The Mamluk Bridge at Dayr Sunayd

Authors

  • Jeffrey A. Blakely University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • Dror Czitron University of Haifa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jia.18274

Keywords:

Baybars, jisr/bridge, Dayr Sunayd, Great War/World War 1, Mamluk

Abstract

A long-overlooked Mamluk bridge spanning the W?d? al-Hasi (Na?al Shiqma) between Gaza and
Majdal (Ashqelon) was built at the behest of Sultan Baybars about 1270, as mentioned by ?Izz al-
D?n Ibn Shadd?d in his Ta?r?khal-M?lik al-??hir. It was also noted in a variety of travel accounts
spanning the 17th through 19th centuries and it was even photographed in the 1880s. Later it
became a point of interest during the Great War when it was shelled by the British Navy as part
of the Third Battle of Gaza, yet it survived to be repaired. Since it was on an important road even
in 1948, it was destroyed by a unit of Palmach in an attempt to impact infrastructure. The bridge
is one of the smallest of the six known Baybars bridges, yet it fully fits with the technological
characteristics of the other examples.

Author Biographies

Jeffrey A. Blakely, University of Wisconsin—Madison

Jeff Blakely started working in the region between Gaza and Qiryat Gat in 1971 when he was
a Freshman at Oberlin College. He received graduate degrees from Wilfrid Laurier University
and the University of Pennsylvania and has directed or co-directed a number of archaeological
projects in this very same region since the mid-1990s. Getting these projects published is
the current goal. Currently he divides his time between the University of Wisconsin-Madison
and Mississippi State University. Jeff and Brauna Hartzell, his wife, live in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dror Czitron, University of Haifa

Dror Czitron completed an MA in Archaeology in Haifa University, including a thesis on the
bridges built by the Mamluk Sultan Baybars. Dror has worked for the Israel Antiquities Authority
since 2016.

References

Ali Bey al-Abbassi (Domingo Badía y Leblich).

Travels of Ali Bey in Morocco, Tripoli, Cyprus, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, and Turkey, between the Years 1803 and 1807, 2 vols. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown. https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.104744

Amitai, R.

“The development of a Muslim city in Palestine: Gaza under the Mamluks.” ASK Working Paper 28. Bonn: Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg.

Bonar, A. A. and R. M. McCheyne.

Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry to the Jews from the Church of Scotland in 1839. Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publications.

Clermont-Ganneau, C.S.

Archaeological Researches in Palestine during the years 1873-1874, Vol 2. London: Palestine Exploration Fund.

Conder, C. R. and H. H. Kitchener.

Map of Western Palestine. London: Palestine Exploration Fund. Scale 1:63,360, 26 sheets.

The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrology, and Archaeology, vol. 3: Judaea. London: Palestine Exploration Fund.

Cytryn-Silverman, K.

“Kh?n al-??hir–bi-??hiral-Quds!” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 19(2): 149–171. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1356186308009401

Czitron, D.

“Building technology and the state of conservation of the Baybars bridges in Israel: Lod bridge as a case study.” Unpublished MA thesis, University of Haifa (Hebrew).

d’Estourmel, [François de Sales Marie] Joseph [Louis], Comte

Journal d’un voyage en Orient, 2 vols. Paris: de Crapelet.

Furrer, K.

Wanderungen durch Palästina. Zurich: Drell, Füssli und Comp.

Guérin, V.

Description géographique, historique, et archéologique de la Palestine. Part 1 Vol. 2, Judée. Paris.

Guy, P.L.O.

“Archaeological evidence of soil erosion and sedimentation in Wadi Musrara.” Israel Exploration Journal 4(2): 78–87.

Ibn Shadd?d al-?alab?, ?Izz al-D?n Mu?ammad b. ?Al?.

Ta?r?kh al-Malik al-??hir (=Die Geschichte des Sultans Baibars), edited by A?mad ?u?ay?. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner.

Irby, C. L. and J. Mangles.

Travels in Egypt and Nubia, Syria, and Asia Minor; During the Years 1817 & 1818. London: T. White.

Jacotin, P.

“Map of Gaza.” In Description de l’Egypte, vol. 23. Paris: Impériale.

Joanne, A. L. and É. Isambert.

Itinerairedescriptif, historique et archéologique de l’Orient. Paris: L. Hatchette.

McBey, J.

“The mark of the Navy: The bridge over the Wadi Hesy, Deir Seneid. The hole was made by a 12-inch shell fired at a range of over 9 miles.” Drawn on 13 November 1917. Unpublished drawing, Imperial War Museum, London, catalogue number Art.IWM ART 1509.

Meinecke, M.

Die mamlukische Architektur in Ägypten und Syrien (648/1250 bis 923/1517): Chronologische Liste der mamlukischen Baumassnahmen. Glückstadt: J. J. Augustin.

Michaud, J. and J.-J.-F.Poujoulat.

Correspondence d’Orient, 1830–1831, vol. 5. Paris: Ducollet.

Palestine Operations Trench Map: Mejde.l

Palestine Operations Trench Maps: Mejdel (Sheet A.1). Palestine: 7th Field Service Company, Royal Engineers, Egyptian Expeditionary Force. Scale 1:40,000.

Palestine Operations Trench Map: Sineid.

Palestine Operations Trench Maps: Sineid (Sheet E.3). Palestine: 7th Field Service Company, Royal Engineers, Egyptian Expeditionary Force. Scale 1:20,000.

Petersen, A.

“Medieval bridges of Palestine.”In Egypt and Syria in the Fatimid, Ayyubid, and Mamluk Eras, VI: Proceedings of the 14th and 15th International Colloquium organized at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in May 2005 and May 2006, edited by U. Vermeulen and K. D’Hulster, 291–306. Leuven: Peeters.

Petersen, A., M. Milwright, H. Nixon and P. E. Leach.

A Gazetteer of Buildings in Muslim Palestine. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Porter, J. L.

A Handbook for Travelers in Syria and Palestine. 2nd ed. London: John Murray.

Salle, E. F., comte de.

Pérégrinations en Orient, ou, Voyage pittoresque, historique et politique en Égypte, Nubie, Syrie, Turquie, Grèce, pendant les années 1837–1838–1839, 2 vols. Paris: Pagnerre.

Scholz, J.M.A.

Travels in the Countries between Alexandria and Paraetonium, the Lybian Desert, Siva, Egypt, Palestine, and Syria in 1821. Voyages and Travels, no. 44, vol. 8. London: Shackell and Arrowsmith.

Sharon, M.

“Beth Shean.” In Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae (CIAP), Vol. 2, 195–234. Leiden: Brill.

Socin, A.

Palestine and Syria: Handbook for Travellers. Leipzig: Karl Baedeker.

Spencer, J. A.

The East. Sketches of Travel in Egypt and the Holy Land. London: John Murray.

Survey of Israel: Ashkelon.

Survey of Israel: Ashkelon. Jaffa, Israel: Survey of Israel. Scale 1:50,000 (Hebrew).

Survey of Palestine: Beit Han?n.

Survey of Palestine: Beit Han?n. Jaffa, Palestine: Survey of Palestine. Scale 1:20,000.

Survey of Palestine: Gaza.

Survey of Palestine: Gaza. Jaffa, Palestine: Survey of Palestine. Scale 1:100,000.

Thévenot, J. de.

The Travels of Monsieur de Thevonot into the Levant, translated by A. Lovell. London: H. Clark. https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.102902

Livre Second de la Premier Partie du Voyage de Mr. De Thevenot au Levant. Paris: Charles Angot.

Thévoz, F., and E. Thévoz

La Palestine illustrée. Lausanne: G. Bridel.

Thomson, W. McC.

The Land and the Book, 2 vols. New York: Harper & Brothers.

War Diaries, General Staff.

Unpublished Unit War Diaries of the General Staff, General Headquarters, EEF. Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Record Group AWM4 1/6/18 Part 1, 31 October 1917, entry time 2110.

Weston, G. F.

Journal of a Tour in Europe and the East, 1844–1846, 3 vols. London: Seeley.

Wittman, W.

Travels in Turkey, Asia-Minor, Syria, and Across the Desert into Egypt during the Years 1799, 1800, and 1801. London: Richard Phillips.

Yves de Lille, Father.

/1933. “Itinéraire aux Lieux-Saints du P. Yves de Lille (1624–1626),” edited by M. Abel. Etudes Franciscaines 44: 469–502, 679–697; 45: 208–224, 299–315.

Zanecchia, D.

La Palestine d’aujourd’hui, 2 vols. Paris: P. Lethielleux.

Published

2020-11-07

How to Cite

Blakely, J. A., & Czitron, D. (2020). The Mamluk Bridge at Dayr Sunayd. Journal of Islamic Archaeology, 7(1), 79–92. https://doi.org/10.1558/jia.18274

Issue

Section

Articles