Khirbat al Mafjar. An Arabian Mansion in The Jordan Valley.

Hamilton, R. W.

Book ID: 10483


4to. xxvi, [2], 352 pp., colour frontispiece, 109 plates hors text of which some are folding & 5 in colour, 258 figures in text, half-title, contribution by Oleg Grabar, original buckram with d/w, index, light soiling to endpapers, small closed tear to lower margin of frontispiece page, otherwise copy clean & in very good condition, The Clarendon Press, Oxford, first edition, 1959.


Khirbat Al Mafjar is a deserted Umayyad palace lying about a mile and a half from Al-Khalil in the Jordan Valley. R. Hamilton, the keeper of the Department of Antiquities in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, was also a Director of Antiquities in Palestine during British Mandate. He conducted several explorations at the site investigating the variety of materials used and the wealth of detail in construction and ornament which time and chance had preserved. The excavations at Khirbat Al Mafjar, undertaken between 1934 and 1949, revealed the extent and nature of the buildings which had only been investigated in the broadest way in the previous sixty years. Hamilton considers the ruins of Khirbat Al Mafjar “among the richest of available sources for the secular architecture of Palestine at a critical and fleeting moment: a moment when the reviving stimulus of religion and empire, of wealth and passionate will, under the Umayyad Caliphs seemed about to transform, by a new synthesis of Greek and Asiatic genius, the millennial art of Hellenistic Syria.
As it happened, the fall of the Umayyads in AD 750 cut all that short; but not before the first architectural experiments of the Muslim Empire had revealed the creative and assimilative powers and the technical capacity that existed”. (Preface).
Bibliographic reference: Creswell 429.

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