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The walls of medieval Zuwila

  • D.J. Mattingly (a1), C.M. Daniels, M.J. Sterry (a1) and D.N. Edwards (a1)

The walls of Zuwila constitute one of the most impressive defensive enceintes among Libyan Saharan oasis towns, but hitherto their construction date has been uncertain. A new AMS radiocarbon date now offers the strongest support for an association with the establishment of the Banu Khattab dynasty at Zuwila in the early tenth century AD, as some previous commentators had suspected. The walls relate to a fortress of approximately 4.5 hectares built on the north flank of an already long-established Saharan town. No detailed account of these walls has ever been published before, though Charles Daniels did carry out a survey of them in 1968 and a summary description was included in the work of the Fazzan Project. Now that these walls can be more securely dated, a full description is merited. The present study is partly based on the unpublished notes and photographs of Charles Daniels. The walls of Zuwila can now firmly be included among Libya's most important medieval monuments.

تُشكّل جدران زويلة أحدى أكثر التطويقات الدفاعية إثارةً للإعجاب فيما بين مدن الواحات الصحراوية، ولكن تاريخ بناءها غير مؤكد حتى يومنا هذا. وحسبما ظنّ بعض المعلقون السابقون فإن تاريخاً حديثاً (لمُسرّع كتلة طيف الكربون المُشع ) قدم تأكيداُ قوياً لوجود علاقة تربطها مع جماعة سلالة بنو خطّاب في زويلة في بداية القرن العاشر ما بعد الميلاد. وترتبط الجدران مع حصن بحجم 4.5 هكتار تقريباً مُقام على الجناح الشمالي لبلدة صحراوية تم اقامتها منذ عهد قديم . هذا ولم يتم أبداً نشر أي تقرير مُفصّل لهذه الجدران في السابق، على الرغم من أن تشارلز دانييلز قام بإجراء مسح لها في عام 1968 وتم تضمين الوصف التلخيصي لها في أعمال مشروع الفزّان . الآن وقد اصبح بالإمكان تأريخ هذه الجدران بشكل اكثر دقه فهي تستحق الوصف الكامل . إن الدراسة الحالية تستند جزئياً على الملاحظات والصور الفوتوغرافية غير المنشورة لتشارلز دانييلز. وعليه اصبح بالإمكان الآن ادراج جدران زويلة ضمن أنصبة ليبيا الأكثر أهمية منذ القرون الوسطى .

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Libyan Studies
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