Jerusalem as Capital: Mu’awiya’s State Administration
Beatrice St. Laurent [+]
Bridgewater State University
Isam Awwad [+]
Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem
Chapter 14 concentrates on Mu’awiya’s intent to have Jerusalem as a capital of the Umayyads—as well as Damascus, al-Jabiya, Sinnabra. To that purpose he initiated construction of a palatial and administrative district just south of the sacred precinct. His first palace was located just outside of his mosque and the Single Gate allowed him sole access to the mosque. Most scholars have attributed this complex to ‘Abd al-Malik but there is now sufficient datable archaeological evidence from a site north of Jerusalem to propose that at least some of the foundations were from the reign of Mu’awiya. Archaeological evidence from the Ben-Dov/Mazar excavations south of the Haram and from a recent excavation in Palace #2 south of the Haram also suggest a Mu’awiya dating.