Archaeology & Preservation of Early Islamic Jerusalem: Revealing the 7th Century Mosque on the Haram Al-Sharif
After becoming Governor of Syria in 639/40, Mu'awiya I either expanded a mosque of the Caliph 'Umar (638) or constructed a new mosque from Roman and Byzantine spolia in adaptive reuse on the former Temple Mount, Bayt al-Maqdis (7th century) and now the Haram al-Sharif. This mosque was completed for his investiture in that mosque in 660 as the first Umayyad Caliph. Isam Awwad (Chief Architect & Conservator of the Haram 1972-2004) and I proposed elsewhere that this mosque survives to today as the Marwani Musalla (1996) and that the Golden Gate on the eastern Haram wall was the royal ceremonial entrance to the mosque courtyard. This paper summarizes and expands this thesis to include analysis of the multiple entrances to the mosque and the compound. . The Musalla also known as ‘Solomon’s Stables was designated a musalla or prayer space in the 1990’s to expand the enclosed prayer areas of the Haram. It also occurred at a time of considerable pressure from Israeli archaeological pursuit of control of the space. This paper will emphasize the evidence provided by Israeli archaeology in assisting to identify the site as early Islamic and in the Awqaf’s revealing and preservation of the major 7th century north entrance and spatial interior now identified as the Mosque of Mu'awiya. We further propose that, prior to his death in 680, Mu'awiya quite possibly planned and began construction of the Dome of the Rock. We will expand this thesis in an upcoming article.
St. Laurent, B. & Awwad, I. (2014, June 9). Archaeology & Preservation of Early Islamic Jerusalem: Revealing the 7th Century Mosque on the Haram Al-Sharif. Paper presented at ICAANE 9 (International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East), Basel. Switzerland June 9-14, 2014.
Virtual Commons Citation
St. Laurent, Beatrice and Awwad, Isam (2014). Archaeology & Preservation of Early Islamic Jerusalem: Revealing the 7th Century Mosque on the Haram Al-Sharif. In Art and Art History Faculty Publications. Paper 9.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/art_fac/9