltivazioni di zucchero non sono più menzionate nelle carte ottomane del XVI secolo (Hütteroth e Abdulfattah 1977, 79-83). È stato suggerito che il declino dell’industria mamelucca dello zucchero fosse causato dal peggiorare delle condizioni ambientali e da 10

Per un’ampia letteratura sull’identificazione di Khirbet Ash-Sheikh cIsa con la Zoara romana e bizantina, cfr Politis 1999, 227. Per Zoara, negli archivi di Babatha cfr Bowersock 1983, 76-77. 11 Alliata 1999, 58. Il termine greco di Eusebio è Sigor, corrispondente all’ebraico Socar (ovvero, con l’iniziale tsade). Gerolamo aggiunge che sia la siriaca Zoara che la trascrizione greca dall’ebraico Socar (con l’iniziale tsade) significano ‘piccolo’. Sicuramente la parola è derivata dalla radice scr (con l’iniziale tsade); comunque la spiegazione di Gerolamo, che segue Gen. 19, 21-22, rappresenta una etimologia comune. 12 K. D. Politis (comunicazione personale).

7

Una parte del sito era chiamato Tell An-Nuhas, ‘Cumulo di rame’. La fossa voltata in basso, a As-Safi, non fu scavata. 9Slides of Archaeology of Jordan (57 e 58), del defunto James A. Sauer presso il Dipartimento alle Antichità della Giordania. 8

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean epidemie, poi accelerato dall’introduzione della canna da zucchero in alcune isole portoghesi e spagnole (Politis et al. 2005, 325). Nondimeno, nella valle del Giordano, una raffineria di zucchero vicino a Deir cAlla era ancora attiva nel 1967, prima che fosse trasformata in mulino per farina.

York.  Ghawanmeh, Y.D. 1982. Cultural History of Eastern Jordan in the Mamluk Period. Amman. Peled, A. 1999. The local Sugar Industry under the Latin Kingdom, in S.Rozenberg (ed) in The Knights of Holy land: the Crusaders Kingdom of Jerusalem, 251-257. Jerusalem: The Israel Museum. Politis, K.D. 1999. The sanctuary of Agios Lot, the City of Zoara and the Zared River , in the M. Piccirillo and E.Aliatta (eds), Madaba Map Centenary 1897-1997: Travelling through the Byzantine Umayyad Period. Proceedings of the International Conference held in Amman, 7-9 April 1997, in “Studium biblicum Franciscanum. Collectio Maior 40”, 222-227.Gorle-Jerusalem. Politis, K.D. et al.2005. Survey and exscavation in Ghawr As-Safi in 2004, The annual of Departement of Atiquities of Jordan, 49, 313-326. Politis et al. 2007. Ghawr As-Safi Survay and Excavations 2006-2007, The annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, LI, 199-210. Amman. Stern, E. 1998. Harbat Manot (Lower), “Escavation and surveys in Israel”, vol18, 10-18 Muhammad al-Tamimi al-Maqdisi. Kitab al-murshid ila jawahir al-agdhiya(h) wa-quwa al-mufradat fi aladwiya(h). Manoscritto nella Nationale Bibliotheque di Parigi. Citato da Hamarneh 1991. Taha, H. 2004. Die Ausgrabungen von Tawahin es-Sukkar im Jordan-Tal, in Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins, 120, 73- 78 Yaqout , 1984. Mucjam al-Buldan. Beirut, Dar Sadir.

BIBLIOGRAFIA Al-Khashshab, Yahya. 1970 Safarnama: The Voyage of Nasir Khusraw to Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula in the Fifth Century of Hijra. Beirut. Dar al-Kitab Al-Jadied (in Arabic). Abu Dalu, R. 1991. Sugar Refineries in the Jordan Valley during the 12th and 14th Centuries in Light of Historical Sources and Archaelogical Discoveries, MA Thesis.Yarmouk University. Alliata, E. 1999. The Legend of Madaba Map, in the M. Piccirillo and E.Aliatta (eds), Madaba Map Centenary 1897-1997: Travelling through the Byzantine Umayyad Period. Proceedings of the International Conference held in Amman, 7-9 April 1997, in “Studium biblicum Franciscanum. Collectio Maior 40”, 47-101.Gorle-Jerusalem. Arraf, S. 1997.Sources for Palestinian Economy from the oldest periods till 1948, Micliya: Dar “LLa al-cUmq”(in Arabic). Az-Zabiedi 1994, Taj el-cArous. Beirut: Dar al Fikr. Bowersock, G.1983. Roman Arabia. Cambridge. Hamarneh, S. 1991. The People and the Land: Studies in the History of Southern Levant during the first three Centuries of Hijrah. Amman. Hütteroth, W.D. and Abdulfattah, K. 1977. Historical Geographi of Palestine and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlangen. Frederick, C. T. 1971. The exempla or illustrative stories from the Sermones Vulgares / of Jacques de Vitry. New

1. Calderone in bronzo da Kerak (As Safi): prima diagnosi per un restauro (OpD)

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2. Vasi fittili da zuccherificio montati in opera, da Tell Abu Sarbut (Valle del Giordano)

La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

JABAL HAROUN IN THE CRUSADER, AYYUBID AND MAMLUK PERIODS Zbigniew T. Fiema and Jaakko Frösén University of Helsinki A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011

INTRODUCTION

of St. Aaron. Apparently, one of the religious phenomena associated with the rise of Early Christianity in the Near East - the transformation of a pagan cultic place into a sacred, Biblical location - had taken place at Jabal Haroun.

The preoccupation with Nabataean history and monuments - monumental tombs and temples - was the main focus of scholarly attention on the Nabataean capital city of Petra for a long time. However, the 1990s have witnessed a considerable expansion in a range of archaeological activities in Petra and its vicinity. These recent projects have yielded information which now allows for more substantive statements concerning the Byzantine and later occupation phases at Petra,1 such as the Early Islamic, Crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk periods. To such recently explored sites in the Petra area belongs the mountain of Jabal Haroun located c. 5km SW of Petra (Figure 1). The mountain has two peaks. The higher one, at 1327m above sea level, is crowned by the Islamic shrine (weli) which contains the sarcophagus of Aaron, according to Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions.2 Remains of a Christian memorial church below the weli were described in the early 20th century but only some parts of the external walls are currently visible.3 Of importance here is the ruined architectural complex located c. 70m below the peak, on a wide high plateau of the mountain. This site was briefly mentioned by some early explorers of the area but received a fuller description only in the early 1990s (Peterman, Schick 1996). Ancient sources, including the Petra Papyri,4 would indicate that this site may represent a Byzantine monastery of St. Aaron. However, the ultimate confirmation of this hypothesis could come only through the archaeological excavations. To this effect, the Finnish Jabal Haroun Project (FJHP) carried out a comprehensive investigation of the site and its environs between 1997 and 2008.5 The excavations have exposed remains of a Nabataean cultic center dated to the 1st century BC/AD which was, in the later 5th century, replaced by a Byzantine monastic complex, most probably dedicated to the veneration

The FJHP site, c. 62.9 m N-S x 46.7 m E-W, can be divided into four main components or wings situated around three courts (Figure 2). The east-central location is occupied by the church and the chapel (Figure 3). The former is preceded by an entrance porch located next to the central court which has a natural fissure or depression in the bedrock which apparently served as a cistern in the Byzantine period. Directly west of the cistern, there is the long, multiroomed Western Building, apparently of Nabataean origin, which features an orientation clearly different from that of the Byzantine monastery to which this building was later incorporated (Figure 4). South and southeast of the central court, there is a wing of rooms forming the southernmost part of the complex. This area of the site features a particularly complex architectural history which must have already begun in Nabataean times. In front of these rooms, a rock-cut water cistern, of Nabataean date, was partially excavated. North of the chapel there is a large, U-shaped wing of 16 rooms located around the northern court, which may be interpreted as the accommodation of the monastic community or a hostel. The major Byzantine structures at the site - the church and the chapel - feature several phases of occupation interspersed with the episodes of destruction and remodelling. The monoapsidal basilican church was richly decorated with marble furnishings, glass wall mosaics and a mosaic floor in the narthex. The chapel had two baptismal fonts and an altar of a type associated with the storing of relics. Generally, only a few monastic churches in the region can be compared with the Jabal Haroun church, and most of these are memorial churches, either commemorating a specific Biblical event or person and/or clearly associated with pilgrimages.6 This also implies that, in addition to the traditional association with a well-known Biblical figure, the size and appearance of the ecclesiastical structures at Jabal Haroun strongly support the idea of their memorial character and thus, the association with pilgrim traffic.

1

For the most recent study which contains summaries of historical archaeological data and their interpretations, see Fiema 2002, 191-252. 2 Palestinian grid coordinates of the shrine: 188.64E x 969.667N; UTM coordinates 731200E x 3356470N. The roof of the shrine, excluding the cupola, is at 1330.38m asl. 3 Wiegand 1920. For more recent description, see Lindner 2003, 177-204 and Fiema anf Frösén, forthcoming 2008. 4 For ancient sources and the early explorers of the site, see Fiema and Frösén, forthcoming 2008, Chapter 1 (J. Frösén and P. Miettunen) and Chapter 2 (P. Miettunen). For the Petra Papyri, see Frösén, Arjava and Lehtinen (eds.) 2002, and Arjava, Bucholz and Gagos (eds.) 2007. 5 The Finnish Jabal Haroun Project, directed by Prof. Jaakko Frösén, is carried out within the framework of the Research Centre “Ancient and Medieval Greek Documents, Archives and Libraries” at the University of Helsinki, which is part of the “Centres of Excellence in Research” program of the Academy of Finland. The first volume of the final publication (Fiema and Frösén, forthcoming 2008) will appear in September 2008.

The Byzantine pilgrimage complex existed between the later 5th and the 8th/9th centuries and probably later. The latest phases of occupation at Jabal Haroun – the Crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk periods – are shrouded in uncertainty. Generally, it is the written historical sources which pro6

For the memorial churches, see discussion in Hirschfeld 1992, 55-56, 130.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean vide more information about these periods at Jabal Haroun than the archaeological data.7 The following text presents all historical and archaeological information concerning these periods.

Aaron and Mount Sinai were not places included in Crusader pilgrimages (Wilkinson et al 1988, 55). There is another contemporary anonymous eyewitness account – Gesta Francorum, a proto-source for the First Crusade – written soon after the conquest of Jerusalem, probably already by 1101, which possibly was one of the sources also used by Fulcher.13 A third contemporary – the anonymous writer of the Historiae Hierosolymitanae pars secunda – used Fulcher as his source and did not visit the place but was rather skeptical as to the identification (Historia Hierosolymitana Pars Secunda 1866, 556). They both mention an oratorium (“small church”, “oratory”) there. The latter conceives the meaning of the passage literally and cannot believe that the oratorium called Saint Aaron’s in his day could be the same still existent building, called collocutorium (“parlour,” “room for conversation”), which was earlier visited by Moses and Aaron.

HISTORICAL SOURCES The written sources would imply that the monastery of Aaron on Jabal Haroun still had some sort of existence when the Crusaders first arrived with Baldwin of Boulogne, shortly before he was crowned as the first King of Jerusalem on Christmas Day, 1100.8 Fulcher of Chartres (1059-1127), chaplain to Baldwin since 1097, accompanied the expedition east of the Dead Sea in December 1100 and he describes the events in his Historia Hierosolymitana. He mentions also the monastery: “Furthermore we found at the top of the mountain the Monastery of St Aaron where Moses and Aaron were wont to speak with God. We rejoiced very much to behold a place so holy and to us unknown.”9 Almost the same clauses were written in 1145 by the anonymous author of the Historia Nicaena vel Antiochena, but in the third person singular.10

Gilbert the Abbot (Guibert de Nogent 1053-1125), was not an eyewitness himself. He used both the written material, Gesta Francorum and Fulcher’s Historia Hierosolymitana as his major sources, as well as personal interviews with Crusaders on their return in writing his Dei gesta per Francos. He is the only one who specifically mentions the visit of Baldwin to the top of the mountain14: “When he reached the slopes of Sinai … There, in the church (ecclesia) which is called Saint Aaron’s, where God had given his oracles to our fathers, he prayed, and the army drank from the fountain of refutation … Here the opinion of my priest has faltered, for it is known that not Sinai, but the mountain Or, which forms the border of the ancient city of Petra in Arabia, was the place where Aaron lost his life, and water emerged from the depths of the rock which he struck.”15 The anonymous priest, the source used by Gilbert, named the place Mons Sinai, but the author corrects the name to Mons Or.

According to Gilbert the Abbot (see infra), Baldwin entered the church (ecclesia) in order to pray. Fulcher seemingly accompanied him since he refers to the event in the first person plural. As an eyewitness, he called the place the Monastery (monasterium) of Saint Aaron, which therefore must be the monastic building complex, or what was left of it, on the high plateau. He does not even mention the tomb of Aaron. Thus, the church (ecclesia) mentioned by Gilbert, who was not an eyewitness, should be identified with the remains of the pilgrimage center of the high plateau rather than with the church on the summit on the mountain (infra), described by Wiegand, which probably already lay in ruins.11 Fulcher’s is certainly the first account of a visit to Jabal Haroun. None of the other pilgrims between 1099 and 1187 followed him.12 Unfortunately, nothing was said about the monks and their number. Presumably, the monastery still functioned as a base of support of the Greek Orthodox (Chalcedonian) Church, as did the Monastery of Saint Mary (later Saint Catherine’s) on Mount Sinai. Understandably, that kind of Christian support was not yet well known to Fulcher and other representatives of Latin Christianity (“nobis incognita”). Mount

Canon Albert of Aachen (Albert d’Aix-de-la-Chapelle; Albertus Aquensis) also mentions the expedition of 1100 but not specifically a church or a monastery16 in his Historia Ierosolimitana which has traditionally been dated between 1120 and 1130. Nevertheless, he states that in 1107, during his second expedition to the area, Baldwin found the Wadi Musa area inhabited by Syrian Christians (Syri Christiani). They were surrounded by Arab inhabitants (Arabes, Arabitae) who lived in caves. The Arabs had called the Seljuq Turk forces from Damascus for help. However, Baldwin, together with a Syrian priest, using a stratagem

7

For full presentation of sources and archaeological data, see Fiema and Frösén, forthcoming 2008, Chapters 6 (E. Mikkola, et al.) and 16 (Z. T. Fiema). 8 For a short description, see, e.g., Mayer 1990, 19-21. 9 Fulcher of Chartres, Historia Hierosolymitana. Gesta Francorum Iherusalem peregrinantium. In Recueil des historiens des croisades Historiens occidentaux 1866, book 2, chapter 5, 9, 381. See also Abel 1967, 389; Runciman 1952, 71-72; Pringle 1993, 251-252, Lindner 1997, 100-104; Lindner 2003, 198. 10 Historia Nicaena vel Antiochena. In Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux 1895, 178. 11 Walmsley in (2001, 534) mentions the two possibilities but does not take a final stand on the matter. 12 Wilkinson et al 1988, 8-9, where “monastery of Moses” should be corrected to “monastery of Aaron.”

Gesta Francorum Expugnantium Iherusalem. In Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux 1866, 523. 14 See Historia Hierosolymitana Pars Secunda. In Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux 1866, 556: Fulcher reported only that they found and saw the Monastery / invenimus … intuebamur. It is possible that the report of Gilbert is based on an incorrect interpretation of the original eyewitnesses. 15 Gilbert the Abbot. Gesta Dei per Francos. In Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux 1879, 255. Quoted also Musil 1907, 161. 16 Albert of Aachen. Historia Hierosolymitana. In Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux, 1879, 535-536. 13

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Z. T. Fiema, J. Frösen: Jabal Aroun In The Crusader, Ayubbid And Mamluk Period widow (vidua Gallica) whom he met in Shobak (Monreal Scobach). She took care of his provisions and informed him about the route through the uninhabited desert to Mount Sinai (usque ad Montem Syna/Synai), and she also found the Bedouin guides with camels. Certainly, Thetmar had read at least some of the previous descriptions of Jabal Haroun, but the information about the two Greek Christian monks probably came from the Muslim (Sarraceni) or Christian (Christiani) inhabitants in the Shobak area, or Bedouin guides (Boydewini). Evidently, the Greek monks still represented a Christian Church other than the provincial Syrian Christians, namely the Orthodox Chalcedonian Church of the Greek-speaking Christians. Thetmar found all the area in and around Wadi Musa uninhabited.24

drove the Turks away.17 It may therefore be assumed that because there was a local priest, there was also a church, though its location is unknown unless it was the church of Jabal Haroun.18 After this incident Baldwin gathered the endangered Syrian Christians and took them with him.19 The story does not say whether Baldwin also took with him the monks from the Monastery of Jabal Haroun or not. If there were some, they possibly represented a Christian Church other than the local Syrian Christians, namely the Greek Orthodox Church, and did not want to leave their base of support and the tomb of Aaron, even if they must have felt endangered under constant threat from the Arabs and Seljuk Turks. Albert never visited the Holy Land, but had interviews with the returned Crusaders and access to correspondence.

The Greek metropolitan see, which still stayed loyal to the exiled Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem together with the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria and Antioch, was moved in 1168 to Kerak, then called Petra Deserti.25 Furthermore, the new Latin archbishop of Petra and metropolitan of Arabia was appointed by the Crusaders in Kerak in 1168. One of his bishop suffragans was the Greek Orthodox archbishop of Pharan who was also the abbot of the monastery of Saint Mary (later Saint Catherine’s) on Sinai. Nevertheless, together with its monks, the monastery always stayed loyal to the Greek Patriarch (Adler 1966, 127). Thus, it is probable, that the monks of Jabal Haroun were also still Greeks during the Ayyubid period.

Other itineraries of the Crusaders, e.g., Archdeacon Fretellus (1130-1148) and Theodoric (1175), mention the tomb of Aaron on Mount Hor but do not provide any specific location other than in Arabia.20 It is noteworthy that in August 1217, a letter written by Pope Honorius III to Abbot Simeon of Sinai, and reissued in January 1226, listed among the possessions of the Sinai monastery land in Wadi Musa as well as land and houses in Montreal and in Kerak.21 A Christian pilgrim, Magister Thetmar (Thietmar), on his way to Sinai in 1217, certainly also saw the mountain during his visit to Petra, which he calls, probably following Josephus’ Arce (ÖArkh), Archy (accusative Archym): “At length I came to Mount Or, where Aaron died, on whose summit is built a church (ecclesia) in which live two Greek Christian monks. The place is called Muscera.”22 As he did not specify that he met the two monks and entered the church, he probably did not ascend the mountain himself. He just came “to Mount Or” (veni ad montem Or). Usually, he refers his own experiences and observations by using the first person of singular. Here his comments continue in the third person. The word ecclesia instead of oratorium also seems to be an overstatement based on hearsay. Because the church on the summit already lay in ruins, he was not even able to see the church from the foot of the mountain.23 Thetmar’s source could have been the French

Medieval Jewish pilgrims also describe Jabal Haroun, but do not mention Christian presence. Rabbi Jacob (12381244) notes: “It is three days’ journey on the road thence [from Sodom and Gomorrah] to Mount Hor where Aaron is buried” in a list of tombs outside the Holy Land. The presence of the monastic complex on the high plateau of Jabal Haroun would have ceased soon after the visit of Thetmar, probably not later than the construction of the Muslim shrine (weli) at the summit in the 14th century.26 That belongs to the new building activity program, which should be dated to the rules of the Mamluk sultans Baibars and Qalawun.27 The Arab chronicler Nuwairi (1279-1332) following28 the history by Ibn ‘Abd el-Zâher (1223-1292) of the voyage of

Albert of Aachen. Historia Hierosolymitana. In Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux 1879, 644-645. 18 See Pringle 1998, 376-377, s.v. Parish Church of St. Moses, and Mayer 1990, 8-99. 19 Albert of Aachen. Historia Hierosolymitana. In Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux 1879, 644. 20 Fretellus Archidiaconus, Liber locorum sanctorum terrae Ierusalem Retello Arcidiacono, Libro dei luoghi santi nel territorio di Gerusalemme. In De Sandoli 1980, 126-127; and Theodoricus. In De Sandoli 1980, 362363. 21 For a discussion and further bibliography, Pringle 1998, 52. 22 Magister Thetmar. In De Sandoli 1983. 270-273. See also Abel 1967, 389; Pringle 1993, 251-252; Lindner 1997, 191 and 198-199, and Peterman and Schick 1996, 477. 23 See Walmsley 2001, 534 who, citing Peterman and Schick 1966, mentions the church on the summit. For a comparison, one can observe Thetmar’s very detailed account of the monastery of Sinai and the life conditions of the monks and other religious men, both Greeks and Syrians (Magister Thetmar. In De Sandoli 1983). There were still some 100 monks in Saint Catherine’s in 1335 (Pringle 1998, pp. 52-54). From 17

the 13th century onwards, the dedication of the church seems to have been transferred from Saint Mary to Saint Catherine (Mayer 1990, 230231). 24 Magister Thetmar. In De Sandoli 1983, cap. 14. 25 Later on, until the 19th century, it was a common opinion that Kerak was the ancient Petra, as the diocese was called Petras. See also SARTRE 1993, 110-111. 26 See note III. 27 In 1330 (Palmer: A.H. 739, Peake: A.H. 728), the Sultan Nasir constructed the small shrine at the highest point of Jabal Haroun. See Palmer 1871, 365; Philby 1925, 9-10; Robinson 1930, 258; Peake 1958, 82 and 135; Pringle 1993, 251). See also, Lindner 2001, 198 (“um 1363”); Walmsley 2001, 534 (1338-1339); Milwright 2006, 24-25, and Fiema and Frösén forthcoming 2008, Chapter 2 (P. Miettunen) 28 The passage concerning Petra was first translated into French by Quatremere 1835, 27f. The Arabic text with an English translation was provided in Zayadine 1985, 172-173.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Sultan Baibars from Cairo to Kerak in 1276, gives a good description of the ruins of the Crusader castle el-Habis (called el-Aswît) and of the ruins of the houses in Petra “the cities of the children of Israel” (Zayadine 1985, 164, 167). He also refers to the tomb of Aaron when coming up from Wadi ‘Araba: “On this mountain is the tomb of Aaron, Prophet of God, brother of Moses, son of ‘Umran, peace upon them, on the left of the traveler whose face is unto Damascus …”29 He does not mention any building and any Christian presence, neither on Jabal Haroun nor in Petra. The Arabian historian and geographer Abulfeda (Abû alFidâ, 1273-1331) quotes in his Geography (1840: 69): “Tûr Hârûn is the name of a high, overtowering mountain to the south of Jerusalem. The tomb of Aron is located on its top.”30

and shelter for the visitors, especially as some parts of the complex, such as the chapel, were still in a reasonable state to provide shelter. Most importantly, however, Phase 11 is characterized by the removal and collection of reusable material – glass sherds, mosaic tesserae (glass and stone) and marble fragments – into small piles and caches throughout the church and the chapel. Such activities are well evidenced in the context of derelict churches in Palestine and Jordan. In the following, last, phase of occupation (Phase 13, dated to the 10th century and later) human activities are still attested but reduced now to large-scale collection and storage of mosaic fragments and stone tesserae inside the apse of the church. As this cache of mosaic fragments seems to be an intentional deposit, the ecclesiastical ruins at Jabal Haroun were still deemed worthy of exploitation and the material was obviously in demand somewhere else.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL DATA The late phases in the history of the monastery can be summarized as follows. Phase 9 (the second half of the 8th century and possibly later) marks a profound change in the nature of occupation in the Jabal Haroun monastery. Following a destruction of a seismic nature, the center of liturgy, the apse area of the church, may have been partially in ruins and was never restored again. Apparently, the monastic community had finally given up attempting to fully restore the church to serve its ecclesiastical function. Instead, the parts of the church, if still habitable, were converted to serve a domestic type of occupation, either as a dormitory or a gathering place. The chapel, by contrast, was apparently not much affected by the calamity and was most likely still used as the main place of Christian worship on Jabal Haroun. At any rate, even in such a limited form, the religious existence of the community would have continued. Furthermore, this phase still saw some substantial construction work – massive supporting walls or buttresses were constructed against the outer faces of the main walls – at the site, indicating that at least the manpower was still available.

From the archaeological standpoint, the occupation of the church and the chapel, in whatever form, should be considered as terminated by the end of the 10th century. However, clear signs of contuinuing occupation, also during the Crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk periods, were detected in the area of the Western Building.31 Furthermore, a sloping, composite wall which is located directly west of the Western Building much resembles the sloping fortifications (glacis) which are characteristic of castles and fortfied cities of the Crusader -Ayyubid period, many examples of which are known from Palestine and Jordan.32 This particular type of fortification was used not only for purely defensive purposes but also as a reinforcement against potential earthquakes.33 It is probable that the western area was the longest occupied at the entire site. Even after the church and the monastery were no longer in use, pilgrimages to the Mountain of St Aaron would have continued. The reinforced Western Building would have accorded safety and protection for the visitors at that time. The continuing evidence of human presence on the mountain can be found in surface finds of the so-called AyyubidMamluk pottery or handmade geometrically painted ware, which is generally dated to the late 12th to 15th centuries.34 Pottery of this type has been found in abundance on the northeastern part of the summit of Jabal Haroun. This pottery could probably be associated with the monks mentioned by medieval chroniclers, although it is not unlikely that pilgrims might occasionally have brought some food in pots as well. Characteristically, the sherds come from the summit rather than from the plateau. At any rate, a permanent Christian presence must have ended, at latest, when the weli was built in the 14th century.

That occupation phase was, however, affected by another seismic destruction. Again, the chapel had apparently survived much better, yet by this time (Phase 11, ca. 9th century), it seems that both the church and the chapel had ceased to have any ecclesiastic function. The partially ruined structures were not abandoned, however, as is evidenced by the fact that a considerable effort was made to clear the buildings of stone tumble. This may mean a limited but possibly not permanent domestic use of both buildings, although a clear attempt was made to recover some useful elements of their construction and furnishing. The evidence from other parts of the monastic site indicates that pilgrims undoubtedly still visited the mountain. Therefore, the existence of a small religious community at Jabal Haroun in this phase should be considered plausible. Such a community would have provided some services

31

A mother-of-pearl cross dated to the 13th century was found in this area. 32 E.g., the glacis of the Crusader castle at Belmont (Harper and Pringle 1988, 104). 33 E.g., historical records indicate heavy damage inflicted on the fortifications of the Kerak castle by periodic earthquakes, and the need for constant reinforcement and rebuilding of the fortifications by the Mamluk rulers (Brown 1989, 290). 34 Walmsley 2001, 544-553

29

See Rey 1883, 396-397; Peake 1958, 80-82; Zayadine 1985, 173. See also, Lindner 2003, 55-57 and Lindner 2001, 191. 30 Quoted also by Musil 1907, 161 (in Arabic).

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sumed – a building/structure where religious ceremonies can be held – some hypotheses can be presented.35 One cannot fully exclude a situation in which the church on the northern summit of the Jabal Haroun mountain, the traces of which were described by Wiegand in the early 20th century, was still in some sort of use although it is very likely that the church would have suffered at least some of the (seismic) destructions that had affected the monastic complex located below the summit. Further, even after the last archaeologically attested destruction, the chapel of the St. Aaron monastery was still a structure with walls standing up to 2.5 m high, as currently. Judging from the extant state of preservation, the chapel, if somewhat cleared and provided with a makeshift roof, could still provide a relatively significant shelter or a meeting space as late as in the Crusader period. Theoretically then, Baldwin could have“prayed inside the church” (= in the sanctuary area of the monastic chapel), yet one must admit that access to its interior would not have been easy for him and his entourage.

One observes that, comparing the written sources with the archaeologically recovered data at Jabal Haroun, some kind of occupation is indeed attested by both during the Crusader-Mamluk period. There is, however, a notable discrepancy with regard to the existence of the Jabal Haroun church and/or the chapel during the Crusader period. Assuming that the individuals who described the mountain between ca. 1100 and 1217 indeed meant the mountain of Jabal Haroun near Petra, i.e., that they either personally climbed up the mountain, or their sources did or had knowledge of someone who had, they (or through their sources) claim to have witnessed/known of some specific structures up there. Fulcher of Chartres specifically mentions “the Monastery of St. Aaron.” The anonymous authors of Gesta Francorum and Historiae Hierosolymitanae both mention an “oratory.” Gilbert the Abbot specifies that Baldwin I “prayed in the church which is called Saint Aaron’s.” Finally, Magister Thetmar refers to “Mount Or... on whose summit is built a church in which live two Greek Christian monks.” For the sake of argumentation, all this information is treated here as if possessing some degree of truth. In other words, it seems reasonable to assume that they had seen/heard of something which, in their opinion, warranted the mention of a monastery, church, oratory or chapel and that such structure(s) was located on Jabal Haroun near Petra.

However, the most likely proposition will point again to the Western Building of the monastery, where at least some of its rooms were still fully habitable during the Crusader period. Three rooms there (excavated in Trenches O, S, and A1) are of particular interest. All are well preserved and two of these had the arches still standing at the time of excavations. The room with the three arches excavated in Trench S, would seem a particularly suitable candidate for a small, informal chapel. Notably, this room has E-W orientation which conforms to the usual orientation of Christian churches and, as such, to that of the church and the chapel at Jabal Haroun. Each of these rooms could have been easily utilized as a space for prayer and liturgical ceremonies after the original ecclesiastical structures at the Monastery of St. Aaron went out of use. Therefore, it appears that a small chapel located in one of the rooms of the Western Building is probably the most realistic scenario and this allows for the reasonable reconciliation between the historical sources and archaeological data. However, the issue will probably always remain unresolved.

At first, a 12th century reference to a “monastery” at Jabal Haroun may not, in fact, be totally inappropriate. Although the church and the chapel were already in ruins, some parts of the complex were still habitable, and they could easily provide the necessary infrastructure for a smaller and probably impoverished yet visible monastic community. In this context, especially the area of the Western Building should be considered. This multiroomed, massive structure is remarkably well-preserved, even now (Figure 4). Nothing then would seemingly prevent anyone from using this large, composite building for habitation or any other purpose, during the Crusader period or even later. The issue of the existence of a “church” “oratory” or “chapel” at Jabal Haroun during the Crusader period is more difficult, especially, if the structures meant as such are those excavated by the FJHP. The upper stratigraphic situation in the church and the chapel, characterized by massive stone tumbles containing mixed material datable to several centuries, does not allow for the suggestion that the church and/or the chapel were in ecclesiastical use beyond the 9th century. As such, from the archaeological standpoint, it is impossible to identify the Jabal Haroun church with a “church” mentioned in the Crusader sources.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Abel, F.-M. 1967. Géographie de la Palestine I., 3. éd. (first ed. 1933). Paris. Adler, E. N., 1966. Jewish Travellers: A Treasury of Travelogues from 9 Centuries. New York. Albert of Aachen, Historia Hierosolymitana, in Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux, 1879, Tome 4. Paris. Arjava, A., Buchholz M. and Gagos, T. (eds.) 2007. The Petra Papyri III, Amman. Brown, R., 1989. Excavation in the 14th century A.D. Mamluk Palace at Kerak, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 33. Fiema, Z. T. 2002. Petra and Its Hinterland during the

That, however, does not necessarily imply that the existence of a “church,” “oratorium” or “chapel” at Jabal Haroun is a pure invention by the Crusader sources. If a somewhat more general definition of such structures is as-

35

For the full presentation of these hypotheses, see Fiema and Frösén 2008, Chapter 16 ( Z.T. Fiema).

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Byzantine Period: New Research and Interpretations, in Roman and Byzantine Near East: Some New Discoveries III, J. Humphrey (ed.). Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series, no. 49, Portsmouth, RI., 191-252. Fiema, Z. T.. and Frösén, J. forthcoming 2008, Petra – Jabal Haroun, Vol 1. The Church and the Chapel. Frösén, J., Arjava, A. and Lehtinen, M. (eds.) 2002. The Petra Papyri I. Amman. Fretellus Archidiaconus, Liber locorum sanctorum terrae Ierusalem - Retello Arcidiacono, Libro dei luoghi santi nel territorio di Gerusalemme. S. De Sandoli, ed. and transl. In Itinera Hierosolymitana Crucesignatorum, saec. XIIXIII: textus Latini cum versione Italica, 1980 vol. 2. Sabino de Sandoli, ed., Pubblicazioni dello Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Collectio maior, Jerusalem. Fulcher Of Chartres, in Historia Hierosolymitana. Gesta Francorum Iherusalem peregrinantium. In Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux, 1866, Tome 3. Paris. Gesta Francorum Expugnantium Iherusalem, in Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux , 1866, Tome 3. Paris. Gilbert the Abbot, Gesta Dei per Francos, in Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux, 1879, Tome 4, Paris. Harper, R. and Pringle, D. 1988. Belmont Castle: A Historical Notice and Preliminary Report of Excavations in 1986, Levant, XX. Hirschfeld, Y. 1992. The Judean Desert Monasteries in the Byzantine Period, New Haven and London. Historiae Hierosolymitanae pars secunda, in Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux, 1866, Tome 3. Paris. Historia Nicaena vel Antiochena, in Recueil des historiens des croisades - Historiens occidentaux, Tome 5, 1895. Pa��� ris. Lindner, M. 1997. Petra und das Königreich der Nabatäer. 6. Auflage (first ed. 1970,. München . Lindner, M.. 2003. In einem Spinnennetz von Wegen, in Über Petra hinaus. Rahden/Westfalen. Lindner, M. 2003. Von Isis bis Aaron, in Über Petra hinaus. Archäologische Erkundungen im südlichen Jordanien, Rahden, Westfalen, 177-204. Kennedy, A., 1925. Petra, Its History and Monuments. London. Magister Thetmar,Iter ad Terram Sanctam - Il Maestro Tetmaro, Viaggio in Terra Santa. S. De Sandoli, transl., T. Tobler, ed. in Itinera Hierosolymitana Crucesignatorum, saec. XII-XIII: textus Latini cum versione Italica, vol. 3. Sabino de Sandoli, ed. Pubblicazioni dello Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Collectio maior 24:3. Jerusalem. Mayer, H. 1990. Die Kreuzfahrerherrschaft Montréal (Shôbak). Jordanien im 12. Jahrhundert. Abhandlungen

der Deutschen Palästinavereins 14, Wiesbaden, 19-21. Milwright, M., 2006. Central and Southern Jordan in the Ayyubid Period: Historical and Archaeological Perspectives, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Series 3, 16, 1, pp. 24-25. Musil, A. 1907. Arabia Petraea II: Edom, Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften. Wien. Palmer, E. H. 1871. The Desert of the Exodus, Cambridge. 365. Peake, F. G., 1958. A History of Jordan and Its Tribes by Peake Pasha. Coral Gables. Peterman, G. and Schick, R. 1996. The Monastery of Saint Aaron, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 40, 473-480. Pringle, D. 1998. The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. A Corpus II: L-Z (excluding Tyre), Cambridge Pringle, D. 1993. The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. A Corpus I: A-K (excluding Acre and Jerusalem). Cambridge. Quatremere, M., 1835. Mémoire sur Pétra et les Nabatéens, Paris. Rey, E. G. 1883. Les colonies franques de Syrie aux XIIme et XIIIme siècles, Paris. Robinson, G. L. 1930. The True Mt. Hor - Jabal Maderah, in The Sarcophagus of an Ancient Civilization. Petra, Edom and the Edomites. George Robinson (ed.). New York. Runciman, S. 1952. A History of the Crusades II. The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Frankish East 1100-1187. Cambridge, 71-72. Sartre, M., 1993. Inscriptions Grecques et latines de la Syrie XXI. Inscriptions de la Jordanie IV. Pétra et la Nabatène méridionale, Paris. Theodoricus, De locis sanctis - Teodorico, I luoghi santi. S. De Sandoli, transl., T. Tobler, ed. in Itinera Hierosolymitana Crucesignatorum, saec. XII-XIII: textus Latini cum versione Italica,1980. vol. 2. Sabino de Sandoli, ed. Pubblicazioni dello Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Collectio maior 24:2. Jerusalem. Walmsley, A. 2001. Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk Jordan and the Crusader Interlude, in The Archaeology of Jordan, B. MacDonald, R. Adams, P. Bienkowski (eds.). Sheffield. Wiegand, TH. 1920. Sinai. Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen des Deutsch-Türkischen Denkmalschutz-Kommandos, Heft 1. Berlin/Lepizig. Wilkinson, J. et al. 1988. Jerusalem Pilgrimage 10991185, London. Zayadine, F. 1985. Caravan Routes between Egypt and Nabataea and the Voyage of Sultan Baibars to Petra in 1276, in Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan II. A. Hadidi (ed.). Amman, pp. 172-173.

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Figure 1. The Jabal Haroun mountain. View from the northeast (by Simo Rista)

Figure 2. The plan of the monastery, following the 2005 fieldwork season (by Katri Koistinen and Vesa Putkonen)

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Figure 3. The FJHP site. View from the east (by Matti Mustonen)

Figure. 4. The Western Building. View from the southeast (by Matti Mustonen)

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

LA PRIMA ETÀ MAMELUCCA E IL CONSOLIDARSI DI UNA TRADIZIONE THE EARLY MAMLUK AGE AND THE STRENGTHENING OF A TRADITION TRANSJORDAN AS THE MAMLUK FRONTIER: IMPERIAL CONCEPTIONS OF AUTHORITY AND SPACE Bethany Walker Missouri State University A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011 Abstract (2008) Situated on the eastern border of the Mamluk empire, Transjordan is simultaneously presented in contemporary Arabic sources of the 13th century as a backwater and as the backbone of the state’s security system. It is true that Egyptian sources speak disparagingly of the region around Kerak, for example, as the most culturally and politically remote of the empire. Nonetheless, Transjordan as a whole was far from peripheral to the interests of the state, as the region brought sultans to power, unseated amirs, served as a bulwark against the Mongols, tied Syria to Egypt and Damascus to Mecca, and buttressed the imperial economy through sugar and grain production. Defining the region with respect to imperial interests is a difficult task, as its roles were everchanging and ambiguous. The administrative structure of Transjordan was fluid, frequently adjusted to the immediate geo-political needs of Cairo or Damascus. Imperial investment in the region, moreover, lacked long-term vision and tended toward distinctly localized patterns of agricultural development. Concurrently, new administrative centres were quickly built and declined with equal suddenness, as imperial interest in a district waned. Exacerbating the difficulty in defining the character of Transjordan for the Mamluk state is the very real cultural and political-administrative division between Kerak (the capital of its own province) and the rest of Jordan (collectively constituting the southernmost section of Damascus Province). There was, in essence, two ‘Jordans’, with the town of Kerak, and its hinterland, presenting an exceptional case in imperial-provincial relations and not representing the region as a whole. This presentation explores the concept of the imperial frontier, and this special ‘ambiguity’ of the character of Jordanian lands, from the perspective of the state itself. How did the Mamluk state conceive of ‘empire’? What was the ‘frontier’ and how did the Mamluks treat it (administratively, politically, economically, socially)? In an effort to reconstruct imperial perceptions on these issues, we will make use of a variety of 13th-century Arabic sources (primarily chronicles – both Syrian and Egyptian – and administrative manuals), as well as 14th-century sources (including legal and economic documents) that evaluate the evolving policies of the early Mamluks in Transjordan and their long-term impact. Special attention will focus, as well, on the ongoing excavations at Tall Hisban, where 13th century occupation on the summit of the tell attests to a transformation of formerly domestic and sacred space to militarized and economic functions.

The medieval Mediterranean was, in every sense, a contact zone between the Crusader and Islamic worlds. The ports of Syria, Egypt, and Cyprus functioned as vibrant conduits of trade and cultural exchange, where components of material culture and technology were selectively borrowed and adapted and the encounters between the two worlds produced far reaching changes in art, infrastructure, diplomacy, and political rhetoric and culture. Beyond the sea, Transjordan represented in the thirteenth century the furthest extent - the eastern frontier - of this contact zone. Although not a geographic part of it, the region always belonged culturally to the larger Mediterranean world. The Crusader frontier ran through Jordan in the twelfth century, and much of the administrative and political structure that developed there the following 200 years under the hegemony of Islamic states acknowledges this brief episode of Crusader occupation. Crusader material culture penetrated the Jordanian interior as late as the fourteenth century,

and this in spite of Jordan’s lack of direct access to the Mediterranean: ports were clearly not necessary for such exchanges. The legacy of the Crusader interlude, nonetheless, lies less in its artistic impact than in the development of Jordan as a ‘frontier’. The Mamluk Sultanate, a dynasty of former military slaves based in Cairo, had acquired Jordan piecemeal through conquest of the Ayyubid states by 1263. The following forty years were devoted to securing the region through renovations of formerly Crusader and Ayyubid castles, leveling of roads and the organization of a far-flung communications network, and renovation and construction of Muslim holy places. The Ayyubids’ administration and defensive system was largely incorporated intact and adopted to the needs of the Mamluk state, which feared less attacks by Crusader states on pilgrimage caravans than westward expansion of the Mongol state to its east, the Il Khanids of Persia. Jordanian agricultural land was distrib201

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean uted to Mamluk military officers as quasi-feudal tax grants (iqta‘at), and the region divided administratively between two provinces: the Province of Kerak (from roughly the Wadi Mujib south to Aqaba) and the Province of Damascus (the southernmost portion of which constituted the region between the Yarmouk River and Wadi Mujib). Everything about this administrative structure and the nature of imperial investment here in the thirteenth century suggests a concern for security and an attempt to physically project imperial power into the Syrian steppe. Nonetheless, the Mamluks’ hold over the lands of the Transjordan, its eastern frontier, was never secure or consistent. The thirteenth-century obsession with defense shifted the following century to imperial projects aimed at developing a ‘colonial economy’ in the region and co-opting the local tribal, social, and intellectual networks for political gain. As imperial objectives in the region changed, the distinctive cultural and geographic regionalism of the Transjordan challenged the state in its attempt to secure its eastern frontier, which it had to do region by region, tribe by tribe. This brief essay explores the concept of the imperial frontier in a general sense, and the particular ambiguity of Jordan as a medieval imperial frontier, from the perspective of the Mamluk state in the thirteenth century. How did the Mamluk state conceive of ‘empire’? What was the ‘frontier’ and how did the Mamluks treat it (administratively, politically, economically, socially)? In an effort to reconstruct imperial perceptions on these issues, we pull from a variety of thirteenth and fourteenth-century Arabic sources that evaluate the evolving policies of the early Mamluks in Transjordan and their long-term impact. Special attention will focus on the archaeological site of Tall Hisban, where ongoing excavations of the medieval Islamic citadel are raising important questions about the nature of Jordan as the Mamluk frontier.

nications networks (roads, postal stations). Although their existence attests to an attempt by the state to project its authority, they also bear witness to the inability of the state to secure and incorporate these regions: the use of military force is never as effective in securing the frontier as implementation of an effective administrative structure. There are, of course, other kinds of frontiers, apart from the geographical frontier, such as the economic, social, and political. All represent limits to state hegemony, and concurrently the strength of local identity and institutions. A frontier is not merely a place but also local people, economies, or political bodies that are not under full state control. It is ‘remote’ from the center, geographically, culturally, politically, or otherwise. Nonetheless, the frontier has something to offer the state, outside of defense and other strategic concerns. In an effort to gain access to natural resources, markets, and manpower, the state, when it is in its most dire economic and political need, will try to ‘open’ the frontier, by force or cooption. In a real sense, the state needs the frontier more than the frontier has any need of the state. Perceptions of ‘the other’ are extremely important in understanding relations of the imperial state with its frontiers. From the vantage point of the state, the rural frontier represents a threat, as it is not entirely under its control; rebellion and collaboration with an enemy are always a concern. The frontier generally coincides with the borders of the empire; it physically frames the state and represents its greatest diversity on every level. The frontier represents potential to the state. The local communities in a frontier, at the same time, have their own images of an imperial power that is as conceptually distant from them as they are from the imperial capital. Mamluk historians, for example, frequently attest to a dissatisfaction of local peoples with officials, who act as the ‘face of the state’ in rural areas: they are frequently inept or corrupt, they provide little to no public services but are quick to overtax, take far from the provinces local resources, and require the submission of local tribes and their elites. These medieval historians simultaneously describe the Egyptian state as a necessary evil in moderating tribal conflicts and a foreign, and usually unwelcome and exploitative, presence, whose ignorance about local resources and peoples cause damage on the long term. Nonetheless, the centers of imperial power (whether Cairo or Damascus, the effective ‘second’ capital of the Mamluk empire) seem far away, indeed, and are shadowy entities: at the best this means non-interference in local affairs, but at the worst financial and administrative neglect. Both perspectives betray an incomplete knowledge of the ‘other’ and real cultural differences. Nonetheless, from the perspective of the frontier, dominance by a foreign power does not last forever. In Jordan the imperial structures, like those of the Mamluks, have been temporary impositions; empires come and go, but it is the local, the ‘frontier’, that has survived. From these perspectives, Mamluk Jordan functioned in every sense as the imperial frontier, as it did in the Crusader period and for many of the same reasons. As a frontier region, the peoples of Jordan acted with a consider-

DEFINING THE ‘FRONTIER’ Recent borderland studies in the United States and the work of historians of southern Africa have developed the concept of ‘the frontier’, defining it as a ‘zone of interpenetration between two previously distinct societies’ or, alternatively, ‘socio-political orders distinct from the institutions of the Empire at large’ (Das and Poole 2004; Hansen and Stepputat 2005). The Jordanian frontier, in particular, can be understood as a contact zone between the state and tribal societies. The frontier represents the limits of state control: while formally part of the imperial domains, a frontier has not been fully incorporated into the state’s governing apparatus; it has not been completely subdued; it retains a significant degree of autonomy; it does not identify with the imperial body. It is, thus, part of the state, without being subsumed by it. A frontier is not ‘marginal’ to the interests of the state, however: quite the opposite, as the geographical frontier, in particular, represents a particular strategic concern. These ‘borderlands’, defined as the recognized spatial limits of imperial authority, have a landscape punctuated by defensive outposts (garrisons, guard towers) and commu202

B. Walker: Transjordan As The Mamluk Frontier. Imperial Conceptions Of Authority And Space able degree of autonomy; the region was incorporated to a limited degree through garrisons, roads, and way-stations; its administration by the state was fluid and changeable (Walker 2003); its relations with the state were constantly being negotiated, the local tribal structure ultimately forcing accommodations on both sides (Walker 2008); and the region had demonstrable economic, political, and strategic potential, which was inconsistently tapped by the state. Perhaps most importantly, Jordan functioned as a locus of experimentation on every level: various administrative, financial, and political reforms were first applied here before attempting them anywhere else in the empire (Walker 2007 and 2009 – for studies of the economic and legal documents of the period). A frontier is a place of testing and trying, where mutual transformations of the imperial body and local society are possible. This is arguably the most important legacy of late medieval Transjordan: in many ways the Mamluk state developed, in part, a self-concept of ‘empire’ through its relations with this geographical, cultural, and economic frontier.

of Cairo or Damascus. Imperial investment in the region, moreover, lacked long-term vision and tended toward distinctly localized patterns of agricultural development. Concurrently, new administrative centers were quickly built and declined with equal suddenness, as imperial interest in a district waned. Exacerbating the difficulty in defining the character of Transjordan for the Mamluk state is the very real cultural and political-administrative division between Kerak (the capital of its own province) and the rest of Jordan (collectively constituting the southernmost section of Damascus Province). There were, in essence, two ‘Jordans’, with the town of Kerak, and its hinterland, presenting an exceptional case in imperial-provincial relations and not representing the region as a whole. Kerak presented the Mamluks with unique challenges and opportunities that were not encountered elsewhere in Transjordan. Its ‘urban’ infrastructure and public services were the most developed in the region. Under the Ayyubids, for example, Kerak had the highest concentration of physicians and scholars in Jordan (Ghawanmeh 1980, 347-352). With the Mamluk sultan al-Nasir Ahmad in the 1340s, there was a brief, and failed, attempt to make Kerak the imperial capital, replacing Cairo. The most violent battles of the fifteenth-century civil wars were fought in the vicinity of Kerak Castle. Imperial relations with other regions of Jordan, however, were quite different. We are concerned here with that ‘other Jordan’ – a geographically and culturally diverse region that in the thirteenth century was largely rural and entirely tribal, its villages and modest garrisons loosely connected to one another through a network of roads, pigeon routes, and fire signal towers that served pilgrims, merchants, spies, and armies alike. Socially and politically tied through tribal alliances, relations among villages in this region were reinforced through intellectual networks that pulled Jordanian territories north of Kerak into the scholarly orbit of Damascus. The Mamluk state had an ill-defined relationship with both ‘Jordans’. The Transjordan is simultaneously presented in contemporary Arabic sources as both a backwater and the backbone of the state’s security system. Egyptian sources frequently speak disparagingly of the region around Kerak, for example, as a place culturally and politically remote from Cairo. Nonetheless, the Jordanian territories were far from peripheral to the interests of the state, as the region brought sultans to power, unseated amirs, served as a bulwark against the Mongols, tied Syria to Egypt and Damascus to Mecca, buttressed the imperial economy through sugar and grain production, provided horses for the Mamluk army (which was primarily cavalry-based), and secured the hajj (Muslim pilgrimage) route between Damascus and Mecca. In the thirteenth century Jordan became a focus of imperial investment in a communications infrastructure, which simultaneously served the interests of defense, commerce (primarily transport and temporary storage of agricultural commodities), and religious pilgrimage. The single most important ‘investor’, in this regard, was Sultan Baybars, whose efforts in developing Jordan at the beginning of Mamluk rule suggests an aggressive and ambitious plan, from the start, for incorporat-

IMPERIAL PERCEPTIONS OF ITS FRONTIER Mamluk sources do not refer to these borderlands as ‘Jordan’: a place by this name, of course, did not exist then. Interestingly, neither is the region ever called by its various administrative names, except in specialized administrative manuals. Instead, Mamluk officials and historians refer to specific place names – towns such as Kerak, Ajlun, Hisban (where there were garrisons) or geographically distinct regions such as the Ghôr/Jordan Valley (where sultans owned farms). But, more often, the sources refer to tribal regions – such as the ‘Banu Mahdi’ or ‘Banu Sakhr’ (meaning the lands of tribes, including villages, where the state had no real authority). These latter were not necessarily desert or steppe; they simply stood for places where the state did not have a foothold. Jordan was, then, a region of territories where the state had differing levels of authority and control: it represented multiple ‘frontiers’. The Mamluks recognized Jordan’s distinctive cultural and geographic regionalism and dealt with it accordingly. Relations with the proudly independent southern Jordan, dominated by the powerful presence of Kerak Castle, for example, contrasts strongly with the more vulnerable Madaba Plains (the ‘bread basket’ of central Jordan) and the agricultural estates of the Jordan Valley; those with the northern hill country, which maintained a degree of economic autonomy during most of Mamluk rule, were channeled through Damascus, and are even more distinct (Walker 2004). The state had to deal with each of these regions on their own terms, in an effort to ‘open these frontiers’ politically, socially, and economically. In the process, each society – both imperial and local – were forced to compromise, to some degree, with the other, as power relations and governmental policies were negotiated. Defining the region with respect to imperial interests is a difficult task, as its roles were ever-changing and ambiguous. The administrative structure of Transjordan was fluid, frequently adjusted to the immediate geo-political needs 203

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean ing the ‘frontier’.

shrine of Ja‘far al-Tayyar in Muta – Ghawanmeh 1982a, 78); and made structural improvements to local mosques throughout the region, usually by adding a minaret (as he did with the Great Mosque in the town of Ajlun in 1263 and a smaller one in the nearby village of Raymun – Ghawanmeh 1986, 20-24, 48). Many of the renovated structures were those either built or reconstructed by al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa. Baybars’ investments in Jordan were, like this Ayyubid prince before him, focused on defense and the desire to gain religious legitimacy with the local population as a protector of the pilgrimage.1

THE SULTANATE OF BAYBARS Al-Malik al-Zahir Rukn al-Din Baybars (ruled 12601277), though not the founder of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt, was the first effective sultan of the empire, which, under his rule, absorbed Bilad al-Sham. Coming to power in Cairo in 1260, after an exile abroad spent, in part, in the Jordanian towns of Kerak and Ajlun, Baybars’ immediate concern upon taking the throne was security. Jordan thus acquired a particular importance: the subjugation of the independent Ayyubid Kingdom of Kerak and the securing of the Syrian hajj route made effective control over the Transjordanian territories a necessity for the security of the empire as a whole. To this end, he built a multi-service network of garrisons, roads, and caravanserais, which served as one component of the barid (postal) system he established throughout Syria (Walker 2003, 243-244). In addition, he invested in local places of religious visitation (ziyarah), arguably to win the support of local peoples and more fully incorporate the Jordan Valley (where many of these shrines were located) into his larger communications infrastructure, facilitating religious pilgrimage in the process. On the economic level, the agricultural lands of Jordan were distributed among his officers as tax grants; he claimed the extremely lucrative sugar-producing town of Quseir in the Jordan Valley as his own iqta‘ (Ghawanmeh 1982b, 74). The result was increased regional security, the revival of the rural economy, and the reincorporation of Jordan into a regional, Islamic state. Sultan Baybars’ plan for investment in Jordan was built on the framework established sixty years earlier by the Ayyubid prince al-Malik al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa, the Nai’b (governor) of Kerak and Damascus and son of Sultan al‘Adil (Ghawanmeh 1980, 173-189). Jordan, as a whole, benefited by the capital improvements of al-Mu‘azzam ‘Isa, whose primary concerns were to secure the pilgrimage route to the Hijaz and to revive the rural economy, scarred by many years of wars with the Crusaders and among the rival Ayyubid princes. After traveling the length and breadth of his territory to evaluate its most pressing needs, he initially concentrated his efforts on the pilgrimage corridor that ran through Jordan, building new fortifications (such as the castles at Ajlun and Salt and possibly a watchtower on the Amman citadel); renovating derelict ones (Shobak, long in disrepair); and physically developing Muslim shrines (mazaras), such as the one at Mu’ta, along its route. The Jordanian castles, moreover, served also as treasuries, with cash, supplies, and arms distributed among these safe houses. In a similar way, the Mamluk Sultan Baybars leveled roads; built bridges (Jisr Daymiyya in 1266 to cross the Jordan River); renovated castles in a number of towns and villages (Ajlun, Salt, Shobak, the south tower at Kerak, and, perhaps, the southwest tower area at Hisban citadel); developed local shrines (such as providing an endowment for the tomb of the Companion Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah in ‘Amata in 1277 and enlarging, renovating, and expanding the endowment for the

THE CASE OF HISBAN There are no equivalent historical references to the village of Hisban during Sultan Baybars’ reign, from which to draw the same picture of development and imperial incorporation. For a history of the first fifty years of Mamluk rule here, one must turn to the results of forty years of (ongoing) archaeological fieldwork at Tall Hisban, which suggest many of the same terms of economic revival and political restructuring that characterize Sultan Baybars’ rule in the rest of Jordan. 2 Located in a modern village of the same name, approximately 25 kilometers south of Amman and with views of the northwest end of the Dead Sea, the old city of Jerusalem, and Jericho, Tall Hisban visually dominates the grain fields of the Madaba Plains in central Jordan (Figure 1). Although there are occasional references to the village in Abbasid and Ayyubid-era chronicles, it becomes most visible historically in the fourteenth century, when, under the active sponsorship of the Mamluk Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad (third reign 1310-1341), it became the capital of the Balqa’ (wilayat al-Balqa’); was visited on three occasions by sultans (twice by al-Nasir Muhammad and at least once by Barquq); housed a moderately-sized garrison under the command of a middling general (amir of 10 horsemen); commanded some three hundred nearby villages and extensive farmland; and enjoyed all of the public services of a proper ‘town’ (madinah), such as a court, madrasah (Islamic law school), and marketplace (Walker 2003 and 2007). It was renowned in this period for its agriculture (grains, walnuts, and orchards) and intellectual achievements, as many local scholars went on to make successful academic careers in Damascus (Ghawanmeh 1982a, 169200). The site consists of the hill (a quasi-tell) itself, on the summit of which sits the medieval castle (Figure 2), and the village below, located on its slopes and around its base; its hinterland includes farmland, wadis, and springs at a distance of some two-three kilometers away, which have been surveyed systematically since the 1970s. The standing architecture on the western half of the summit includes the remains of a fourteenth-century residential complex (identified as the palace of the Governor of the Balqa), to which 1

For Baybars’ building projects in Jordan, see Walmsley 2001; Walker 2003. 2 The current excavations at Tall Hisban are sponsored by Andrews University under the Senior Direction of Øystein S. LaBianca. The author is Co-Director and Chief Archaeologist.

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B. Walker: Transjordan As The Mamluk Frontier. Imperial Conceptions Of Authority And Space is connected a small bathhouse (likely an early Islamic construction – Devries 1986 – for architectural description; Walker and La Bianca 2008 – for tentative Abbasid dating) (Figure 3). The remains of an Early Byzantine basilica, partially restored by Andrews University, is situated to its east. The summit in the Mamluk era was covered in stone, barrel-vaulted rooms and open courtyards with flagstone pavements, the entire area riddled by an extensive underground network of cisterns, caves, and passages. Previous to Mamluk, and possibly Ayyubid, occupation, the summit was used as a fortified residence during Umayyad and Abbasid times; a bishopric under the Byzantines; a Roman cultic center; and a square, fortified space with square corner towers during the Hellenistic period (or earlier), during which time the enclosure wall and the general contours of the summit were established. In comparison to the marked transformation of space and function that the summit of the tell experienced over time, the slopes, wadis, and fields below were consistently given over to domestic and agrarian use, with peaks of occupation occurring in the Roman, Byzantine, and Mamluk periods. Phase II excavations at the site began in 1998 with a renewed interest in the Islamic periods. In the four seasons of fieldwork since then (1998, 2001, 2004, and 2007), we have identified three phases of occupation and construction on both the summit of the tell and in Field C (remains of the medieval village on the western slopes and base of the tell).3 These phases of construction include two different periods of renovations to the fortifications, which seem to correspond to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Although at this point the chronology of the architectural phasing cannot be confirmed with confidence, the coin evidence supports an initial series of renovations to possible Ayyubid-era constructions on the summit at the beginning of Mamluk rule; a flurry of construction activity in the fourteenth century, which includes reorganization of interior space at the entrance to and the western half of the summit; destruction (arguably by earthquake) in mid-century and subsequent attempts at restoration; and squatter-like reuse of ruins in the late Mamluk period. The village, on the other hand, continued to be occupied until well into the fifteenth century. Excavations in 2001 and 2004 confirmed these phases of construction, renovation, and reuse for the storeroom located in the Governor’s Palace and along the inside face of the southern fortification wall. At some point at the beginning of Mamluk rule, the southwest corner of the citadel was reinforced by expanding its space to the north and east, building a series of passageways and rooms inside that corner, and adding courses to a derelict fortification wall. The result was the creation of a massive southwest corner tower that dominates the summit – twice the size of the other three – and resembling in many respects the south keep at Kerak Castle, built by Sultan Baybars over earlier ruins. Fieldwork in 2007, focused, in part, on the main gate to the citadel, located to the south. The results suggested a further militarization of the site at a later stage

in the Mamluk period, as formerly public and cultic, and then domestic and private, spaces were transformed into a formal citadel. One of the earliest uses of the entrance to the summit is related to a well-constructed flagstone pavement that seems to have led from the staircase directly to the basilica, continuing underneath the extant inside face of the southwest corner tower. This cobblestone entranceway to the church complex was replaced at a very early stage in the Umayyad period with a series of plastered floors, the entrance gate narrowed in the process. In the early Mamluk period the space to the west of and adjacent to the stairs was converted into a combination fortification/ storage space. In the fourteenth century, in a final stage of reorganization of space, these rooms were replaced with a poorly constructed, small and square tower, which occupied the easternmost end of the earlier southwestern tower, providing a kind of buttress. The construction consisted of extending the southwest tower further east and south, adding to the face adjacent to the stairs a haphazardly-built, small (2x5 meter), square tower filled in with rubble (Figure 4). This ‘buttress’ reduced again the width of the southern entrance and appears to be connected with restorations to the citadel following what we believe to be earthquake damage in the mid-late fourteenth century. Most of the Mamluk-era construction can be dated to the fourteenth century. What thirteenth-century building activity that can be identified at the site, at this preliminary stage of interpretation, includes the reinforcement of the southwest tower and reorganization of its internal space. Although there are no written records to confirm it, the work could be attributed to Sultan Baybars, who did similar restorations to Ayyubid castles throughout Jordan. The location alone of Hisban would have perfectly suited Baybars’ defensive program outlined above. The hill has an excellent view of the surrounding plain; sits at the intersection of two important communications corridors linking Jerusalem, Damascus, and the Hijaz; and already had well developed water capture and storage facilities, in addition to good farmland. The site did become, under Baybars, a stop on the barid route from Egypt, a node on the pigeon route he developed, and was located just off the Damascus hajj route to the Hijaz. The chronology of these developments pivots on the numismatic evidence. Nearly 400 coins were collected during the Phase I excavations in1968-1976 (Terian 1974, 40-46; Terian 1976, 136 and 141; Terian 1980, 178; Hendrix 1994, 180-182) and many fewer (several dozen) thus far during Phase II; only a fraction of these, however, are legible or otherwise datable. Nonetheless, the numismatic record allows us to make some preliminary statements about the scale of occupation and economic status of Hisban in the thirteenth century. There is a rich series of coins, although primarily fulus (copper coins, the lowest denomination), at the site for the Ayyubid period, from nearly all fields of excavation. For the Mamluk period, 68 coins bearing the name of Sultan Baybars – a remarkable quantity from a single reign - were recovered from both the citadel and the village below. Three of these were copper fulus, but the remaining 65 were recovered from a coin hoard, placed

3

For a summary of the results of recent excavations at Hisban and a bibliography of published reports, see La Bianca - Walker 2007, 118-120.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean DeVries, B. 1986. The Islamic Bath at Tell Hesban. in The Archaeology of Jordan and Other Studies, ed. L. T. Geraty and L. G. Herr. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 223-235. Ghawanmeh, Y. 1980. Imarat al-Karak al-Ayyubi. Karak, Manshurat Baladiyyat al-Karak. al-Tarikh al-Hadari li-Sharqi al-Urdunn fi al-‘Asr alMamluki. Amman, Dar al-Fikr li-l-Nashr wa al-Tawzi‘, 1982a. al-Tarikh al-Siyasi li-Sharqi al-Urdunn fi al-‘Asr alMamluki al-Awwal. Amman, Dar al-Fikr li-l-Nashr wa alTawzi‘, 1982b. al-Masajid al-Islamiyyah al-Qadimah fi Mintiqat ‘Ajlun. Irbid, University of Yarmouk, 1986. Hansen, Th. Blom and Stepputat, F. 2005. Introduction, in Sovereign Bodies: Citizens, Migrants, and States in the Postcolonial World, ed. Thomas Blom Hansen and Finn Stepputat. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1-36. Hendrix, Ralph E. 1994. A Summary of Small Finds from Tell Hesban. in Hesban After 25 Years, ed. David Merling and Lawrence T. Geraty. Berrien Springs, MI, Andrews University Press, 176-186. LaBianca, Ø. S. and Walker, Bethany J. 2007. Tall Hisban: Palimpsest of Great and Little Traditions of Transjordan and the Ancient Near East, in Crossing Jordan – North American Contributions to the Archaeology of Jordan, ed. Thomas E. Levy, P.M. Michèle Daviau, Randall W. Younker, and May Shaer. Bedforshire, UK, Equinox Publishing, Ltd., 111-120. Parker, S. Th.. Heshbon 1976: Area C.4, 6, 8, 9, 10, Andrews University Seminary Studies 16.1 (1978): 71-105. Terian, A. 1974. Coins from the 1971 Excavations at Heshbon. Andrews University Seminary Studies 12.1, 35-46. Terian, A. 1976. Coins from the 1973 and 1974 Excavations at Heshbon, Andrews University Seminary Studies 14.1 (1976), 133-141. Terian, A., 1980. Coins from the 1976 Excavations at Hesbon. Andrews University Seminary Studies 18.2 (1980), 173-180. Walker, Bethany J. 2003. Mamluk Investment in Southern Bilad al-Sham in the Eighth/Fourteenth Century: The Case of Hisban. Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 62.4, 241-261. Walker, Bethany J. 2004. Mamluk Investment in the Transjordan: A ‘Boom and Bust’ Economy, Mamluk Studies Review 8.2 (2004): 119-147. Walker, Bethany J. 2007. Sowing the Seeds of Rural Decline?: Agriculture as an Economic Barometer for Late Mamluk Jordan, Mamluk Studies Review 11.1, 173-199. Walker, Bethany J. 2008. The Tribal Dimension in Mamluk-Jordanian Relations, Mamluk Studies Review, 13.1, 82-105. Walker, Bethany J. 2009. Popular Responses to Mamluk Fiscal Reforms in Syria. Bulletin d’Études Orientales, 58, in print. Walker, Bethany J. and S. LaBianca, Ø. 2008. Tall Hisban. In Archaeology in Jordan, 2007 Season, ed. Stephen H. Savage, Donald R. Keller, and Christopher A. Tuttle. American Journal of Archaeology 112.3, 509-528.

in a Mamluk-era slipper-shaped ceramic lamp (Figure 5), which was in turn hidden in a niche of a wall of a late thirteenth-century house in the medieval village (Parker 1978, 76, 92-93). These were all silver dirhams (the second largest denomination of Islamic coinage), of varying weights and bearing variations on sultanic titles. Significantly, we have thus far not identified a single coin minted between the reigns of Sultans Baybars and al-Nasir Muhammad, but have more coins of the fourteenth century (and for the duration of the century) than any other Islamic period. The numismatic record, then, suggests that there was a flurry of investment in the citadel and the town during Baybars’ reign, not to be matched until that of al-Nasir Muhammad. Hisban, thus, grew in spurts in the mid-late thirteenth century, and then again throughout the fourteenth century. The ceramic record has, unfortunately, not been as informative about occupation of the site in the thirteenth century. The rich deposits and contents of the nearly complete storeroom mentioned above represent the range of locally produced and imported wares available in Syria in the fourteenth-century (Figure 6). It is an enviable assemblage for this period and one of the best in this respect in Jordan. However, it has been difficult to stratigraphically and stylistically separate thirteenth from fourteenth-century pottery. With the exception of isolated sherds of sgraffitos and possibly some local painted handmade ware (called HMGP – ‘Handmade Geometric Painted Ware’ – by archaeologists), the first generations of Mamluk rule have not been clearly represented ceramically at this site. Nonetheless, both the summit and village were clearly occupied, and experienced marked economic and demographic growth, as demonstrated by the numismatic evidence; the lacuna in the ceramic record may reflect more the state of knowledge about thirteenth-century pottery in Jordan than the nature of occupation at the site. CONCLUSIONS Tall Hisban is a rather exceptionally well preserved, but probably very typical, rural capital in Mamluk Transjordan. The citadel there illustrates ways in which the eastern frontier was incorporated at the beginning of Mamluk rule and suggests how other administrative centers of comparable size, such as Salt and Amman, were developed and functioned during the transition from Ayyubid to Mamluk rule. Fieldwork at Hisban also demonstrates the value of studying the ‘other Jordan’ and its smaller, rural centers in the writing of a history of imperial rule on the frontier during the later Islamic periods. It was largely through such modest, rural garrisons that the first Mamluk sultans were able to subdue the frontier, village by village and one tribal territory at a time. BIBLIOGRAPHY Das, V. and Poole D, 2004. State and Its Margins: Comparative Ethnographies. in Anthropology in the Margins of the State, ed. Veena Das and Deborah Poole. Sante Fe, School of American Research Press, 3-33. 206

B. Walker: Transjordan As The Mamluk Frontier. Imperial Conceptions Of Authority And Space

* Figure 1. View north of Madaba Plains and Tell Hisban in the 1970s

* Figure 2. The Mamluk Citadel at Hisban, southern entrance

* Figure 3. Mamluk ‘Governor’s Palace’, as it appeared in 1976 (with bathhouse to right)

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Figure 4. Staircase, 2007 season

Figure 5. Hoard of silver dirhams of Sultan Baybars’ reign, from a medieval house in Field C

Figure 6. Monumental glazed bowl from Mamluk storeroom (*These photos from project files at the Institute of Archaeoloy, Andrews University) (Photo for Figure 4 was taken by the author)

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

THE CASTLES OF AQABA Reem Al-Shqour1 University of Ghent Johnny De Meulemeester Islamic Aqaba Project A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011 Abtract (2008) The Castles of Aqaba Since the research started in 2000, the excavations at the castle of Aqaba show that before this Mamluk building was constructed in 1515 a fortified khan existed on the site. Occupation in the area started in relationship to the Islamic city of Ayla 1 km to the north and a continued exploitation of the oasis resources (agriculture based on local wells and irrigation) is proved from the Abassid period onwards. In the late 12th or early 13th century a rectangular enclosure was built which will take the function of a khan during the 13th century and of a gorvernor’s residence during the 14th century. The construction had to be rebuilt at several occasions probably due to eartquakes. In the 15th century it stayed abandonned for som while before being replaced by the actual fort. As for Crusaders presence no actual prove was found, but we consider the possibility that the Crusaders during their presende at the Gulf of Aqaba used perhaps the old Islamic town defences of Ayla, like they were used to do in north-western Europe at the same epoch.

INTRODUCTION--HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE OF AQABA

they decide to (some at least) move 1000 meters south and establish a new settlement and fortification at Aqaba? Did other Arab settlers move into the area to reestablish the population? The subsequent historic events that are known from literary sources provide little help to clarify the situation. For example, it is known that in 1116 King Baldwin I of Jerusalem and 200 knights arrived at Ayla and occupied the town. Some scholars suggest that since there is no record of a fight, the town was completely abandoned and the Crusaders simply marched in. Yet, there are accounts of Arab inhabitants who fled into the sea, indicating that the town was not completely abandoned. The accounts also suggest that the Crusaders left a small garrison at Elim or Helim (as they took the name from the Bible) while the rest returned to Jerusalem. Taken together, these accounts would suggest that some occupation continued at Ayla after the earthquake, both Arab and Crusader. But how substantial was the Arab occupation before the Crusaders arrived? And where precisely was the Crusader garrison of Elim (Helim) located— in Ayla, or at the new location of Aqabat-Ayla (Whitcomb 1997)—that is the area that would become the Aqaba Castle? Whatever the case, this initial incursion by the Crusader army apparently did not result in a long-term Crusader presence for in 1154 al-Idrisi’s reference to the small town of Ayla indicates that it was again populated by Arabs and under their control. A permanent military Frankish presence at or near Ayla was probably not established until the 1160s, virtually a hundred years after the earthquake. In fact, recent analysis of the historical documents by Denis Pringle (Pringle 2005) shows clearly that the location of the Crusader castle that Saladin captured in 1170 was actually on the island of Jazirat Fara‘un, in Egyptian terri-

The famous Castle at Aqaba is well-known to the world primarily because of its capture on the 6th of July 1917 by the Arab army—an event made even more famous to the western world because if its association with Col. T. E. Lawrence, commonly known as “Lawrence of Arabia.” Less well known, however, is the earlier history of this celebrated fort and the town it protected. The capture of Aqaba, probably the most significant military action of the Arab revolt against the Turks during WWI was only the most recent episode in a long and often not well understood history of this strategically located site that sits astride the intersection of two major travel routes of antiquity— the Egyptian pilgrim’s way and the Syrian pilgrims way. Until now, the actual origins of Aqaba have been somewhat of a mystery. It is generally agreed that its beginnings can be traced back to the 11th century when Ayla, the earlier Islamic town on the north shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, suffered a series of setbacks. One of these occurred in 1024 when Ayla was sacked during a Bedouin raid. Then, on 18 March 1068, the town and environs suffered considerable devastation in a massive earthquake. Some records suggest only 12 residents of Ayla survived because they were at sea. Archaeological excavations have shown that the quake displaced some structures by as much as a meter. Significantly, it also appears that the water table of this site rose at this time. Most scholars seem to agree that 1068 earthquake ultimately led to the abandonment of the town. However, there is still considerable uncertainty as to what precisely happened to Ayla after the earthquake. Was the town immediately and completely abandoned, or did some folks (the dozen survivors?) continue to occupy Ayla? Or did 1

This article is dedicated to the memory of my professor and colleague in directing the excavations at Aqaba, Prof. Dr Johnny De Meulemeester. He passed away before completing this article for publication. The results and interpretations generally follow what we had worked out together; however, I did not have the opportunity to share my ideas concerning the water wells with Prof De Meulemeester before he died.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean tory. Nevertheless, they were able to maintain control – at least during clear weather – because the town of Aqaba (or Ayla), was only 15 km to the north. Despite these historical references, excavations carried out on the island during the Israeli military occupation of Sinai, revealed no certain trace of the Frankish occupation. As well be shown below, the earliest architectural remains associated with the castle at Aqaba appear to date from the Ayyubid occupation in the late 12th and 13th centuries; and the visible standing remains, despite being now largely rebuilt, also appear to date from after Saladin’s capture of Ayla in 1170 when it became the principal Ayyubid stronghold in the region. The Crusaders returned to Ayla in 1181, when Reynald of Châtillon, lord of Karak, was able to briefly occupy the town. According to al-Maqrizi the Egyptian historian, Reynald arrived in Ayla in November 1181. However, he was soon forced to withdraw when Saladin’s nephew undertook a raid against Karak. Al-Maqrizi also adds that following Reynald’s incursion, the rain at Ayla was so heavy that its fortress collapsed. It is not clear whether the fortress that collapsed in 1181 was located on the shore of Aqaba or on Jazirat Fara‘un. It seems more likely that de Châtillon stayed in a stronghold on the shore as it seems improbable that he would have captured the Jazirat castle and immediately withdrawn. While the texts are vague about this action, they provide a more detailed account of the events of the following year, when Reynald raided Muslim shipping in the Red Sea, blocking the principal Ayyubid fortress on Jazirat Fara‘un. This, the most ambitious Frankish raid to date, was apparently intended as a prelude to an attack on the Holy Places. The raid was launched towards the end of 1182 when Reynald brought five prefabricated ships to Ayla which had been under Saladin’s control almost continually since 1171. It is evident that Reynald must have taken Ayla. However, Saladin’s troops still occupied the castle at Jazirat Fara‘un, so Reynald sent two ships to blockade the island castle. The other ships were sent down the Red Sea to ‘Aydhāb on the coast of modern Sudan. Reynald did not join these ships, apparently remaining at Ayla to direct the campaign (Facey 2005, 93; Mallett 2008, 148, 151-152). Again, it seems unlikely that the Crusaders did not use a stronghold on the shore at least as back up for their expedition against the castle on Jazirat Fara‘un and for their other ships in the Red Sea. Although the Franks looted and sacked ‘Aydhāb, Reynald decided to suspend his southern expansion. Ultimately he and most of his troops would be killed at the battle of the Horns of Hattin in 1187. With the final ending of Frankish control in Transjordan and southern Palestine in 1189, the need for an Islamic fort on the Gulf of Aqaba to protect the overland traffic between Cairo and Damascus receded. In Sinai, Saladin constructed another fortress, the castle of Sadr or Qal’at alGindi to protect this main communication route between Egypt and Syria. The Crusader attack and occupation of Ayla apparently was the final blow to the early Islamic town; it does not seem to have been reoccupied (Whitcomb 1997, 359).

Subsequently, in Mamluk times a new settlement, called al-‘Aqaba (or Aqabat-Ayla), developed in the vicinity of the present castle. It has been suggested that the decision to relocate the settlement there was because of the possibility that an earlier fortification may have been located there and the inhabitants were drawn to this area to be closer to this source of protection. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES OF THE “ISLAMIC AQABA PROJECT”1 As is evident from the historical survey given above, there are several outstanding questions concerning the history of Aqaba. Many of these questions exist because the extant documentary evidence has gaps or is incomplete. Fortunately, when the written sources are silent, archaeology can help. Specifically, the present standing structure of Aqaba Castle is, of course, late Mamluk in origin, but our excavations have revealed that earlier structures underlie the present castle. These earlier remains might include the fortification to which, according to Abû’l-Fida, the Mamluk governor of Ayla, transferred his residence around 1320 when the castle at Jazirat Fara‘un was finally abandoned. However, specific documentary evidence to prove this transfer are lacking. 1

The “Islamic Aqaba Project” is a research program whose goal has been to link the former American excavations of the town of Ayla (19861993) to the Belgo-British and Franco-Belgian excavations of the Aqaba Castle Project (2000-2008). From 2000-2003 the project was under the general direction of Johnny De Meulemeester & Denys Pringle; from 2005 onwards it was directed by Johnny De Meulemeester and Reem al-Shqour. Sponsors for the project include Ghent University (principle sponsor), and the UMR 5648 du CNRS, Archaeologia Mediaevalis. For reports for 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005 submitted to the DoA: Johnny De Meulemeester, Andrew Petersen & Denys Pringle, The Aqaba Castle Project. Report 2000, Archaeologia Mediaevalis (Belgium), Ministère de la Région wallonne/Division du Patrimoine (Belgium), Cardiff University (Great-Britain) & Department of Antiquities (Jordan), Cardiff-Namur, 84 pp; Johnny De Meulemeester, Sawsan alFakhri, Denys Pringle, Aqaba Castle Project 2001. Preliminary Report, Archaeologia Mediaevalis (Belgium), Ministère de la Région wallonne/ Division du Patrimoine (Belgium), Cardiff University (Great-Britain) & Department of Antiquities (Jordan), Aqaba, 2001, 154 pp; Johnny De Meulemeester, Saté Ahed Massadeh, Denys Pringle & Inneke Daghelet, Magalie Dartus, Joke Dewulf, Katie Johnson, Rana Mikati, Matthew Pease and Reem Shqour, The Aqaba Castle Project. Field Report 2003, Archaeologia Mediaevalis (Belgium), Ministère de la Région wallonne/ Division du Patrimoine (Belgium), Cardiff University (Great-Britain) & Department of Antiquities (Jordan), Cardiff-Namur, 19 pp; Johnny De Meulemeester, Joke Dewulf, Nele Eggermont, Anton Ervynck & Reem Shqour and with the collaboration of Jacques Debie & Moussa Malkewi, The Aqaba Castle Project. Field Report 2005, Archaeologia Mediaevalis (Belgium), Ministère de la Région wallonne/Division du Patrimoine (Belgium), Cardiff University (Great-Britain) & Department of Antiquities (Jordan), Cardiff-Namur, 23 pp; De Meulemeester Johnny, Foran Debra & Shqour Reem (with the collaboration of Berkers Maarten, Clement Cateline, Herremans Davy) 2006, The Aqaba Castle Project. Field Report 2006, Archaeologia Mediaevalis (Belgium), Ministère de la Région wallonne/Division du Patrimoine (Belgium), Cardiff University (Great-Britain) & Department of Antiquities (Jordan), Cardiff-Namur, 22 pp.; Johnny De Meulemeester & Reem Shqour (with the collaboration of Bart Bartholomieux, Maarten Berkers, Cateline Clement, Kristoffer Damgaard, Magalie Dartus, Jacques Debie, Nele Eggermont, Sawsan alFakhri, Debra Foran, Davy Herremans & Katrien Rutten) 2007, The Aqaba Castle Project. Field Report 2007, Archaeologia Mediaevalis (Belgium), Ministère de la Région wallonne/Division du Patrimoine (Belgium), Cardiff University (Great-Britain) & Department of Antiquities (Jordan), Cardiff-Namur, 18 pp.

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J. De Meulemeester, R. Al-Shqour : The Castles of Aqaba In this same vein, questions about even earlier phases of Aqaba can likewise be explored. For example, what was the precise nature and extent of Crusader control in and around the Gulf of Aqaba? When and why did inhabitation of the Islamic city of Ayla cease, and why did the inhabitants relocate at a site only 1000 m south where the Castle of Aqaba is now located. On this latter issue, one important point must be taken into consideration: even if the chief Crusader and Ayyubid/Mamluk stronghold was located on Fara’un Island as indicated by documentary sources, an effective control of the mainland routes and of Aqaba itself seems most unlikely without at least a bridgehead on the mainland. As will be shown below, the archaeology evidence will provide insight on this question. From these foundational historical questions one can move onto other questions concerning the socio-political and economic aspects of Aqaba’s history. These historical questions, therefore, became the focus of the initial phase of our current archaeological research project.

red with sand. A new wall was constructed along the same line; the wall of the well was heightened at the same time. A similar wall was constructed that led from the well off to the west. The number of wells and their combined water capacity would seem to exceed the needs of mere drinking water for the inhabitants and their animals; indeed, there would have been sufficient sweet water to support a significant amount of gardening and agricultural activity. Indeed, the presence of water canals strategically placed in conjunction with possible terrace walls suggests that the area had been purposely divided up into agricultural fields. One might infer from this that a division of fields system existed at this time. Associated with the wells, irrigation canals and terrace walls were the remains of the earliest buildings to be found at Aqaba with traces of hearths, tabūn or bread oven, and floors. One of the structures was defined by two circular column bases enclosing two tiles; a Fatimid glazed sherd was uncovered directly under one of the tiles providing a date for the tile floor. In one of the walls of the first khan was a sherd build into it from an Abbasid jar that doubtlessly comes from a nearby habitation. Significantly, the orientation of the structures is along a NW-SE or SW-NE axis. This is different from the later khans which were constructed on a N-S and E-W axis. Again, the layout points to a certain level of foresight, organization and planning. When all the evidence for Phase 1 is taken together, one can reasonably assume that the earliest activity at the site began in the Umayyad period with the construction of a well. However, the earliest occupation seems to have taken place during the late 11th or early 12th century when an agriculture settlement was established at the site. Probably this kind of activity still continued on the site itself until the first substantial structures were built in the 12th/13th centuries (below).

ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESULTS After eight seasons of excavation, we have been able to isolate and identify ten activity or occupational phases at Aqaba Castle. In the following section we will briefly summarize the findings from each phase beginning with the earliest, lowest phase. Phase 1 Pre-Khan Occupation (8th to 12th centuries) Phase 1a. Based on the ceramic evidence, the earliest occupational phase at Aqaba dates from the 8th to the 12th centuries (Figure 1), corresponding to the Abbasid period. Perhaps the most significant features of this earliest phase are the wells. Several wells of varying size had been sunk in fairly close proximity to each other, indicating that the earliest inhabitants were attracted to the site by a plentiful supply of sweet water not too far below the surface. The earliest or oldest well contained Umayyad ceramics exclusively (Figure 2), suggesting that the Aqabat/Ayla location was utilized as a source for water, even though most inhabitants still occupied Ayla, 1000 m to the north. This well might be considered Phase 1a. Phase 1b. Additional wells were sunk (Figures 1 and 3) at least four have been found so far, apparently sometime after the first well. The precise dates for the later wells is uncertain, but one well was found to contain charcoal that was C14 dated to 1075-1160 (3%) and 1160-1290 (93%). These dates would suggest that the wells were constructed sometime after the great earthquake of 1068 (or the smaller one of 1071) - events that may have contributed to the eventual abandonment of the older Islamic town (below). The wells at Aqabat/Ayla varied in size. One well with a diameter of 2 m was partially excavated under the west wing of the north part of the later castle. It had a stepping stone to facilitate drawing water out of it; a canal exited the well in a north-eastern direction. Yet another well, with a diameter of 3 meters was located in what would become the central courtyard. A thin wall runs from the well to the northeast. This wall would become abandoned and cove-

Phase 2 Ayyubid/Crusader Fortification? (c. 1180-1220) Phase 2a. Phase 2, which is dated by ceramics to the Ayyubid period, consists of two sub-phases, Phase 2a and Phase 2b. As noted above, although literary sources indicate the presence of a castle on the island of Jazirat Fara’un and a fortification on the shore of Aqaba, archaeological excavation has produced no evidence of these structures so far. The earliest khan to be constructed on the site (under the current castle) dates to the late 12th –early 13th century, after the Crusader incursion. This first khan (Figures 4 and 8) possessed a rectangular enclosure wall (56m by 40m). Against the west wall, a series of square rooms of more or less 2,80m a side were constructed forming the west wing of the khan. The corner rooms were rectangular and had a length of 4m. The west and south walls lay on the same line as the current standing castle. Investigation of its four corners did not reveal any trace of corner towers. Perhaps the larger corner rooms functioned as (watch) towers. Although the area has not been excavated yet, it would not be surprising to find the entrance in the north wall built inwards towards the courtyard – this can be reasonably inferred from the position of some of the later rooms in the 211

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean central part of the north wing, which possibly used older walls as their foundation. At present it is not known if this first khan possessed a mosque. If it did, it is not unlikely that the reorientation of the building was linked to the position of the qibla wall (outer south wall) of the mosque2; excavations of that building are needed to confirm this idea. Later destruction and rebuilding make it impossible to know if, in its primitive stage, the enclosure stood empty of any buildings and if the row of square cells against the western wall were built as a secondary stage. Finds associated with these structures and the C-14 dating3 are consistent with a date in the late 12th or early 13th century for the construction of the enclosure wall and the first west wing cells. Phase 2b. In the northern half of the west wing there are clear indications that a number of rooms were reconstructed (Figure 5) - possibly after suffering from earthquake damage. The reconstruction more or less maintained the original size of the earlier cell rooms, as some of the preserved pavements and a latrine pit are overbuilt by the new cell walls. Probably at this same time, additional cells were built against the east wall providing the building with the more traditional appearance and function of a khan. Outside the presently standing castle wall and entrance, but also in the transition zone from the north to the west wing inside the castle, a significant number of postholes were excavated (Figure 6). For the moment the best explanation would seem to be that these postholes are the residue of tent posts. Support for this supposition can be derived from the de Laborde watercolor where one can see how in the 19th century tents were still erected in front of the castle. The debris layers linked to the postholes all belong to the Mamluk period. So it can be reasonably assumed that the tents were erected in front of the first khan. The postholes found inside the khan probably belonged to tents set up in the courtyard. From the historical point of view it is difficult to attribute the construction of the rectangular enclosure (khan) to a specific person, but based on the C14 results this first khan can be dated to the Ayyubid period. It was probably initially constructed as a simple enclosure. The cells were likely added against the western outer wall at a later stage. Although the interior might be different, this first enclosure/ khan can be compared with another Ayyubid khan—specifically, the Khan al-‘Arus located north of Damascus. This latter khan is a rectangular structure measuring 41m by 47m. It lacks corner towers and has a non-protruding gatehouse. It was built (according to an inscription that was originally placed above the entrance) in 1181/82 by Saladin (Sauvaget 1939, 49-55 , fig.19). Reynald de Châtillon’s action around the Red Sea somehow dishonored Saladin in Muslim eyes, since the latter was perceived as not being

able to protect the pilgrim routes to the Holy Cities. Could the construction of the enclosure be the materialization of Saladin’s will to protect the pilgrims and also gain control of Aqaba shore? Within the C-14 dating range there is also the other possibility that the khan was built by Al-Mu’azzam ‘Isa in 1213 (Milwright 2008, 76). Or could this refer to the building of new cells in the west wing and those against the east wall giving the structure the function of a real khan? Or must the reconstruction of the new cells be attributed to the Mamluk Sultan Baybars or his immediate successors. Linked to their involvement in providing protection and support for the annual Egyptian pilgrimage to the holy cities, Aqaba needed a fortification to accommodate the pilgrims. Whatever the case, from 1266 onwards, the Egyptian pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina came under official Mamluk sponsorship. Phase 3: Reorganization of the 1st “Khan” (14th century) Phase 3a. In the 14th century the interior of the khan was reorganized (Figure 7). The cells of the west wing were removed and new rooms were built on a larger, more rectangular plan measuring approximately 3.50m by 4.50m. The general layout was similar to the present castle. This time cells were also built against the south wall. (It is possible that cells were also added to the inside of the north wall, but that area has not been excavated yet). In the southwest corner, the defence system was strengthened with a tower that was round in the interior. We have no idea about its outer look as later tower building erased the structure.4 During this time period, an earthquake destroyed the castle at Jazirat Fara‘un. It is known that at least two significant earthquakes occurred in the region during the early 14th century - one in 1303 and a second in 1312. The latter is known to have caused considerable damage to the monastery at St. Catherine’s and might be the one that damaged Jazirat Fara‘un as well. Whatever, the case, the latter castle experienced such extensive damage that the governor eventually felt compelled to abandon it c. 1320 in favor of a fortification on the Aqaba shore. This naturally raises the question as to whether he occupied the existing khan. The failure to find any other significant structures in the area suggests that he probably did. Although the extant texts are not explicit, it is clear that a fortified khan did indeed exist on the shore of ‘Aqaba during the early years of the 14th century and that no new construction is mentioned or existed. Some authors attribute the origins of the ‘Aqaba castle to sultan Nasir Muhammad. This may be so, but the archaeological evidence would suggest that if he was the first to build a castle at the site, he did not build it de novo. Rather it would appear that he remodeled and expanded the existing khan during the first quarter of the 14th century, probably in conjunction with the arrival of the Mamluk garrison from Jazirat Fara‘un around 1320. Since it would not be surprising that

2

The Mamluks were able to define the more or less exact direction of Mecca: excavations of a late Mamluk rural mosque in Lehun showed that the qibla/mihrab orientation differed less than 4 degrees (De Meulemeester 2008); maybe their Ayyubid predecessors had already the necessary knowledge too. 3 For the moment the results of a series of C14 analysis’s on charcoal samples date the enclosure to the late 12th or early 13th century most probably between 1165 and 1220.

4 As

stratigraphy is not quite clear in this area, it is not impossible that this construction belongs to the next phase, the late Mamluk castle, and was replaced by the actual tower in the late 16th century (cfr infra).

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J. De Meulemeester, R. Al-Shqour : The Castles of Aqaba earthquake destruction on the island would also cause destruction of any structures on the Aqaba shore, this might explain the enlargement of the cells of the first khan and completion of rooms in the other wings. The construction of more spacious rooms and the increase of their number might point to an expansion or modification of the functions of the complex. It was no longer merely a khan, but now served as the governor’s residence and a major fortified garrison for the region. The intriguing historical question is for how long did it function in this new capacity? Of course, further research is needed to determine if the reorganization of the complex was limited to the building of similar cells in the west wing or if, indeed, more residential units were constructed (against the north and south wings). Phase 3b. This phase was represented by the rebuilding of at least some of the rooms in the west wing--apparently after suffering earthquake damage. For example, a pavement belonging to a room of Phase 3a disappeared under some new walls that were clearly built with less care. Does this post-earthquake reconstruction activity mark a return in the building’s primary function as a real khan?

khan. Its foundations clearly cut through the earlier wall built by the Mamluk sultan. Most likely this rebuilding should be linked with sultan Murad‘s activities. The most impressive feature of the new khan is the gatehouse, which projects from the middle of the north wall. The design of this is curiously skewed towards the northeast, while the western of the two rounded turrets that enclose the gate is larger than the other. The reason for this design feature seems to have been to create a false perspective, making the gatehouse appear symmetrical when seen from the principal direction of approach from the north-east. Phase 5: Rebuilding (17th–18th centuries) Investigation of the internal parts of the standing structures suggests a complicated sequence of construction and reconstruction, extending over the many centuries during which the building served both as a fortress and a khan used by Egyptian pilgrims travelling to and from Mecca. The rebuilding extends not only to the range of cells, used by Muslim pilgrims, and at certain times troops, which line the inside face of the walls, but also to the mosque in the south range, which, although Mamluk in origin, appears to have undergone at least three phases of rebuilding, during which its floor level was raised by more than a meter. Various structural alterations were made to the castle in the 17th and 18th centuries. These included the rebuilding of the south face of the north range and alterations to the west range. Also, latrines were built, altered, repaired or rebuilt. The result was the castle as we see it in the illustrations made by Léon de Laborde, who drew a plan and a front view c. 1827, and by David Roberts c.1843. The “de Laborde plan”, shows a regular khan with cells all around the central courtyard. So, when de Laborde passed through Aqaba, the building might still have fulfilled its original function as a khan for pilgrims, although de Laborde’s watercolor shows a canon pointing from the north-east polygonal tower.

Phase 4: The second khan or ‘Castle’ (c.1515 – 17th/18th century) The recent excavations make it clear that the khan was abandoned, fell into ruin and disappeared under the sand for a long period before it was rebuilt in the early 16th century. This was evident from the fact that tombs were dug into the east wall. Probably an earthquake was again the reason for the destruction and abandonment. In 1515, the last Mamluk sultan started the construction of a new khan at Aqaba. In preparation for the new construction of Phase 4 the site was leveled. Then the third khan, the present castle, was constructed on a larger plan. The plan of the new khan/castle consisted of a rectangular enclosure (56.5m by 58m) with corner towers. The corner-towers all seem originally to have been polygonal externally and rounded internally. Later, the north-east and south-east towers were partially reconstructed with a rounded external form. Later still, the upper floors and vaults of the towers were rebuilt for the installation of cannons. Excavation of the south-east corner and tower suggest that the building of the new khan was interrupted. Perhaps the death of al-Gawhri and the takeover of the Mamluk empire by the Ottomans was responsible for the interruption. It is more than probable that the Ottoman Sultan Murad III restarted and finished the work in the year 1587/8. Whatever the case, it is evident that after the abandonment/destruction of the earlier khan and the start of the work on the second castle, there occurred a long period of time during which the pilgrims passing trough Aqaba lacked a functioning khan. Later building work, including that associated with the Ottoman Sultan Murad III in 1588, which is also dated by inscriptions, was first thought to represent little more than renovations. A detailed excavation of the still polygonal southwest tower makes it clear that it was rebuilt after the construction of the early 16th century

Phase 6: Rebuilding after c. 1830 From 1831 to 1840, Egypt occupied Palestine and Syria. In 1841 the border of Mohammad Ali’s Egypt were fixed by the convention of London after what is known as ‘the ‘Aqaba incident’. Egypt was left in possession of the Sinai Peninsula and of a number of Red Sea garrison towns, including ‘Aqaba, in order to protect the Egyptian pilgrim route to Mecca. It seems that during this Egyptian occupation the reconstruction of the stronghold in its present form was undertaken, losing some of its khan cells in favor of a place adapted to the needs of a military garrison. Sometime after de Laborde’s visit, a number of changes were made to the castle, including the partial rebuilding of the north-east and south-east towers with rounded as opposed to polygonal exteriors, and the demolition of the northern part of the west range to create an enclosed yard, with a gate on the east. This reorganization left a different west range, with buildings as we now know them after the different 20th century reconstructions. Under Egyptian occupation, the khan became the military fort that would be 213

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peatedly destroyed, but there was the more serious danger of being crushed by the falling stones in the dilapidated town. This impression would have only been reinforced by the nature of the quakes at Ayla. Its location near the north shore of the Gulf provided an unstable foundation that actually undergoes a process of soil liquefaction and differential subsidence (Mansoor, Neimi, Misra 2004; AlTarazi And Korjenkov 2007, 51). One would not have the normal experience of a sudden sharp jerk or shake—rather, it would be like standing on wobbly gelatin. It has been suggested that this process resulted in the subsidence of Ayla by as much as a meter (Ghawanmeh 1992; Whitcomb 199). The occurrence of the earthquake suggests another possible factor that may have contributed to the abandonment of Ayla - one that we would introduce here as a working hypothesis—a water problem. Specifically, its possible, if not probable, that the earthquake resulted in the subsidence of Ayla—perhaps by as much as a meter subsidence (water table fluctuations can accompany liquefaction) (Mansoor, Neimi, Misra 2004, 301). It is not inconceivable that such a submergence so close to the northern shore of the gulf of Aqaba could have created a saltwater inversion that would have made the groundwater under Ayla less desirable, if not outright unsuitable for drinking.5 Ayla’s ancient water supply was provided by groundwater that flowed south from the Wadi Araba - a subterranean flow that ran under the town and was reached by various wells in the town. Today, the water at Ayla is considered potable, but it is still “somewhat brackish” (Whitcomb 2007) and would not be preferred if better water was available. (It is not impossible that the water quality was worse in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake than it is now - this is certainly something that would be worth investigating). In the aftermath of the 1068 earthquake, a better water source, indeed, was available nearby. A major fault line separates Ayla from Aqabat-Ayla (Al-Tarazi And Korgenkov 2007, 4, Figure 3), and the latter receives its groundwater from the Wadi Shallala to the east, rather than Wadi Araba to the north (Woolley And Lawrence 1914; Whitcomb 2007). Its water supply was apparently not adversely affected by the earthquake (the liquefaction potential at Aqabat/Ayla is slightly less than at Ayla (Mansoor, Neimi, Misra 2004). Its continued sweetness motivated the digging of several other wells (at least four have been found so far) its immediate vicinity. An abundant water supply of better quality water would certainly be a strong motivation for people to move from Ayla to Aqabat-Ayla (Aqaba Castle site). Thus, the destruction of Ayla, continuing geological instability, and a souring water supply would be strong motivators for local inhabitants to seek out another settlement site. If a better water supply was a motivating factor for some folks to move south 1000 meters, why did others chose to remain in Ayla? A couple of reasons can be suggested: (1) even though the town suffered extensive damage from the quake, some buildings likely survived intact or needed only minimal repair—and there was plenty of building ma-

Phase 7: First World War destruction and 20th century use During the Italo-Turkish war (1911-2) and the First World War (1915-17), the castle was bombarded from the sea. Much of the west wall and west range was destroyed, and the remains of the latter were filled with earth and rubble to create an elevated platform, possibly for mounting artillery. After the conquest of the fort by the Arab army, the courtyard was cleared and a rectangular building, most likely a stable, was constructed in its eastern half. After the war, the castle was largely rebuilt. Since 1980, reconstruction of the castle has been undertaken by the Department of Antiquities. DISCUSSION How do these finds fit into the literary and archaeological history of Ayla—as it is presently understood? Especially with regards to the ultimate abandonment of Ayla and the establishment of Aqabat-Ayla? Most scholars acknowledge that a key event in the decline of Ayla during the latter part of the 11th century was the 1068 earthquake (Al-Tarazi And Korjenkov 2007). Indeed, in the past, some have assumed that this event led to the immediate abandonment of the town. It was thought that when the Crusaders first arrived they established a new fortification 1000 meters south at what is now Aqaba Castle. However, there are a couple of serious problems with this proposal. First, various literary sources indicate that both Arabs and Crusaders continued to (alternately) occupy Ayla for sometime after the earthquake - indeed, well into the 12th and 13th century. Moreover, the results of our recent excavations at Aqaba Castle show that there was no Crusader Castle. Rather, there was a gap of more than a century between the earthquake of 1068 that devastated Ayla and the establishment of the first khan or fortification in the late 12th or early 13th century at Aqabat-Ayla by the Mamluks. During this time only an agricultural village existed at the site. Both literary sources and archaeological investigation indicate that the destruction at Ayla was quite substantial. Moreover, the literary sources suggest that while occupation continued at Ayla, it was not substantial - only a handful of Arabs remained. Why would occupation at Ayla be discontinued? This question is perhaps the easier to answer—the earthquake of 1068 (and the smaller quakes that followed) certainly did extensive damage. As some have suggested, it may have been less expensive and labor intensive to simply move to another location and start over “from scratch.” Moreover, it is likely that Ayla continued to be struck by earthquakes—there were likely aftershocks that continued for weeks and months after the “big one.” In fact a second major quake was known to have struck just two years later in 1071. This certainly would have impressed many that Ayla was no longer a desirable place to live and rebuild. Not only was there the likelihood of one’s work being re-

5

For recent examples of this problem at Aqaba see Hegazin 1988; Agnew And Anderson 1992

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J. De Meulemeester, R. Al-Shqour : The Castles of Aqaba terial around—so a few survivors probably found it easier to continue living at Ayla and decided to take the risk of reoccurring earthquake. Moreover, the fortification walls would have continued to provide a level of security. As for the water, they may have tolerated the slightly brackish water of Ayla, or went to the trouble of obtaining sweeter water from the wells at Aqabat-Ayla. As for Crusader presence in the area, analysis of the extent historical sources shows clearly that the main castle for controlling the ‘Aqaba Gulf was situated on Jazirat Fara‘un. It is unclear if the buildings there had a predecessor of Byzantine origin or not, although that is not impossible. Whatever the case, there was definitely occupation on the island in the Fatimid period – as shown by the ruined walls of a 10th century mosque. Only new excavations can help to elucidate the matter further. If there was a Crusader garrison post on the ‘Aqaba shore at any time, it does not appear to have been at the site of the present Castle of ‘Aqaba, as building activity only started there after the conquest of the area by Saladin (1170). On the other hand, if we had to rely on archaeology alone, there would be no evidence of a Crusader presence on Jazirat Fara‘un either. As an additional working hypothesis we might consider that Crusader’s military mission would make the surviving fortifications at Ayla a primary consideration as they determined where to locate their base of operations during their short-lived forays into the region—even if a small agricultural village with better water was located nearby. Parallels for this strategy can be found in England, Wales and Flanders where they also used old late Roman “Saxon Shore” forts in the same way in the same period and built their castles within the Roman fortification. As for the question of water, the Crusaders probably took advantage of the sweeter wells at Aqaba to replenish their own drinking supplies or to water their animals. This makes sense, since their primary short-term mission was military in nature, not the establishment of a city. Once the threat of the Crusaders was finally removed by Saladin’s capture of in 1170, the new Arab settlers decided not to return to the dilapidated Ayla, preferring to establish a modest agricultural settlement neat the sweet water well at Aqabat-Ayla. Additional wells were sunk, modest dwellings were built and agricultural fields were laid out and planted. As trade and travelers increased, it was decided to construct the first khan. This may have happened as early as the Ayyubid period, but certainly by the 13th century when the Mamluks became responsible for the safety of pilgrims travelling to Mecca. This first khan would then be replaced by the current building mainly constructed c. 1515. It would be interesting to explore the possibility of geological and hydrological studies of the ancient water systems of both Ayla (where ancient wells have been reported) and Aqaba to see precisely what impact the earthquake of 1068 may have had on these systems. One advantage of this hypothesis is that it explains why the transition from Ayla to Aqaba was gradual, rather than immediate after the earthquake.

CONCLUSIONS The precise history and relationship of Ayla and Aqaba Castle has recently become the focus of scholar attention. In the past, it has been assumed that Aqaba’s founding was directly related to Ayla’s abandonment, either due to the earthquake of 1068 or the invasion of the Crusaders. It has also been assumed that Aqaba Castle was founded by the Crusaders when they made their initial incursions into this region. However, both recent archaeological excavation at Aqaba and new analysis of historical sources make this interpretation problematic--the reality appears to be more complicated. It now appears that Ayla was not completely abandoned after the 1068 earthquake. Sources indicate that both Arabs and Crusaders continued to alternately occupy Ayla into the 12th century. These sources also suggest that the Crusaders actually occupied either Jazirat Fara‘un or a place on the north shore - we suspect it was probably within the fortifications of Ayla. Moreover, the first Khan and later castle - is now known to have been founded only after the Crusaders left the area in 1166. Ayla would be eventually abandoned after the Crusader’s departure, but rather than a sudden abandonment, it appears to have been a gradual move. The move might well have been motivated by a combination of continuing aftershocks and additional earthquakes at Ayla (e.g. 1071 and 1212) and, perhaps more important, the existence of a superior water supply at the nearby Aqaba Castle site. This latter would encouraged local Arabs to eventually abandon the former site for the latter - by the early 12th century the growing settlement finally established a khan—this would eventually be converted to a castle by the 13th century. This khan would be remodeled in the 14th century. The castle was completely rebuilt in the around 1515 and remodeled during the 17th/18th centurie - this was the second khan/castle. The Castle was again rebuilt ca. 1830. This was followed by the damage caused during First World War attacks and the repairs brought to the castle by the Arab occupation as the Castle became part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. BIBLIOGRAPHY Agnew, C. and Anderson, E. W. 1992, Water Resources in the Arid Realm, New York, Routledge. Facey, W. 2005. Crusaders in the Red Sea : Renaud de Châtillon’s Raids od AD 1182-1183. In People of the Red Sea. Proceedings of the Red Sea Project II held in the British Museum October 2004 (Janet Starkey, ed.). BAR International Series 1395, Oxford. Ghawanmeh, Y. H. 1992. Earthquake Effects on Bilad Ash-Sham Settlements, in Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan, IV (S. Tell, ed.), Annuals of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, Amman, Jordan, 53-59. Hegazin, S. 1988. Groundwater monitoring near Aqaba wastewater plant, in Biswas, in A.K and Arar, A. (editors) , Treatment and reuse of Wastewater, London, Butterworth, 180-2. Mallett, A. 2008. A trip down the Red Sea with Reynald of Châtillon, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 18 (2), 141-153. 215

Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean Mansoor, N. M., Neimi, T. M., Midra, A. 2004. A GISBased Assessment of Liquefaction Potential of the City of Aqaba, Jordan. Environmental and Engineering Geoscience, November 2004, v. 10, no. 4, 297-320. De Meulemeester, J. 2008. Rural Settlement from the Byzantine to the Mamluk Times at Lehun (District of Madaba, Jordan), in K. D’Hulster & J. Van Steenbergen (eds), Continuity and Change in the Realms of Islam. Studies in Honour of Professor Urbain Vermeulen, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, Leuven, Peeters, 159-168. Milwright, M. 2008. The fortress of the Raven. Karak in the Middle Islamic Period (1100-1650), Leiden/Boston, Brill. Pringle, D. 2005. The Castles of Ayla (Al-Aqaba) in the Crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk Periods, in Vermeulen Urbain & Van Steenbergen Jo (eds), Egypte and Syria in the

Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk Eras IV, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 140, Leuven, Peeters Publishers, 333-353. Sauvaget, J. 1939. Caravansèrais Syriens du Moyen Âge, Ars Islamica, 6. Al-Tarazi, E. A., Korjenkov, A. M. 2007. Archaeoseismological investigation of the ancient Ayla site in the city of Aqaba, Jordan. Natural Hazards 42/1. Woolley, C. L., Lawrence, T. E. 1914. The Wilderness of Zin. Annual of the Palestine Exploration Fund 1914-15. (republished in 2003 by Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, Indiana). Whitcomb, D. 1997. The Town and Name of ‘Aqaba : An Inquiry into the Settlement History from an Archaeological Perspective, in Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan VI, Amman, 359-363. Whitcomb, D. 2007. The Aqaba Project. The Annual Report of the Oriental Institute. Chicago, Illinois.

Figura 1. Phase 1: Pre-khan structures.

Figura 2. Small pre-khan well (Umayyad).

Figura 3. Phase 1b: Pre khan well with stone steps and canal

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Figura 5. Phase 2b: 13th c. reorganisation of the 1st khan.

Figura 4. Phase 2a: First khan (dotted lines represent supposed/not excavated walls).

Figura 7. Phase 3: 14th c. reorganisation of the 1st khan.

Figura 6. Phase 2b: Postholes outside the Castle

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Figura 8. Location of the first khan under the actual late Mamluk castle as shown in aerial photo.

Figura 9. Well (1) and canal supporting walls (2a and 2b) from the pre-khan phase; east wall of the 1st khan (3); north and south walls (4) of the cells of the east wing of the 1st khan.

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Figura 10. North part of the west wing: 1st khan cell walls (2/2b); rebuilding of the west wing (phase 3a) and reconstruction of the east wall (phase 3b); late Mamluk castle (4/5); 19th c. officers quarter wall (6); 20th c. reconstructions (7).

Figura 11. Southwest corner of the Mamluk Castle.

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La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, a cura di G. Vannini e M. Nucciotti , BAR, Oxford, 2012

THE CULTURAL ROLE OF SHOUBAK CASTLE DURING THE MEDIEVAL PERIODS Hani A. Al-Falahat Department of Antiquities of Jordan

A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011 Abstract (2008) Shoubak is located between Kerak and Petra, and is approximately 210km from Amman. It has many villages scattering over a vast geographical area. Shoubak played a major role in the protection of the pilgrim caravan road though ages. It’s said that: “when Shoubak is stable the pilgrim road is safety”. The location of the castle was selected to control the military movements in the medieval time. Struggle between Crusaders and Muslims gave Shoubak special importance and authority value for both. It was considered the central of the cultural circle of the Islamic word which was spread in Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo and Holly Mecca. The Castle played an important role in the cultural and social achievements both in Shoubak and Kerak during the medieval periods and even afterwards, and history recorded many names of imminent scholars who graduated in the Castle which was considered as a real scientific institution. My paper will focus on those imminent scholars who graduated in Shoubak and participated in publishing culture in deferent scientific aspects. Many judges, Hadith narrators, historians and high rank officials who participated in the development of Syrian and Egyptian governmental institutions gained their fundamental education and knowledge from this school. They were all known as “al-shoubaki”, which means: who’s from Shoubak.

Shoubak is located between Kerak and Petra, and is approximately 210km from Amman. It has many villages scattering over a vast geographical area. Shoubak played a major role in the protection of the pilgrim caravan road through ages. It used to be said that: “when Shoubak is stable the pilgrim road is safety”. The location of the castle was selected because of its resources, and to control the military movements in the medieval time. Struggle between Crusaders and Muslims gave Shoubak special importance and authority value for both. It was considered the central of the cultural circle of the Islamic word which was spread in Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo and Holly Mecca. The Castle played an important role in the cultural and social achievements both in Shoubak and Kerak during the medieval periods and even afterwards, and history (Arabic historians) recorded many names of imminent scholars who graduated in the Castle which was considered as a real scientific institution. Shoubak was and still pure from any ethnic, demographic and political attitude that may create sensitivity. Therefore, Shoubakis` were welcomed all over the Islamic world. My paper will focus on those imminent scholars who graduated in Shoubak and participated in publishing culture in different scientific aspects. Many judges, Hadith narrators, historians and high rank officials who contributed in the development of Syrian and Egyptian governmental institutions gained their fundamental education and knowledge from this school. They were all known as “al-shoubaki”, which means: who’s from Shoubak.

It was considered a referendum place from which Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, and Cairo were exposed (Ghawanmeh 1984, 11-12). After Islamic conquest to Syria as a result of Yarmouk battle1. Damascus became a knowledge destination. It was declared as Umayyad capital in A.D635 – A.D762. Jordanian scientists joined the new center for more education. Therefore, many names were recorded who were related to Jordanian cities; Amman, Salt, Aylah (Aqaba), Kerak, Ajlun, Shoubak, and many others. There are several records referring to scientific and education families from Jordan like: the family of Younes al Ayli (Abu al Falah, vol: 1, p404), Abd al Hakam al Ayli (Al Bukhari, vol: 1, p 345), and Aqeel al Ayli (Al Sam`ani, vol: 1, p 405) who were emerged from Aylah (Aqaba). Abbasid khalef (AD 750 - AD 1258) made Baghdad as new cultural attraction. Innovators aimed Baghdad and Cordoba to win the rewards of the Abbasid and Umayyed Khalefs. The cultural movement witnessed a real competition with Andalusia under the Umayyad role (AD 756 - AD 1492). This competition made a big progression in different scientific aspects. Fatimi Khalef in Cairo (AD 909 - 1171) supported science and scientists. Jordan interacted positively with all cultural movements all over the Islamic world. (Decline Period) In the middle of the 10th century the political situation became unstable in Baghdad. This situation affected directly the cultural life all over the main centers. Political conflicts spread in Syria and Egypt. Generally, the crusader wars made an end for any scientific uplift. The Islamic world was busy for holy struggle. In such political climate, science and scientists declined. This situation continued until the Aubbid/Mamlouk time. Thenceforward, science was given more attention by Muslim leaders (Sultans). In the new circumstances, Shoubak rises as active scientific radiation center because of its strategic location in the meeting point between the Islamic cultural capitals; Mecca, Baghdad, Jerusalem, Damascus and Cairo.

GENERAL VIEW AT SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL LIFE IN JORDAN DURING THE EARLY ISLAMIC ERA (Golden Period) Islamic religious sciences were born in Hejaz in Arabia. Prophet Mohammad (may God bless him) taught his followers the instructions of Islam. He asked them to teach their brothers in religion what they have had from him. During his life and after his death several star names spread in the Islamic partisan areas. Cosmologists, rhetoric, Hadith narrators, Koran memorizers, circulated in the new Islamic territories. Jordan become one of the first radiation centers.

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Yarmouk battle between Byzantines and Muslims took place nearby Yarmouk River in north Jordan in H 15/AD 635.

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skilled writer. He was modest, chaste and sociable. Died in H 885/AD 1480 Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mousa al-Tawzari al-Shoubaki. He was born in Shoubak in H 746/ AD 1345, learned Islamic jurisprudence and language sciences and mastered the readings of the Holy Quran. He moved to Mecca and was interested in Quran readings and sciences and taught many students. He was vegetarian died in Mecca in H 800 /AD 1397 and was buried in Madinah. He had two daughters: Sa’idah and Zainab and they gained their reputation in the field of Hadeeth scholarship and preached in Mecca. Zainab Bint Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mousa al-Shoubaki, Umm Habiybah. She resided with her father in Mecca. She moved to Egypt to study there and returned then to Mecca. She was honest, well-behaved, donor and freehanded. She was always performing fasting and circumambulation. She Died in H 886/AD 1481. Sa’idah Bint Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mousa al-Shoubaki. She is known as Ibnat Al-Matariyah. She resided with her father in Mecca. She was honest, well-behaved, donor and freehanded. She was always performing fasting and circumambulation. She died in H 882/AD 1477. Ali Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Abi al-Haija’ al-Shoubaki. He studied with Ibn Katheer in al-Kuttab. He grew up in a religious and pious environment, heared Quran readings from al-Sheik Bader-aldin Ibn Sulaiman and studied the methodology of Imaam an-Nawawi. He was a professional reciter of the Quran, sincere worshipper and highly appreciated by scientists. He died in Damascus in H 766/ AD 1364. Ala-aldin Abu Al-Hasan Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn Mousa Ibn Mohammad al-Shafi’I. He was born in Shoubak in H 857/ AD 1453, grew up and studied in Damascus and worked as a Muazzen (one who calls out for prayer at mosques) at the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. He was described as a pious and poet. He worked in commerce in Damascus and died there in H 937/AD 1530. Mohammad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mousa al-Tawzari alShoubaki. He was the brother of al-Sheikh Shihab-aldin Ahmad Ibn al-Tawzari. He was well-behaved, polite, respected, and humble. He resided in Mecca many years to gain more knowledge and understanding of Islam until he died there in H 824/AD 1421 and was buried in al-Mu’allah. He was the uncle of Sa’idah and Zainab, the daughters of Ahmad al-Tawzari.

The history has recorded several scholars in different scientific fields born, grew up and educated in this fort. Shoubak castle never remained outside the events frame. It was events maker and history former. Therefore, Shoubak scientists participated in publishing knowledge and literature in Damascus, Cairo, Hebron, Kerak, Jerusalem and Mecca. As Shoubak castle was constructed to offer safety and security along the crossing roads in the Islamic word during medieval times, it became more secure and safe, while other places however, were unstable. The location of the castle was selected to control the military movements in the medieval period. Struggle between Crusaders and Muslims gave Shoubak special importance and authority value for both. It was considered the central of the cultural circle of the Islamic word. Shoubak became attractive for scholars, scientists, and inventors. Therefore, many of them received their primary education at Shoubak. In this paper 12 Shoubaki characters will be presented. They were specialists in different aspects: Alam ad Deen Toma Bin Ibraheem al Shoubaki the physician: he studied and grew up at Shoubak. He was a distinguished physician who knows medicine professionally. He published in medicine and became very famous. He was selected as a close private physician for the King al Naser Bin Qallawoon. He died in Cairo in AD 1323. Abu al-Fatha’el Daniel Ibn Mankli al-Turkmani al-Shafi’i al-Shoubaki He was a judge and Muslim clerk. He moved to Damascus to study Islamic religious knowledge and preached this thought in Shoubak, Kerak and Damascus. Additionally, he was a judge in Kerak and Shoubak. He was an eminent Islamic scholar and Quran reciter. He died in Shoubak in H 696/AD 1296. Yousef Ibn Daniel Ibn Mankli Ibn Sarfa al-Shoubaki the Judge. He was born and educated in Shoubak and had gained his knowledge solely through his father. He moved to Damascus and learned the Islamic knowledge under a number of prominent scholars exactly as his father did. He preached in Damascus, Kerak, Shoubak. He was a judge at Shoubak until he died in his birthplace in H 730/AD 1329. Jamal al_din Ibn Yousef al-Shoubaki the physician. This physician was born in Shoubak. He learned Medicine and became an expert physician and moved then to Cairo and was a well-known physician in Egypt. He died and was buried in Cairo in H 772 H/AD 1370. Haroun Ibn Issa Ibn Mousa al-Shoubaki. He was born and educated in Shoubak and moved then to live in Hebron where he became interested in the Science of Hadeeth (Prophet’s Sayings). He was an honest worshipper and a reciter of the Holy Quran. He was venerable, abstinent and intellectual. He is mentioned by Ibn Rajab in his Dictionary. He died in Hebron in H 849/AD 1446. Mohammad Ibn Sulaiman Ibn Dawood Ibn Badr-aldin Ibn ‘Alam-aldin al-Shoubaki the clerk. He was born and educated in Shoubak, moved to live in Cairo where he trained by one of his relatives called Ibn al-Khwaiz and he became a

BIBLIOGRAPHY Gawanmeh, Y.. Al-Hayatu El-’Ilmiyyah wath-Thaqafiyyah fy Al-Ordon, fy al-’Asr al-Islami, al-Matba’ah al-Ordoniayyah, al-Ordon (in Arabic). Abu al-Falah, ‘Abd al-Hai bin Al-Emad al-Hanbali, Shatharaat adh-Dhahab fy Akhbar men Dhahab, Dar al-Afaq, Beirut, undated (in Arabic). Al Bukhari, Ismail bin Ibrahim, At-Tarick al-Kabeer 1978. Dar al-kutub al-Elmeiah, Beirut, 9 volumes, (in Arabic). As-Sam’ani, Abd al-Kareem Mohammad bin Mansour AtTamimi, 1980. Al-Ansab, Beirut, (in Arabic).

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Figure 1. Alam ad Deen Toma Bin Ibraheem al Shoubaki

Figure 2. Abu al-Fatha’el Daniel Ibn Mankli al-Turkmani al-Shafi’i al-Shoubaki

Figure 3. Yousef Ibn Daniel Ibn Mankli Ibn Sarfa al-Shoubaki the Judge

Figure 4. Jamal al_din Ibn Yousef al-Shoubaki the physician

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Figure 5. Haroun Ibn Issa Ibn Mousa al-Shoubaki

Figure 6. Mohammad Ibn Sulaiman Ibn Dawood Ibn Badr-aldin Ibn ‘Alam-aldin al-Shoubaki the clerk

Figure 7. Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mousa al-Tawzari al-Shoubaki

Figure 8. Sa’idah Bint Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mousa al-Shoubaki

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Figure 9. Zainab Bint Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mousa alShoubaki, Umm Habiybah

Figure 10. Ali Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Abi al-Haija’ al-Shoubaki

Figure 11. Ala-aldin Abu Al-Hasan Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn Mousa Ibn Mohammad al-Shafi’I

Figure 12. Mohammad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mousa al-Tawzari al-Shoubaki

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QAL’AT AL-SHAWBAK: STUDIO DEI DATI EPIGRAFICI DI EPOCA ISLAMICA Francesca Dotti École Pratique Des Hautes Études, Paris A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011 Abstract (2008) Qal’ at al-Shawbak: studio dei documenti epigrafici di epoca islamica Il sito di Qal’at al-Shawbak fondato in epoca crociata (1115-1116), ha mantenuto rilevanza politica ed amministrativa anche in epoche successive, come attesta l’importante corpus di iscrizioni di epoca islamica, preservato nella cittadella (3 fasce epigrafiche, 1 placca, blocchi di piccole dimensioni provvisti di frammenti di iscrizioni in giacitura primaria e secondaria e 15 frammenti fuori contesto). Le ricerche archeologiche condotte in situ hanno contribuito a identificare la sequenza occupazionale e costruttiva della fortificazione (Crociati, Ayyubidi, Mamelucchi e Ottomani). Le indagini epigrafiche condotte da chi scrive hanno messo in evidenza che le iscrizioni sono principalmente datate o attribuibili ai periodi occupazionali islamici ayyubide e mamelucco e, principalmente, al secolo XIII. I testi sono stati pubblicati solo parzialmente (3 fasce epigrafiche, 1 placca sola trascrizione e traduzione, 5 frammenti di iscrizioni sola trascrizione) e non sono mai stati oggetto di studi epigrafici specificatamente orientati (analisi delle formule e dei protocolli dei regnanti e contestualizzazione storica, archeologica ed epigrafica). La classificazione e l’analisi delle iscrizioni ha messo in evidenza che disponiamo per la maggior parte di testi scolpiti a rilievo, nel tipico corsivo ayyubide e mamelucco dell’epoca, di natura costruttiva/ricostruttiva e funeraria. L’analisi delle formule dei testi e dei protocolli sovrani ha consentito di tracciare gli schemi del formulario impiegato. L’analisi dettagliata delle informazioni fornite dai testi ha consentito di ricostruire la natura, il patrocinio e le date dei diversi interventi operati nella cittadella. I dati emersi dall’analisi dello studio dei documenti epigrafici preservati in situ sono stati contestualizzati nell’ambito dei risultati dalla ricerca condotta in occasione della nostra tesi di Master II – Catalogue des inscriptions des fortifications d’époque islamique du Bilad al-Sham du 11e au 14e sièclès, Master II, Paris, juin 2007 -. Questo ha consentito di circoscrivere la cittadella tra i siti fortificati -urbani e suburbani- della Grande Siria che presentano il corpus epigrafico attualmente quantitativamente e qualitativamente meglio conservato, anche per rapporto anche alle fasi costruttive e occupazionali menzionate nelle fonti e/o circoscritte dall’archeologia. L’obiettivo del presente paper è di fornire una sintesi preliminare del nostro studio, condotto nell’ambito della Missione Archeologica dell’Università di Firenze (campagne archeologiche 2003, 2007) e inquadrato, a partire dal 2007, nel nostro presente progetto di ricerca, che ha come oggetto lo studio della totalità dei materiali epigrafici rilevati sulle fortificazioni della Grande Siria -dottorato di ricerca in corso, Les fortifications d’époque islamique dans le bassin de la Méditerranée orientale entre les siècles 11e et 14e: étude des données épigraphiques et archéologiques, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris. Qal’ at al-Shawbak: Studies of Islamic-Age epigraphic data The site of Qal’ at al-Shawbak was founded during the Crusader Age (1115-1116) and had also a considerable political and administrative role in the following period, as attested to by the important corpus of inscriptions of Islamic Age, which has survived in the citadel (3 epigraphic bands, 1 plate, 18 small blocks with fragments of inscriptions, in their original position or moved out of the original place, whilst other 15 are stray finds). The archaeological survey carried out in situ has allowed to ascertain the settlement and building sequence of the fortification (Crusader, Ayyubid, Mameluk and Ottoman). The epigraphic study carried out by the writer has pointed out that the inscriptions can mainly be dated or ascribed to Islamic - Ayyubid and Mamluk - epoch, and mostly to the 13th century. These texts have only partially been published (3 epigraphic bands, the sole transcription and translation of 1 plate and the sole transcription of 5 fragments), and never been the purpose of specific epigraphical studies (analysis of sovereigns’ formulas and protocols, and historical, archaeological and epigraphical context). The classification and analysis of the inscriptions have shown that most of them are relief-carved texts, with the typical –Ayyubid and Mamluk- italics of the time, from building/restoration and funerary contexts. The analysis of the royal texts and formulas has allowed the used formulary mould to be outlined. The detailed analysis of information from the texts has allowed to figure out the nature, patronage and dating of the different undertakings occurred in the citadel. The collected data from the study of the epigraphic documents, which have been preserved in situ, have become part of the results of the research carried out by the writer for her Master II thesis - Catalogue des inscriptions des fortifications d’époque islamique du Bilad al-Sham du 11e au 14e sièclès, Master II, Paris, June 2007-. This has allowed to reckon the citadel among Great Syria’s urban and sub-urban fortified sites with the existing best preserved epigraphic corpus, in terms of quantity and quality, also considering its relation with the building and settlement phases mentioned in the literary sources and/or evidenced by archaeology. This paper intends to give a preliminary summary of the study carried out by the writer within the Archaeological Mission of the University of Florence (archaeological campaigns 2003, 2007), that is from 2007 part of her current research project on the study of the whole of epigraphic material recorded in the fortifications of the Great Syria – Phd underway: Les fortifications d’époque islamiquedans le bassin de la Méditerranée orientale entre les siècles 11e et 14e: étude des données épigraphiques et archéologiques, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris – .

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TROISCAMPAGNES DE PROSPECTIONS DANS L’HINTERLAND DE SHAWBAK DE LA MISSION ARCHÈOLOGIQUE DE LE L’INSTITUT FRANÇAIS DE PROCHE ORIENT (IFPO) Cedric Devais, Ludovic Decock, Sylvain Vondra Institut Français de Proche Orient (IFPO) A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011 Abstract (2008) De 2003 à 2006, une mission de prospection, conduite par l’Institut Français du Proche-orient, a dressé un premier état des lieux de l’implantation franque liée à la construction de la forteresse du Crac de Montréal. Bâti en 1115 sur ordre de Baudoin Ier, la forteresse de Montréal/Shawbak, devint rapidement un pôle de colonisation franc à l’est du Jourdain. Les sources, orientales et occidentales révèlent que cet établissement, pourtant situé en périphérie du royaume, constitua le noyau d’une véritable ville établie en contrebas du château. Cette «  ville basse » comprenait trois faubourgs selon les sources, auxquels il est nécessaire d’adjoindre plusieurs ensembles agricoles situés dans les environs immédiats de la forteresse. Les résultats de trois campagnes de prospections démontrent un ensemble cohérent formé d’un maillage agricole et artisanal, articulé autour du centre urbain et relié à l’ensemble Pétra/wadi Mousa par un système de fortins édifiés sur la lèvre du plateau d’Idumée (une autre chaîne devait relier Montréal à Kérak via Tafilèh). Par ailleurs, cet ensemble, qui au regard des prospections, apparaissant avec l’implantation franque, a poursuivi son développement aux périodes ultérieures. Les missions de prospections conduites dans l’hinterland ne répondent pas à l’ensemble de la problématique de peuplement de l’espace de Montréal. Toutefois, l’identification d’ensembles comportant des structures spécifiques permet aujourd’hui de dresser un premier bilan de la répartition géographique des activités artisanales et agricoles et religieuses/funéraires associées à la forteresse. En outre la mise au jour de tours de guets, constitue un élément majeur dans la compréhension du schéma d’occupation de l’Outrejourdain par les Francs. Three survey campaigns of Ifpo in Shawbak hinterland An example of castle settlement upon the frontiers of the Kingdom of Jerusalem: the hinterland of the fortress of Montreal/Shawbak in the 12th century. From 2003 to 2006, a survey mission (landscape analysis), carried out by the French Institute of the Near East, has ascertained the situation of the places of Frankish settlements relevant to the building of the fortress of the Crac de Montréal. Ordered and erected in 1115 by Baldwin I, the fortress of Montréal/Shawbak became very soon a centre of Frankish colonization to the east of the River Jordan. Eastern and western literary sources tell that such settlement, although located in the periphery of the kingdom, originated the nucleus of a real town arisen below the castle. This ‘low town’ consisted, according to documents, of three boroughs, to which several agricultural complexes must be added, located in the outskirts of the fortress. The results of the three surveying campaigns show a unitary context, formed by an agriculture and manufacture network, set around the urban centre and connected with the context Petra/Wadi Mousa by means of a system of strong points, erected on the brink of the plateau d’Idumèe (another chain must have connected Montreal with Kerak, via Tafileh). On the other hand, this settlement, that, according to investigations, seems to have been a Frankish establishment, has kept on developing in next times. Missions carried out in the hinterland have yielded no real answers to the problems concerning the population around Montréal. However, a complex with specific structures has been detected, which now allows to realize a first outline of the geographical subdivision of manufacturing and agricultural, besides religious and funerary, activities associated with the fortress. Moreover, the evidence of watch towers seems to be a further element for understanding the settling plan carried out by the Franks in the Outrejord

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NOTE SUL MAUSOLEO DI ABU SULAIMAN AL DARANI Mohammad Al-Marahleh, DoA A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011

I mausolei sono presenti in Giordania, come in molti altri paesi arabo-musulmani, e generalmente sono rappresentati da un edificio con funzione di luogo di preghiera sulla tomba di un profeta o di un imam. Il mausoleo di Abu Sulaiman nel villaggio di Abu Makhtub nella municipalità di Shawbak è considerato da tempo un importante luogo religioso, estremamente visitato dagli abitanti della regione. Prima di parlare del mausoleo diamo una breve nota sulla zona di Shawbak, che si trova nella parte nord ovest del governotorato di Ma’an su una catena montuosa (che va da 1120m a 1651m) che fa parte delle montagne di Al Sherah e dista 220km a sud dalla capital Amman e 35km a nord da Petra. Il castello di Shawbak, attualmente il sito più importante dell’intera area, si trova ad un’altitudine di 1330m , circondato da valli e sorgenti da tutti i lati, elemento che gli ha conferito un’invidiabile posizione strategica1. Di certo la posizione strategica del sito lungo le vie commerciali tra la Siria e la Penisola Arabica e le terre del Nilo e del Mar Rosso ha favorito il rilievo del mausoleo di Abu Sulaiman Al Darani, che si trova nel villaggio di Abu Makhtub, 2km a est del castello (Figura 1). Si tratta di un edificio probabilmente di epoca ayyubide con al suo interno una tomba attribuita ad Abu Sulaiman Al Darani. Le fonti scritte poco ci riferiscono di questo personaggio, di cui peraltro è conosciuto un secondo nel villaggio di Daria a ovest di Damasco. Ma l’edificio religioso nei pressi di Shawbak ha avuto grande importanza nella devozione popolare. Scendendo maggiormente nel particolare, l’edificio ha una forma rettangolare, 17m di lunghezza e 8.20m di larghezza, l’ingresso principale si trova al centro della parete nord. All’interno, sulla destra, si trova una nicchia alta 2.5m (Figura 2). E tra la nicchia e l’ingresso è collocata una tomba in con pietra bianca (Figura 3), ornata da con decorazioni floreali e geometriche, oltre che con iscrizioni arabe di alcune sure del Corano (Figura 4). L’edificio si suddivide in due parti, la prima con un soffitto a volta a botte lunga 9.5 e larga 5.5m, con una nicchia in mezzo alla parete interna sud fatta con pietre regolari (Figura 5), la seconda invece è una stanza lunga 6m e larga 3.5m con dentro la sepoltura del santo. La stanza ha quattro archi e una nicchia; gli archi sorreggono una cupola di 3.5m di raggio che poggia su una base ottagonale con quattro piccolo finestre, gli angoli della cupola sono decorati (Figura 6). Nella parte superiore della tomba a dx dell’ingresso principale si trovano decorazioni geometriche ed iscrizioni, alcune decorazioni sono a forma di palma, (Figura 3) e la parte inferiore è decorata con archetti intrecciati (Figura 7). Sul fronte nord sono incise la data e il nome della per-

sona sepolta : “Il Principe Mohammad Nasser Eddin figlio del grande Emiro Ezzeddin legato del Re a Shawbak morto il venerdi del mese Rabii Al Akhar (Aprile)”, (Figura 3) mentre sulla parte frontale si legge una sura del Corano (Figura 4). Un’altra iscrizione è quella ritrovata all’interno del mausoleo, anche se forse la sua posizione originale potrebbe essere stata nella porta principale: 1- col nome di Dio Clememete e Misericordioso questo cio’ che e’ stato costruito ai giorni del nostro signore 2- il Re buono e giusto Re Nagem Eddin Ayyub 3- costruito per contributo dell’Emiro Sharaf Eddin figlio di 4- Issa figlio di Khalil figlio di Muqatel che Dio perdoni lui e la sua famiglia 6- nei mesi dell’anno seicento e quaranta sei (attualmente l’iscrizione si trova al Museo Re Abdullah in Amman). Vi sono anche altri frammenti di decorazioni architettoniche di forma geometrica, floreali e con nomi di Emiri del periodo Ayyubide e Mamelucco. Il Dipartimento di Antichità ha portato a termine alcuni lavori come: - Scavi archeologici nel 1973 nella parte est del memoriale (Figura 8), con ritrovamento di sepolture e con manufatti ceramici come le numerose lucerne di terra cotta, alcune fatte a mano e altre a stampo con decorazioni floreali e geometriche di periodo Ayyubide- Mamelucco (Figure 9), e lastre lapidee decorate e iscritte. - Nel 2006 sono stati consolidati e restaurati i muri esterni, interni, le tombe, la nicchia esterna (Fig 2,11), la nicchia interna, oltre che lavori di consolidamento e restauro della cupola (Fig 11). Vista la vicinanza del memoriale di Abu Sulaiman al Castello di Shawbak ed ad altri memoriali religiosi nella stessa zone come quello di Al Yasa’ (Yusha’) e il palazzo di Al Dawsaq o Al Dawshaq, che potrebbe essere del periodo Ayyubide, visto l’uso dello stesso tipo di pietra ed il modo di costruire, si può ritenere che vi sia un rapporto tra questi edifici. Infatti il memoriale di Abu Sulaiman contiene iscrizioni che portano nomi di Re, Principi e Sultani dei periodi Ayyubide e Mamelucco e molti dei quali si compaiono anche nelle epigrafi del Castello di Shawbak. Il sito, che si presenta molto interessante anche per le connessioni con il castello di Shawbak in epoca ayyubide-mamelucca necessiterebbe di ulteriori indagini, sia archeologiche che sulle fonti scritte. Tradizioni sociali. La visita di tombe e memoriali, più rivolte ad una venerazione per personalità di spicco che a costituire un vero e peroprio fenomeno religioso, è una tradizione presente da secoli, con abitudini che spesso

1

Per le informazioni storico-archeologiche sul castello di Shawbak si rimanda ai numerosi interventi di questo volume e a Vannini 2007.

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si svlogevano così: si entrava nella stanza della tomba in silenzio, pregando, bruciando incense, accendendo lucerne o candele e leggendo la Sura del Corano ‘Al Fatiha’; si portava una stoffa nuova di color verde per coprire la tomba e alcuni pezzi per essere benedetti. Si pregava per guarire i malati, per chiedere fortuna e altro; le donne si tingevano i capelli e le mani con l’Henne e chiedevano di realizzare un desiderio, passare una difficoltà, di sposarsi, di avere figli maschi, il ritorno di un loro caro lontano. La gente portava pecore nel cortile per benedirle; poi il padrone offriva in sacrificio la migliore e la cucinava: a questo punto portava il gregge a pascolare senza timore. Si usava anche fare giuramenti per dirimere controversie vicino alla tomba: chi giurava il falso avrà disgrazie entro tre giorni.

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UN MEDITERRANEO ‘MEDIEVALE’ A‘MEDIEVAL’ MEDITERRANEAN ARCHEOLOGIA DEI CASTELLI DELL’ORIENTE MEDITERRANEO ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE CASTLES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN ORIENT

MONTFORT CASTLE PROJECT: A NEW RESEARCH AND CONSERVATION PROJECT AT THE SITE OF THE TEUTONIC CASTLE IN THE WESTERN GALILEE Adrian J. Boas University of Haifa

A stampa in/Published in Vannini G., Nucciotti M. (a cura di), La Transgiordania nei secoli XII-XIII e le “frontiere” del Mediterraneo medievale, BAR, Oxford, 2011 Abstract (2008) Montfort Castle Project: Developments and Future Objectives Since 2006 a team from the University of Haifa (Zinman Institute of Archaeology) has been involved in a pilot project at Montfort Castle, a major 13th century Crusader castle built by the Teutonic Order in the early thirteenth century in the western Galilee. The aim of this project which is financed by the Israel Science Foundation for a period of three years, is to study the chronological development of the castle and to prepare for this purpose a detailed plan of all parts of the castle and its related buildings. This phase of the project includes a study of masonry techniques, drawing of architectural elements, a survey of all material finds from the castle, a survey of all written material (contemporary material and later descriptions) and of previous work carried out, most notably the 1926 expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of New York. A major part of the project is the preparation of a paper of proposals for conservation of the site and its natural surroundings. Also underway is the preparation of a master plan for the development of the site taking into account the need for a careful balance between conservation, site development and management. Proposals are being prepared for future excavations, restoration work and for the integration of requirements for improved access, nature preservation and community involvement in the project. The long term aims of the Montfort Research Project are to carry out excavations, conservation, restorations and development according to the recommendations now being prepared.

At the end of the twelfth century a German military order, the Ordo fratrum hospitalis S. Mariae Teutonicorum in Jerusalem, was established following the Third Crusade and the successful Siege of Acre (1189-1191). The German knights who had set up a field hospital outside the city walls during the siege, received land in the eastern part of the city and founded there a hospitaller confraternity, and in March, 1198 the confraternity became a full-scale military order modelled on the two long-established military orders, the Templars and the Hospitallers of Saint John. It was perhaps political pressure in the volatile coastal city that lay behind the decision of the Germans to move at least part of their administrative activities to a new and more isolated location in lands that they subsequently purchased in the hills to the north-east where in 1226 they commenced the construction of a large new fortress;

Montfort, or, in German, Starkenberg. Montfort Castle was the most important of the small number of castles that were built by the Teutonic knights in the Latin East.1 It occupied the western end of a mountain spur extending south-east between Nahal Kziv (Wadi Qurain) to the north and a tributary to the south named Khallet Khzam. It stood about 180m above Nahal Kziv and the steep decent to the valleys on the north, south and west provided excellent natural defences. However, Montfort was unusually placed for a Crusader castle, being on a low part of the spur which was surrounded by higher mountain ranges to the north and south and the higher extension of 1

The other castles are Judin located a few kilometres to the south-west of Montfort and Harunia and Amouda, Teutonic castles located in the north of the Aremenian kingom in Cilicia. The ordrer also purchased the twelfth century castle, Castellum Regis, located in the modern village of Mi’ilya south-west of Montfort.

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Trans - Jordan in 12th and 13th Centuries and the ‘Frontiers’ of Medieval Mediterranean the spur to the east which made it particularly vulnerable to an enemy attacking on the east and also of very little strategic value.2 The main buildings of the castle were cut off from the spur by two moats. They consisted of an enormous and massively constructed keep, a central, twostorey domestic ward and a large three story structure on the west built which had a double barrel-vaulted basement above which was the castle’s Great Hall and an upper domestic level, probably the Grand Master’s residence. Surrounding these structures at a lower level on the hill were various lines of fortification including an outer defensive wall with towers and gates extending from the north side of the keep down the slope, then west and south around the western part of the castle. Montfort Castle survived in its isolated location for a mere forty-five years. In 1266 it was unsuccessfully besieged by two Mamluk emirs and five years later in the summer of 1271 it fell to sultan Baybars who, after releasing the garrison to Acre, systematically dismantled the castle and left it in the ruinous state in which it exists today. Since its destruction various travellers visited the castle through the centuries. In 1877 a detailed study of the ruins was made by Horatio Kitchener on behalf of the British Survey of Western Palestine (Conder and Kitchener 1881). The published report included a detailed but not entirely accurate plan (Frankel 1998) and an engraving based on a photograph showing the ruins from a position to the south. The only excavations carried out on the site took place nearly five decades later when an expedition was organised by Bashford Dean, the curator of the arms and armour department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Dean was looking for a suit of thirteenth century armour for the museum collection and believed that the excavation of a Crusader castle might uncover one. He organised a small team under William Calver, an expert on American Revolutionary War sites with no previous experience at excavating medieval castles. Calver arrived in the East in the spring of 1926 and spent four weeks excavating most of the main structure of the castle and uncovering many remarkable finds (but practically no armour). The excavation and its finds were briefly published by Dean in the museum bulletin in 1927 (Dean 1927). In the years following to the American expedition very little exploratory work has taken place. Over the past few decades occasional surveys were carried out at Montfort and occasional efforts in conservation work, but there have been no subsequent excavations. In 2006 a team from the University of Haifa set up the Montfort Castle Project and commenced survey work on the castle and its surroundings.3 The preliminary survey of this project which is now in its fourth year.4 The aims of the project have expanded since its commencement and include planned excavations, restoration of parts of the

structure, large scale conservation of the remains and the surroundings and the development of the castle and its setting into an organized heritage site. During the survey and the preparation of a new detailed plan of the castle, a number of important discoveries have been made. Examining the construction techniques used in the various parts of the castle has enabled the identification of a number of different types of masonry. It is hoped that a careful examination of variations in masonry techniques employed by the castle builders and recording of the numerous masons’ marks, will aid in establishing the chronology of construction of the various components in the castle. It is clear from the initial examinations, that Montfort developed and underwent numerous and substantial structural changes in the very short period (45 years) of its existence. Examination of many surviving architectural elements; both those found during the 1926 excavations and now located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and in the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem, and those still located at the site; have enabled us to attempt a theoretical reconstruction of the missing parts of the castle such as the superstructure of the main buildings which was completely destroyed by the Mamluks in 1271. Future excavations, particularly of the accumulation of rubble from the collapsed north wall of the central ward that is piled up against the outer enceinte below, are likely to substantially increase our knowledge in this regard. Montfort Castle presents an exceptional opportunity to instigate a full-scale programme of research, excavations, conservation and site development. It has the additional value of being an archaeological site located within a nature reserve, a fact which on the one hand greatly enhances the beauty of the site and preserves the original setting, but on the other presents us with major difficulties regarding the methods used in carrying out excavations (employing heavy equipment required in excavations and restoration work, disposing with removed rubble from the excavations) and aslo with regard to the nature and extent of site development. These issues require careful planning in order to preserve the unique nature of the castle as a ruin within a natural setting. It is desirable, indeed essential to preserve both architectural and natural aspects while developing the site as an informative educational experience for the growing number of local and foreign visitors. A number of programs for the preservation and enhancement of this site have been raised over the years but none of these proposals have been followed up. The present lack of infrastructure and the difficult access inhibits the development of the castle as a major heritage site. Consequently, comparatively few tourists from overseas visit the castle and no real attempt has been made to inform the visiting public of the importance of this site, both with regard to the history of the region and as a remarkable example of medieval European, specifically German, medieval architecture in the Near East. A team from the Zinman Institute of Haifa University has carried out a survey of the castle, the mill/guesthouse and the quarry at Khirbet Nahat.5 The principal aim of this sur-

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It is generally believed that the site was chosen for its isolation rather than for a strategic, defensive or administrative role. 3 The project is carried out by the Zinman Instittute of Archaeology and is sponsored by the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East (SSCLE). 4 This survey is funded by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 1161/06).

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This survey was funded for the three years by the Israel Science

Adrian J. Boas: Montfort Castle Project: A New Research and Conservation Project vey has been to uncover the chronology of the architectural development of the castle a complex development entailing numerous substantial constructional alterations and additions over a very brief period (45 years). The survey, or rather series of surveys have resulted in the preparation of the first detailed plans and section drawings of the castle and have enabled us to proposed theoretical reconstructions of the missig part of the castle. The survey included the recording of masonry techniques, and an indepth examination of evidence for the castle’s dismantling in 1271 as well as a detailed recording of the present condition of the remains the later carried out with the aim of drawing up a proposal for future conservation and restoration work. In addition, all documentary evidence for the history of the castle and for the past research of the castle, in particular that of the American expedition of 1926, has been collected and examined. The preliminary publication now underway will incorporate a regional study of Teutonic possessions in the Nahal Kziv region, a comprehensive history of the castle, comparative studies of contemporary castles, detailed discussions on architectural elements, construction techniques and materials and a broad examination of the many masterial finds.

conservation. The danger of collapse is immediate and the possibility of irreparable damage and permanent loss of this beautiful and unique structure, not to mention the present danger to visitors to the site, cannot be ignored. It requires far more substantial efforts than have been carried out to date, in order to prevent further collapse. The most effective way of doing this is to excavate the fill within the first floor hall down to the original floor level, which contains most of the collapsed vaulting, and then to reconstruct; firstly those parts of the outer walls and standing bay which are in danger of collapse. This would remove the considerable pressure on the outer walls which threatens the stability of the structure. Subseuently the vaulting could be largely or entirely restored. This would have a double benefit; on the one hand the danger caused by the present ruinous state of the building would be resolved and on the other, through the restoration of the mill and reconstruction of the upper storey (and tower) with its fine gothic rib-vaulting, a beautiful and important structure would be saved and could be utilized for research or tourist purposes such as a study centre, a visitors’ centre and museum. LONG-TERM CONSERVATION AND PRESERVATION

PROPOSED NEW EXCAVATIONS

One of the most important aspects of the Montfort Castle Project is the conservation and preservation of the ruins and their natural setting. Deterioration caused by the growth of vegetation withing the wall fabric and weathering as well as damage caused by human intervention, poses a serious threat to the continued survival of Montfort Castle. Considerable damage is caused by the winter rains and wind, Poor drainage threatens the disintegration and collapse of the interior vaults of the north-western gate tower where much of the masonry forming the lower vault of the tower is, in spite of recent efforts, in an extreme state of decay, with the masonry turning to powder. Human intervention is perhaps a lesser threat. Because of its isolated location stone robbing is not consider