The Mamluk Bridge at Dayr Sunayd


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



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


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.


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How to Cite

Blakely, J. A., & Czitron, D. (2020). The Mamluk Bridge at Dayr Sunayd. Journal of Islamic Archaeology, 7(1), 79–92.